Summer sports are usually painfully boring while the United States of America deals with some excruciatingly hot days.
But sometimes those days are ferociously hot like when the United States women’s national team claimed their back-to-back World Cup or like when there’s an epic matchup between two tennis legends, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
And Sunday was the most bonkers moment in tennis history.
There have been a lot of golden moments in sports history over the last four years. The calendar year between 2016 and 2017 was a gigantic year.
Here’s a recap of just those two years.
In what was wildly considered the most thrilling Men’s Basketball National Championship game ever, Villanova ripped UNC-Chapel Hill’s hearts out with a buzzer-beater 3-pointer.
The Golden State Warriors broke the “unbreakable” record 72-win season set by Michael Jordan’s 95-96 Bulls by one win during the last game of the regular season.
Ironically, on the same day that history was made with a largely insignificant game due to NBA playoff implications of the game – the aging Kobe Bryant ended his retirement tour by stealing the show in an emotional last performance – putting up a staggering 60 points to remind the world one last time of his legendary career.
Steph Curry demolished the regular season 3-point record – his own record from the previous season of 286 – by sinking an unprecedented 402 of them. Curry was the first MVP in NBA history to receive the unanimous selection.
LeBron James led his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to a historic 3-1 deficit comeback, which had never happened in NBA Finals history.
James, almost single-handedly, reeled his Cavs from a 3-1 deficit to overcome the record-setting 73-win for Warriors to bring a championship title to “The Land.”
And LeBron James’ Finals MVP honor may have been the most deserved in NBA Finals history, considering he had the greatest 3-game stretch NBA history and also led both teams in every single stat category.
In the Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps proved he’s still the greatest swimmer in the world topping out at 23 gold medals for his career.
The fastest human ever, Usain Bolt, returned for his 3rd consecutive Summer Olympics to prove, once again, he’s still the fastest man in the world. Katie Ledecky set two world records in the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle.
In ironic fashion, the Chicago Cubs also came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat LeBron’s hometown Cleveland Indians – in the same fashion that he upset the Warriors months earlier – to win their first World Series in 108 years.
In one of the most thrilling NCAA National Championships in college football, Clemson came back to score a touchdown with one second to go against heavily favored Alabama.
In a largely unexciting and controversial NFL season, largely due to Colin Kaepernick’s divisive protest of the American flag, the season was capped off by arguably the greatest Super Bowl in NFL history.
What seemed like a routine snooze-fest for 3 quarters, the momentum began to shift when Tom Brady led his Patriots back from a 25-point deficit to tie and send the game into overtime.
And in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, Tom Brady cemented his legacy as the greatest QB ever by winning his 5th championship.
In the Women’s Basketball NCAA Final Four, the Mississippi State Gamecocks ended the dominant UConn Huskies’ all-time record 111-game win streak with a buzzer-beater shot for the ages.
After suffering from a devastating loss last year, the UNC Tar Heels redeemed themselves in the National Championship by ripping out Gonzaga’s heart in a sloppy win.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia ended nearly two decades of major heartbreak by capturing his first major championship at The U.S. Masters.
Then there’s OKC Thunder’s Russell Westbrook’s historic NBA season. He just broke a 55-year-old “unbreakable” triple double record held by Oscar Robertson.
Fast-forward two years later, we have the crazy stuff in NBA free agency at the end of June and the beginning of July like the trade for Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard signing with the Los Angeles Clippers along with a blockbuster trade to bring Paul George there as well, and finally Kevin Durant signing with the Brooklyn Nets to join his longtime friend Kyrie Irving.
The USWNT won the World Cup for the second consecutive year. That’s been force-fed down our throats for too long now.
And then you have what happened at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.
Most people consider Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal the “Big Three” in tennis because, for the most part, at least one of those guys are in the finals in literally every single major tennis championship.
This time it was Novak Djokovic versus Roger Federer, which ultimately concluded in a fifth-set tiebreaker.
It was an insanely intense match. Something tennis hadn’t seen in a very long time; and on the biggest stage at that.
By barely emerging to win 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) after nearly five tight, tense and terrific hours, Djokovic claimed his fifth championship at the All England Club and second in a row.
This triumph also earned Djokovic his 16th Grand Slam trophy, moving him closer to the only men ahead of him in tennis history: Federer with 20, and Rafael Nadal with 18.
Federer has ruled grass courts since the early 2000s; he has won Wimbledon eight times dating to 2003, and this was his record 12th appearance in the title match. But Djokovic is now 3-0 against Federer in finals at the place and 4-0 against him in five-setters.
This one was unlike any other, though.
That’s because, while it was reminiscent of Federer’s 16-14 fifth-set victory over Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final, that score is no longer possible: The All England Club altered its rule this year to do away with never-ending matches and institute a tiebreaker at 12-all in a deciding set.
At one point during the final set Sunday, Djokovic asked chair umpire Damian Steiner whether the change called for the tiebreaker at 10-10. Later, when Djokovic held for an 11-10 lead, it was Steiner who got confused, beginning to call out the score as 11-9, before catching himself.
These two guys challenged each other in what was the most electrifying competition that will be sure to be a classic for years to come.
These last several years have been unlike any other in sports history.