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Wimbledon Top 10: Oldest champions

Former World No. 1 tennis player Martina Navratilova smiles as she is introduced on Centre Court.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Saturday 29 June 2013

In the latest daily top 10, Wimbledon.com looks at some of the oldest champions.

1. Arthur Gore was 41 when he won the 1909 title, making him the oldest ever champion in the gentlemen's singles. That was the Briton's third title, after tournament victories in 1901 and 1908. He was also the runner-up on five occasions, including in 1910 when he was 42 and in 1912 when he was 44. 

2. When a 31-year-old Arthur Ashe won the 1975 Wimbledon Championships, he became the oldest champion of the modern era, and his record still stands. Jimmy Connors had stared him down the changeovers. But Ashe wasn't to be distracted from his game plan, which he had devised on a napkin the night before – he took most of the pace off the ball, giving his opponent nothing to play with. 

3. Charlotte Cooper Sterry, from Ealing in Middlesex, was 37 when she won the 1908 title – she remains the oldest ever winner of the ladies' singles. She won five titles, between 1895 and 1908. Sterry lost her hearing while she was still playing competitive tennis. She apparently only owned two rackets, one for practising with in bad weather, and the other for fair weather and matches. Sterry was also in the habit of cycling to the courts.

4. Sterry almost won the tournament at the age of 41, reaching the final of the 1912 Championships (that was the sixth and final occasion that she finished as the runner-up). 

5. Gardnar Mulloy has the record for being the oldest champion in the gentlemen's doubles – he was 43 when he won the title in 1957, in partnership with fellow American Budge Patty.

6. The oldest ever champion in the ladies' doubles is 42-year-old Elizabeth Ryan, an American who won the 1934 title with France's Simone Mathieu. She won 12 titles over a 20-year period, her first success coming in 1914 when she was 22. 

7. Sherwood Stewart is the oldest ever man to have won the mixed doubles title – he was 42 when he and fellow American Zina Garrison lifted the trophy in the summer of 1988. 

8. When Martina Navratilova won the 2003 mixed doubles title, she was 46 years and 261 days old, making her the oldest ever Wimbledon champion. The victory – she was partnered by India's Leander Paes – also put her level with Billie Jean King's record of 20 titles. 

9. Navratilova was the oldest ever singles champion of modern times, winning the 1990 title at 33 (that was her ninth title). 

10. Navratilova very nearly extended that singles record by four years when she reached the 1994 final, at the age of 37. However, she lost the match to Conchita Martinez. 

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