Tennis is a sport that has produced some of the most iconic and enduring athletes in the history of the sport. From the golden era of Bjorn Borg to the modern age of Roger Federer and Serena Williams, the game of tennis has been graced by some of the greatest players of all time. In this article, we’re celebrating the top 10 greatest tennis players of all time.
10- Billie Jean King
Photo Credit: US Open
Billie Jean King was one of the most influential players in the history of tennis and was known for her powerful and outspoken style. She was the first woman to win the “Battle of the Sexes” against Bobby Riggs. She was also a prominent advocate for gender equality in the sport. Billie Jean was a strong advocate for gender equality in sports and was the first female athlete to earn over $100,000 in prize money. King was the first female athlete to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1972. She won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
She was the first woman to win the “Triple Crown” of tennis, winning the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament. King won the first-ever Wimbledon women’s singles title in 1968. She was also the first woman to be awarded the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award in 1972. King founded the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973 and it soon became the world’s largest organization for women athletes. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
9- Bjorn Borg
Photo Credit: GQ
Bjorn Borg is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, six French Open titles, and five consecutive Wimbledon titles. He was the first male tennis player to win four consecutive Grand Slam singles titles. Bjorg was the first male tennis player to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, and the first male player to win both titles in consecutive years. He was ranked world number one for a total of 109 weeks between 1977 and 1981.
He won a total of 64 singles titles in his career and retired at the age of 26. His career-defining rivalry with John McEnroe made him one of the most recognizable tennis players of all time. He was known for his cool demeanor on the court and his signature style of play, featuring a powerful serve and aggressive baseline play. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987
8- Pete Sampras
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Pete Sampras was one of the most dominant players of the 1990s, known for his consistent and powerful playing style. He won 14 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the Open Era. He was the world No. 1 for a record six consecutive years from 1993 to 1998. Pete reached a record 11 consecutive finals and held the year-end No. 1 ranking a record six times. He won seven Wimbledon singles titles, five US Open titles, and two Australian Open titles.
He was a consistent performer, reaching the quarterfinals or better in 18 of the 19 Grand Slam tournaments he entered. And also won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. His career-high ranking of No. 1 was held for 286 weeks, a record that still stands. He retired in 2003 after a memorable match against rival Andre Agassi at the US Open. Pete Sampras is widely remembered as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport.
7- Rod Laver
Photo Credit: Scroll
Rod Laver is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time and is the only player to have completed two Grand Slams in one year. He was also the first male player to win all four Grand Slams in one year, and he did it twice, in 1962 and 1969. Born in Australia in 1938, Rod began playing tennis at a young age. He won his first professional tournament at the age of 16 and went on to dominate the sport throughout the 1960s.
Laver won a total of 11 Grand Slam singles titles, seven in the amateur era and four in the open era, which began in 1968. Laver also won four doubles titles and three mixed doubles titles, making him one of the most successful players in Grand Slam history. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, in 1981. Rod Laver’s incredible talent and determination earned him the nickname ‘The Rocket’.
6- Chris Evert
Photo Credit: Vogue
Chris Evert was one of the most consistent players in the history of the sport, known for her accuracy and finesse. She won a total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including seven French Open titles and three US Open titles. Her precise groundstrokes and cool temperament made her one of the most successful players ever. She was the World No. 1 for a record 260 weeks. Evert won the French Open a record seven times and reached the final at the US Open an impressive 10 times.
She also won the Australian Open twice and the Wimbledon Championships three times. In her career, she was ranked No. 1 in the world four times and reached the finals of 34 of the 60 Grand Slam tournaments she entered. Her rivalry with Martina Navratilova is considered one of the greatest in sports history. Chris Evert’s grace, poise and competitive spirit made her one of the most beloved players of all time.
