Why are left-handers more likely to win Wimbledon?
The upper hand
Just 10% of the world is left-handed. Yet since the Open Era began, 23% of Wimbledon singles titles have been won by left-handed players.
I’m left-handed, and lefties have managed to dominate more than our fair share of Wimbledon tournaments. Here I reveal the secrets to our success.
There have been 102 singles tournaments at Wimbledon from 1968–2018. With left-handers making up 10% of the general population, if they had an equal chance, lefties would be expected to have won around nine titles. In fact they have won 23.
TAKE THE TEST: How left-handed are you?
Some players like Nadal play tennis with their left hand but write with their right. In fact, handedness is a continuous scale from left to mixed to right.
Take the test below to find out if you’re more left-handed than you thought.
WATCH: The leftie advantage
Watch the video below as I demonstrate the tactics we left-handers can use to our advantage on court.
When I was a junior, three of my left-handed heroes – Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe – dominated Wimbledon.
But since that glorious run, just six singles titles have been claimed by left-handed players.
It could simply be a lull before lefties dominate again. Or right-handers may have been gradually closing the gap, with improvements in match preparation.
Elite players and their coaching teams now have video analysis and performance statistics at their fingertips – able to scrutinise every detail of their opponent’s game.
But making this knowledge count is another matter. When righties face a left-handed player, they can’t just play on auto-pilot. It requires a big bag of tricks and lots of practice to be able to adapt your strategy.