Winning Slams age 30 and over

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
One telling stat in the Open era is how many majors the men win when they have reached 30 and over. It is one of the reasons why I certainly don’t see Novak coming back to beat Fed’s 20 slams and why it’s unlikely, but not impossible for Rafa to do so. If the trend below is anything to go by Roger’s AO and 20th could well have been his last slam or he may win 1 more.

However, records are there to be broken and as we are seeing the trend in the ATP to older winners, do you see the below trend changing?

Laver - 4 (1 AO*)

Rosewall - 4 (2 AO*)

Federer - 4 (4 Majors where 128 man draw/7 rounds of best of 5 sets)

Agassi - 2

Wawrinka - 2

Connors - 2

Nadal - 2

Sampras - 1

Newcombe - 1

Ashe - 1

*But AO pre 1988 was not 128 man draw and 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
That is a really short list. I think that Djokovic and Cilic will eventually join this list. But there are no guarantees.

If Fed gets one more, that will be yet another record that he will hold. If Nadal wins the FO, this will be yet another race between Fed and Nadal. This era really is something special.
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame


- Four-time winners : Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver and Roger Federer
- Two-time winners : Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal
- One-time winners : Andres Gimeno, Arthur Ashe, John Newcombe, Pete Sampras, Andres Gomez, Petr Korda

- Australian Open : 9 times, oldest champion is Ken Rosewall
- Roland Garros : 6 times, oldest champion is Andres Gimeno
- Wimbledon : 4 times, oldest champion is Roger Federer
- US Open : 7 times, oldest champion is Ken Rosewall

- Grass : 10 times
- Hard : 10 times
- Clay : 6 times

- 1960s : Laver x4, Rosewall x1
- 1970s : Rosewall x3, Gimeno x1, Ashe x1, Newcombe x1
- 1980s : Connors x2
- 1990s : Gomez x1, Korda x1
- 2000s : Agassi x2, Sampras x1
- 2010s : Federer x4, Wawrinka x2, Nadal x2

The percentage of Grand Slam tournaments won by thirty-something players is 13%.
 
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Badabing888

Hall of Fame
I was looking at the ladies side a well:

Serena - 10
Navratilova - 3
Court - 3
Evert - 2
King - 2

Steffi - 0. She lost her last Wimbledon final aged 30 and retired straight after. But then she did turn Pro when she was 13.

Anyone else?

Apart from the anomaly of Serena winning 10 of her Slams in her 30s, the other ATGs for the women also follow the pattern of the men’s 30s club.
 
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dgold44

G.O.A.T.
One telling stat in the Open era is how many majors the men win when they have reached 30 and over. It is one of the reasons why I certainly don’t see Novak coming back to beat Fed’s 20 slams and why it’s unlikely, but not impossible for Rafa to do so. If the trend below is anything to go by Roger’s AO and 20th could well have been his last slam or he may win 1 more.

However, records are there to be broken and as we are seeing the trend in the ATP to older winners, do you see the below trend changing?

Laver - 4 (1 AO*)

Rosewall - 4 (2 AO*)

Federer - 4 (4 Majors where 128 man draw/7 rounds of best of 5 sets)

Agassi - 2

Wawrinka - 2

Connors - 2

Nadal - 2

Sampras - 1

Newcombe - 1

Ashe - 1

*But AO pre 1988 was not 128 man draw and 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches.

Those Aussie opens were not real !!!! Very weak events If I remember
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
Big Bill Tilden was still dominating the younger boys into his 40's !!! I mean he was real pounding the younger men and would often make the Semis or finals into his mid 40's
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
Still think it’s outrageous that Korda’s AO win still counts after being busted for PEDs later that year he won it.
 
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qindarka

Rookie
Those Aussie opens were not real !!!! Very weak events If I remember
That would be true for most of them up to 1983 or so. But the fields when Laver won in 69 and Rosewall in 71 were pretty strong.

