Five Oldest Grand Slam Winners in Open Era History

The Open era has seen plenty of older players add to their Grand Slam tallies, with a real possibility that Ken Rosewall's position as the oldest major winner under genuine threat.

Roger Federer is to return at the ATP Doha

In recent times, the older tennis players – particularly in the men’s game – have enjoyed plenty of success in the four Grand Slam events.

We have rounded up the five oldest winners across both men’s and women’s singles, with all five claiming success in their 30s!

Ken Rosewall (37 years, two months and one day)

Australian Rosewall is an eight-time Grand Slam winner, with his final major title coming at the 1972 Australian Open.

In front of his home crowd, the 37-year-old successfully defended the title he won in 1971 with a straight-sets victory in the Melbourne final.

Rosewall defeated fellow Aussie Malcolm Anderson 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a tournament that in those days was played on grass.

The man from Sydney was seeded two and lifted the men’s singles title in what was the 60th edition of the Australian Open, beating his own record of the oldest Grand Slam winner prior to the open era.

Rosewall came very close to beating the current record, having reached the US Open final in 1974 at the age of 39 years and 10 months – but was beaten 6-1, 6-0, 6-1 by Jimmy Connors.

Roger Federer (36 years, five months and seven days old)

Federer is still going strong and could yet chase down Rosewall’s record, with the Swiss ace now 40 years old.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion last won one of the ‘Big Four’ in 2018 – with his latest victory, like Rosewall, also coming in the Australian Open.

Federer faced Marin Cilic in the Melbourne final and eventually ran out a five-set victor – winning 6-2 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 – and that was the only match of the tournament where he dropped a set.

Having completed the Grand Slam and reached 20 victories in the ‘Big Four’ tournaments, many thought the tennis great would call it a day, but Federer continues his career into his 40s.

Serena Williams (35 years, four months and two days old)

The only female representative on this list is Serena Williams, who is third after her victory at the 2017 Australian Open.

Most pundits and fans would describe Serena as the greatest female tennis player of all time, with the American securing the most Grand Slam singles wins with 23 currently to her name.

The victory in 2017 was one of several times where she faced sister Venus in a Grand Slam final, with the younger sibling coming out on top 6-4, 6-4 to lift the trophy for a sixth time.

Now at the age of 40, Williams will look to take over top spot in this list and you wouldn’t put it past her either.

Andres Gimeno (34 years, 10 months and one day old)

Spaniard Gimeno won just one Grand Slam title during his tennis career, with that success coming at the French Open in 1972.

The man from Barcelona had reached the final of the Australian Open in 1969, losing to the legendary Rod Laver, but was determined to claim a major title.

Three years later – ranked sixth in the world – he lifted the trophy in Paris after beating Frenchman Patrick Proisy 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

Gimeno retired two years later and went on to start his own tennis academy in Barcelona.

Rafael Nadal (34 years, three months and 25 days)

Nadal will go down as one of the tennis greats when he retires, but at the moment, he feels he still has more Grand Slam titles in him.

The Spaniard has 20 major victories to his name, with 13 of those titles coming in the French Open, which was the tournament he won in 2020 to make this list.

The left-hander enjoyed another success in Paris thanks to a straight-sets victory (6-0, 6-2, 7-5) over Novak Djokovic.

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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