#1 for me remains 2005 AO Semifinal between Safin and Fed. That was back and forth all night and finished in a respectable 4 hours considering the final set was 16 games.
Problems I have with 2008 Wimbledon Final
1. Rafa almost choked it away after getting up 2-0 sets. The air goes out of the balloon for a while when a player is up 2-0 sets. It's simply not as compelling as 2 guys alternating sets for an entire match. There's a natural letdown for the spectator for a while.
2. 8 f**king hours?! Are you f**king kidding me?!! Roger is the ultimate post-rain delay player. Perhaps that could have been a straight set win for Rafa, but 2, +1 hour rain delays. Oh yeah, that's suspense...NOT!
3. Rafa served, maybe once all match to Roger's FH. Everyone knew where Rafa was going to serve, and Roger couldn't do anything about it. It was the right tactic, but, in terms of suspense...WTF? We all knew he was going to serve to Roger's BH and we all knew Roger was going to butcher the return. Snore...
Anyway, there were so many other great matches. I really liked Wawrinka-Djokovic at this year's AO. Stan stood on the gas peddle for the entire match. I just like aggressive play. By far and away the best set contested this RG was the (IIRC )3rd set between Stan and Richard. All offense, all-court battle, all winners/no errors, and a real tit-for-tat back-and-forth battle. Every set everywhere should be contested like that. That's popcorn tennis!!! And it was contested on clay no less!
1. Nole was the aggressor, Rafa got some cheap points just popping the ball up in the air... OK, that's how I win points on the public park courts. Pop the ball in the air and hope my opponent runs into the net or butchers the overhead.
2. The court is too big. I hate Rafa's court position when he returns serve. The whole point takes too long to begin to take shape when you start it from that far back. Serena beat Errani in 47'. Today featured the lamest 6-1 set ever not contested at a major in 37'. How the Eff can that happen? 37' of bouncing the ball and toweling off. 6-1 disqualifies this match.
3. Really lame ending. Nole missed 3 makeable FH by a foot each time. As I said, the brain took a massive dump. Someone else called it anticlimactic. And another called it an unfortunate ending.
I guess the question is, where do Rafa fans rate this match among the best. I don't think anyone else is terribly interested in this one.