One year earlier, Sampras had beaten his archrival Agassi in final, and equalled Emerson’s record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles. He was expected to break the record in front of the US crowd, but had to withdraw just a few days before the 99 Us Open due to a back injury. Beaten in the semifinals of the 00′ Oz Open and in the first round of Roland Garros, Sampras entered Wimbledon injured (shin inflammation).
Had this been any other tournament, Sampras said following the final, he would have pulled out. But Wimbledon is not just another tournament and instead he decided to skip practice sessions. And it proved to be a good decision as he benefited from an easy draw. Before the final, the highest-ranked player Sampras faced was No. 56,
Jan-Michael Gambill. His opponents were in succession Jiri Novak, Karol Kucera, Justin Gimelstob, Jonas Bjorkman, Jan Michael Gambill, Vladimir Voltchkov and the popular Aussie Pat Rafter in the final.
Pat won the first set 12-10 in the tiebreak, then lead 4-1 in the second set tiebreak and had two set points. But Rafter blinked, Sampras escaped to level the match, and there was nothing left to do: Sampras was in the zone and nobody could have stopped him. Sampras captured his 7th and final Wimbledon title and broke Emerson’s record, defeating Rafter in four sets 6–7(10), 7–6(5), 6–4, 6–2.
Nice to see a very emotional Sampras (for once):
Sampras parents Sammy and Georgia:
Men’s Wimbledon tennis statistics:
Open era records (since 1968):
Most titles, singles: Pete Sampras, 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012)
Most titles in a row, singles: Bjorn Borg, 5 (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Most titles, doubles: Todd Woodbridge, 9 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000 (with Mark Woodforde), 2002, 2003, 2004 (with Jonas Björkman))
Most titles, mixed doubles: Owen Davidson, 3 (1971, 1973, 1974 (with Billie Jean King))
Most titles, all events: Todd Woodbridge, 9
Youngest winner, singles: Boris Becker, 17
Longest men’s final by time: Rafael Nadal d Roger Federer, 2008, 4 hours and 48 mins
Longest men’s final by games: Roger Federer d Andy Roddick, 2009, 77 games
Longest men’s match by time: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 11 hours and 5 mins
Longest men’s match by games: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 183 games
A repeat of a match played 12 months earlier at the same stage, this encounter between Pat Rafter and Andre Agassi is one of the most memorable Wimbledon semifinal ever. Ok, I’m totally biased because Rafter is my second all time favorite
player (after you know who). But this match is really entertaining and with high quality tennis: definitely a classic.
Two very contrasting styles: Agassi’s returns and passing shots vs Rafter’s serve and volley.
Last year Federer broke Sampras’ record of 14 grand Slam singles titles after an epic final against Andy Roddick. By winning this year’s Wimbledon he would equal Sampras’ record of 7 Wimbledon crowns.
Will Federer win Wimbledon this year?
- Yes (63%, 10 Votes)
- No (38%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 16
Who is Federer's most serious contender?
- Rafael Nadal (75%, 12 Votes)
- Novak Djokovic (19%, 3 Votes)
- Andy Murray (6%, 1 Votes)
- Andy Roddick (0%, 0 Votes)
- Other (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 16
Personally, I can’t wait for a 2008 final rematch with Nadal!
Please share your comments!