Throughout the years there have been some truly incredible Wimbledon Championships moments. There have been countless shocks, triumphs and iconic instances, befitting of the most prestigious tennis competition in the world. To continue the excitement of Wimbledon that has been volleying over the past two weeks, we’re serving up this look back at some of all-time best Wimbledon Championships
The longest match, 2010
Going into the first-round match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, you could be forgiven for expecting something rather less than a classic. Neither players seeded in the world top 15 (Mahut ranked at 148th). Nor did anyone foresee them progressing particularly deeply into the Championships. Yet, this match has become ingrained as one of the greatest Wimbledon Championships moments for its extraordinary duration.
The spectators, world and internet soon became captivated by the match. The first four sets went relatively smoothly: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6. The fifth and final set took a marathon turn however before finally ending at 70-68. Isner was the eventual victor. However, both he and Mahut earned a horde of plaudits for their determination and endeavour. The fifth set lasted a record 8 hours 11 minutes. The match in total ran for 11 hours 5 minutes, spread over three days. By far the longest match in tennis, not just Wimbledon, history.
Murray makes history, 2013
The British people had gone a long, long time without seeing a homegrown Champion in the male singles category. To be exact, the drought lasted since 1936 and the great Fred Perry’s final Wimbledon triumph before Andy Murray’s victory in 2013. In 2012, the Scotsman came agonisingly close but was eventually defeated by Roger Federer in the final. One year on, against the favourite and world number 1, Novak Djokovic, Murray came good.
Alongside the likes of Venus and Serena Williams and Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova will go down as one of the giants of her game. She broke many records in her career but has previously admitted only caring about one of them: most Wimbledon titles. In 1990, Navratilova overcame Zina Garrison to claim her ninth career Wimbledon title. This is an outright record taking her beyond Helen Wills Moody’s eight crowns.
At 33, with recent injury troubles, and having lost the two previous Wimbledon finals, many believed that Navratilova’s time at the top was up. Navratilova proved she still had more to give though. The image of her claiming her ninth prize is remembered amongst the great Wimbledon Championships moments.
You cannot be serious!?, 1981
Of the great Wimbledon Championships moments, this outburst by John McEnroe, is by far the most famous and instantly recognisable. Whilst it isn’t as instance of astonishing skill, courage or good fortune, it is a man with a headband and perm becoming outraged – which is always going to be funny. Whilst contesting a decision by the umpire, the repeated refrain of “you cannot be serious!” became ingrained in Wimbledon folklore.
This iconic moment of rage only makes the number two spot on our list of iconic Wimbledon Championships moments though. Don’t tell John, for your own safety.
The match of the Century, 2008
Following their 2007 match up, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met on Centre Court once more. What followed was tennis of the highest quality, unlike anything most of us had ever seen before. At the end of it all Nadal lifted the trophy, but the game of tennis was the real winner here.
The number one spot on this list of great Wimbledon Championships moments could only ever go to what is widely regarded as the greatest match the tournament has ever seen.
Each year the Wimbledon Championships excite and delight us with something new. Hopefully, this time next year we’ll have some new entries for our list of most iconic Wimbledon Championships moments.