And Rosewall has won 2 prestigious WCT finals in his 30s.
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
30s in the past is not the same as it is now.
How so? 30 and above all in the past is still the same as now no? Yes we have advance in sports medicine, Physios working round the clock on players i.e. Working on the players bodies. But nothing will ever improve a player’s desire (legally) to keep wanting to play/travel well into their 30s and reach a level to keep wanting to win Majors - as we see only a special select few do so and so far on the men’s side 4 is the most. On the women’s 10 by Serena really is obscene, but it remains to be seen if she’ll win another being 36 and having had such a difficult birth.
 

qindarka

Rookie
It's interesting how players playing at a high level in the past wasn't that uncommon in the early days of the open era (Laver/Rosewall, even Gimeno). Then for the next few decades, tennis seemed to become a really young sport, with players declining by 26/27. McEnroe, Wilander, Borg all won their final slams at 25 or earlier. Becker won 4/6 of his slams by the age of 21. Sampras's slam winning pace slowed down considerably once he hit 26/27, as was the case even with Federer.

But in our current era, it seems that players are again maintaining their level for longer, as was the case at the start of the open era. Not just the elite players, but even guys like Anderson are getting their biggest successes in the 30s. Not sure why this is the case.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
It's interesting how players playing at a high level in the past wasn't that uncommon in the early days of the open era (Laver/Rosewall, even Gimeno). Then for the next few decades, tennis seemed to become a really young sport, with players declining by 26/27. McEnroe, Wilander, Borg all won their final slams at 25 or earlier. Becker won 4/6 of his slams by the age of 21. Sampras's slam winning pace slowed down considerably once he hit 26/27, as was the case even with Federer.

But in our current era, it seems that players are again maintaining their level for longer, as was the case at the start of the open era. Not just the elite players, but even guys like Anderson are getting their biggest successes in the 30s. Not sure why this is the case.
Because of all kinds of supplements and drugs that were not available before. They are smarter but also getting extra juice in endurance and strength I am sure
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
It's interesting how players playing at a high level in the past wasn't that uncommon in the early days of the open era (Laver/Rosewall, even Gimeno). Then for the next few decades, tennis seemed to become a really young sport, with players declining by 26/27. McEnroe, Wilander, Borg all won their final slams at 25 or earlier. Becker won 4/6 of his slams by the age of 21. Sampras's slam winning pace slowed down considerably once he hit 26/27, as was the case even with Federer.

But in our current era, it seems that players are again maintaining their level for longer, as was the case at the start of the open era. Not just the elite players, but even guys like Anderson are getting their biggest successes in the 30s. Not sure why this is the case.
Two lackluster young generations in a row (the main reason in my mind), better medical treatments, better training, better drugs etc. hard to tell at this point.

Nadal fell off around 27-28 as well, both of Fedal followed Sampras career route more or less where they started slowing down in their late 20s and hit the rock bottom around 30-31 (Fed's 2013 and Nadal's 2015/2016). The difference is that they both had an unexpected great resurgence after the fall while Pete retired.

Agassi won most of his slams at 29-33 and Stan started priming at 28 or so but those are both special cases, unique outliers.
 

George Turner

Hall of Fame
Two lackluster young generations in a row (the main reason in my mind), better medical treatments, better training, better drugs etc. hard to tell at this point.

Nadal fell off around 27-28 as well, both of Fedal followed Sampras career route more or less where they started slowing down in their late 20s and hit the rock bottom around 30-31 (Fed's 2013 and Nadal's 2015/2016). The difference is that they both had an unexpected great resurgence after the fall while Pete retired.

Agassi won most of his slams at 29-33 and Stan started priming at 28 or so but those are both special cases, unique outliers.
It's mostly due to the lacklusture young generations. If a young upstart emerged who could grind like Djokovic or Serve like Sampras (without being a Kyrgios like headcase) That young upstart would topple the old guys and push them towards retirement. That hasn't happened so the old guys are able to hang round longer. Kevin Anderson is 6-0 against Thiem ffs!

Drugs probably help aswell, f knows who is taking what.
 

Jonas78

Legend
I dont believe prime age will change, but players will have longer careers because of improvements in nutrition, surgery etc...

Roger is the only one left In his generation playing on top level, so he is the exception, not the rule ...
 

Tennisgods

Hall of Fame
I honestly think we’d all have to be idiots to not realise how this trend is changing. Take Stan; people say he’s an outlier, but what makes him such? I mean he is a barrel chested guy with a big game, not the most athletic, exactly the type of player you’d expect to disappear at 30+. But no, slam winner at 31.5.

