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FIFA World Cup: The Biggest Blowouts and Closest Matches in Semi-finals History

West Germany's 1982 Win Over France Was The Closest FIFA World Cup Semi-finals Ever

West Germany’s 1982 Win Over France Was The Closest FIFA World Cup Semi-final Ever

For sure, that 7-1 trouncing by Germany over Brazil was the biggest blowout in a FIFA World Cup Semi-finals. Three other times there was such a mismatch in the penultimate round that the winner took it by five.

What about that much more enjoyable semi-final match this edition, Argentina vs. Netherlands, an occasional thriller that went down to penalty kicks? That turns out to be one of the closest this deep. Three other times, though, a semi-final was decided by a single penalty kick.

These two lists essentially present you with the score of every semi-finals match in World Cup history. However, the Cups of 1950, 1974 and 1978 featured a different structure that precluded the existence of what we know today as a semi-finals (four remaining teams, two matches), so those years are not included.

BIGGEST WORLD CUP SEMIFINALS BLOWOUTS

  YEAR WINNER LOSER GOAL DIFF.
1. 2014 Germany 7 Brazil 1 6
2. 1930 Argentina 6 United States 1 5
2. 1930 Uruguay 6 Yugoslavia 1 5
2. 1954 West Germany 6 Austria 1 5
5. 1938 Hungary 5 Sweden 1 4
6. 1958 Brazil 5 France 2 3
7. 1934 Czechoslovakia 3 Germany 1 2
7. 1954 West Germany 4 Austria 2 2
7. 1958 Sweden 3 West Germany 1 2
7. 1962 Czechoslovakia 3 Yugoslavia 1 2
7. 1962 Brazil 4 Chile 2 2
7. 1970 Brazil 3 Uruguay 1 2
7. 1982 Italy 2 Poland 0 2
7. 1986 West Germany 2 France 0 2
7. 1986 Argentina 2 Belgium 0 2
7. 2006 Italy 2 Germany 0 2

CLOSEST WORLD CUP SEMIFINALS MATCHES

  YEAR WINNER LOSER GOAL DIFF.
1. 1982 West Germany 3 (5) France 3 (4) 0 (1)
1. 1990 Argentina 1 (4) Italy 1 (3) 0 (1)
1. 1990 West Germany 1 (4) England 1 (3) 0 (1)
4. 1998 Brazil 1 (4) Netherlands 1 (2) 0 (2)
4. 2014 Argentina 0 (4) Netherlands 0 (2) 0 (2)
6. 1934 Italy 1 Austria 0 1
6. 1938 Italy 2 Brazil 1 1
6. 1966 West Germany 2 USSR 1 1
6. 1966 England 2 Portugal 1 1
6. 1970 Italy 4 West Germany 3 1
6. 1994 Italy 2 Bulgaria 1 1
6. 1994 Brazil 1 Sweden 0 1
6. 1998 France 2 Croatia 1 1
6. 2002 Germany 1 South Korea 0 1
6. 2002 Brazil 1 Turkey 0 1
6. 2006 France 1 Portugal 0 1
6. 2010 Netherlands 3 Uruguay 2 1
6. 2010 Spain 1 Germany 0 1

Photo: chinadaily.com.cn

Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer and the Closest Wimbledon Finals of the Open Era (Men)

2014 Champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Put On One Of The Closest Wimbledon Finals Ever Today

2014 Champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Put On One Of The Closest Wimbledon Finals Ever Today

How much of a classic was today’s Novak Djokovic-Roger Federer Wimbledon finale?

It was easily one of the closest Finals of the Open Era (1968-present), and arguably THE closest, depending on what kind of metric you use. Let’s take a look.

First, there have been 15 (of 47) Wimbledon Finals that went five sets, listed below and broken down successively from those with two tiebreakers (6) to one tiebreaker (3) to straight-up five sets (6).

One way to look at this – the simplest – is to give the two-tiebreaker matches the nod as the closest. But it’s more than that. It so happens that the matches that went to two tiebreakers also more often had closer sets throughout. For example, each one of the 0ne-tiebreaker matches had at least one 6-1 set (a blowout). None of the two-tiebreaker matches did.

Another way to look at it is to use another metric, this one provided in the last column, called “Sets Won Diff.” This is the difference in total sets won between the champion and runner-up. Two-thirds of the two-tiebreaker matches had SWD of two or less, compared to one-third of the one-tiebreakers and one-third of the straight-up five setters.

So, then, which of the six two-tiebreaker matches was the closest of all?

Check out the 2009 Finals between Federer and Andy Roddick. Roddick actually won more sets in defeat (!) and that last set finished 16-14. Now that is close.

Or was it the 2008 Finals between Rafael Nadal and Federer where not one set was won by more than two games?

The same can be said for today’s Djokovic-Federer Finals.

Like I said. Arguable.

