McEnroe kicks his racket into the air during an outburst in 1981. AP/Press Association Images
Wimbledon 2015

Wimbledon's top 10 most memorable moments

From Goran Ivanisevic winning on a wild card to the epic 2008 final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.

WIMBLEDON IS NOW less than a week away and given the form that some of the world’s top tennis players have shown so far this year, it will be hard to predict a winner with any real confidence.

It’s that unpredictability that has made watching the event a quintessential part of our summers. From Goran Ivanisevic winning on a wild card to the epic 2008 final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, there have been countless moments to remember from Wimbledon.

Here are our top ten favourite moments from the world’s most prestigious tennis event.

10. Longest match ever

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John Isner finally brought an end to the longest match in tennis history as he broke Frenchman Nicolas Mahut’s serve to secure a 70-68 victory in the deciding set of their first-round Wimbledon encounter.

The match lasted 11 hours and five minutes, with a host of records been broken. The American eventually found two crucial winners to end the match in the 138th game of a remarkable set.

Upon the completion of the match, the All England Club announced that both players and the match umpire were to be presented with awards to mark the achievement.

 9. Sir Cliff Richard takes the mic

gdoublee / YouTube

Not all of our memorable moments took place on the court, however. How could anyone forget Sir Cliff Richard entertaining the soaked masses at Wimbledon in 1996?

The crowd went crazy as he sang to them from the Royal Box, with backing vocals provided by Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver, Hana Mandlikova and Virginia Wade.

8. Pat Cash climbs into the stands

Pat Cash did something no when else had ever done after his triumph over Ivan Lendl in 1987. The ecstatic Australian ran into the applauding spectators, scaling the stands and onto the roof of the commentator’s box to hug his father, coach, girlfriend and other.

This was the very first but not the last victory climb we would see over the years.

7. Steffi Graf’s ‘Golden Slam’

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Steffi Graf won a total of seven Wimbledon singles titles but her first remains the most impressive. In 1988, at just 18-year-old, Graf dethroned top-seed Martina Navratilova with a 5–7, 6–2, 6–1 win. She went into the match as an underdog, with Navratilova looking to defend her title for the sixth time.

She was crowned ‘The Queen of tennis’ that year as she won all four major grand slams. It was a ‘Golden Slam’ calendar year for Graf since she would also add an Olympic gold medal to her trophy haul.

6. Ashe beats Connors

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In 1975, American Arthur Ashe shocked the world when he defeated defending champion Jimmy Connors in four sets. He remains the only black champion on the men’s side of Wimbledon history.

The bookies made Connors, who was ten years younger, a 1-7 favourite. Ashe had lost their three previous meetings and nobody gave him a chance against a champ that many believed was unbeatable. Ashe did win and later that year he was ranked No.1 in the world.

5. Becker wins at 17

Wimbledon / YouTube

In 1985, 17-year-old German Boris Becker made history at Wimbledon when he became the youngest player ever to win the championship.

He beat eighth-seed Kevin Curren in the final and was the first unseeded player to win a singles title. Proving that this victory was not some ‘flash in the pan’, Becker successfully defended his title the very next year and then added a third victory in 1989.

4. From wildcard to win

Tennis Passion / YouTube

In early 2001, Croatian Goran Ivanisevic was ranked 125th in the world. This ranking was not sufficient to land him and automatic place but received a wildcard entry because he had been a runner-up on three occasions.

Wimbledon had never seen a final with an atmosphere like this one. Ivanisevic, who would become the first wildcard entry to win the championship, had been a crowd favourite all week. But for the final, a contingent of Aussie fans were on hand to support Pat Rafter.

Rafter saved three match points in the 16th game of the final set before Ivanisevic capitalized on the fourth, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7.

3. “You cannot be serious”

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You’ve almost certainly seen this clip at least once in your life. It’s not the greatest moment but definitely one of the most memorable.

John McEnroe grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons in 1981 when he lost his cool with umpire Edward James. “You cannot be serious,” he shouted when James ruled that his serve had been out.

Despite several outbursts, warning and broken rackets, McEnroe went on to win the men’s single title that year.

2. Federer v Nadal

Novak Song / YouTube

In 2008, both Federer and Nadal were at the peak of their powers. Federer was playing to become the first man to win a sixth consecutive title, while Nadal was eyeing his first Wimbledon title.

Federer’s five-set victory over Nadal in 2007 final had only heightened the anticipation for the 2008 final. After four hours and 48 minutes of superb tennis, the longest final in Wimbledon history came to its conclusion at 9.16pm.

Despite finishing the match with 89 winners, Federer was beaten by the Spaniard 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (6-8), 9-7.

1. Borg v McEnroe tie-break

Wimbledon / YouTube

The 22-minute, 34-point, fourth-set tiebreaker in the 1980 finals between John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg was the greatest in the history of tennis.

Borg survived six set points against him in the tiebreaker, which included five changes of side. On McEnroe’s seventh set point, Borg netted a volley which ended a tiebreaker that had last only five minutes less than the entire first set.

In the most exciting conclusion ever seen at the All England Club, Borg came back from 18-16 down in that tiebreaker to clinch the fifth set 8-6 and win his fifth consecutive championship.

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