Who is the oldest player to ever win Wimbledon?
Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon, missing out on his chance to become the tournament’s oldest champion. We look at the elder statesmen of tennis.
Rafael Nadal pulled out of Wimbledon for a second year running, revealing that his healing was not going as well as he had hoped. His 2023 has been turgid, with his fall from the top 10 for the first time since 2005 ending the longest top-ten ranking streak in ATP history.
Aside from any hope of putting his season back together, the 37-year-old Nadal would have achieved yet another record in his stellar career had he gone on to win the title at the All England Club: that of being the oldest player in the Open Era to win at Wimbledon.
The oldest Wimbledon champion
The record is currently held by the Spaniard’s rival, Roger Federer, who achieved the feat in 2017. The Swiss was 35 years old when he defeated Marin Cilic in straight sets in the final. That victory also marked the first time since Bjorn Borg in 1976 that any player won the singles championship without dropping a single set. Federer is the king of grass, as he holds the most number of men’s Wimbledon titles with eight.
Serena Williams’ longevity
On the women’s side, it’s Serena Williams who holds the record for being the oldest player to win the Venus Rosewater Dish in the professional era. She beat Garbine Muguruza in the final in 2016, and was 34 years old when she collected her seventh Wimbledon title.
Seven trophies are impressive, but Williams is tied for number two with Steffi Graf who has the same number of Wimbledon victories. Martina Navratilova holds the record for most singles titles in the Open Era, male or female, with a haul of nine.
The only men in the tournament who have any chance of sniffing the record are Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, who are both 37 years old, and Stan Wawrinka who is the oldest competitor this year at 38.