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Serena Williams is playing at age 40: who is the oldest player to ever play at Wimbledon?

The Wimbledon Championships started on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday 40 year old Serena Williams will start her tournament in hopes for an eighth title.

The Wimbledon Championships started on Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday 40 year old Serena Williams will start her tournament in hopes for an eighth title.
Clive BrunskillGetty

The Wimbledon Championships are underway from the All England Club with the first matches of the opening round having wrapped up on Monday. While Ash Barty won’t be there to defend her title, Novak Djokovic will hoping to draw closer to Rafa Nadal’s 22 career Grand Slams.

Serena searching for number eight

With Barty absent from the field, that is one less contender that Serena Williams will have to worry about. The seven time champion will start her quest to draw level with Hellen Willis Moody who won eight Wimbledon titles in the 20s and 30s and to close within one title form Martina Navartilova record of nine championships.

Serena is only a couple months away from turning 41 years old, and is on the verge of becoming one of the oldest players to ever compete at the All England Club. The other Williams sister, Venus, became one of the fourth oldest player in the Ladies bracket to win a match at Wimbledon in last year’s tournament, and Serena has a chance to join the elite group of Ladies over 40 to win a match in The Championships. While entering that club seems within grasp, Serena will have a tough time setting the record for oldest Ladies player town a match in the singles event.

That distinction goes to Madeline O’Neill who won a singles match at the age of 54 all the way back in 1922. Years before the British tennis player set the record, she made the quarterfinals in 1909 and 1913, but never reached the Final at her home countries grand slam. The second oldest player was Martina Navratilova who won a match in 2004 at the age of 47, and Kimiko Date won a match in 2013 at the age of 42.

Serena obviously loads of success at the All England Club and you wouldn’t put it past her to win the whole tournament to make it a 24th grand slam, but she will have a long way to go if she wants the record of oldest player to win a match at Wimbledon.

Federer still nursing knee back to health

In the men’s bracket, Roger Federer is also 40, but will not be competing in this years Wimbledon Championships as he recovers from his knee surgery last year. He already has almost every record at Wimbledon, including his eight titles on Centre Court of The Championships.

While Federer may seem like Mr. Longevity in the modern era, he is a long way away from being the oldest player to play singles at the All England Club. That record is held by Robert Howe who was 45 years old when he took the court in the 1971 edition of Wimbledon.

The oldest Ladies Champion at Wimbledon was Charlotte Cooper Sterry who won her fifth title on the grass courts when she was 37 years and 282 days old back in 1908. The Men’s record for oldest Wimbledon Champion was set a year later, when Arthur Gore won it at 41 years and 184 days old back in 1909.

While Federer will watch from home as he continues to rehab from his knee injury, Williams has a chance to win what would be an incredible eighth Wimbledon title and simultaneously become the oldest Ladies winner in the history of the event.


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