I was watching a bit of last night's Wimbledon men's finals between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. I haven't seen a tennis match in a while, more so Wimbledon, and now I know why. The quality of the game was really poor (and I don't mean the transmission) and the very concept of serve-and-volley was non-existent. I believe the golden age of Wimbledon has most definitively drawn to a close. The curtains came down in the year 2001, when the last true champion (and my personal favourite) won Wimbledon - Goran Ivanisevic. The golden era started in 1974 with the ascension to the throne by Jimmy Connors. Take a look at this illustrious list.
Jimmy Connors - 1974, 1982
Arthur Ashe - 1975
Bjorn Borg - 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980
John McEnroe - 1981, 1983, 1984
Boris Becker - 1985, 1986, 1989
Pat Cash - 1987
Stefan Edberg - 1988, 1990
Michael Stich - 1991
Andre Agassi - 1992
Pete Sampras - 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Richard Krajicek - 1996
Goran Ivanisevic - 2001
They are all fantastic serve-and-volley artists, and an absolute joy to watch. If you look at the finalists, you will see some runner-up names that are equally illustrious. This meant that there were some mind-blowing finals for over a quarter of a century. Having grown up with tennis of this calibre and this sort being beamed into my living room, this fall from grace of Wimbledon is hard to take. The superstars, the showmen of tennis have all gone. In their place, we have replacements.