Wimbledon: 4 Greatest Moments of the Last 5 Years
Wimbledon, the greatest tennis tournament in the world, is upon us again and with the best players in the world in form or playing themselves into form, this year's tournament promises to be exciting.
As part of the lead up to the tournament, I have compiled some of what I feel are the greatest moments in the tournament's recent history.
From Andy Murray winning the Olympics at SW19 last year to one of the biggest shock exits from the tournament in recent years to arguably the greatest match ever played, here's a look at four of the greatest moments at Wimbledon over the past five years.
4. The Roof
Following year after year of delayed matches and disgruntled players and viewers, the Wimbledon officials finally bowed to growing pressure and decided to erect a roof on Center Court.
I, for one, liked the classic match highlights that were played during rain breaks—it was always a way of learning new things about the game and, as a writer, a way of putting the tennis of the current time into its proper historical perspective.
A retractable roof was installed in 2009, ensuring that the players and the paying public stayed happy and that top quality tennis can always be shown.
3. Rafael Nadal's 2nd Round Loss to Lukas Rosol
It hardly matters that Lukas Rosol hasn't played as well and will probably never play as well as he did when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon 2012—all that matters is that the fans got what they came for: entertainment.
Fresh from winning the French Open after facing down Novak Djokovic, in what was at the time the biggest challenge he had faced for the title, Rafael Nadal was in many ways the favorite for the title at SW19.
He'd reached the finals of the Australian Open and dueled Djokovic in a match extending almost six hours. He lost that match but swept away the Serbian World No. 1 through the clay court season, with the culmination being the French Open title.
Lukas Rosol, however, was a real obstacle by classical Nadal standards. He was big-serving, tall, hard-hitting and uncompromising. This was made worse for Nadal when the Center Court roof was closed because of rain.
Nadal has famously struggled under roofs and the indoor conditions played into the hands of Rosol whose flat-hitting penetrated Nadal's usually stout defense.
Then there was the infamous shoulder barge (scroll to 1:49) and Nadal's complaints to the umpire of Rosol dancing right before each of his serves. The match, however, ended in good spirits with both players shaking hands at the end.
There was a possibility of a rematch at this year's French Open but the two haven't met since.
2. The Olympics
For a tournament like Wimbledon that was already addled with history, it was quite amazing that hosting the Olympics was unprecedented for Wimbledon.
Whatever your thoughts were on the London Olympics as a whole, one definite shining light was the Olympics Tennis at Wimbledon.
As a longtime fan of the sport, it's hard to explain the exact feelings I had watching Wimbledon with purple skirting and sideboards around the court and players wearing all sorts of colors other than the traditional white.
It felt historic. I, for one, felt privileged and, all in all, it was the right move by the Wimbledon officials to open up and welcome the Olympic spirit.
In an event with many great moments, the biggest was Andy Murray winning the gold medal for Great Britain and a male British player finally winning a final at Wimbledon.
Having lost his first Wimbledon final only two weeks earlier to Roger Federer, Murray showed the characteristics of a champion by coming back from that low and defeating Federer to claim gold.
It was a fitting end to a great moment in Wimbledon's history.
1. Federer vs Nadal Wimbledon 2008 Final
The greatest match in tennis history?
I'll give you the back story and let the highlights of the match speak for itself:
Following Rafael Nadal's breakout 2005 season where he won the French Open for the first time, the Spaniard played Wimbledon for the very first time in his career. He progressed as far as the second round before being knocked out.
In the following two years, 2006 and 2007, Nadal would make the final but lose both in four and five sets, respectively, to then World No. 1 Roger Federer.
In 2008, after handing Federer his worst defeat in a Grand Slam final at the French Open—winning in straight sets, including a bagel—it seemed that it was finally Nadal's time to win. Nadal won the preparatory grass court tournament at Queens in London, then made it to the final of Wimbledon and the rest is history.