Ranking top 10 Wimbledon champions in Open Era ft. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments held annually, and the only one to be played on grass.
Over the years, many fine players have triumphed at the prestigious tournament, especially in the Open Era (since 1968). Active players have accounted for more than one-third of the men's singles titles on offer at the grasscourt major during this period.
On that note, here's a look at the 10 greatest Wimbledon men's singles winners since tennis opened its doors to professionals:
#10 Rafael Nadal - 2-time Wimbledon winner
The "King of Clay" Rafael Nadal is no slouch on grass, which is evident in his two titles at Wimbledon.
Nadal first broke through at SW19 in 2008, outlasting five-time reigning champion Roger Federer in a memorable five-set rain-interrupted final that ended in near darkness. It happened after Nadal had lost to the Swiss in the two previous finals, but he denied Federer an unprecedented six-peat.
After missing the 2009 edition due to injury, Nadal beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets to win his second title at the grasscourt major.
A year later, the Spaniard returned to the final but was beaten by Novak Djokovic. Nadal has reached the semifinals in his last two appearances at the grasscourt major in 2018 and 2019.
#9 Andy Murray - 2-time Wimbledon winner
Andy Murray is one of the finest active grasscourt players in the game. The Scot was always touted to become the first British player in the Open Era to win Wimbledon since his debut in 2005.
After three consecutive semifinal appearances, Murray reached the final in 2012 but was stopped by a certain Roger Federer. A year later, though, the Scot was not to be denied, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win his first title at the grasscourt major.
That made him the first British player in nearly eight decades to win the tournament.
Three years later, Murray beat Milos Raonic to triumph for the second time at SW19. Since then, he has appeared only twice, making the quarterfinals in 2017 and the third round four years later.
#8 Jimmy Connors - 2-time Wimbledon winner
Jimmy Connors is another two-time Wimbledon champion. The American left-hander won 84 of his 102 matches at the tournament, including two titles.
After making consecutive quarterfinals, Connors made his breakthrough at SW19 in 1974, beating Ken Rosewall while losing just six games in the summit clash. Connors lost to Arthur Ashe in the final the following year before losing consecutive title matches (1977, 1978) to Bjorn Borg.
Three consecutive semifinal appearances followed before Connors beat defending champion John McEnroe in an all-lefty 1982 final to win his second title.
McEnroe would avenge that defeat two years later, conceding only four games against his compatriot in a lopsided final.
#7 Stefan Edberg - 2-time Wimbledon winner
Stefan Edberg is widely regarded as one of the best grasscourt players to have graced the game.
The former World No. 1 made the second week only once in his first four appearances at SW19. He eventually made the semifinals in 1987, only to be beaten by Ivan Lendl. However, Edberg was not to be denied the next year, beating two-time winner Boris Becker to win his first title at the Major.
The defending champion was beaten by Becker in the final the following year. Edberg then recovered from squandering a two-set lead against the German in the 1990 final to win his second title.
Edberg made two semifinals in the next three years before fading away.
#6 John McEnroe - 3-time Wimbledon winner
John McEnroe is one of only six players in the Open Era to win three Wimbledon men's singles titles.
The American left-hander announced his potential by making a memorable run to the 1977 semifinals after entering as a qualifier. As if to prove that run was no fluke, McEnroe reached the title round three years later, losing to Bjorn Borg in a memorable final.
A year later, though, the American would have his revenge, beating Borg in four sets to win his first title at SW19.
After he was stopped by Connors in the 1982 title match, McEnroe triumphed for the second time at the grasscourt major the following year before successfully defending his title in 1984.
He made only two semifinals in his next six appearances at the tournament. This included reaching the last four in his final appearance in 1992, where he lost to Andre Agassi.
#5 Boris Becker - 3-time Wimbledon winner
Boris Becker created history at Wimbledon in 1985 when he won his first of three titles.
He became the first unseeded player and the first German to win the grasscourt Major. In the process, the then 17-year-old also became the youngest men's singles Grand Slam winner in the Open Era, a record that would last four more years.
