STARNBERG, March 1, 2021 (Guest Post)
Records are fascinating to learn about for avid sports fans. These numbers and dates are not just facts: They represent the sport’s history and reflect on the era they occurred in.
Following records also helps you understand and value the immense talent and effort athletes bring to their respective disciplines. Tennis records, for example, help you realize the importance and magnitude of what certain tennis stars did in their time and what active players are doing for the sport right now.
Luckily, we live in a time of record-breaking tennis, and several talented athletes might soon surpass the current tennis heights. To know when that happens and relive a bit of tennis history, take a look at these records we collected for you!
We’ll be discussing three record categories:
I. The longest tennis matches in history
If you think playing any sport for an hour is exhausting, wait until you hear that in 2010, the longest tennis match in history took place – it lasted more than eleven hours!
It was the first round of the Wimbledon Tournament: America’s John Isner and France’s Nicholas Mahut played for eleven hours and five minutes over three consecutive days before Isner finally emerged victorious.
The American player seems to have a thing for long games, as he also participated in the second-longest match in Wimbledon history and the fourth-longest in all of tennis. During the Wimbledon semifinals in 2018, Isner lost to Kevin Anderson after six hours and thirty-five minutes of playing.
The second-longest match in all of tennis history is a Davis Cup doubles match, played by Tomáš Berdych and Lukáš Rosol vs. Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in 2013. This face-off took place in Geneva and lasted for seven hours and one minute, resulting in a grueling win for the Chezh champions.
II. Grand Slam Records
The four most important tournaments in tennis leave us with a whole lot of records, so let’s check some of them out:
The Calendar Year Gran Slam
This title is reserved for players who win the four biggest tournaments during one calendar year. The first player to ever do that was Don Budge in 1938, and then Rod Laver did it twice, once as an amateur in 1962 and once as a professional in 1969, in the Open Era.
The first female player who achieved the record was Maureen Connolly in 1953, followed by Margaret Court in 1970 as the first woman to do so in the Open Era. Steffi Graf was the third to claim the title in 1988 and then turned it into a Gold Slam by winning an Olympic gold medal in the same year!
Novak Đoković and Roger Federer have been very close to achieving the title but have only won 3 out of 4 tournaments during a calendar year. On the ladies’ front, Justine Henin won 1 title and played in 3 consecutive Grand Slam finals in 2006, which is the closest a female player has been to the record in recent years.
Most Grand Slam Titles
We’re lucky enough to have a tie in the male records for most Grand Slam titles. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have 20 titles each, and Novak Đoković is very close to achieving that same record, with 18 victories. Will we see Đoković break the record as well? Who knows, but we’ll definitely stay tuned.
For women’s tennis, the record belongs to none other than Serena Williams, with 23 titles: seven at the Australian Open, three at Roland-Garros, seven at Wimbledon, and six at the US Open. If we count the records from before the Open Era, Margaret Court would be at the top with 24 titles.
Most Singles Titles In Grand Slams
France is the land of victory for Rafael Nadal: The Spanish player has won 13 titles out of the 16 times he has participated in the Roland-Garros tournament and has collected more than 100 victories all together. At the moment, he’s been holding the title for four years in a row.
The record for the most titles in a single Grand Slam for women belongs to Martina Navratilova. She won Wimbledon nine times, of which six were consecutive, starting from 1982 and lasting until 1987.
The current number-one female player, Serena Williams, shares the second spot with retired player Chris Evert: They both have seven single Grand Slam titles, Serena at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and Chris at Roland-Garros.
Most Wimbledon Titles
The oldest tennis tournament in the world is also believed to be the most prestigious. It’s also the only one out of the four Grand Slams to be played on grass, which many traditionalists consider to be the “correct” way of playing tennis.
Roger Federer holds the record for the most Wimbledon titles in the men’s competition, with eight victories. Five of those are consecutive, from 2003 to 2007, and constitute another record. He’s followed by American player Pete Sampras with seven titles.
As mentioned, the record for women belongs to Martina Navratilova, with nine victories, who also holds the title for the most consecutive wins. Next to her is Serena Williams, who has won seven victories in the British tournament to date, followed by her sister Venus Williams, with five wins.