Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Sunday, highlighted by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer fighting for the Wimbledon title and going where no men have ever gone before at the tournament – a fifth set tiebreak.
Spanning the sports headlines, we’ll also take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays trying to become the first team to ever throw a combined perfect game in MLB history and Tony Romo looking to successfully defend his celebrity golf tournament title in Tahoe.
All this and more as we jump-start a new week by getting you up to speed with the sports world on this Monday!
Novak Djokovic Outlasts Roger Federer in Epic Final, Wins First-Ever Fifth Set Tiebreak in Wimbledon History
Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s final will go down as being one of those “where were you when” moments for tennis fans around the world.
Two of tennis’ top titans, No. 1 Novak Djokovic and second-seeded Roger Federer fought it out for four hours and 55 minutes on Centre Court, with Djokovic coming out victorious in five sets, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3). Yes, you read that correctly, 13-12 in the final set. This was the first year Wimbledon implemented a tiebreak to decide a match if it reached 12 games apiece in the fifth set, and it happened for the first time ever on Sunday during the men’s final.
The 37-year-old Federer, who was attempting to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the Open era (since 1968), had two match points on his racket, serving at 8-7, 40-15 in the fifth and deciding set. Djokovic showed tremendous resolve, saving both points and eventually would break Federer to even the match at 8-8.
Each player then held serve for a series of games which included edge-of-your-seat rallies, until they reached 12-12, in which the match would enter the historic tiebreak. No men’s final at any of the Grand Slams had ever been decided by a fifth-set tiebreak.
In front of an electrified, partisan Federer crowd on tennis’ center stage, Djokovic ended the longest final in Wimbledon history with a 7-3 win in the tiebreak, and in doing so became the first men’s player since 1948 to save championship points in the final match while going on to win the title.
Djokovic successfully defended his title from 2018 and in doing so raised his fifth Wimbledon championship trophy. The 32-year-old has now won 16 Grand Slam singles titles, which puts him only four back of Federer, who is the all-time leader with 20 Grand Slam singles championships.
The next Grand Slam tournament, the U.S. Open, begins on August 26th and has quite the show to follow. This is a Wimbledon we will soon not forget.
More from Heavy.com: How much money did Djokovic take home with his title?
Rays Come Up Just Short of First-Ever Combined Perfect Game; Orioles Break it Up With Hit in 9th
The Tampa Bay Rays, notorious for launching the pitching strategy that features an “opener” followed by a collection of relief pitchers, used it on Sunday to nearly achieve history against the Baltimore Orioles, when Tampa pitchers Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough took a combined perfect game into the ninth inning.
The right-hand throwing Stanek set down the first six Orioles and then the left-hander Yarbrough, who had been recalled from the minors on Saturday, came in to retire 18 consecutive batters for a combined effort of eight perfect innings.
There had never been a combined perfect game thrown in MLB history and that remained the case as Orioles infielder Hanser Alberto led off the ninth inning with a single into the huge hole on the right side of the infield that was vacated by the Rays’ shift.
The Rays held on to beat the Orioles 4-1 at Camden Yards, keeping pace with the New York Yankees, who also won on Sunday. The Yankees begin the week with a six-game lead over Tampa in the American League East.
More and more teams are electing to use the opener strategy. The Los Angeles Angels used it on Friday night while combining for a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners in an emotional first game back at home since the death of their starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
VIRAL MOMENT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT: Fernando Tatis Jr. Performs Matrix-Like Move to Elude Tag
In what looked like a scene out of the Matrix, San Diego Padres’ 20-year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. somehow evaded a tag in a rundown during a game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Tatis Jr. was caught off of first base by a pickoff throw by Braves’ starter Mike Soroka in the bottom of the first. After a brief rundown, Tatis made an incredibly athletic move to avoid the tag, sliding feet first back to the first base bag. See the amazing play here:
The Padres’ phenom also collected a career-best four hits on Sunday.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Tony Romo goes wire-to-wire in celebrity tournament, successfully defending American Century Championship title in Tahoe
- South African Dylan Frittelli breaks through to win first PGA Tour title, capturing the John Deere Classic
- U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team gifted $529K from Secret deodorant after winning World Cup
- Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson hospitalized, battling pancreatic cancer
- Former Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger slams Tiger Woods, says he’s ‘too content’
- England wins first-ever Cricket World Cup
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
NBA: Summer League Championship Game
The Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League championship game on Monday night.
When: Monday, 9 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN 2
MLB: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The top two teams in the American League East face off for a four-game series this week at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees enter the four-game set with a six-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
When: Monday, 7:05 p.m. ET