In Depth

14 July 2019: was this the greatest day in British sporting history?

Cricket World Cup final, F1 British Grand Prix and the Wimbledon men’s final made it the most super Sunday

At this time of year it’s customary to take a look back at the past 12 months and pick out the best sporting moments.

However, instead of highlights from January to December, we feel there is just one day from 2019 that should have all of the focus. 

Where were you on Sunday 14 July?

Non-sporting fans may have been ignoring the day’s schedule, but for the sporting addicts among us you were probably glued to your TV sets watching the drama unfold. 

“Super Sunday” had three major sporting events taking place in the UK: the ICC Cricket World Cup final between hosts England and New Zealand at Lord’s, the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and the Wimbledon men’s final between tennis icons Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. 

Millions watched as Channel 4 and Sky Sports shared live coverage of both the grand prix and cricket, while BBC showed live coverage of the tennis. 

Here we look back at a golden afternoon in British sporting history.

3.35pm: Hamilton wins at Silverstone 

The first triumph of the day, at around 3.35pm, was Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 British GP in front of his home fans at Silverstone. 

According to reports a full house of 140,000 was at the circuit to watch the Mercedes driver win the race for a record sixth time. 

Hamilton, who went on to win his sixth F1 title in 2019, said after the race: “Honestly I’m a bit out of breath. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be here in front of my home crowd.

“There’s so many British flags out there and every year I see it and you think you get used to it but it feels like the first time and I’m forever grateful to everyone out here. I hope you enjoyed the day.”

7.09pm: Djokovic beats Federer in a thriller 

A few hours after Hamilton’s triumph at Silverstone, Novak Djokovic retained his Wimbledon men’s singles title with a thrilling five-set victory over rival Roger Federer on Centre Court. 

Serbian top seed Djokovic saved two championship points against second seed Federer and went on to win a fifth-set tie-break. The final was the longest in Wimbledon history at four hours 57 minutes. 

Djokovic’s 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 13-12 (7-3) victory moved him on to five Wimbledon titles and 16 grand slams in total. It was also the third time he had beaten Federer in the Wimbledon men’s singles final. 

Speaking after his epic win 32-year-old Djokovic said: “If this was not the most thrilling and exciting finals I was ever a part of, then definitely it’s top two or three in my career against one of the greatest players of all time - Roger.”

7.30pm: a champagne super over for England 

While Djokovic and Federer were serving up a classic on Centre Court, England and New Zealand were doing the same in the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s. 

For a period of around an hour, fans across the world, including this writer, flicked between the action as the battles unfolded in the tennis and cricket. 

Djokovic’s win at Wimbledon meant that all focus was now on Lord’s and the now-memorable super over. After both teams ended their innings on 241 the super over came into play and it was England who triumphed.  

In their extra six balls England scored 15-0 meaning New Zealand required 16 to win the trophy. Needing two runs from the final ball Kiwi batsman Martin Guptill scored a single before being run out by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. 

This meant that England won the World Cup having scored more boundaries during the match – and the country erupted in celebration.

Ben Stokes, the star of England’s innings, said: “I’m pretty lost for words. All the hard work over four years, to get here and be champions of the world, it’s an amazing feeling.”

What the pundits said of ‘Super Sunday’

Richard Williams, The Guardian

“It’s not necessary to claim that a record-breaking sixth victory at Silverstone makes Lewis Hamilton the greatest grand prix driver of all time or that the first Wimbledon men’s singles final to be decided by a fifth-set tie break was the greatest tennis match in history or that by fighting each other to the very end England and New Zealand had produced the greatest cricket match ever played. Probably none of those things is true. But we can be pretty certain that there has never been an all-round day quite like this one.”

Tim Stickings, Daily Mail

“Sports fans revelled in perhaps the most gripping hour in the history of British sport on Sunday as Wimbledon and the Cricket World Cup both ended in the most dramatic way imaginable. England’s cricketers were crowned world champions in scenes of near-bedlam at Lord’s as the final ended in a tie, before a thrilling tie-breaker was itself tied, giving England victory on a technicality. And just a few miles away, two of tennis’s all-time greats did battle as Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a Wimbledon epic, the first final settled by a fifth-set tie-break. The two games reached their dramatic climaxes within minutes of each other, leaving speechless fans unsure where to look on a day dubbed ‘Super Sunday’ which also saw Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix.”

Sean Taylor, Press Association

“Sports fans across the country were gripped by a compelling day of sporting drama on a day dubbed ‘Super Sunday’. England’s cricketers wrote their names into the history books at Lord’s, winning their first World Cup in a final that will go down as one of the most dramatic in team sport. Across London, two of the all-time greats in tennis – Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – did battle in another epic clash at Wimbledon in the first singles final to be decided by a fifth-set tie-break, won by Djokovic. Earlier in the day in Formula One, England’s Lewis Hamilton also won the British Grand Prix.”

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