5 SETS, 2 TIEBREAKERS

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1982 Jimmy Connors John McEnroe 3–6, 6–3, 6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–5), 6–4 2
1998 Pete Sampras Goran Ivaniševic’ 6–7(2–7), 7–6(11–9), 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 3
2007 Roger Federer Rafael Nadal 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 6–2 0
2008 Rafael Nadal Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(8–10), 9–7 4
2009 Roger Federer Andy Roddick 5–7, 7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 16–14 -1
2014 Novak Djokovic Roger Federer 6–7(7–9), 6–4, 7–6(7–4), 5–7, 6–4 2

5 SETS, 1 TIEBREAKER

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1979 Björn Borg Roscoe Tanner 6–7(4–7), 6–1, 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 6
1980 Björn Borg John McEnroe 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6 1
1992 Andre Agassi Goran Ivaniševic’ 6–7(8–10), 6–4, 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 0

5 SETS

YEAR WIMBLEDON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP FINALS SETS WON DIFF
1970 John Newcombe Ken Rosewall 5–7, 6–3, 6–2, 3–6, 6–1 7
1971 John Newcombe Stan Smith 6–3, 5–7, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4 1
1972 Stan Smith Ilie Nastase 4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 7–5 4
1977 Björn Borg Jimmy Connors 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4 6
1990 Stefan Edberg Boris Becker 6–2, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 4
2001 Goran Ivaniševic’ Patrick Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7 1

Photo: independent.co.uk

Closest Matches and Biggest Blowouts in U.S. Open Finals History (Tennis, Open Era, Men)

Did Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Vie in the Closest U.S. Open Finals in History in 2012?

Did Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Vie in the Closest U.S. Open Finals in History in 2012?

Tennis’ Open Era began in 1968, ushering in professional tennis as we know it today. Before that only amateurs competed in the U.S. Open.

There have been 45 U.S. Opens since then, not including this year (2013).

Of the 45 Open Finals, only eight went to five sets – the closest matches in U.S. Open history. I have them ranked by the difference in total games won, but much of this is debatable.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic both won 25 games in 2012’s U.S. Open Final – leading off with an insane Game 1 that went to a 12-10 tiebreaker.

But the 2009 match between Juan Martín del Potro and Roger Federer, with two tiebreakers, was arguably as close.

How about Andre Agassi, who won in 1999 after losing two tiebreakers to Todd Martin?

Those are all close matches, but what about the biggest blowouts?

Eighteen Finals went just three sets, led by Jimmy Connors‘ 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 1974 whamping of Ken Rosewall. Check out the rest of the three-and-outs in today’s second list below, ranked again by spread.

CLOSEST MATCHES

  YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SCORE IN FINAL SPREAD TIEBREAKERS
1. 2012 Andy Murray Novak Djokovic 7–6(12–10), 7–5, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2 25-25 1 Tiebreaker 12-10
2. 2009 Juan Martín del Potro Roger Federer 3–6, 7–6(7–5), 4–6, 7–6(7–4), 6–2 27-26 2 Tiebreakers 7-5, 7-4
3. 1973 John Newcombe Jan Kodeš 6–4, 1–6, 4–6, 6–2, 6–3 23-21  
4. 1968 Arthur Ashe Tom Okker 14–12, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3 34-31  
4. 1988 Mats Wilander Ivan Lendl 6–4, 4–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–4 27-24  
6. 1972 Ilie Nastase Arthur Ashe 3–6, 6–3, 6–7(1–5), 6–4, 6–3 27-23 1 Tiebreaker 1-5
7. 1999 Andre Agassi Todd Martin 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–7(2–7), 6–3, 6–2 30-25 2 Tiebreakers 5-7, 2-7
7. 1980 John McEnroe Björn Borg 7–6(7–4), 6–1, 6–7(5–7), 5–7, 6–4 30-25 2 Tiebreakers 7-4, 5-7

BIGGEST BLOWOUTS

  YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SCORE IN FINAL SPREAD TIEBREAKERS
1. 1974 Jimmy Connors Ken Rosewall 6–1, 6–0, 6–1 18-2  
2. 2004 Roger Federer Lleyton Hewitt 6–0, 7–6(7–3), 6–0 19-6 1 Tiebreaker 7-3
3. 1986 Ivan Lendl Miloslav Mecír 6–4, 6–2, 6–0 18-6  
3. 1991 Stefan Edberg Jim Courier 6–2, 6–4, 6–0 18-6  
5. 2001 Lleyton Hewitt Pete Sampras 7–6(7–4), 6–1, 6–1 19-8 1 Tiebreaker 7-4
6. 1978 Jimmy Connors Björn Borg 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 18-8  
6. 1984 John McEnroe Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–4, 6–1 18-8  
6. 2008 Roger Federer Andy Murray 6–2, 7–5, 6–2 19-9  
9. 1990 Pete Sampras Andre Agassi 6–4, 6–3, 6–2 18-9  
10. 1975 Manuel Orantes Jimmy Connors 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 18-10  
10. 2000 Marat Safin Pete Sampras 6–4, 6–3, 6–3 18-10  
10. 1979 John McEnroe Vitas Gerulaitis 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 19-11  
13. 1996 Pete Sampras Michael Chang 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(7–3) 19-11 1 Tiebreaker 7-3
14. 1994 Andre Agassi Michael Stich 6–1, 7–6(7–5), 7–5 20-12 1 Tiebreaker 7-5
15. 1993 Pete Sampras Cédric Pioline 6–4, 6–4, 6–3 18-11  
16. 2003 Andy Roddick Juan Carlos Ferrero 6–3, 7–6(7–2), 6–3 19-12 1 Tiebreaker 7-2
17. 1985 Ivan Lendl John McEnroe 7–6(7–1), 6–3, 6–4 19-13 1 Tiebreaker 7-1
18. 2007 Roger Federer Novak Djokovic 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–2), 6–4 20-16 2 Tiebreakers 7-4, 7-2

Source: usopen.org

Photo: es.2012.itftennis.com

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