Djokovic will win a slam again so that’ll be another.

History is just that. It’s just not a reasonable barometer for the modern game. I’ll predict that the winner of 2 of the next 3 slams will be over 30. I’d even go so far as to say that winning slams over 35 is the real phenomenon, now that I don’t expect to become the norm! But over 30? Absolutely, I think we’ll see that list expand hugely over the next decade.
 

qindarka

Rookie
I am not sure what you mean as I don't know much about Big Bill
"Tilden was arrested in November 1946 on Sunset Boulevard by the Beverly Hills police and charged with a misdemeanor ("contributing to the delinquency of a minor") for soliciting an underage male, a 14-year-old boy with whom he was having sex in a moving vehicle. Tilden did not carry his glasses with him and signed a confession without reading it. He was sentenced to a year in prison, but served 7½ months. His five-year parole conditions were so strict they virtually erased all his income from private lessons.He was arrested again in January 1949, after picking up a 16-year-old hitchhiker who remained anonymous until years later, when he filed a lawsuit claiming he had suffered severe mental, physical, and emotional damage from the encounter. The judge sentenced Tilden to a year on probation violation and let the punishment for the charge run concurrently. Tilden served ten months."

From his Wiki page.
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
I honestly think we’d all have to be idiots to not realise how this trend is changing. Take Stan; people say he’s an outlier, but what makes him such? I mean he is a barrel chested guy with a big game, not the most athletic, exactly the type of player you’d expect to disappear at 30+. But no, slam winner at 31.5.

Djokovic will win a slam again so that’ll be another.

History is just that. It’s just not a reasonable barometer for the modern game. I’ll predict that the winner of 2 of the next 3 slams will be over 30. I’d even go so far as to say that winning slams over 35 is the real phenomenon, now that I don’t expect to become the norm! But over 30? Absolutely, I think we’ll see that list expand hugely over the next decade.
Yes, More players over 30 winning Slams in the future. Significantly More male players winning more than say 2 past the age of 30 I am not so sure. Wawrinka is done winning Slams imo now, so winning 2 Slams past 30 is on par with Connors, Agassi and Rafa (for now).

Yes history is no real barometer of what the future holds . Serena winning 10 compared to Nav, King, Court and Evert (3/2), is proof of this. But still she is the only one so far.

Novak can certainly win 2 past 30 IMO assuming his elbow recovers sufficiently. Much more than 2 and that would be exceptional. This is the only thing my OP was getting at. Again it depends on the competition. I, for one, think we are currently facing the equivalent of 2001/2002, but with Roger and last year Rafa fully taking full advantage and cleaning up so far in 2017/18 rather than the likes of Costa, Johansson, Hewitt, Kuerten, Agassi, Sampras, Ivanisevic back in 2001/2002. It is a matter of when and not if new players will start winning majors. History and common sense tells us that.
 
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Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
One telling stat in the Open era is how many majors the men win when they have reached 30 and over. It is one of the reasons why I certainly don’t see Novak coming back to beat Fed’s 20 slams and why it’s unlikely, but not impossible for Rafa to do so. If the trend below is anything to go by Roger’s AO and 20th could well have been his last slam or he may win 1 more.

However, records are there to be broken and as we are seeing the trend in the ATP to older winners, do you see the below trend changing?

Laver - 4 (1 AO*)

Rosewall - 4 (2 AO*)

Federer - 4 (4 Majors where 128 man draw/7 rounds of best of 5 sets)

Agassi - 2

Wawrinka - 2

Connors - 2

Nadal - 2

Sampras - 1

Newcombe - 1

Ashe - 1

*But AO pre 1988 was not 128 man draw and 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches.
Important caveat, that puts an asterisk to Rosewall’s record. I did not know that pre-1988 AOs did not have 7 rounds of Bo5’s. How were they? Less rounds, or some early rounds at Bo3’s?
 
