Middle Sunday's magic moments at Wimbledon

Connors, Henman highlight past 'People's Sundays' (1:45)

With the fourth ever Middle Sunday in Wimbledon history, take a look back at the three other times this happened including Jimmy Connors' thunderous backing in defeat in 1991, and then England native Tim Henman's 1997 and 2004 victories. (1:45)

Wimbledon will host play on its middle Sunday for only the fourth time in its 139-year history in 2016. 'People's Sunday,' as it has been known, is one of the best days in tennis for some and has produced some magic moments. Here are some of the highlights:


Of all the players, it was Jimmy Connors -- the old street-fighter of the lawns, and a man who fed off the energy of a crowd -- who most appreciated this unbuttoned Wimbledon.

Even though he lost to Derrick Rostagno, Connors probably never had more fun at the All England Club than when playing in front of the thousands who had slept rough for tickets.

"It definitely wasn't the regular traditionalists watching tennis and saying, 'jolly good'. It was my kind of crowd. I wish it had been like this for the last 20 years. Where have they been?"

Connors was taken aback by the Mexican wave. Even the occupants of the Royal Box joined in.

"Can anyone imagine a wave at Wimbledon?" he said. "Usually, the only wave here is like this?" And then, according to someone who was in the room, Connors "wiggled his middle finger and pinky".

The day was also to John McEnroe's taste. "It was a nice change of pace," said McEnroe, now an ESPN analyst. "You don't often get a soccer crowd at Wimbledon."


'People's Sunday' was all about Britain's Tim Henman; he survived a five-setter against Dutchman Paul Haarhuis, which culminated with a 14-12 final set.

"From the start, the noise was at a totally different level," said Henman, the Andy Murray of his day. "To have virtually all the spectators in Centre Court screaming your name, I don't think I've ever experienced that before.

"I don't think you could get a better atmosphere in all of sport."

But for the support of the crowd, Henman would quite possibly have lost this match.


You know that something is up at the All England Club when Henman's father, Anthony, arrives at his Centre Court seat in a crewneck sweater, rather than a necktie and a blazer.

Once again, Henman was the headline act on the middle Sunday. The Englishman, who is much more of a populist than you might imagine, used the support of the crowd to carry him through his match against Morocco's Hicham Arazi.

"It was absolutely phenomenal.They're the true fans to have been out there queuing," Henman said.

"It was packed from the word go. When I was 2-0 down in the fourth set, the crowd definitely kick-started me again, and helped me to win the match in four sets."