Wimbledon is one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the world. And where there’s a competition, there are winners. In the case of Wimbledon singles champions, over 100 different gentleman and lady tennis players have won since the formation in 1877. Eleven of these winners may as well have a second home in London, England where the tournament takes place, seeing as they have won Wimbledon six or more times. In total, the incredible Wimbledon singles-winning athletes hail from 16 different countries around the world, some of which make more of a racket at Wimbledon singles tournaments than others. Find out who the ten greatest Wimbledon singles winners are and where they come from, along with the three countries that have taken home Wimbledon gold more often than the rest when you keep reading about where Wimbledon winners are from.
View Where Wimbledon Winners Are From in a full screen map
The map above notes every Wimbledon singles winner since 1877 for the gentlemen and 1884 for the ladies. We got our data here and here. However, you may notice a few years missing. This coincides with World Wars I and II, during which Wimbledon was not held.
Every tennis player who competes at Wimbledon is noteworthy, as is each Wimbledon singles winner. But there are some tennis champions with multiple wins under their belt. The following tennis players have won more Wimbledon singles tournaments than any other competitor:
- Martina Navratilova, 9 wins
- Roger Federer, 8 wins
- Helen Wills Moody, 8 wins
- Pete Sampras, 7 wins
- William Renshaw, 7 wins
- Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers, 7 wins
- Serena Williams, 7 wins
- Steffi Graf, 7 wins
- Billie Jean King, 6 wins
- Blanche Bingley Hillyard, 6 wins
- Suzanne Lenglen, 6 wins
Martina Navratilova holds the #1 spot for most Wimbledon wins regardless of gender or era. Navratilova first won the courts of Wimbledon in 1978 and last won in 1990. Yet, no one since has won as many Wimbledons. Serena Williams may still have a chance to claim that #1 spot, though. Williams, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, William Renshaw, and Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers are tied for #3 with the most Wimbledon wins. But while Sampras hasn’t won since 2000, and Renshaw and Chambers are both long past their prime — Renshaw last won in 1889 while Chambers’ last win was just before World War I — Serena Williams won recently in 2016. She may still surpass Martina Navratilova for the #1 ranking amongst Wimbledon singles winners. And, while not in the top ten, Serena’s talented sister Venus Williams is tied for the #5 most Wimbledon wins with five of her own.
More than sorting these impressive athletes by the number of Wimbledon singles wins and their rankings, we can note the countries the champions represented at Wimbledon. Martina Navratilova, Helen Wills Moody, Pete Sampras, Serena Williams, and Billie Jean King all competed on behalf of the U.S. while William Renshaw, Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers, and Blanche Bingley Hillyard were all British Wimbledon singles champions. Roger Federer hailed from Switzerland, Steffi Graf played for Germany, and Suzanne Lenglen for France. However, just because these tennis champions brought the most Wimbledon wins than any other player, their country isn’t guaranteed a spot with the most Wimbledon-winning countries in history. Well, except in a few cases.
Tennis players from the U.S. have won Wimbledon 89 times. Though the U.S. was established well before the first Wimbledon singles competition in 1877, America didn’t bring home a Wimbledon prize until May Sutton won the Ladies’ Singles in 1905. After Sutton’s second win in 1907, the U.S. went through a dry spell. Their next Wimbledon win didn’t come until Bill Tilden won the Gentlemen’s Singles in 1920. From that point on, the U.S. had a Wimbledon winner at least five times every decade. This included Helen Wills Moody, who won Wimbledon consecutively between 1927-1930, and then again in 1932, 1933, 1935, and 1938.
Transitioning from the Amateur Era to the Open Era of Wimbledon for America was Billie Jean King. King first won Wimbledon in 1966, again in 1967, and again once the Open Era started in ‘68. In total, King won two Amateur prizes and four Open Era ones between 1966 and 1975. After King came Martina Navratilova, who we know holds the coveted #1 spot for most Wimbledon wins ever. Navratilova first won in 1978, and again in ‘79. Despite some years where she didn’t win, Navratilova was in it for the long haul. She ended up victorious again in ‘82, and from then on, she was unstoppable, winning consecutively from 1982-1987, and in 1990 for her last victory.
