Streakers, Strawberries and Pimm’s? You can not be serious! Top 10 Wimbledon Moments
The annual ATP Wimbledon Tennis Championship has been running since 1877 – and it’s an event steeped in pomp and tradition (e.g. the white “uniform” tennis players must wear). The championships have also evolved into a fun (and usually sun) filled fortnight in June. We take a look back through the Wimbledon history books and pick our top 10 Wimbledon moments ever.
#10 – Balls, Bums and Streakers at Wimbledon
While we are used to seeing a lot of balls at Wimbledon, we’re not so accustomed to seeing bums and boobs. The 1996 Men’s singles final between Richard Krajicek and MaliVai Washington was the interrupted by Wimbledon’s first streaker, a 23 year old female student. She stormed the court wearing nothing but an apron, which she lifted to reveal her “ladies’ bits” to the players and crowd. A Dutch male streaker was removed from the court by Police In 2006 during a match between Elena Dementieva and Maria Sharapova. His reason for streaking? he did it for a TV show called ‘Try before you die’.
#9 -British Final for first time in.. Forever!
UK Players Angela Mortimer and Christine Truman made the Wimbledon ladies final in 1961- this was the first time two British players met in the final since 1914. Finally the British win something! :)
#8 – “New Tissues Please!” for Novotna
1993 was the year that will be remembered for the choke of Czech Jana Novotna. She was 4-1 up in the last set against German Steffi Graf (then ranked World #1). Novotna seemed certain to pull off one of the biggest tennis upsets of the year by beating Graf on centre court when she served for the point that would win the game and pretty much guarantee Graf’s demise.
Novotna tried to apply maximum pressure on Graf, but double faulted during her aggressive serve when she could have played a safer second serve. It all went horribly wrong at this point for Novotna. Graf went on to break the Czech’s serve to reduce the lead to 4-2. Fast-forward 20 minutes and it’s a case of “unlucky Jana”. Jana Novotna openly wept on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent after ‘choking’
#7 – The longest Tennis Match Ever (Games and Duration)
London SW19 is the place where many a tennis world record has been set and broken. 2010 was no exception. The highlight of the tournament was an EPIC match between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut which smashed records for the longest tennis match ever (measured both by duration and the number of games played). The game lasted three days (with weather interruptions) with a total game time of 11 hours and 5 minutes.The final score after 183 games was 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68. Both players also broke records for serving the most aces in a match, with both players delivering over 100.
#6 – Sir Cliff & players sing to crowds at rainy Wimbledon 1996
Before the days of the sliding roof at Wimbledon, the weather had the power and often the inclination to slow things down by throwing in some horrible English rain. During a seemingly unrelenting rain-stoppage during proceedings at Wimbledon 1996, Sir Cliff Richard got to his feet in the royal box and picked up a microphone. Along with tennis legends Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver, Hana Mandlikova and Virginia Wade as his backing singers Sir Cliff delivered a 20-minute music set to a cheery crowd happy to clap along. The new roof means we won’t have to endure the talents of Sir Cliff unless we really want to…
#5 – Clash of the Tennis Titans- Nadal Vs Federer 2008 Wimbledon Men’s Final
The final was played by Rafael Nadal (Spain) vs Roger Federer (Switzerland). Nadal was victorious after 4:48 hrs, winning 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-7. When asked about the moment of victory, Nadal said: “It is a dream to play on this court, my favourite tournament, but to win I never imagined.”. Federer said: “I tried everything, got a little late, but look, Rafa is a deserving champion, he just played fantastic.”
#4 – Navratilova Wins Wimbledon Grand Slam Title at 43
Martina Navratilova arrived at Wimbledon in 1973 aged 16. She was used to playing on clay in Prague but soon discovered that the grass courts of Wimbledon were ideal for her strong all-round game. She made it to final of the women’s singles event 12 times (9 in a row 1982- 1990). She won 11 Wimbledon doubles titles, the last of which made her the oldest Grand Slam champion in the history of Tennis.
#3 – Borg / McEnroe: The Simply Unforgettable Tie-Break
A contest in every way the Bjorn Borg (Sweden) Vs John McEnroe (USA) was scene to the most legendary tie break ever likely to be seen in tennis. It came in the 4th set and lasted 22 minutes – and included a record 34 contested points.After some good fortune, the set score ended 18-16 to McEnroe. The ultimate twist of course was seeing Bjorn Borg take the fifth set to claim his last of five consecutive Wimbledon Tennis Championship singles titles and watching him lift the beautiful Wimbledon trophy for the last time.
#2 – 18 year old Billie Jean KO’s World #1 in Round 2
18-year-old student Billie Jean Moffitt had only visited the perfectly trimmed courts of Wimbledon one time before when she she knocked out the World #1 ranked Margaret Court in the second round. This was first time the women’s top seed had been eliminated in her first match. King went on to become a Wimbledon tennis legend – winning six Wimbledon Ladies’ singles titles in her career.
#1 – You Can Not Be Serious – Johnny Mc Goes Nuts
Back at Wimbledon 1981- American John McEnroe went “nuts” when the umpire called his ball out when mcEnroe and the crowd thought it was in. Fiery McEnroe then proceeded to subject the unfortunate umpire to torrents of verbal abuse. The incident is famous for the one of the most well known tennis related exclamations ever – “you can not be serious!”..
Year after year the Championship delivers the best of the best- This year we are sure to see new records and take away great memories that will last forever
What are your top Wimbledon memories of all time?