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French Open: A look at the oldest players to win title

Published at :June 9, 2022 at 11:34 PM
Modified at :August 8, 2023 at 10:22 PM
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Bhanu Pratap Singh

A lot of veteran players across different disciplines have become title holders at Roland Garros.

Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, is one of the prestigious tournaments on the ATP World Tour. The tournament has a great history of diverse players playing and winning titles.

The tournament has seen winners of different ages, even though the physical ask of the clay court is the highest of all the forms of tennis. And after Rafael Nadal recently won it at the age of 36 years, it made us keen to know the five oldest players to have won the French Open title in history.

5. Ken Rosewall (33 years, 220 days)

Australian legend Ken Rosewall clinched his first French Open at 19 years of age. However, it took another 15 years for him to bag the title once again, his last at Roland Garros. The win made him the all-time record holder at the French Open for securing the title with the biggest interval between first and last victory (1953-1968).

Rosewall, seeded second, was up against countryman Rod Laver. Laver was the World No. 1 back then. The former took four sets 3-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 to beat his compatriot.

4. Serena Williams (33 years, 258 days)

American star tennis player Serena Williams has been the winner of almost every major tournament on the world tour. Thus, it shouldn’t be a surprise to find her name on the list of the winners at Roland Garros as well.

Serena was up against Italy’s Lucie Safarova in her third final appearance in Paris. The former World No. 1 took three sets to beat her opponent in fine style to become the oldest female singles player to lift the title. Serena’s first French Open title came in 2002, when she beat her sister Venus Williams in the final.

3. Andres Gimeno (34 years, 306 days)

Andres Gimeno is regarded as one of the most successful players from Spain in terms of winning titles. The Spanish star began his tournament as the sixth seed. He was up against home-favourite Patrick Proisy in the final who was the ninth seed.

Gimeno took four sets to beat his opponent 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-1. He also remained the oldest player in the men’s singles discipline to win the title until recently in 2022, when his record was broken by Rafael Nadal.

2.  Rafael Nadal (36 years, 2 days)

If one were to sum up perseverance and the never-say-die spirit in a name, Rafael Nadal would be the first one to strike the mind. The Spanish legend was crowned the Rolland Garros 2022 champion in one of the most memorable finals,

Nadal won his first ever French Open title in 2005 at the age of 19. Since then, he has won the title 13 more times. In 2022, once again, the ‘King of Clay’ convincingly justified his title as he emerged victorious on clay surface in a major tournament final.  Nadal was up against Casper Ruud of Norway in the final where he secured the title for a record 14th time. It took three straight sets for the former Olympic champion 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to win the final.

1.  Elizabeth Ryan (42 years, 88 days)

American tennis player Elizabeth Ryan was one of the consistent players in both singles and doubles disciplines. She won the French Open doubles title on four occasions.

Ryan paired up with Simone Mathieu of France in 1934 and was up against the American pair of Helen Jacob and Sarah Palfrey Cooke. The former duo managed to win the match in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Ryan continues to be the oldest winner at the French Open across all the disciplines.

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