5- Martina Navratilova
Country: Czech Republic
Photo Credit: Times Now
Martina Navratilova was one of the most successful players in the history of the sport, winning a total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles. She was born in Czechoslovakia and was a natural athlete, taking up tennis at the age of four. Martina also won 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She held the number-one ranking for a total of 332 weeks. Navratilova was a dominant force in women’s tennis throughout the 1980s, winning an impressive 59 singles titles and 74 doubles titles.
She was also the first woman to earn more than $20 million in prize money. She was renowned for her powerful serve and volley style of play, and her ability to hit aggressive groundstrokes from all areas of the court. Martina was also known for her mental toughness and her ability to stay focused under pressure. Navratilova’s legacy endures to this day, and she is remembered as one of the all-time greats of the game.
4- Serena Williams
Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the Open Era. Serena is the first and only female player to have won singles titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single year. She has also won four Olympic gold medals, the most by any tennis player. Williams holds the record for the most women’s singles matches won at the Grand Slams and the most women’s singles titles won at the Australian Open.
She has held the world number one ranking in singles on eight separate occasions for 319 weeks, more than any other female player. Williams is widely considered to be one of the greatest female athletes of all time. She has consistently shown her dominance on the court, and her powerful and aggressive playing style has earned her the nickname “The Beast”. Her mental and physical toughness are legendary, and she has earned the respect of her peers and fans alike. Williams is a true champion, and her career is an inspiration to millions.
3- Rafael Nadal
Photo Credit: IWM Buzz
Rafael Nadal is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male player. He also holds the record for most consecutive titles at one tournament, having won the French Open a remarkable 14 times. Nadal has won Olympic gold medals in singles and doubles, plus a Davis Cup title. Nadal has been ranked world No. 1 in the ATP rankings for a record 209 weeks. He is a master of clay court tennis, with an impressive 81.47% win rate on the surface.
He has won a total of 82 titles on clay courts, making him the most successful clay court player in history. Nadal has also had success on hard courts, grass courts, and indoor courts. His all-court presence, aggressive style of play, and powerful groundstrokes are hallmarks of his game. He is also one of the most successful doubles players of all time, having won 11 doubles titles. His longevity, consistency, and dominance of the sport make him one of the greatest players of all time.
2- Novak Djokovic
Photo Credit: New Yorker
Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles, the second-most in history. Djokovic has held the No. 1 ranking for a record 373 weeks, in his career. He has won all four of the Grand Slam titles and has achieved the career Grand Slam. He has also won the ATP Tour Finals a record six times. Djokovic is known for his powerful groundstrokes, his ability to create angles, and his tenacious defense. He is also an excellent returner, and he is one of the few players who can win a point from any position on the court.
He is also a versatile player, capable of playing both aggressive attacking tennis and defensive counterpunching. Djokovic has won some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. He has also been a dominant force in Davis Cup play, leading Serbia to the championship in 2010. Djokovic’s longevity and consistency have been remarkable, as he has remained one of the best players in the world for more than a decade. He is an inspiration to tennis players everywhere, and his career is an example of dedication and hard work.
1- Roger Federer
Photo Credit: Times of India
Roger Federer is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. With 20 Grand Slam singles titles, he holds the record for the third most in men’s tennis history. He has also won the ATP Finals a record six times and was the year-end No. 1 five times. Federer has been ranked No. 1 in the ATP rankings for a record total of 310 weeks and for a record total of 237 consecutive weeks. He is the only male player to have won five or more titles at three different Grand Slam tournaments. Federer has won Olympic gold in doubles and singles.
He has also won the season-ending ATP Tour Finals a record six times. Federer has won a record six ATP Player of the Year awards and was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year four times. He has also won a record five ITF World Champions titles. He is the only player in history to have won both the singles and doubles at the same Grand Slam tournament. Federer has won a total of 103 ATP singles titles, the second-most in history, and holds the record for the most titles on a hard court. He is also the only male player to have reached the finals of all four Grand Slams at least 10 times. Federer is known for his powerful serve, pinpoint accuracy, and deft touch at the net.