Who is history’s greatest tennis player? Any tennis fan who asks that question is in for a lengthy, exhausting conversation. It’s difficult to rate players who were at their peak in various eras, but there are several important factors to take into account when rating the greatest tennis players ever.
Before producing this list, I’ve taken into account the number of grand slams a player has won and their overall rating during their career.
Individuals can play singles or in two-player teams in the racket sport of tennis, which can be played with or against a single opponent (doubles). Stringed with a string, each player strikes a hollow rubber ball coated in felt over or around the net and into the opponent’s court during a tennis match. An important part of the game’s strategy is making it impossible for your opponent to return a legitimate shot. If a player is unable to return the ball correctly, they will not be awarded a point.
Tennis is a popular sport for people of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. People in wheelchairs, as well as those who can grip a racket, can participate in this activity. It was lawn tennis, first played in England’s Birmingham city park during the late nineteenth century, that gave rise to the contemporary game of tennis. Croquet and bowls, as well as the earlier racket sport, is known today as true tennis, were closely related to it.
15. Mats Wilander
Mats Arne Olof Wilander is a Swedish former world No. 1 tennis player. From 1982 to 1988, he won seven Grand Slam singles titles and one Grand Slam men’s doubles title. His breakthrough came suddenly and unexpectedly when he won the 1982 French Open at the age of 17.
Most talented tennis player born in the 19th century? Mats Wilander was only 17 years old when he won his first French Open title in 1982, which is still today the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam title. That is not his only Grand Slam record, he also holds the record for most Grand Slam titles won before turning 20 (4 titles).
Mats Wilander wasn’t able to keep that good streak going throughout his whole career, but he still managed to win another 3 Grand Slams before retiring at the age of 32. He was ranked the world No.1 during the 1988-89 season and was considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time back in the 90s.
14. Roy Emerson
For a total of 28 Grand Slam titles, Roy Stanley Emerson AC (born November 3, 1936) is an Australian former tennis player who won 12 Grand Slam singles championships and 16 Grand Slam doubles championships.
Before the Open Era, who was the top player in the sport? Roy Emerson is widely regarded as the greatest pre-Open-era tennis player of all time. At the height of his powers in the 1960s, he was the world’s best player in 1964-65, when no one else came close to matching his accomplishments as a player.
For many years, Roy Emerson held the record for the most Grand Slam championships won by a single player before the era of the Big 3 began in the twenty-first century. Because of his 30-year career, he’s considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. This is a feat that is nearly unheard of in today’s tennis world: he retired at the age of 47.
13. Stefan Edberg
Stefan Edberg, a former world number one, was a dominant force on the tennis court in the 1990s. Since 1990, when he won Wimbledon, he has held the world No. 1 ranking and held it for more than 70 weeks. Only one other player has ever won all four Junior Grand Slams in the same calendar year: Svein Edberg (1983).
In the late 1990s, Stefan Edberg set a new record for the most straight Grand Slam appearances (54) before Wayne Ferreira of the United States ultimately beat him. Edberg won six Grand Slams in his illustrious career. Two each in Wimbledon and the US Open, plus one each at the Australian Open and the Wimbledon finals.
12. Ken Rosewall
If you’ve ever wondered how consistent Ken Rosewall has been, you’ve come to the right place. No one had ever maintained a top-20 ranking for as long as he had. Ken won one of his 8 Grand Slam championships at the age of 38, which makes him the oldest player to ever win a Grand Slam title.
The Spaniard tennis player Roberto Bautista-Agut, who has a similar style of play, is often compared to him. It’s amazing to win three Grand Slams by the time you’re 35, but can anyone ever top that?
11. Boris Becker
Boris Becker, a former world number one tennis player from Germany, is another such player. At the age of 17, he was one of the most promising young players in tennis history, as evidenced by the six singles trophies he won in 1984. One year later, he won the Wimbledon Championships, becoming the youngest player to ever win that championship. His triumph didn’t stop there.
He won six Grand Slam titles during his career. In addition to three Wimbledons, two Australian Opens, and one US Open, During the 1991 season, he held the world number one ranking for a brief time.
10. Jimmy Connors
Many believe Jimmy Connors to be one of the best players of all time from the United States. At the time, he held the record for the most weeks in a row at the top of the global rankings (268). Roger Federer has held the record for 310 weeks now.
