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Wimbledon top 10: Matches under the roof

by Simon Cambers
Thursday 27 June 2013

Whatever the weather... Wimbledon.com looks at some of the best matches under cover. 

1. Roger Federer v Andy Murray – Final, 2012. In his first Wimbledon final, Murray had the home crowd umming and ahhing when he took the opening set against six-times champion Federer, and a first British men’s champion since 1936 seemed possible. But after the Swiss levelled the match, the rains came, the roof was closed and Federer was transformed. The Swiss was a class apart in the third and fourth sets as he wrapped up Wimbledon title number seven.

2. Andy Murray v Marcos Baghdatis  Third round, 2012. As the host nation’s top player, Murray plays almost exclusively on Centre Court these days. The difference with this one was that it was against the clock as Murray raced to get it finished before the 11pm cut-off. Baghdatis led 4-2 in the third set but Murray recovered to move ahead and then raced through the fourth in a flash. The match actually finished at 11.02pm, past the official curfew, but officials showed some sensible leniency.

3. Andy Murray v Stanislas Wawrinka  Fourth round, 2009. This was the first full match played under the roof and it became a bit of a classic. Wawrinka, the No. 2 Swiss player behind Roger Federer, did his best to ruin British hopes but Murray dug deep to win it in the fifth set as the match ended at 10.38pm, at that time the latest finish in Wimbledon history.

4. Dinara Safina v Amelie Mauresmo – Fourth round, 2009. Before Murray and Wawrinka made it on to court, Safina and Mauresmo had been interrupted by rain and became the first two players to play an official match at Wimbledon under the roof. Safina led 4-1 in the second set when the rain came and after levelling the match, went on to become the first winner under the roof.

5. Rafael Nadal v Lukas Rosol – Second round, 2012. When two-times champion Nadal levelled the match at two sets all, it seemed he would go on to clinch victory against an inspired opponent. But after the roof was closed due to fading light, world No.100 Rosol began to go for broke and it came off, taking out the French Open champion in one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history. Little did we know that would be Nadal’s last match for seven months due to an injured knee.

6. Roger Federer v Julien Benneteau – Third round, 2012. Federer had not suffered a defeat before the fourth round of a Grand Slam since 2004, so when he dropped the first two sets to Julien Benneteau of France, he looked in real trouble. Benneteau was two points from victory a couple of times in the fourth-set tie-break but Federer held on and went on to record his seventh Wimbledon crown.

7. Novak Djokovic v Olivier Rochus – First round, 2010. Until Murray-Baghdatis, this was the latest finish in Wimbledon history at 10.58pm. In fading light, the diminutive Belgian was two sets to one ahead and heading for a shock win when the roof was closed to enable the match to finish. That proved to be a life-saver for Djokovic, who won the next two sets with relative ease to stay alive.

8. Exhibition matches – May 2009. After years of waiting out rain delays, Wimbledon finally got its roof in 2009 and the first players to test it out were former champions Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, together with Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman. The four played a mixed doubles and a couple of singles exhibitions. Clijsters, who had retired from tennis two years before, was clearly impressed as she made a comeback to the Tour three months later.

9. Agnieszka Radwanska v Heather Watson – Third round, 2012.
Heather Watson enjoyed the honour of becoming the first Briton – other than Andy Murray – to play on Centre Court under the roof when she was drawn to play the Pole in the third round. But that was where the joy ended as she was routed 6-0, 6-2. Radwanska went on to reach her first Grand Slam final.

10. Rafael Nadal v Ryan Sweeting – Second round, 2011. Nadal’s first experience of life under the roof was a much more enjoyable one than his loss to Rosol as he brushed aside the challenge of American Ryan Sweeting in straight sets. The Spaniard maintained his form through to the final, only to lose to Novak Djokovic. 

 

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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

20:03"I already have seven. It's not like I need another one. But it would have been awfully nice to have it. I think that's what the feeling was of the people, and I felt that... I know they love tennis. They love tennis after we're all gone."

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