This Top 10 List is Based on Matches I have actually seen. I was four years old and did not see McEnroe vs. Borg in 1980 therefore I can’t rate it. This is also purely subjective as each of these matches have their merit.
10. 2000 Pete Sampras d. Patrick Rafter 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-2
This match stands out because Pete Sampras broke Roy Emerson’s Grand Slam singles title record. Pete had looks at breaking Rafter’s serve, but could not come through and lost a lead in the first set tiebreak. Rafter had set points in the second set tiebreak that may have more or less ended the match, but Sampras fought them off and won the 3rd and 4th sets as darkness crept onto Centre Court. The traditionalist Pete Sampras winning his 7th and final Wimbledon crown while achieving a career dream put a stamp on his reign at Wimbledon.
9. 1990 Stefan Edberg d. Boris Becker 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4
Edberg and Becker split the 1988 and 1989 Wimbledon championships with each beating the other in the final round. The same two players facing each other in three successive Grand Slam championships was quite rare in the pre-Fedal era. This match was uneven, but eventful. Edberg throttled Becker for 2 sets. Becker dug in and got traction in the match by taking the 3rd set. Things seemed to be going Becker’s way when he won the 4th set and grabbed a break of serve early in the fifth set. Edberg then won five consecutive games breaking Becker twice to take the title in 5 sets.
8. 1992 Andre Agassi d. Goran Ivenisevic 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Andre Agassi achieved his first Grand Slam title after losing in 3 previous Grand Slam finals. He did so by derailing a zoning Goran. This match had high drama, but I simply remember Bob Brett’s strategy of having Goran slice almost every backhand and come to the net as often as possible as preventing Goran from ever swinging freely (save the 4th set). I am not saying Goran should have won, but the tactics he was handed made me as a viewer feel Goran was handcuffing himself. He moved well enough and had a nice enough two-handed backhand to engage Agassi in the occasional rally. Instead, a man whose volleying was faulty made his volleys come into play whenever his serve was put back into play.
Emergency Goran foreshadows an entry coming up at some point in this series