For sports fans in the UK, summer only means one thing – Wimbledon. With no Olympics or World Cup to entertain the crowds this year, that means the action on centre court will very much be taking centre stage.
The first dose of tennis action is served up today, with the likes of home favourite Andy Murray and the up and coming Carlos Alcaraz expected to challenge defending champion Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles.
Meanwhile, Elena Rybakina will be aiming to claim victory once again in the women’s singles, with the likes of Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek also tipped for greatness.
With tennis fever set to take over the UK over the month of July, betting.com have rifled through the history books to rank the six greatest men’s and women’s singles finals from the last 20 years, based on the viewing figures as they went out live on the BBC.
- Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios’ Grand Slam (2022) – 53.8 million viewers
In first place is the historic match between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios in 2022, which reeled in a staggering number of viewers eager to witness some heroic athleticism.
This groundbreaking audience smashed the previous BBC live tennis programming record of 30.5 million viewers (Emma Raducanu’s 2021 US Open win), adding extra pressure for the 2023 final to be even more exhilarating.
- Andy Murray defeats Novak Djokovic (2013) – 17.3 million viewers
It has now been a decade since Andy Murray first wrote his name in the history books of Wimbledon by defeating tennis royalty Novak Djokovic, with 17.3 million BBC viewers tuning in.
Serbian Djokovic would go on to compete in and win six out of the following eight Wimbledon men’s singles finals. Could we see a repeat of Murray versus Djokovic in the 2023 final?
- Andy Murray versus Milos Raonic (2016) – 13.3 million viewers
In 2016, the British public came together to watch the nail-bitingly tense final between Andy Murray and Milos Raonic. Murray reigned supreme, adding a second Wimbledon title to his trophy cabinet, with his win enjoyed by a whopping 13.3 million people via the BBC.
- Novak Djokovic’s five-set win over Roger Federer (2019) – 6 million viewers
If you thought Djokovic was only involved in one trailblazing Wimbledon final, think again. In 2019, his win against Federer on BBC One bewitched UK audiences, attracting around 9.6 million people at its peak. As Djokovic walked away with such an impressive win under his belt, it is easy to see why.
- Angelique Kerber conquers Serena Williams (2018) – 4.6 million viewers
A firm favourite since her debut on the tennis court in 1995, Serena Williams holds the top spot for the most-viewed women’s Wimbledon final.
2018 saw 4.6 million people flocking to the BBC to take in the action in the women’s singles, as Serena Williams starred against Angelique Kerber in her 10th final at the event.
The same match was viewed by 2.91 million viewers on ESPN, as Kerber defeated Williams in two sets, becoming the first German woman to win the event in over two decades.
- Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray (2012) – 3.9 million viewers
In 2012, two tennis icons came head to head for the first time in an invigorating Wimbledon final, which led to 3.9 million fans switching on their television sets to offer virtual support.
Federer ended up taking the title, however, this would thankfully not be the last time that we were to see the dynamic duo together on our screens.