Important caveat, that puts an asterisk to Rosewall’s record. I did not know that pre-1988 AOs did not have 7 rounds of Bo5’s. How were they? Less rounds, or some early rounds at Bo3’s?
5 matches of bo5 for his titles in the 50s and 6 matches of bo5 (he had a bye so 5 matches as well) for his titles in the 70s.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
One telling stat in the Open era is how many majors the men win when they have reached 30 and over. It is one of the reasons why I certainly don’t see Novak coming back to beat Fed’s 20 slams and why it’s unlikely, but not impossible for Rafa to do so. If the trend below is anything to go by Roger’s AO and 20th could well have been his last slam or he may win 1 more.

However, records are there to be broken and as we are seeing the trend in the ATP to older winners, do you see the below trend changing?

Laver - 4 (1 AO*)

Rosewall - 4 (2 AO*)

Federer - 4 (4 Majors where 128 man draw/7 rounds of best of 5 sets)

Agassi - 2

Wawrinka - 2

Connors - 2

Nadal - 2

Sampras - 1

Newcombe - 1

Ashe - 1

*But AO pre 1988 was not 128 man draw and 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches.
For Roger to be oldest winner in the list, winning any of the remaining 2018 slams won’t do it, as he’ll turn 37 years and 2 months old in October. He needs to win AO 19 as the earliest slam!
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
One telling stat in the Open era is how many majors the men win when they have reached 30 and over. It is one of the reasons why I certainly don’t see Novak coming back to beat Fed’s 20 slams and why it’s unlikely, but not impossible for Rafa to do so. If the trend below is anything to go by Roger’s AO and 20th could well have been his last slam or he may win 1 more.

However, records are there to be broken and as we are seeing the trend in the ATP to older winners, do you see the below trend changing?

Laver - 4 (1 AO*)

Rosewall - 4 (2 AO*)

Federer - 4 (4 Majors where 128 man draw/7 rounds of best of 5 sets)

Agassi - 2

Wawrinka - 2

Connors - 2

Nadal - 2

Sampras - 1

Newcombe - 1

Ashe - 1

*But AO pre 1988 was not 128 man draw and 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches.
The 69 and 71 AO were both highly competitive. Rosewall was 33 when the OE began, so all his past thirty slam wins start there. Roger's last two slam wins were against weak competition, due to the injuries to his main competition. Still, Roger's wins are highly admirable, but so were Laver's and Rosewall's.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
That would be true for most of them up to 1983 or so. But the fields when Laver won in 69 and Rosewall in 71 were pretty strong.

And Rosewall has won 2 prestigious WCT finals in his 30s.
He had just turned 37 for his first win and was at least 37.6 for his second WCT win.
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
The 69 and 71 AO were both highly competitive. Rosewall was 33 when the OE began, so all his past thirty slam wins start there. Roger's last two slam wins were against weak competition, due to the injuries to his main competition. Still, Roger's wins are highly admirable, but so were Laver's and Rosewall's.
Not sure I agree that Rosewall’s 1971 AO was that competitive. He played 5 rounds of best of 5 all won in straight sets. Yes he beat Emerson (who won all of majors as an amateur) in the quarters and Ashe in the final, but other than that who else of note did he really face?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Australian_Open_–_Men's_Singles
 

JoshuaPim

Semi-Pro
Roger's last two slam wins were against weak competition, due to the injuries to his main competition.
LOL, those injuries were caused by his opponents over-reaching themselves in order to reach his level.

Generally I don't think over 30 winners will become the norm, most top players will have been subjected to tremendous wear-and-tear during their twenties.

Federer is a unique case in these discussions.
 

