Youngest players to win Wimbledon: Boris Becker still unmatched as Carlos Alcaraz enters top 10
Boris Becker has held the record for nearly four decades and it doesn’t look like it will be broken any time soon, but who else features on the list of top 10 youngest men’s players to win Wimbledon?
10. Andre Agassi – 22 years, one month and 23 days
Not too many people would have predicted that Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam breakthrough would come at Wimbledon as he boycotted the tournament from 1988 until 1990 due to the strict dress code.
However, he returned in 1991 and reached the quarter-final and then went all the way at the following edition. He beat Boris Becker and John McEnroe en route to the final and then defeated Goran Ivanisevic 6–7(8–10), 6–4, 6–4, 1–6, 6–4 in a thriller to win his one and only Wimbledon title.
9. Pat Cash – 22 years and 26 days
When Pat Cash won the 1987 Wimbledon title, he was the fourth youngest player to do so in the Open Era.
He arrived at Wimbledon on the back of finishing runner-up at the Australian Open to Stefan Edberg and at SW19 he defeated Mats Wilander in the quarter-finals and Jimmy Connors in the semi-finals.
In the final he came up against world No 1 Ivan Lendl and it was a lopsided showpiece match as the Australian won 7–6 (7–5), 6–2, 7–5.
8. Rafael Nadal – 22 years and 20 days
Spaniard Rafael Nadal had an opportunity to slot in much higher on the list as he lost his first Wimbledon final at the age of 20 in 2006, but two years later he would finally get his hands on the trophy.
The 2008 Wimbledon final was an all-time classic as it was the third and final instalment of the Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer Wimbledon trilogy. Federer had won the 2006 and 2007 editions before Nadal finally got the better of his great rival.
In what many consider to be the greatest Wimbledon final, the duo slugged it out for four hours and 48 minutes, although the event stretched over seven hours due to rain breaks, and Nadal eventually prevailed just before nightfall as he won 6–4, 6–4, 6–7 (5–7), 6–7 (8–10), 9–7.
7. Roger Federer – 21 years, 10 months and 15 days
Wimbledon 2003 marked the start of the Roger Federer era at the All England Club as he would go on to win five titles in a row.
The 21-year-old dropped only one set en route to reaching the final and in the final itself, he defeated Mark Philippoussis 7–6 (7–5), 6–2, 7–6 (7–3) to win the first of his 20 Grand Slam titles.
6. Pete Sampras – 21 years, 10 months and nine days
Nearly three years after winning his maiden Grand Slam at the age of 19 at the US Open, Pete Sampras won the first of his seven titles at Wimbledon in 1993.
Seeded No 1, Sampras beat defending champion Andre Agassi in the quarter-final and fourth seed Boris Becker in the semi-final before securing a 7–6 (7–3), 7–6 (8–6), 3–6, 6–3 win over third seed Jim Courier in the final.
5. Jimmy Connors – 21 years, nine months and 22 days
American Jimmy Connors became the youngest man to win Wimbledon when he lifted the trophy in 1974 and his record stood for two years before it was broken by Bjorn Borg.
In what was a breakthrough year for Connors, the American won three Grand Slams as he also lifted the Australian Open and US Open titles (he skipped the French Open that year).
After ending Jan Kodes’ title defence in the quarter-final, Connors brushed aside Ken Rosewell 6–1, 6–1, 6–4 in the final.
4. Lleyton Hewitt – 21 years and four months
Australian Lleyton Hewitt was No 3 on the list for more than two decades before young Carlos Alcaraz bumped him down to number four.
After winning the 2001 US Open at the age of 20 years, six months and three days, Hewitt won his second Grand Slam 10 months later as he defeated David Nalbandian 6–1, 6–3, 6–2 in the 2002 Wimbledon final.
3. Carlos Alcaraz – 20 years, one month and 29 days
After becoming the first teenager to finish the year as world No 1 on the back of winning the 2022 US Open, Carlos Alcaraz couldn’t his meteoric rise at Wimbledon 2023.
Playing in only his fourth professional tournament on grass, Alcaraz defeated firm favourite and seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic in a titanic five-set final.
His victory also ended Djokovic’s hopes of winning five titles in a row at SW19 while Alcaraz was also the first player to beat Djokovic on Centre Court in more than a decade.
2. Bjorn Borg – 20 years and 15 days
Ice Man Bjorn Borg became the youngest player to win Wimbledon – pushing Connors into second place – when he won the title in 1976.
The fourth-seeded Borg beat Ilie Nastase 6–4, 6–2, 9–7 in the final at the All England Club.
Let’s not forget the Swede’s his first Wimbledon title came more than two years after he became the youngest player (at the time) to win a Grand Slam as he was 17 years, 11 months and 27 days when he won at Roland Garros in 1974.
1. Boris Becker – 17 years, seven months and 15 days
Unseeded and unheard of to most casual tennis followers at the start of the grass-court season in 1985, Boris Becker dived his way to glory.
After winning the Queen’s Club Championship, the teenager took out seventh seed Joakim Nystrom in the third round, 16th seed Tim Mayotte in the fourth round, Henri Leconte in the quarter-final and fifth seed Anders Järryd in the semi-final at Wimbledon.
That earned him a spot in the final against eighth seed Kevin Curren and the 17-year-old prevailed, winning 6–3, 6–7 (4–7), 7–6 (7–3), 6–4.
Interestingly, Becker won the title the following year at the age of 18 years and seven months and that would also have been good enough for the top spot on the list of youngest men’s players to win Wimbledon.
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