The Wimbledon Greats
In this Wimbledon we watched the ‘best’ disappear right before our eyes. We watched underdogs strike; we watched the Brits return with a vengeance after 77 years; and we watched fans with wide eyes wondering what the heck just happened, as their most beloved players fell.
In fact, Serena Williams’ quick demise at the hands of the 23rd-seed underdog made people think back on the true stars of Wimbledon; not to mention the entire tennis community, who have given us all chills, thrills and triumphs over the years.
Serena, of course, is a true ‘best of the best’ when speaking about women’s tennis. Her recent success has actually brought up a debate on whether or not she is the best of all time. That’s a bit hard to say, considering the monumental players we have seen in the past. There are those we still cling to and remember standing by their sides as they rose in glory and became constant Wimbledon winners throughout their careers…
Serena claims five singles titles, and has definitely become the most dominant sports figure out there. You’re talking longevity, major popularity – a real star. Everyone knows about she and her sister, Venus, and everyone in America is proud of that incredible duo that has brought high energy to the sport of tennis.
Pete Sampras is a name that everyone will remember for all time when the subject of tennis is brought up. With seven singles titles, Pete Sampras is actually tied for the most wins in Wimbledon history. The man never lost a Wimbledon final; in fact, he barely ever played a fifth set, because he had the ability to destroy his competition quite quickly.
Bjorn Borg is the man who brought passion to tennis, and offered a ready smile that seemed to be a cross between pure enjoyment of the game and arrogance, because he knew that he was the best when he took the grass court. Winning seven titles at Wimbledon, Borg was the first male since 1906 to win five straight. He played at a fun time, where the egos of Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe were a must-see for fans. He beat them both, but in 1981, McEnroe finally achieved success and sent Borg packing.
Billie Jean King (Moffitt at the time), claimed six Wimbledon singles titles, but it was her sheer power and steely attitude that won her a long list of fans. Winning Wimbledon first in 1966, it was her later years that made her a household name. She was filled with defiance, and her love of the game brought other women – who would go on to become major stars – into the world of tennis.
Steffi Graf has seven Wimbledon notches in her proverbial belt. Only Martina Navratilova with nine wins comes in stronger. Nine years was all it took to get them all, believe it or not. Steffi was the Serena Williams of her time, overpowering one and all and remaining the one to beat at every Grand Slam.
Roger Federer claims top spot with seven Wimbledon titles to his name. Pete Sampras and William Renshaw are tied with Roger, yet when polls are taken and votes are done, fans still believe that Federer is the best of the three. (Not this year, of course). He won 40 consecutive matches and five straight Wimbledon titles. And when it comes to odds, out of the eight times Federer found himself in the final, seven of them were all his. It was his five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in 2008 that’s still remembered as being “the greatest tennis match ever played,” even though Connors and McEnroe fans would disagree.
Martina Navratilova – nine – top spot – better than any man or women in the history of Wimbledon. In fact, it seems as if he presence alone gave her the title, because she was that good. When Martina stood on the court, you knew that amazing tennis was about to commence. Even though her competitors never stood a chance, it was always exciting to see her perfect play and her love of the game.
So although we’re congratulating Murray and Bartoli this year as Wimbledon’s singles winners, and we are still loving Serena (who may just be the most popular player of all time), we thank the above players for giving us some of the best sports memories we will ever have.
This Moment in Sports BeFirst Inc
Until Next Time, Everybody,