When Roger Federer defeated Marin Cilic in the finale of the Australian Open, he became the second oldest player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam. Winning a Grand Slam at an age where most of the players have bid adieu, is something which is only expected from supremely talented stars like Roger Federer. However, he is not the oldest in the list. There were many players who have won a Grand Slam defying the age barrier in the past. Here is the list of nine oldest male players including Roger Federer, who have won a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Ken Rosewall (Australia)
He is a former world top-ranked amateur and professional tennis player from Australia. He won a record 23 tennis Majors including 8 Grand Slam singles titles and before the Open Era a record 15 Pro Slam titles and a record 35 Major finals overall. He won the Pro Grand Slam in 1963. Rosewall won 9 slams in doubles with a career double grand slam. He is considered to be one of the top male tennis players of all time. From August 1972 players were allowed to enter almost all the tournaments they wanted as the real open era began. Rosewall won seven tournaments in 1972, including the depleted Australian Open and became the oldest Grand Slam male singles champion (37 years and 2 months old) in the open era. He defeated Malcolm Anderson in straight sets 7-6(7-2), 6-3, 7-5 in the finale.
Roger Federer (Switzerland)
He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player, and held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 302 weeks. In majors, Federer has won six Australian Open titles, eight Wimbledon titles, five US Open titles and one French Open title. He is among the eight men to capture a career Grand Slam. However, with age catching up on him, it was believed that he won’t be able to win another Grand Slam in his career but he ended up defying all the odds. He became the third man after Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic to claim six Australian Open titles.
World No. 2 Roger Federer defeated No. 6 Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to clinch his sixth Australian Open title.
Andres Gimeno (Spain)
His Grand Slam’s results came in 1968 when the Open Era started and the professional could participate in Grand Slams. His first good result was the final in Australian Open in 1969, where he lost to Rod Laver in three sets. Andres Gimeno’s best year was in 1972. The Catalan won his first and only Grand Slam in 1972. He holds the record for the oldest male player to win the French Open (at the age of 34). In the final, he defeated the French player Patrick Proisy in four sets (4–6, 6–3, 6–1, 6–1). Gimeno was an active Davis Cup player, recording an 18–5 singles record and 5–5 doubles record. In 1973 he injured his meniscus and decided to quit playing tennis. He became the tennis coach in the RFET, Tennis’ Spanish Federation and then in the Suisse Federation.
Andre Agassi (USA)
Generally considered by critics and fellow players to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Agassi has been known as the greatest service returner in the history of the game. In singles tennis, Agassi is an eight-time Grand Slam champion and a 1996 Olympic gold medalist. During the Open Era, Agassi is the first male player to win 4 Australian Open titles, a record that was equaled by Roger Federer in 2010 and surpassed by Novak Djokovic in 2015 and then by Federer in 2017. Agassi is one of five male singles players to achieve the Career Grand Slam in the Open Era and one of eight in history. In 2003, Agassi won the eighth (and final) Grand Slam title of his career at the Australian Open, where he beat Rainer Schüttler in straight sets in the final. He was 32 years, 8 months and 28 days at the time of his last Grand Slam win.
Arthur Ashe (USA)
Ashe was the first black player selected to the United States Davis Cup team and the only black man ever to win the singles title at the Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He retired in 1980. He founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health before his death from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 6, 1993. On July 5, 1975 in the first all-American Wimbledon final since 1947, Ashe, seeded sixth and just a few days short of his 32nd birthday, won the Wimbledon at his ninth attempt, defeating the strong favourite and defending champion, Jimmy Connors at 31 years, 11 months and 25 days of age. Ashe had never beaten Connors in any of their previous encounters and Connors had not dropped a set in any of the six earlier rounds, but Ashe played an almost perfect game of tactical tennis to win in four sets. The score line read 6-1, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in the end.