Wimbledon 2011: We serve up our Top Ten records
Held annually since 1877 at the All-England Club in London, UK, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It is the only one of the big four tournaments – or “majors” – still played on the sport’s original surface, grass.
With this year’s tournament in full swing, here belwo we take a look at our pick of the records that have quite literally been smashed at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Longest professional tennis match
Last year’s incredible marathon first-round match between John Isner (USA) and Nicolas Mahut (France) broke a string of records. The pair began playing their epic encounter at 6pm on Tuesday 22 June 2010. After two hours and 52 minutes, the match was stopped due to fading light. Resuming the following day, the two continued on to a fifth set when play was suspended again due to fading light, the match finally ended on the Thursday after a staggering 11 hours and five minutes. As well as being longest professional tennis match of all time, the tie also saw the most aces served by an individual player in a pro match (113 by Isner), the most games played (183) and the most games played in a single set (138 in the fifth set).
Fastest tennis serve at Wimbledon
The fastest tennis serve recorded at the tournament was unleashed by Taylor Phillip Dent (USA) at an incredible 148 mph (238 km/h) during a second- round match last year. (Beyond Wimbledon, the fastest serve of all time currently stands at an incredible 156 mph (251 km/h), delivered by Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) during a Davis Cup doubles match against Germany in March earlier this year).
Earliest win of a Grand Slam tennis tournament by a wild card entrant
The best ever performance by a wildcard entrant at Wimbledon was pulled off by Croatian Goran Ivanisevic in 2001. Invited to play in the competition by the All England Club, Ivanisevic, ranked 125th in the world won the Men’s singles title by beating Pat Rafter (Australia) 6-3 3-6 6-3 2-6 9-7 in the final and becoming the first wild card entrant to win a Grand Slam tournament. The Croatian’s popular win came in his fourth final appearance.
Most appearances at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
William Charles `Wentworth’ Gore achievement of participating in 35 tournaments at between 1888 and 1927 is all the more remarkable due to the fact that Wimbledon didn‘t take place between 1914 and 1918 due to World War I.
Most Wimbledon Men’s Singles final losses
The most losses in the final match of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship is five by Arthur Gore (UK) in 1899, 1902, 1907, 1910 and 1912. In the Open Era, both Jimmy Connors (USA, 1975, 1977, 1978 and 1984) and Boris Becker (Germany, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1995) have lost four finals each.
Most Wimbledon titles won by a woman
The most Wimbledon titles won by a woman is 20 by Billie-Jean King (USA between 1961 and 1979, comprising six singles, ten women’s doubles and four mixed doubles titles.
This was equalled in 2003 when Martina Navratilova (USA) won her 20th title, the mixed doubles with Leander Paes (India). She won her first in 1976 and her 20 titles comprise nine singles, seven doubles and four mixed doubles.
Oldest seeded Wimbledon Men’s singles player
The oldest seeded Wimbledon male competitor is Ricardo Gonzalez (USA) who was aged 41 years 45 days when he played in 1969.
Youngest male and female Wimbledon Champions
The youngest male Wimbledon champion is Boris Becker (Germany) who won the men’s singles title in 1985 at 17 years 227 days
Martina Hingis (Switzerland) was even younger at just 15 years and 282 days when she won the ladies doubles in 1996.
Tallest tennis player to play at Wimbledon
The tallest ever tennis player to play at the Wimbledon Championships is Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) who measured 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) when he played in the 2003 Championships.
Oldest Wimbledon Champion
Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova (USA) was a still sprightly 46 years 261 days when she won the mixed doubles with Leander Paes (India) in 2003.