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Upsetting the odds at Wimbledon

Steven LynchJune 26, 2014
Goran Ivanisevic beat Pat Rafter to lift the famous trophy 13 years ago © Getty Images
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Has there ever been an unseeded winner of the men's or women's singles at Wimbledon? asks Leslie Ford.

Only two men have ever won the Wimbledon singles title while unseeded, at least since full seeding began in 1927.

The first was Boris Becker, who stunned the world in 1985 when he was only 17 and unseeded - he was actually younger than that year's winner of the boys' singles. Becker, who had just won the Queen's Club tournament too, was ranked No.20 before Wimbledon started, but there were only 16 men's seeds that year.

He was followed in 2001 by Goran Ivanisevic, who was ranked so low (125th in the world) before Wimbledon - he had been injured - that he needed a wild card to gain entry. Ivanisevic famously won through and beat Pat Rafter in the final, becoming the first wild card ever to win any Grand Slam singles event.

Some sources show Richard Krajicek as being unseeded when he won Wimbledon in 1996, and it's true that he wasn't originally on the seeding list. But the Wimbledon committee later confirmed that he had been promoted to seeded status after the withdrawal of one of the others.

There has never been an unseeded winner of the women's singles at Wimbledon. The lowest-ranked player to win was Venus Williams, in 2007, when she was seeded No.23.

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