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List of four oldest US Open winners in the Open Era

Published at :April 3, 2024 at 4:40 PM
Modified at :April 3, 2024 at 4:40 PM
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(Courtesy : ubitennis/ATP Tour/NBC Sports)

Mohammed Fazeel

Novak Djokovic became the oldest after winning the 2023 edition.

Since the dawn of the Open era in 1968, thirty different men have claimed the singles title at Flushing Meadows, with the first-ever US Open men’s singles crown going to Arthur Ashe. The youngest ever to lift the US Open trophy was Pete Sampras at 19 years and 28 days. The oldest was Australian Ken Rosewall, a record that has stood since 1970, and now belongs to Novak Djokovic.

Below is a list of the oldest four players who have won at Flushing Meadows.

Stan Wawrinka – 31 years and 167 days

Stan Wawrinka recently became the oldest to progress to round 4 of US Open (Courtesy: The Rueters)

First on this list is Stanislas Wawrinka, or Stan Wawrinka for short. He is the fourth oldest man to win the US Open in 2016 against the current World No. 1, Novak Djokovic. The Swiss achieved a career-high No. 3 in 2014 and finished the year ranked World No. 4, finishing in the Top 10 for five straight years from 2013-17. 

Wawrinka has sixteen singles titles to his name and eleven consecutive wins in finals between 2014-2016. He is also one of three players to defeat Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal at Grand Slams. The Swiss also won the 2022 Beijing Olympics doubles gold medal in the company of Roger Federer and helped Switzerland lift the 2014 Davis Cup.

Rafael Nadal – 33 years and 97 days

Rafael Nadal skipped taking part in any of the four Grand Slams in 2023 (Courtesy: Tennis World)

Rafael Nadal’s claim to fame includes 22 major titles, second only to Djokovic’s 24 and two titles ahead of the retired Roger Federer. When Nadal won the 2019 US Open, he was the oldest player to do so, after Ken Rosewall, who won the title when he was 35.  

The Spaniard was truly dominant on the red clay at Roland Garros, winning 14 French Open titles, five of them in a row from 2010 to 2014. Only two players have managed to get the better of Nadal on clay – Djokovic in 2021 in the semifinals and 2015 in the quarterfinals, and a fourth-round loss to Robin Soderling in 2009. 

‘King of Clay’ also enjoyed a long-running streak of 912 weeks in the Top 10 of the ATP rankings from April 2005, which came to an end in March 2023. Nadal has also held on to the World No. 1 ranking for 209 total weeks. 

Ken Rosewall – 35 years and 315 days

Ken Rosewall was the oldest to win the US Open back in 1970 (Credits: Slazenger Heritage)

Until Novak Djokovic won the US Open 2023, Australia’s Ken Rosewall was the oldest US Open champion at 35 years and 315 days. He achieved this distinction in the 1970 US Open. Rosewall is well-known for his longevity in the game and remained competitive well into his 40s which earned him the nickname “Muscles.” 

The Australian was ranked 12 at the end of the 1977 season, coming on the back of victory at the Hong Kong Open at a ripe old age of 43. Ken Rosewall was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1980.

Novak Djokovic – 36 years, 111 days

Novak Djokovic post winning US Open 2023 (Courtesy: Sky Sports)

Novak Djokovic was chasing history in the form of a 24th Grand Slam win at US Open 2023. The Serbian defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to capture his fourth US Open title and 24th Grand Slam singles crown, tying with Margaret Court for the most major titles in history. Djokovic also became the oldest man at 36 years to win at Flushing Meadows, surpassing Ken Rosewall, who was 35 when he triumphed in 1970.

The Serbian is also a 6-time champion at the year-ending ATP Finals and is in a joint lead with Roger Federer.  Djokovic also leads in the overall duration spent on top of the WTA rankings at a record 390 weeks, which is more than any other player, male or female. He also has to his name most years ended at No. 1 (7) and has wound up in the top 3 for ten consecutive years between 2007 and 2016. 

The World No. 1 made history when he captured his 3rd Roland Garros crown in 2023 to become 1st man to win each Grand Slam at least three times.  He also has a record ten Australian Open titles in the bag and is one of three men to hold all 4 Grand Slam championships simultaneously. The others being Don Budge and Rod Laver, who held calendar Grand Slams.