Greatest Wimbledon Player Ever: Federer, Williams, Borg or Navratilova?

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It’s usually rain that stops play at Wimbledon, not a global pandemic. However, with 2020 at SW19 cancelled due to coronavirus, and no Cliff Richard to entertain us in the meantime, we’re looking back at some of greatest players to have graced the lush green courts in South London. 

In truth, we could have filled a whole draw bracket with the number of big names and famous faces that have played on Centre Court since the Open Era began in 1968, but in the end, we had to settle on a final four.

Now the only question is, who takes game, set and match as the great Wimbledon player of all-time?

Roger Federer

The Swiss are historically famous for their expertise in watchmaking. Federer must have his timepiece specially made to only include the fortnight at Wimbledon each year given his success at SW19 over the last 17 years.

Put simply, he’s the greatest men’s singles player of all-time, and he has the statistics to prove it. The 38-year-old has won the South London centre-piece a record eight times and claimed five-in-a-row from 2003-2007.

No-one will ever forget his triumph against Marin Cilic in 2017 at the age of 35, while even in defeats to Novak Djokovic (2014, 2019) and Rafael Nadal (2008), he’s contributed to some of the most memorable finals of the modern era.

Serena Williams

Williams had dominated the Grand Slam scene since the early 2000s. She won her first Wimbledon title without dropping a set in 2002 and has subsequently gone on to win another a further six SW19 crowns.

The manner in which she’s managed to do so makes her achievements all the more impressive. Only twice in seven finals has Serena dropped a set, against sister Venus in 2003 and Agnieszka Radwańska in 2012.

And while she may be without a Wimbledon title since 2016, she still managed to finish runner-up in both 2018 and 2019. Can she go on to claim the 2021 event and equal Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam victories?

Martina Navratilova

Before Serena, there was Martina. And let’s just say we wouldn’t like to place a bet on who’d win Wimbledon if Navratilova and Williams were around in each other’s prime.

The Czech-American ace holds the record for the most singles and doubles titles in the Open era, reigned supreme as the world number one for a mammoth 332 weeks and claimed a legendary nine victories at SW19.

That’s the most of any player in the Open era or amateur, man or woman. What’s more, six of those came in succession from 1982 and 1987, with her last triumph over Zina Garrison two years later in 1990.

Bjorn Borg

Alongside Abba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, IKEA and meatballs, Bjorn Borg is one of Sweden’s greatest exports. And unlike a wardrobe from a certain furniture provider, there’s not too much to unpack about his style of play.

To win five successive Wimbledon titles in a golden era of men’s tennis which featured the likes of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pat Cash and Jimmy Connors tell its own story and takes some doing.

But does that make his achievements any better than the rest? It’s down to you to decide. Let us know who you think is the greatest Wimbledon player of all-time on Twitter using the @Ladbrokes handle.

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.