Top 5 Stupendous Wimbledon Finals Since 2000

The Wimbledon Championships have produced a plethora of mesmerizing matches over the years, many of which have occured in the Grand Final. Since the turn of the millennium, spectators have been spoilt for choice, with the iconic Centre Court playing home to a multitude of compelling clashes in the All England Club's showcase spectacle.

There have been many supremely dominant performances over the years, whether it's because a player is at the peak of their powers, or in contrast wilting under a cauldron of pressure at the worst possible moment. However, this top-5 list focuses on the truly epic encounters, which have been drenched in drama, soaked in suspense, and jam-packed with monumental moments.

5. Serena Williams vs Venus Williams (2003): Serena 4-6 6-4 6-2

Where else to start then with the Williams sisters who between them have featured in 11 of the 14 Wimbledon Finals this century, with both sisters hoisting the famous trophy on five occasions, although Serena is bidding to extend her tally this year (2015).

The siblings have clashed in four Finals at SW19, with Serena leading the way 3-1. The most tightly contested of those matches came in 2003, as the sisters locked horns in their second successive Wimbledon Final. It was their only Wimbledon Final which ventured into the third set, with Venus winning the opener 6-4, only for Serena to draw level with a 6-4 triumph herself.

Venus' injuries were obviously causing her problems, and in the end Serena prevailed 6-2, as she successfully defending her title. Venus would go on to gain revenge in the 2008 edition, however Serena bounced back to beat her sister the following year.

4. Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick (2009): Federer 5-7 7-6 7-6 3-6 16-14

It's incredibly difficult not to feel sympathetic for Andy Roddick. If Roger Federer had opted to pursue another career, then Roddick could very well have etched his way into Wimbledon history with a hat-trick of triumphs. However, fortunately for sport, but unfortunately for Roddick, Federer opted to live his dream in the tennis arena.

In 2009 Federer and Roddick locked horns for the third time in a Wimbledon Final, following their back-to-back duels in 2004 and 2005, which were both won by the Swiss maestro. This time around Roddick was gunning to make it third time lucky, in a match that turned out to be the epitome of epic.

Roddick enhanced his chances of breaking his Wimbledon duck after taking the first set. The second set went to a tie-break, and with Roddick 6-2 up - with four set points - it seemed inevitable that he would take a 2-0 lead. However, in times of darkness true champions have a remarkable ability to remain calm and produce moments of magic, which is exactly what Federer did.

The (then) 13-time Grand Slam winner somehow conjured up a miraculous comeback, winning the next six straight points to level the match. Federer went on to win the following set 7-6 as he edged closer to his sixth Wimbledon crown.

However, a wounded Roddick stirred up a comeback of his own, clinching the fourth set 6-3, forcing a final set. What followed was 28 consecutive holds of serve, before Federer finally made the break through to take a 15-14 lead - remarkably this was the only time he broke Roddick in the match - and then served out for the win after a whopping four hours and seventeen minutes.

3. Venus Williams vs Lindsay Davenport (2005): Williams 4-6 7-6 9-7

Two legends of the women's game locked horns in the 2005 Wimbledon Final, in a classic rip-roaring encounter, brimming with power, pace and suspense. The match created history by becoming the longest ever women’s Wimbledon Final at 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Williams head into her fifth Wimbledon Final in six years seeking to win her third SW19 title, whereas 1999 champion Davenport was determined to avenge her 2000 defeat to her fellow American.

Davenport romped into an early lead, taking the first set 6-2. The second was a sizzling affair, with Davenport leading 4-2 40-15 - while she had a Championship point at 5-4 - only for Williams to battle her way to win 7-6 on a tie-break.

The final set was simply pulsating, with both players powering down scorching serves, ferocious forehands and booming backhands. Davenport conjured up a second Championship point at 5-4, but once again was unable to make it count. Williams went on to make the break at 8-7, then held out to make it a hat-trick of Venus Rosewater Dishes.

2. Goran Ivanisevic vs Pat Rafter (2001): Ivanisevic 6-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-7

This corking clash had just about everything, from unrivalled drama and emotion to a football atmosphere. The raucous crowd certainly played their part, roaring the two fan favourites on in what was a cauldron of centre court electricity.

Goran Ivanisevic had reached the Wimbledon Final on three occasions, only to heartbreakingly lose each time. In 2001 the wildcard was a rank outsider, at 125th, but had rolled back the years and a persistent shoulder injury to reach his fourth Wimbledon Final, while Pat Rafter was playing in his second successive Final, having lost to Pete Sampras the previous year.

At two sets apiece both players headed into the final set gunning to win their first Wimbledon crown. In the 15th game Ivanovic made the breakthrough, meaning he was just one game away from finally achieving his life-long dream.

The big-serving Croatian was unsurprisingly an emotional wreck, frequently looking to the skies for divine intervention. Rafter, calm and composed at the other side of the net, saved three Championship points, however Ivanisevic finally triumphed on the fourth, collapsing in a state of euphoria after the Australian found the net.

1. Rafa Nadal vs Roger Federer (2008): Nadal 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7

Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer served up an epic five setter back in 2008, in what is widely credited as the greatest tennis match of all time. The spellbinding encounter pitted two of the best players of all time against each other for the third straight Wimbledon Final, with Nadal desperate to win his elusive maiden Wimbledon crown, having lost both previous clashes.

Nadal took the first two sets 6-4 6-4, however Federer stormed back courtesy of two tie-breaks, recovering from 5-2 down in the latter, saving a brace of Championship points. The unparalleled drama continued into the fifth set, with the duo trading holds of serve seven times apiece, before Nadal made the crucial break to lead 8-7.

The Spaniard held his nerve to clinch his first Wimbledon crown in a shroud of darkness, and in the process ending Federer's five-year reign at Wimbledon. The titanic match stamped itself in the record books as the longest men's Final in SW19 history: four hours and 48 minutes.

Posted: Thursday, 9th July 2015
Author: Jake Itson

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