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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tennis: 10 Top Wimbledon Champions of All Time

There are 4 grand slam tournaments in World Tennis but Wimbledon is perhaps the most prestigious one. Wimbledon is the only grass court championship among the four. There are many great players who failed to win Wimbledon. I think that Ivan Lendl will always remain unhappy for not being able to win Wimbledon. Here, I have compiled list of the 10 great Wimbledon Champions of all time. Yes, this type of list often creates a lot of passionate debate as many readers feel that we have failed to mention their favorite players. Well, it is a list of 10 (5 male and 5 female) and naturally I cannot include everyone. However, I think that these 10 players are among the best.

William Renshaw

This British Great tennis player holds the record of winning highest number of Wimbledon trophies jointly with Pete Sampras. He became champion in this traditional grand slam tournament for seven times. Moreover, partnering with his twin brother Ernest Renshaw, he could win seven Wimbledon Men’s Doubles tournaments too. He won Wimbledon tournament from 1881 to 1886 for consecutive six times which is still a record of highest consecutive championship victory. This tennis legend was included in the International Tennis Hall of Fame n 1893. He was born in Warwickshire in England.

Pete Sampras

Image Link: Wikipedia

This US tennis legend is considered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He is currently the highest Grand Slam winner for men’s tennis. In his career he won 14 Grand Slam tournaments. He is best known for his amazing performance in Wimbledon. His 7 titles in Wimbledon made him the highest number of trophy winners in this Grand Slam jointly with William Renshaw. He could hold trophy in all of the four Grand Slam tournaments except French open. This American tennis great is the longest World no. 1 holder in the ranking for consecutive six years in open era which is third for all time. After being professional at the age of 17, he took two years to win his first Grand Slam title in US Open in 1990 defeating Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe, two legendary figures in the tennis world. After this magnificent success he just went on straight forward in making an epic journey of success in the tennis history. His number of career title is 64. In his 15 year-long career, he could earn a fabulous amount of $43,280,489 as prize money.

Lawrence Doherty

With his five Wimbledon titles, Lawrence Doherty is considered as one of the most successful players of this Grand Slam tournament. He also won 7 doubles titles in this Grand Slam tournament. This British Great player was also the Gold medalist of both men’s singles and men’s doubles in 1900 Olympic Games. Doherty had an U.S. Open championship in 1903. His older brother Reggie Doherty was also a successful player in Wimbledon tournament.

Björn Borg

This Swedish great men’s tennis player is best known for his performance in both French Open and Wimbledon. His six titles in French Open is still a record and his five titles in Wimbledon is also one of the best in its history. In his career, he won 11 Grand Slam tournaments out of 27 Grand Slam tournaments he participated. His Grand Slam Championship success rate is 41%, which is best in Open era. With his 11 grand lam titles, he became the second highest Grand Slam winner in the men’s tennis. He was involved in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.

Image Link: Wikipedia

Roger Federer

This Swiss tennis great is considered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time to many tennis analysts. Federer reached to the number one in the ATP ranking in 2004 and still remains there which made him third longest world no. 1 player in the tennis history. His best performance has been seen in the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament. He could win all of the grand slam tournaments except French Open in his career. He won 8 grand slam tournaments including Australian Open twice, U.S. Open twice and Wimbledon for four times. He started playing tennis when he was just 8 years old. He entered in the international tennis in 1999 being included in the Swiss Davis Cup team. He won 40 career titles in his career. His career Prize Money is $25,146,458 until now and it will increase a lot in the coming years. He has been ATP players of the year twice and in 2004, he was announced as the Reuters International Sportsman of the Year.

Image Link: Wikipedia

Martina Navratilova

Navratilova is perhaps the greatest female tennis players of all time. She is the former world no. 1 tennis player in the women’s Singles WTA ranking. She won 18 Grand Slam titles in her career which is second highest Grand Slam success in tennis history. In Doubles, she is also a legendary figure as she won 31 Women’s Doubles and 10 Mixed Doubles in her golden career. She started playing in the professional tennis in 1973 when she was just 16. She could hold domination over the women’s tennis in her golden time.

Navratilova is the best player in the Wimbledon history. She holds the record of highest Wimbledon winner with her 9 Wimbledon titles and 6 of which are consecutive, another world record for Wimbledon. She won her final Grand Slam in 1990 after winning in Wimbledon. She declared retirement from Singles tennis tournaments in 1994. She is the oldest winner of Grand Slam tournaments and the only third player in tennis to have a “boxed set” of Grand Slam titles including all of the four Grand Slam tournaments in all of the three sections including Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. She won 167 Singles and 173 Doubles tournaments in her career and both of are world record for men and women. She also became world number one in Doubles. She ended her colorful career with her last Mixed Double title in the US Open of this year.

