The first of Borg’s five consecutive Wimbledon championships: Borg defeats Nastase 6-4 6-2 9-7

Not really regarded as a classic, but nonetheless interesting, this final between the mercurial Romanian and the cool Swede marks the debut of Borg’s era at Wimbledon.

Nastase, having reached the final in 1972 and leading in their head to head was the clear favorite, but the pressure was on his shoulders: this final was seen as his last chance to win Wimbledon.

Ilie Nastase

Bjorn Borg

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Back in 1969 for this final between two great Australian players. After his win at the Australian Open (vs Andres Gimeno) and French Open (vs Ken Rosewall), tennis great Rod Laver was en route for his second calendar Grand Slam. An entertaining match between two gifted serve and volleyer.

It feels so strange to watch both players rush to the net on every point. Good old days…

Laver - Newcombe



No stache Newk:



No chair:

Laver - Newcombe

Tea time?

Laver - Newcombe

Laver - Newcombe


Did you know?
– Rod Laver and John Newcombe are both Australian Living Treasure (Evonne Goolagong, Ken Rosewall and Pat Rafter are as well)
– Rod Laver is only 1.72m
– only 5 players have completed a calendar Grand Slam: Don Budge (1938), Rod Laver (in 1962 as an amateur and in a 1969 as a pro), Maureen Connolly (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988).

Remember when Ivanisevic used to say every game he played, there were three players that could surface anytime: Good Goran, Bad Goran, Crazy Goran. The same could be said about Marat Safin.

A larger than life persona and one of the most charismatic tennis player ever, Marat is a man capable of blowing away any opponent or blowing up himself. A man capable of overwhelming the great Pete Sampras to win the US Open at only 20. A man capable of pulling down his shorts to celebrate a point. A man capable of showing up for a tournament with two black eyes.

Marat Safin

I’ve always been a big fan of Marat: sometimes I loved him, sometimes I hated him but now I really miss his game, his humor and his crazyness.

Part 1: 15 to 8
15 – Shanghai 2009: Just shut the fuck up and play
14 – US Open 2009: Everybody is an underachiever
13 – Hamburg 2000: a beer with Guga
12 – Hopman Cup 2009: black eyes
11 – US Open 2008: foot fault
10 – Wimbledon 2007: the spaghetti
9 – French Open 1998
8 – Wimbledon 2008: worst challenge ever?

Note: it’s not a ranking of Marat’s achievements, these are just 15 moments of Marat’s career which reflect “Marat being Marat”.
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Rafa dominated from first point on and defeated Tomas Berdych in straight sets 6-3 7-5 6-4. The win gave him an eighth career major title just past the age of 24. Nadal joins a list of greats that includes Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Fred Perry and Ken Rosewall. Just 5 players won more majors than Nadal: Rod Laver (11), Bjorn Borg (11), Roy Emerson (12), Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (16).

The world number one struggled in the early rounds, but played his best tennis when needed, especially against Andy Murray in semifinals and Berdych in final.

I think the biggest difference between us was that when he get a chance, he just took it, you know. He give me one in the second set, one in the third set, and none of them I can, you know, bring it to my side and just made a break.
That just show how strong he is. I think it was just really about the small difference.

Next goal for Rafa: to win the US Open, the only trophy missing to his impressive collection.

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.

Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras

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):

Pete Sampras

Sampras parents Sammy and Georgia:

Sampras' parents

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