Notable Wimbledon Matches
The Wimbledon tournament has seen some of the best tennis matches ever. Each player who contests in this tournament comes with a determination to win this prestigious Championship title at any cost, thus, leading to some of the most memorable matches ever played.
Pancho Gonzales Vs Charlie Pasarell, 1969
A match consisting of 112 games was played between Pancho Gonzales and Charlie Pasarell in the year 1969. This match lasted a record time of 5 hours and 12 minutes before Gonzales finally managed to over power Pasarell and win the cup. This match was played before the introduction of tie breakers. Players in those days were not given the luxury of sitting down while changing ends. They could only use their towel to wipe the perspiration away and drink some barley water for rejuvenation before getting on with the game. Towards the end of the match, Pasarell squandered seven match points and Gonzales, due to consistent good performance managed to escape break point twice. Finally Gonzales managed to overpower Pasarell and moved on to the next round only to be defeated by Arthur Ashe. This is a record that can never ever be broken because of the introduction of tie-breakers.
Anne Jones Vs Billie Jean King, 1969
Billie Jean King was a very strong player of the 1960s and 1970s. King had defeated Jones in the Wimbledon finals two years previously in 1967. Hence, when they both walked in to play the finals in 1969, very few considered Jones the likly winner. What happened came as a surprise to many tennis fans around the world. When the match began, King managed to have an upper hand by defeating Jones in the first set, 6-3. But Jones, who was keen on avenging her previous loss, did not let her spirits down. She fought her way back in the second set and defeated King, 6-3 and with the same perseverance and determination went on to clinch the final set, 6-2. This win was the greatest and most exciting moment of Jones’s career.
Bjorn Borg Vs Vitas Gerulaitis, 1977
There are very few matches that can keep the audience glued to the ball till the last stroke. One such match was the semi final match played between Bjorn Borg and Vita Gerulitis in the year 1977. Each player did not want to give up on the dream of moving closer to the cup. Both the players knew how the other would play since they were friends and practiced together. The scoreboard read 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 in favor of the Sweed, Bjorn Borg. Gerulaitis wanted to play the aggressive top spin drive against Borg but at the final moment he changed his mind and went on to play the sliced backhand short which he was so famous for. Unfortunately, this shot cost him the win against Borg who went on to win the match and enter the finals.
Bjorn Borg Vs John McEnroe, 1980
This is one of the most memorable final matches played in the history of Wimbledon with Bjorn Borg trying all his tricks of trade to retain the title and John McEnroe leaving no stone left unturned to take the title away from him. The first set of this critical match went to McEnroe and people began to assume that Borg will have to give up his claim to the title. But that was not to be the case. Borg fought back and to clinch the title by defeating the American in 1980. However, this defeat only motivated the American the following year, and John McEnroe defeated Bjorn Borg in the 1981 championship and took home the title.
Steffi Graf Vs Jana Novotna, 1993
When Steffi Graf steps out onto the court, there are very few chances of her seeing defeat. There were some very interesting matches that were played between the German Graf and her opponents. One such match that ran high on emotions was the Women’s Singles finals match at Wimbledon played between Graf and Novotna in the year 1993. Though the game started off with Novotna in the lead with the board showing 5-1 in her favor, one break let the game get out of her hands. Graf with her never-say-die attitude came back and played her best to win the match 7-6, 1-6, and 6-4. After the final point was won, Graf let out a yelp of joy but held back seeing the look on Novotna’s face. All she could do was ask Novotna is she was feeling well. Novotna broke down after the defeat on the shoulders of the Duchess of Kent which went on to become the most remembered moment.