The German successfully defended his title the following year and reached three of the next four finals. One of the finest grasscourt players in history, Becker enjoyed a legendary rivalry with Stefan Edberg. The pair contested three consecutive Wimbledon finals (1988-1990).
On either side of defeats in the 1988 and 1990 title matches, Becker triumphed for the third time at SW19 by beating Edberg in a four-set 1989 final. Becker would make two more finals at the grasscourt Major but lost both against Michael Stich (1991) and Pete Sampras (1995).
#4 Bjorn Borg - 5-time Wimbledon winner
Bjorn Borg is one of the best players to have graced the hallowed Wimbledon courts.
The "ice cool" Swede won a record five consecutive titles at the grasscourt Major, between 1976 and 1980. He was denied a six-peat by McEnroe, who notably lost to Borg in the final a year ago. That also turned out to be the Swede's final match at the tournament.
Earlier, Borg made two quarterfinals in his first three appearances at the tournament before making his breakthrough in 1976. Interestingly, the Swede did an unprecedented Roland Garros-Wimbledon double - one of the most difficult feats in the game - in three straight years (1978-1980).
#3 Novak Djokovic - 6-time Wimbledon winner
Novak Djokovic is widely regarded as one of the best players in history. The 35-year-old is one of only three players to have won six Wimbledon men's singles titles in the Open Era.
He's the first player since Borg and Federer to win three consecutive titles at the tournaments. The defending champion (20) is looking to add a seventh SW19 title to his collection to close the gap on all-time Grand Slam title leader Nadal (22) this year.
Djokovic made his breakthrough at the grasscourt major in 2011 before beating Federer in successive finals (2014 and 2015). Three years later, he won his fourth title at the tournament. Djokovic then saved two championship points on Federer's serve in the 2019 final to triumph in a historic first fifth-set tiebreak at SW19.
His sixth success last year forced an unprecedented three-way tie with Federer and Nadal (then 20) atop the all-time Grand Slam leaderboard. If he wins his first-round match at the grasscourt Major this year, Djokovic will become the first male singles player to win 80 matches at all four Majors.
#2 Pete Sampras - 7-time Wimbledon winner
Pete Sampras is one of the best grasscourt players of all time and one of Wimbledon's greatest champions.
The American didn't lose any of his seven finals at the tournament, losing only once between 1993 and 2000. His triumph in 2000 made him the first male player in the Open Era to win seven titles at SW19, a mark that would later be surpassed by Federer.
Interestingly, in a change-of-the-guard match, Sampras was dethroned by a then 19-year-old Federer in a memorable fourth-round five-set clash in 2001. A year later, Sampras played his last match at the tournament, losing to another Swiss, George Bastl, in the second round.
#1 Roger Federer - 8-time Wimbledon winner
Roger Federer is undeniably Wimbledon's greatest-ever champion. The Swiss maestro has won a record 105 matches and eight titles at the grasscourt Major.
After dethroning seven-time champion Sampras in 2001, it would be two more years before Federer truly announced his arrival at SW19. He won five titles on the trot, becoming the first player since Borg to do so.
Federer was denied an unprecedented six-peat by Nadal in a memorable 2009 title match. The Swiss notably recovered from two sets down to come within two points of victory before falling to his arch-rival.
The 40-year-old beat Andy Roddick in another marathon title match in 2009 to win a record 15th Grand Slam title. Three years later, Federer beat Andy Murray to join Sampras as the only seven-time Wimbledon winner in the Open Era.
After he was denied by Djokovic in consecutive title matches (2014 and 2015), Federer created history in 2017. He ended his near five-year Grand Slam drought by winning for a record eighth time at SW19, beating Marin Cilic in the summit clash.
Two years later, Federer was on the cusp of a ninth title. He arrived at consecutive championship points on serve against Djokovic only to blink in the most inopportune moment. An hour later, he came up short in Wimbledon's first-ever fifth-set tiebreak.
Federer has been away from the game after a quarterfinal exit to Hubert Hurkacz at SW19 last year. The Swiss won't feature at this year's tournament, marking his first absence at the grasscourt major since his debut in 1999, as Centre Court celebrates 100 years.