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 DjokovicRoger 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

Posted on July 6, 2014, in Tennis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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