Top 5 Tennis Players over the Age Of 30

May 3, 2013 by

We fondly remember young starlets such as Monica Seles, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg for their achievements at a young age. However, there are currently more top players over the age of 30 than ever before. Many experts suggest that the increased physicality of tennis coupled with emotional maturity are the main reasons.

However, tennis legends from the past have already proven that tennis can be played a high level into your thirties and we highlight 5 of the best ever players over the age of 30.

Bill Tilden

Bill Tilden

Bill Tilden
Modern tennis fans may not know of ‘Big’ Bill Tilden but he had a remarkable career with great success after turning 30 as he won the US Open 4 times and Wimbledon at age 37. The year after his final grand slam triumph, Tilden turned professional and in the 1930s, this meant he could no longer compete in grand slams. He continued to win as a pro and even won a major doubles title aged 52!
Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova
For many, Martina Navratilova is still the standard against which all other female players are held up against. She won 26 singles grand slam titles and although only 3 of them came after the age of 30, she managed to win 14 mixed doubles and doubles grand slam titles after turning 30, the last of which came at the age of 46 years 8 months, making her the oldest ever grand slam winner.
Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors
Jimmy Connors is regarded as an all-time great and what he achieved before the age of 30 was incredible but he kept up the pace in his thirties and scooped 2 grand slam titles and reached 8 further Grand Slam semi-finals, the last of which occurred when he was 39 years old!
Rod Laver

Rod Laver

Rod Laver
‘Hot’ Rod Laver won 45 titles in his thirties and when he retired at the age of 36, he was still ranked in the world’s top 5. However, Laver is best known for his calendar year Grand Slam triumphs, the second of which was achieved after he turned 30.
Margaret Smith Court

Margaret Smith Court

Margaret Smith Court
Margaret Smith Court had a singles win ratio over 91% on all surfaces and was successful well into her thirties. Although only 3 of her 24 singles Grand Slam titles came after she turned 30, all of them came in the same memorable year and she also won 5 mixed doubles and doubles Grand Slam titles in her thirties as her win percentage only dipped slightly below her peak level.

The stars above show that tennis players don’t necessarily decline after the age of 30 and in the modern era, we can see the likes of Roger Federer continue to play at a high level and defeat opponents a decade or so younger than them.

Image licenses:
Bill Tilden – Creative Commons (view source)
Martina Navratilova – Creative Commons (view source)
Jimmy Connors – Creative Commons (view source)
Rod Laver – Creative Commons (view source)
Margaret Smith Court – Creative Commons (view source)

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