After two weeks of aces, upsets, jaw-dropping trick shots and more drama than you can shake a sweatband at, it’s time for the Wimbledon finals…
2019 Wimbledon finals, Saturday 13 July, 1pm, and Sunday 14 July, 12.45pm, BBC One/HD (CH 101/108)
Honestly, it’s ridiculous. You wait a year for a week’s worth of action-packed, grass-based tennis action and two come along at once. Then, just like that, it’s over and done with, and it’s another whole year before the tennis superstars will once again grace the grass courts of SW19.
Luckily, for strawberry-loving tennis fans everywhere, from Peckham to Peru, this year’s tournament has been a right old belter, and has more than made up for the prospect of another twelve Wimbledon-less months in the sporting calendar.
As such, we’re positively chomping at the bit for this weekend’s share of finals, with a host of players all well within a chance of bagging the coveted gold trophy and “Rosewater Dish”.
So much so, in fact, that ahead of the two mouth-watering match-ups set to dominate your telly box this weekend, we’ve assembled this handy list of our favourite, most bombastic and eyebrow-raisingly amazing singles finals…
Women’s Singles Final: Martina Navratilova v Chris Evert (1978)
Everyone loves a good old comeback-from-a-set-down-to-clinch-victory win. In the case of Navratilova, it was especially impressive in being both the first of a record-setting nine Wimbledon singles wins and coming against one of the greatest Wimbledon champions of her generation.
Men’s Singles Final: John McEnroe v Björn Borg (1981)
That McEnroe was able to beat the legendary Borg while the Swede was at the height of his powers is in itself mightily impressive, but dispatching of the five-time Wimbledon champ in five sets, a year after losing to him in the same fashion, made this win one of the greatest in the tournament’s history. That, and both haircuts on show were bitchin’.
Women’s Singles Final: Stefi Graf v Gabriela Sabatini (1991)
Ahh, we love a bit of back and forth in a final. Sabatini made Graf work for this one, narrowly losing the first set before winning the second, only for Graf to finally clinch the tournament after a mammoth third that lasted 14 games. For Sabatini, it proved to be her one and only Wimbledon final appearance. For Graf, it was the first of an imperious three-year winning streak.
Men’s Singles Final: Goran Ivanišević v Pat Rafter (2001)
This one had the makings of a Hollywood fairytale, and did, in fact, prove the inspiration behind our favourite tennis-based romcom, Wimbledon. By the by, literally no one expected an injury-prone Ivanišević to claim his one and only Grand Slam title in 2001. He is, to date, the only wildcard entry to ever win the tournament, with his calculated destruction of a highly rated Rafter belying his then number 125 world ranking.
Men’s Singles Final: Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer (2008)
Just like McEnroe and Borg before them, Federer and Nadal shared a number of classic Grand Slam finals in the mid to late noughties. This one, though, was by far their finest. After losing to Federer in both the 2006 and 2007 finals, Nadal eventually got his hands on the coveted trophy after an epic encounter lasting four hours and 45 minutes, with the fifth set running on for a whopping 16 games before Nadal finally clinched the first of his two Wimbledon titles.
Men’s Singles Final: Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic (2013)
Sure, his voice has been said to send rocks to sleep and his dry sense of humour isn’t to everyone’s taste, but Andy Murray’s maiden Wimbledon win was historic. While his 2012 Wimbledon final defeat had us in tears, his 2012 US Open triumph over Djokovic gave us hope, and he was finally able to deliver in 2013 by beating the fearsome Serb in straight sets, clinching the first of his two Wimbledon crowns, and ending Blighty’s 76-year wait for a British male winner at SW19.
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