Image Link: Wikipedia

Helen Wills

This legendary and greatest tennis player of women’s tennis has a varied range of success in her career. She won 19 Grand Slams in her career. She was the queen of the court in the 1920s and 1930s. Her best Grand Slam success came in Wimbledon. With her 8 Wimbledon championship victories, she became the second highest Wimbledon title holder after Navratilova’s 9 Wimbledon titles. She also won two gold medals in the 1924 Paris Olympic where one was on singles and another in doubles. In her 17 year-long career, she won 31 Grand Slams titles including singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. In 1959, she became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Dorothea Katherine Douglass Lambert Chambers

This British great tennis player is best known for her excellent performance in the Wimbledon championship. She won this championship for 7 times which is third highest Wimbledon success. She was one of the best players in her time at the beginning of the last century. This talented player was also gold medalist in the women’s singles in 1908 Olympic Games. In 1981 Dorothea Douglass became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Steffi Graf

Stefanie Maria Graf is considered as one of the greatest ever players seen in the tennis history. She won 22 Grand Slam titles in her career. Her tennis performance coupled with her lucrative appearance made her popular both in and out of the court. She is the only player in the tennis history who could won Golden Grand Slam meaning she won all of the four Grand Slams in a year which is second to none. Her best performance was seen in the Wimbledon where she could win 7 titles in her career which made her one of the best players in the history of Wimbledon. She has been the no. 1 of the ranking for many weeks. She won a gold medal in Seoul Olympic in 1988. She became a member of Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

Image Link: Steffi Graf

Billie Jean King

This former American tennis star is thought to be one of the greatest women tennis players of all time. Her match against Bobby Riggs, former world number one for men’s tennis, known as the ‘Battle of the Sexes’, is very famous in the tennis history where she could win the match. This 12 time Grand Slam winner also got success in the double’s and mixed double’s tournaments. She won 14 Grand Slam women’s doubles tournaments and 11 mixed doubles tournaments in her career. Her performance in Wimbledon deserves her to be considered as a legend of this tournament. She won half of her Single’s Grand Slam titles in Wimbledon. She was an aggressive player in the court and was very famous for her hard hitting and speed which helped her to win over many great players of her time. She is the first tennis player in the history to be selected as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1972. She is also a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1990, she became one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by life magazine.

Image Link: Billie Jean King

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  1. Anonymous11:23 AM

    FYI, Navratilova is leading the ranking for "Best female tennis player ever" on www.rankopedia.com

  2. Anonymous8:31 PM

    It's hard to take this list seriously when it omits Suzanne Lenglen, who won 6 Wimbledon Singles and Doubles (5 in sucession, bowing out in 1924 with jaundice going into the semis although a sure winner. She beat the 1924 winner Kitty McKane (who beat Helen Wills in the 1925 Final 6=1,6=2) She also won 6 French Singles and Doubles, as well as 3 French and Wimbledon mixed, included in which were several World Hard Court Championships. ALL THIS IN 7 YEARS in 1 of which she was ill and hardly played. In total, counting her World Hard Court Singles and Mixed Titles in 1914 at age just 15, not including her 1920 Olympic Gold Medal, she won 31 tournaments which would be classed as Grand Slams. She never competed in either Australia nor America. She won her last 5 Wimbledon Singles FINALS for the TOTAL LOSS of only 13 games. Other than her withdrawal during her unexpected match with Molla Mallory in the US, when she had not expected to play at all, and was ill, she never EVER lost a match, (including the famous one in 1926 against Helen Wills, then 3 time US Champion). In fact, the NEXT year when Mallory came to Wimbledon expecting to sweep Lenglen off the courts, Lenglen beat her 6=1, 6=0, in 23 minutes, still the fastest time for a major Final. She beat her again later that year 6=0,6=0. Mallory was a 7 time US Open Champion. Lenglen won over 80 major Singles Titles, 7 of them without dropping even a single game right through the tournament.

    Who knows how many titles she'd have won if WW1 hadn't come along, and if she hadn't become the first woman professional in 1926. She was then at the height of her powers, and unbeatable. In her Pro tour she played Helen Browne, 3 times US Open Champ and 1926 French Open Finalist (where Lenglen won 6-1,6-0) 38 times out of 38 matches. No one knows today, that they made a special category for her called "superclass". She is a forgotten figure in tennis except through the Roland Garros court named after her. But there was a time when Kings and Princes competed for her attention. She died very young of leukemia, then incurable, at 38.

    1. Anonymous12:31 PM

      I stand in full agreement with you on the La Divine Jewish Queen of Wimbledon, Suzan Lenglen, and where do I even start to express my consent, not enough can be said of her revlolutionasing Women's Tennis, in addition to your above beautifully written piece on this brave Tennis Star that was the first to turn professional thereby stunning the entire world in 1926, she was the first player to win Triple Crowns at The Wimbledon Championships and her Triple Crowns records still stand unbroken or unbeaten even 89 years later when she set the last one in 1925!

      She and Helen Wills Moody only met once and it is needless for me to state who won the match in both the Singles and Doubles categories. Only her illness was her real rival and no tennis player. Yes it is sad that on her decision to turn pro she was banished of her amateur status and was never re-instated, I know that had her teenage years career not brought to a halt by World War One as well as the banishment from Wimbledon and her native French Open she would have won each of these tournaments at least twenty times......yes she could have, for she was Suzan Rachel Flore Lenglen.

      I could really go on and on till doomsday but prior to concluding I should say that I will remember her most for her leaps that she took before striking a tennis ball.

  3. Anonymous4:47 AM

    here i would like to make the most important comment tht pete samprass stands on top among all the legends of tennis since he was kind of player who has raised bar and grace of the game.

  4. Anonymous8:14 PM

    And Roger Federer didn't do what you say Pete Sampras did? haha