Tennisanity

Legend
How so? 30 and above all in the past is still the same as now no? Yes we have advance in sports medicine, Physios working round the clock on players i.e. Working on the players bodies. But nothing will ever improve a player’s desire (legally) to keep wanting to play/travel well into their 30s and reach a level to keep wanting to win Majors - as we see only a special select few do so and so far on the men’s side 4 is the most. On the women’s 10 by Serena really is obscene, but it remains to be seen if she’ll win another being 36 and having had such a difficult birth.
I think you answered your own question. Advanced sports medicine, physio, etc keep the body healthier which in turn affects desire. It's no secret that health and mental motivation are intimately intertwined. Also do not forget the very rising money rewards, no bigger motivation than that.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Not sure I agree that Rosewall’s 1971 AO was that competitive. He played 5 rounds of best of 5 all won in straight sets. Yes he beat Emerson (who won all of majors as an amateur) in the quarters and Ashe in the final, but other than that who else of note did he really face?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Australian_Open_–_Men's_Singles
First of all it was not Rosewall's fault that Laver and Newcombe lost in earlier rounds at the 71 AO. How many more rounds were there at Wimbledon and USO in 71? There were not as many worthy players to compete in slams back then. Also, because of the 32 seeds, top players usually play nobody's in the first two or three rounds. What great or near great player did Federer beat to win 17 Wimbledon and 18 AO? In reality it all evens out, or so it seems to me.
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
First of all it was not Rosewall's fault that Laver and Newcombe lost in earlier rounds at the 71 AO. How many more rounds were there at Wimbledon and USO in 71? There were not as many worthy players to compete in slams back then. Also, because of the 32 seeds, top players usually play nobody's in the first two or three rounds. What great or near great player did Federer beat to win 17 Wimbledon and 18 AO? In reality it all evens out, or so it seems to me.
Err It was not Federer’s fault either that Del Po, Rafa, Novak, Stan went out early or that Andy only came to the realisation that he needed surgery in AO 18. Or that Andy went out to Mischa Zverev in AO17.

Federer faced Berdych, Nishikori, (both Grand Slam runners up) Wawrinka and Rafa to win AO 17. He faced Berdych, Chung (a future slam winner IMO) Cilic a major winner and runner up to win AO 2018.

“There were not as many worthy players to play in Slams back then”

Yep so you admit the depth was not as great back then and less was needed to win an AO Slam, especially only 5 rounds.

Wimbledon ‘71 and US Open ‘71 were both 128 player draws so 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches to win those Slams unlike AO 71. And attracted the top players at the time.

32 seed is overrated - it really protects those seeded 17-32 more than help those seeded 16-32. And Federer was seeded 17 in the AO 17 and was his draw was much more difficult as a result.
 

Badabing888

Hall of Fame
I think you answered your own question. Advanced sports medicine, physio, etc keep the body healthier which in turn affects desire. It's no secret that health and mental motivation are intimately intertwined. Also do not forget the very rising money rewards, no bigger motivation than that.
Yes, but there is only so much those things can do to win Majors past the age of 30 and multiple ones at that. Alternatives in their life and whether they are already set up financially by the time they reach their 30s is a big factor and whether by then they are sick of the travel, which for many is just not appealing any more. By their 30s their bodies may also be so broken from the grind of the tour and numerous surgeries that this also affects their desire to go on deep in their 30s. None of them really stood much chance of winning majors when they got to their 30s.

The following players spring to mind:

Roddick - retired.

Hewitt - retired

Safin - retired

Ferrero - retired

Nalbandian - retired

Coria - retired

Davydenko - retired

Gonzalez - retired

Ljubicic - retired/now Federer's coach.

Soderling - retired.

Blake - retired.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Err It was not Federer’s fault either that Del Po, Rafa, Novak, Stan went out early or that Andy only came to the realisation that he needed surgery in AO 18. Or that Andy went out to Mischa Zverev in AO17.

Federer faced Berdych, Nishikori, (both Grand Slam runners up) Wawrinka and Rafa to win AO 17. He faced Berdych, Chung (a future slam winner IMO) Cilic a major winner and runner up to win AO 2018.

“There were not as many worthy players to play in Slams back then”

Yep so you admit the depth was not as great back then and less was needed to win an AO Slam, especially only 5 rounds.

Wimbledon ‘71 and US Open ‘71 were both 128 player draws so 7 rounds of best of 5 set matches to win those Slams unlike AO 71. And attracted the top players at the time.

32 seed is overrated - it really protects those seeded 17-32 more than help those seeded 16-32. And Federer was seeded 17 in the AO 17 and was his draw was much more difficult as a result.
If you had read more carefully, I was referring to 17 Wimbledon and 18 AO. not the 17 AO. When the history of tennis is written, Nishikori and Berdych will be lucky to be in the top 100 of all time. One slam final wonders are nobody's when it comes to ranking great players. As for the 71 AO, what top players were missing who had a good chance to win a grass court slam? Roger is not to blame for Novak, Nadal or Murray's injuries, but fact is their problems made it easier for Roger to win the 17 Wimbledon and 18 AO.
 
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