If Roger Federer had managed to overcome Novak Djokovic in the Men’s Wimbledon final yesterday, at the age of 32, he would have become the oldest man to ever win it, ousting Arthur Ashe who claimed the title in 1975 at the age of 31. This would have been a remarkable achievement to top an illustrious career in the sport.
Since 1968 when the ‘open era’ commenced the average age of Wimbledon winners across sexes has been 24 years of age. This period has also seen particular tennis dynasties come about as male and female players have dominated for numerous years. Borg (20) Sampras (21) and Federer (21) all won their first tournament below the mean age and in the case of Sampras and Federer, both went on to dominate into their late 20’s. The same is largely true of the ladies; Navratilova (21), Graf (19) and the Williams Sisters (both 20) won their first title below the average age and went on to dominate. Below is a graph of the age of Wimbledon winners since 1968.
For all tennis fans with a passion for stats, Tennis28.com is a good resource that provides data on all the Grand Slams. In particular this site produces some great charts that show how compeditors across all grand slams are getting steadly older since the late 80's.