More recent U.S. winners include Pete Sampras, who won from 1993-1995, and again between 1997-2000. Sampras’s win in 2000 was the last for U.S. Gentlemen’s Singles. However, American ladies are doing alright in the 21st century thanks to the Williams sisters. Although it hasn’t just been this century that women in tennis were succeeding. In total, 57 of all the U.S.’s Wimbledon wins were earned by the ladies while 32 were from gentlemen players, however, the Peruvian-born Alex Olmedo may count for another U.S. win. In this century, Venus was the first of the William sisters to win Wimbledon, doing so in 2000. She won again in 2001, but then her sister, Serena showed up on the scene, determined to dominate. For a while, it appeared Venus and Serena Williams would take turns winning Wimbledon; but since 2009, Serena has been the only Williams sister to earn the title. The score is currently Venus: 5; Serena: 7, and thanks to Serena, the U.S. earned its most recent win in 2016.
Australians are also quite good at tennis. Twenty-six Wimbledon winners have hailed from the land Down Under. Australia’s first winner was in 1907, just six years after the country was formed. This first W was thanks to Norman Brookes. After Brookes, Margaret Smith Court was the first Aussie woman to win Wimbledon in 1963. Interestingly, just nine of Australia’s 26 Wimbledon wins come from the Open Era, when professionals were allowed to compete. The other 17 wins took place during the Amateur Era. But Rod Laver won first place during both eras. He earned two Wimbledon for Australia during the Amateur Era, and then went on to win twice more during the Open Era. Eras aside, 21 of Australia’s wins were earned by the gentlemen and five wins were from the ladies. As for the country’s most recent win, it was back in 2002.
If the U.S. and Australia didn’t win their first Wimbledon until the 20th century, which country was coming in first place between Wimbledon’s creation in 1877 and then? In the early years of Wimbledon, the U.K. was the only major winner. They have won Wimbledon 73 times in total, 37 of which are thanks to the gentlemen and 36 are from the ladies. The U.K.’s racquet-welding ladies and gents won Wimbledon 50 times consecutively from its conception in 1877 until America’s May Sutton broke the winning streak of ladies after 21 years and Aussie Norman Brookes broke the 30-year gentlemen’s winning streak in 1907. It’s crazy to think that nearly 70% of the U.K.’s Wimbledon wins come from before 1908.
Notable during the U.K.’s golden age of tennis is William Renshaw, who as we’ve mentioned is tied for the #3 most wins in history (7), his last being in 1889. A historical version of Serena and Venus Williams, William Renshaw’s brother, Ernest, was the one who ultimately ruined William’s winning streak in 1888. For the U.K., the early days of Wimbledon were ripe with even more sibling rivalries. Nine of the U.K.’s Wimbledon wins come from brothers Laurence and Reginald Doherty. However, the gentlemen of the U.K. faced a couple of dry spells. Between 1910 and 1933, the U.K. did not win once for Gentlemen’s Singles. The same can be said between 1937 until 2013 when Andy Murray came to win and ending the long losing streak.
As for the U.K.’s ladies, Blanche Bingley Hillyard, Charlotte Cooper Sterry, and Lottie Dod ruled the tennis game from 1886 to 1901. Hillyard won six Wimbledons, and Sterry and Dod each won five for their country. Dorothea Douglass Lambert Chambers then won seven Wimbledons between 1903 and 1914. However, while the ladies of the U.K. dominated in the early days of Wimbledon, they have yet to win another competition since 1977. The gentlemen, on the other hand, won in 2016.
Now that you know where the Wimbledon winners come from, keep an eye out in June and July to see if Serena Williams scores another Wimbledon win and eventually comes for Martina Navratilova’s #1 spot. Either way, it’s a win for the U.S. Another sporting event that takes place over the summer is the Tour de France. You can learn more about the winners, as well as the 2,200-mile route they take each year.