On July 14, 2019, Novak Djokovic won his 5th Wimbledon title, after defeating 8-time record holder, Roger Federer. In an epic gladiator-style tennis match of 4 hours 57 minutes, which is the longest singles final in Wimbledon history. It could have gone either way in the record books, but on this day, it was Djokovic who would edge out Federer after both of them had match points. It was the “most thrilling men’s tennis match ever”, according to The Economist. It was quite a hefty paycheck for Djokovic of $2,983,748.00 and Federer of $1,491,874.00. To put it into perspective, Djokovic played 2 weeks of tennis at Wimbledon, 7 matches for a total of 18 hours, which means he earned $165,763.77 per hour. (Note to self: You need a better job.)
I used to follow tennis closely years ago and now I usually only watch the Wimbledon men’s finals each year, if I actually know the players. I remember having posters on my college dorm walls of tennis players.
After winning 5 Wimbledon titles, 6 French Open titles, and 4 US Open titles in the 1970s, Bjorn Borg retired at 27. Imagine what he could have achieved if he stayed in the sport. In the 1990s, Pete Sampras dominated with 7 Wimbledon titles, 5 US Open titles and 2 Australian Open titles, then retired at 32.
It’s hard to believe that Roger Federer (37, Swiss), Rafael Nadal (33, Spanish) and Novak Djokovic (32, Serbian) have been dominating tennis since 2003 at the ages that most tennis pros retire. They are all considered “GOATS” (Greatest Of All Time) and time will tell to see how many more records they each break.