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Jimmy is one of only a handful of players to have won all three Grand Slams in the same calendar year. He retired at the age of 43, making him one of the longest-serving professional tennis players in the sport’s history.
9. Ivan Lendl
Today he is best known as Andy Murray’s coach, but 30 years ago he had one of the most successful tennis careers in history.
In the late 1980s, Ivan Lendl was widely regarded as the finest tennis player in the world. For more than 270 consecutive weeks as world No. 1 in the 1980s, he was a dominant force in every Grand Slam competition. During his career, Lendl won two Australian Opens, three French Opens, and three US Opens.
8. John McEnroe
In addition to his legendary volleys and off-court antics, John McEnroe was a contentious figure in tennis, frequently getting into altercations with referees and other officials. In his career, he had fierce competition with Jimmy Connors and Björn Borg, with whom he alternated between the Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Tennis fans were either enraged or enchanted by his erratic conduct. A part of him was driven by a desire to never lose again, but wouldn’t tennis be dull without players displaying their feelings?
7. Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi, one of the best tennis players of all time, is often regarded as the finest player of the 19th century. As a Grand Slam winner and Olympic gold medallist, Agassi is a household name in tennis. Until Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer came along, he was the only player to win four Australian Open championships in the 1990s.
Tennis legend Andre Agassi became the first player in history to win a Grand Slam championship on all three of the major hard, clay, and synthetic surfaces (grass, clay, hard court). Not only is Andre Agassi, aka “The Punisher,” a legendary player in the sport, but he is also widely regarded as one of the best.
6. Rod Laver
Many believe Rod Laver to be one of the best players of all time. His 11 grand slam championships make him the first player to win all four majors in the same calendar year on two separate occasions.
Rod Laver dominated tennis in the 1960s, holding the world number one ranking from 1964 until 1970. He’s also the all-time leader in singles titles won with a tally of 184 triumphs. He was widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time in the 1960s and 1970s.
5. Björn Borg
Björn Borg’s 5th place on this list may be disputed by many fans, but I’m convinced that he merits it. The only player in the world who has accomplished the same things in the same time frame as him is him.
When he won the French Open in 1974 at the age of 17, he became the youngest player in history to win a Grand Slam tournament. A total of 10 more Grand Slam championships followed until his early retirement at the age of 26.
Björn Borg holds the record for most Grand Slam championships won before the age of 25 in tennis history. Can you imagine him playing for another five or ten years? He may be regarded as one of the finest ever.
4. Pete Sampras
He is the 4th greatest tennis player ever. As of 2002, he was believed to be the best tennis player of all time after dominating the sport in the 1990s and winning seven Grand Slam titles. With a record-setting 14 grand slam victories, you couldn’t dispute it at the time.
Despite his impressive record at the Grand Slams, he was unable to capture the French Open. As a clay-court player, Sampras isn’t the greatest, but with seven Wimbledon championships, five US Open crowns, and two Australian Open victories, he’s undoubtedly in the top four on my list.
3. Novak Djokovic
The Serbian Novak Djokovic is unquestionably the best tennis player of all time. He is an excellent example of a late bloomer. When he turned 28 years old, Novak Djokovic had only won seven grand slam titles, but by the time he was 30, Djokovic had won nine slam trophies in four years.
The grand slam events have been controlled by Novak Djokovic in the previous several years. To be the best of all time, he has to exceed Nadal and Federer’s Grand Slam championship tally. It’s unlikely that Djokovic will retire until he’s already set the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the world.
2. Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal is the second-greatest player of all time, according to the rankings. His position here is a no-brainer. He has won 21 Grand Slam championships, and he is expected to win another two or three before he hangs up his racket.
On the clay court, he is the greatest tennis player of all time; on the hardcourt, he is the greatest. It’s hard to dispute that remark, given his incredible record of 13 French Open victories.
Can his latest Grand Slam championship triumph against Roger Federer serve as evidence that he is the best player ever?
1. Roger Federer
Roger Federer is the best tennis player of all time. Over the past two decades, he has demonstrated his ability to compete at the greatest level. While Djokovic holds the record for most consecutive weeks as world number one, Roger Federer holds the record for most Grand Slam championships won by a single player.
As a role model on and off the field, an inspiration to all young people, and a phenomenal athlete, he will go down in history as one of the greatest athletes ever (all sports).