Who are the oldest Grand Slam winners?May 18, 2016
Roger Federer was 34 years of age when he reached the finals of the US Open last summer. He lost to Novak Djokovic in four sets. Not a few weren't betting on him to win his 18th Grand Slam singles title, but they didn't know tennis too well.
The French Open will begin next week, and there's a possibility that Federer might not be around in Roland Garros during the second week. It's an unpredictable tournament, but there's another reason. It will be a long season, and the Swiss is looking forward to the grass courts next month. But let's go back to the age issue. Federer was thirty years of age when he won his seventh Wimbledon trophy. It had been four years, which seemed like an eternity for a player of his caliber.
Since the professionals were allowed to compete in the majors, there have been many instances when the veterans triumphed over youth. After all, tennis is more than a physical sport. Experience plays a part, not to mention attitude. And you wonder who are the oldest male players to lift a major trophy. Let's take a look at the five:
Ken Rosewall. You must not be surprised that one of our local players would own the record. The Sydneysider was 37 years of age when he beat Malcolm Anderson in the men's singles final of the 1972 Australian Open. It was held in the grass courts of Kooyong, which would give hope to Federer fans. It's a fast game, where the points are won in seconds. You don't need a calculator to figure out the rest.
AndrÃ©s Gimeno. The native of Barcelona would be indignant for calling him a clay-court specialist. (He reached the finals of the Australian Open in 1969. He was a semifinalist at Wimbledon a year later.) But winning the French Open in 1972 was his greatest achievement. And he was 34 years of age. A spectacular feat, as the slow surface could take a toll on the body. (Rafael Nadal would attest to it.) Red clay court is a ubiquitous sight in Spain, so there.
Andre Agassi. The Las Vegas native may be the only player to fall from the top of the ATP rankings until he was out of the Top 100, and then back to number one. Pete Sampras, his great rival, was becoming burned out during his final years in the tour. Agassi, on the other hand, experienced his second wind. He was 32 years old when he won his 8th major crown at the Rod Laver Arena. And he did it in straight sets. No one could ask for more.
Arthur Ashe. Fans witnessed history at the end of the 1975 Wimbledon Championships, as Arthur Ashe became the first African-American player to win the prestigious tournament. It would take many years before more black professionals make their mark in the tour.
Rod Laver. The finals of the 1969 US Open would be remembered for two things. Rod Laver, who hailed from Rockhampton, Queensland, completed a calendar Grand Slam. It was his second time to achieve this rare feat. And he was 31 years old when he beat Tony Roche for the men's singles crown. This made him the fifth-oldest player to lift a Grand Slam trophy.
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