Tennis fever will sweep the nation across the next two weeks as the best players in the world compete at Wimbledon. The main British hopes in the singles will rest on Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta, while Andy Murray will return to action in the doubles alongside Pierre-Hugues Herbert and could face off against brother Jamie in the third round. Plenty of great moments on and off the court will take place during the next 14 days of action, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the greatest moments the All England Club has ever seen.
Perry's 45 minute win
Legend of the game Fred Perry defeated German Baron Gottfried von Cramm in under 45 minutes back in 1936. Perry won the match 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, which was the quickest men’s final of the 20th century.
All British final
Angela Mortimer and Christine Truman met in a historic 1961 Wimbledon Women’s singles final. Mortimer defeated Truman 4–6, 6–4, 7–5 in what was the last all-British final to date.
Ashe vs Connors
Back in 1975, Jimmy Connors faced off against Arthur Ashe in the Wimbledon final. Connors was the clear favourite with Ashe never coming out on top between the two before. However, Ashe produced a remarkable comeback in the final set to defeat Connors for his only Wimbledon title.
Borg vs McEnroe tie-break
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe’s rivalry is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Back in 1980, the pair were in incredible form and met in the final at the All England Club. The highlight of the encounter was the fourth set tie-break, with McEnroe taking the set 18-16 with some exceptional rallies on show. However, even though the American won the tie-break, it was Borg who eventually prevailed, going on to win his fifth Wimbledon title in a row.
Possibly the most famous line in tennis history. Back in 1981, bad boy John McEnroe faced off against Tom Gullikson in the first round. The American was extremely fired up for the meeting and took his frustration out on the chair umpire. After his ace was called out, McEnroe hit out at the umpire with the famous ‘You cannot be serious!’ line, which is now known as one of the best catchphrases the sport has ever seen.
Becker's memorable win
In 1985, 17-year-old Boris Becker became youngest ever men’s champion at the All England Club. The German defeated Kevin Curren in the final, eclipsing Wilfred Baddeley’s previous record in the process.
Regarded as one of the best to ever grace the court, Martina Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam titles, nine of which came at the All England Club. Navratilova won six Wimbledon titles in a row between 1982 to 1987, defeating the likes of Steffi Graf and Chris Evert in numerous finals.
Pat Cash's Wimbledon celebration
Pat Cash climbed into the stands and up into the Players Box to celebrate his 7-6, 6-2, 7-5 final win over Ivan Lendl in 1987. The Australian has appeared to set the trend, with many winners now making the same journey to celebrate with family and friends at the All England Club.
Sir Cliff Richard's surprise performance
During a rainy afternoon at the 1996 Championships, Sir Cliff Richard grabbed a mic in the Royal Box and put on a performance for the crowd. The likes of Martina Navratilova and Virginia Wade were accompanying Richard in his performance in what was a memorable moment off the court during the All England Club’s history.
Sampras vs Federer
In 2001, 19-year-old Roger Federer faced off against the great Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in the fourth round. It was the only time the pair met in a ranking tournament, with Federer shocking Sampras with a thrilling victory. Even though the Swiss star failed to go on and lift the title, that specific meeting is regarded as the passing of the tennis torch.
Ivanisevic's remarkable triumph
In the same year as Federer’s shock victory over Sampras, Croat Goran Ivanisevic became the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon since Boris Becker back in 1985. Ivanisevic’s fairytale story finished with a thrilling 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7 win over Pat Rafter in the final.
Sampras' shock defeat
After his fourth-round defeat to Roger Federer, Pete Sampras returned to the All England Club in hope of landing an eighth Wimbledon crown. However, during his second round meeting with the unknown George Bastl, the American suffered another shock exit in what would be his last ever singles match at Wimbledon. Bastl ranked 145th in the world at the time, won a five-set thriller 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4.
Williams vs Davenport
One of the greatest finals came back in 2005 between Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport. Williams came into the final off the back of a gruelling semi-final win over Maria Sharapova and defeated Davenport in just under three hours. Davenport served for the match in the second set and had a Championship point in the third, however, Williams won her third Wimbledon crown with a 4-6, 7-6, 9-7 victory.
The greatest ever final
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal produced one of the greatest ever matches in the history of the sport in the 2008 Wimbledon final. The pair were both in outstanding form during the 4 hours and 48 minutes of play, with Nadal eventually sealing a thrilling five-set victory 6–4, 6–4, 6–7, 6–7, 9–7.
Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof
On June 29th 2009, a newly built roof on Wimbledon’s historic Centre Court was used for the first time and has been regarded as one of the memorable moments in the competition’s history. The roof cost an estimated £80-£100 million and avoids any major disruption from the British weather.
The endless match
A first-round meeting on Court 18 shouldn’t be regarded as one of the best Wimbledon moments, however, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut produced the longest ever match in tennis history in 2010. The meeting lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, with the final set alone taking 8 hours and 11 minutes to complete. Multiple records were broken during the three-day match, with both players serving over 100 aces. Isner eventually took the match 6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68, with the game going down in sporting history.
Federer's eighth title
Roger Federer became the only man in Wimbledon history to win eight All England Club singles titles. The Swiss star brushed aside Marin Cilic, also becoming the oldest singles champion of the open era.
Murray's 2013 win
76 years after a Brit won a Wimbledon singles title, Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic to secure a maiden Wimbledon title. The Scot fell short 12 months prior to his victory over Djokovic, making the win even sweeter in front of a packed Centre Court.
Anderson vs Isner
Eight years on from his history-making Wimbledon match against Nicolas Mahut, John Isner was once again involved in a thrilling All England Club match, this time against Kevin Anderson. The semi-final lasted 6 hours and 36 minutes, with Anderson defeating Isner 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24, with the final set lasting 2 hours and 50 minutes alone. Not quite the 11 hours and 5 minutes against Mahut, however, the match will still go down in Wimbledon history.
Nadal vs Djokovic
In the second semi-final of the 2018 Championships, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also produced a breathless encounter. The match lasted 5 hours and 16 minutes, with the Serb defeating the Spaniard 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 10-8, going on to defeat Anderson in the final.