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No. 1: Nole Takes the Long Way

What was the measure of a great tennis match in 2014? It was too hard to win the first time around. \

Yesterday, in our No. 2 contest of the year, we watched as Maria Sharapova snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the French Open final, before snatching the title back again at the last minute.

Today we’ll see the same phenomenon in our top match of 2014, the Wimbledon men’s final. On that bright July day on Centre Court, Novak Djokovic had it, blew it, and finally won it, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4, over Roger Federer. 

The season reached its peak during those four hours in London, as Djokovic-Federer joined the long list of all-time classic finals at Wimbledon.

The match wasn’t just the best of the year, it was also the most consequential: If Federer had won the fifth set, he, rather than Djokovic, would have finished the season at No. 1. Not many matches live up to their setting and their expectations; this one exceeded them.

For those who have forgotten, here’s a look at the 30-minute highlight-reel reminder above.

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