Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament, having been held since 1877.
A competition that has run for nearly 150 years has its fair share of history, it has hosted the beginning of some truly special careers in tennis and seen the demise of some iconic names.
This article takes a look at the eight greatest winners of tennis’ most prestigious tournament.
The 6/1 second-favourite in 888sport’s tennis odds to win Wimbledon in 2019, Serena Williams has won on seven previous occasions, the most recent coming in 2016.
Williams’ first title came in 2002, during a run of five consecutive Grand Slam wins, defeating her sister Venus in all five of the finals.
Another Wimbledon final against Venus followed in 2008, with Venus victorious – that was one of three losses in Wimbledon finals for Serena.
Looking for her eighth successful fortnight in west London, Williams will get plenty of backing in 2019, as she has done throughout her career.
Martina Navratilova has won more Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles titles in the Open Era than anyone else with nine.
Navratilova dominated Wimbledon in the late 1970s and 1980s, winning six straight titles in the 80s before handing over to Steffi Graf in the late 80s and 1990s. A record of 120-14 in singles matches at Wimbledon is astonishing.
Navratilova’s place as one of the top tennis players ever is not in question, and Wimbledon was her favourite event of all, as the earliest she was eliminated between 1978 and 1990 was the semi-finals.
Like Navratilova and Serena, Roger Federer was always a guarantee to be on this list. An eight-time champion, Federer is the most successful men’s singles player in Wimbledon history and has won more men’s Grand Slams than anyone else in the Open Era.
It all started in 2003, as the elegant Swiss right-hander glided around the court to dispatch Mark Philippoussis in straight sets, which was the first of five straight Wimbledon titles.
An epic defeat to Nadal in 2008 ended the streak in what is considered one of the greatest ever matches. However, Federer made it six in seven years in 2009 before beating Andy Murray in the 2012 final.
Losses to Novak Djokovic in 2014 and 2015 left the tennis world wondering if Federer would ever lift the trophy on Centre Court again. In 2017, he did just that, going clear of Pete Sampras with his eighth Wimbledon win.
If you fancy Federer to make it nine in 2019, check out 888sport’s Wimbledon 2019 guide.
From 1993 to 2000, Pete Sampras appeared in seven finals in eight years. Sampras won all seven of his finals, becoming the most successful men’s player at Wimbledon in the Open Era.
Despite all the glory, Sampras’ most famous Wimbledon match may well have come in 2001. Facing a young Roger Federer, Sampras was knocked in the fourth-round, handing him just his second Wimbledon defeat since 1992.
Only Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic have won more Grand Slams than Sampras.
Winning his first Wimbledon title back in 2011, Novak Djokovic is a four-time champion and will feature heavily in 888sport’s live betting for Wimbledon in 2019. Djokovic is the 8/5 favourite to retain his title.
Rising to become the best player in the men’s game in the first part of this decade, Djokovic beat Roger Federer in back-to-back finals in 2014 and 2015 before injury put his place at the top of the sport in doubt.
The Serbian bounced back sensationally, lifting his fourth Wimbledon trophy in 2018 was a significant part of that.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King won six Wimbledon titles, bridging the Amateur and Open Eras. King won in 1966 and 1967 and made it three in a row in 1968, the first Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles Championship in the Open Era.
King’s importance in women’s tennis stretches beyond her on-court exploits, however. The 12-time Grand Slam winner has pushed for gender equality and regularly spoke out about player compensation, opening the women’s game up to professionalism in the 1960s.
Tied with Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg holds the record for most consecutive men’s singles titles, winning five in a row from 1976 to 1980. His run ended in 1981, when he reached his sixth consecutive – and total – final.
Men’s tennis in the 1970s was all about Borg, despite never winning in Australia or America, Borg was an unstoppable force at Wimbledon and Roland Garros.
His 92.73% winning percentage at Wimbledon is unsurprisingly an all-time record, and one that will never be beaten.
Succeeding Navratilova as the dominant force at Wimbledon, Graf won seven Wimbledon titles in a nine-year span from 1988 to 1996.
Defeating Navratilova on three occasions in the final, Graf was the undisputed best player in the world for the best part of a decade, as she collected 22 Grand Slams, including the Golden Slam in 1988.
Graf seven titles are only bettered by Navratilova in the Open Era, though Helen Wills Moody won eight times in the Amateur Era.