It’s Wimbledon time again so we thought we’d look at some of the memorable characters who’ve won the championship in the past.
As the latest stars of the tennis world battle it out on the courts this year, let’s take some time to remember the amazing champions we’ve seen there before.
1. FRED PERRY
Not only a tennis star but now a global fashion brand! But first Fred Perry was famous for his prowess on the courts and he won no less than three Wimbledon championships in a row in from 1934 to 1936. He was also the first player ever to win a “Career Grand Slam”, which means winning all four singles titles in the major tournaments, and remains the only British player ever to do so.
2. BILLIE JEAN KING
A formidable opponent at the height of her career, Billie Jean King won a whopping 39 Grand Slam titles. She also won a record 20 of her career titles at Wimbledon – six singles, ten women’s doubles, and four mixed doubles – and was named as one of Time Magazine’s people of the year in 1975.
3. JOHN MCENROE
Probably better remembered for his ‘You cannot be serious’ racquet throwing tantrums, John McEnroe is in fact widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He won three of his seven Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon and also played in what has been called the best Wimbledon final ever when he lost against Bjorn Borg in 1980.
4. THE WILLIAMS SISTERS
Between them Serena and Venus Williams have a hugely impressive 26 singles Grand Slam titles. Venus has won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon five times, while Serena has won it four times. Although they are well known for their rivalry on the court, they’re also very supportive of each other and are often seen in the audience cheering each other on.
5. BJORN BORG
Another tennis player turned fashion brand, Bjorn Borg dominated Wimbledon’s centre court from 1975 to 1980 winning five consecutive singles titles in a row. He’s often cited as one of the best players the world of professional tennis has ever seen so it came as a shock to everyone when he retired in 1983 at age 26.
6. MARTINA NAVRATILOVA
The most dominant female tennis player in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Martina Navratilova reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times. She holds the records for most singles titles (167) and for most doubles titles (177) in the history of the game.
7. ROGER FEDERER
Records abound in Roger Federer’s career history! Wimbledon-wise he shares the record for most singles titles (7) with Pete Sampras . Details of his many other achievements can be found here.
8. STEFFI GRAFF
In 1988, Steffi Graff became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Calendar Year Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same year. She also won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon a very impressive seven times!
So, as you watch the matches this year remember these hugely impressive players that have played there before (although some of them will be there this year too!).
Who is your all time favourite Wimbledon champion?