On Sunday, Roger Federer made history by winning the 7th Wimbledon title of his career, and his 17th Grand Slam title. That pulled him even with Pistol Pete Sampras at the All-England Tennis Club, but put Roger up by 3 in the total titles category. So today, in honor of Sir Roger’s great achievement, we’re taking a look at all the men who have won multiple Wimbledon Singles titles.
However, before we get started, I need to give a quick explanation of how we’ll be looking at the record books here.
Usually, when you’re talking about records in Tennis, there’s a distinction made between “the amateur era” and “the open era.” You see, for a long time, the very idea of the “professional athlete” was considered crass. Athletics was about competition and sportsmanship, and money was seen as corrupting these virtues. Thus, the world’s greatest tennis tournaments only allowed amateurs to compete for a long time. The effect of this was that players would remain amateurs while in their prime, then turn pro later to actually earn some money (which is pretty much how figure skating works today). However, in 1968 everything changed when tournaments began allowing professional players (because they saw the writing on the wall).
Anyway, talk of records in tennis usually makes note of this distinction between the amateur era and the open era. However, that isn’t really fair to players of the amateur era. So for today’s list, we’re making the distinction differently. We’re looking at Wimbledon winners after 1922.
Why 1922? Because prior to 1922, the returning champion only had to play one match against the winner of a “challengers tournament” to retain the title. From 1922 on, the returning champion had to play a whole tournament just like everybody else.
Thus, everyone on today’s list is somebody who won two or more Wimbledon titles the hard way.
Now let’s get started.