The 1970s saw the sport of tennis thrive, and around that time, tennis began to change from being a pastime for the wealthy to becoming more of a mainstream activity, particularly in the United States.
Characters like Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and others stoked the rivalry both on and off the court.
Since then, a great many of the top tennis players have come and gone. It might be difficult to compare competitors from various eras in any sport because of outstanding physical standards and technical developments.
Here is the list of top 10 greatest tennis players of all time.
10. Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl, a Czech-American former professional tennis player, was born on March 7, 1960. He is frequently considered as one of tennis’s all-time greats.
Lendl won 94 solo championships while holding the No. 1 singles ranking in the world for 270 weeks. He was the first man to compete in 19 major finals.
He won eight major singles championships and finished second a record-tying 11 times (tied with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic).
Lendl also competed in an unprecedented eight straight US Open finals and took home seven year-end titles.
In five different years, Lendl is the only player in professional tennis history to have a match winning percentage of above 90%. (1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1989).
In addition, he had a convincing winning record against his main rivals: 21-15 (7-3 in important matches) against John McEnroe and a 22-13 (4-3 in major matches) record against Jimmy Connors.
The year-end championships, which include the top eight singles players in the world rankings, are where Lendl’s era’s supremacy was most obvious.
He has competed in the final nine times in a row, setting a record, and boasts a 39-10 win-loss record at the competition.
9. Jimmy Connors
American former No. 1 tennis player James Scott Connors was born on September 2, 1952. From 1974 through 1977, he held the top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rating for a total of 268 weeks, a record at the time.
Connors still retains three important Open Era men’s singles records thanks to his lengthy and successful career: 109 championships, 1,557 matches played, and 1,274 match victories.
He has won eight major singles titles (five US Opens, two consecutive Wimbledon titles, and one Australian Open, which is a shared Open Era record), three year-end championships, and 17 Grand Prix Super Series crowns.
He won three major championships in 1974, becoming only the second player in the Open Era to do so, and was barred from competing in the fourth, the French Open.
From 1974 to 1978, Connors finished first overall in the ATP rankings. He won the US Open and Wimbledon in 1982, was named ATP Player of the Year, and won the ITF World Championship. The year was 1996, and he was 43 years old.
8. Bjorn Borg
Born on June 6, 1956, Björn Rune Borg is a former tennis world number one from Sweden. With six victories at the French Open and five in a row at Wimbledon, he became the first player in the Open Era to win 11 Grand Slam singles championships between 1974 and 1981.
Borg is 6-0 in French Open finals and has won four straight French Open championships (1978–81). He was the first man to compete in six straight Wimbledon finals since 1886; Roger Federer’s seven straight final appearances broke this record (2003–09).
He is the only male who has three times completed the Channel Slam. Borg participated in the finals of the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open three times in the same year (1978, 1980–81).
During those competitions, he won three major titles without losing a set. Despite finishing as the runner-up in the US Open four times, he never did.
In addition, Borg won 16 Grand Prix Super Series championships and three year-end championships. In total, he established several records that are still in use.
He won the ATP Player of the Year award from 1976 to 1980, finished at the top of the ATP world rankings for the year in 1979 and 1980, and won the ITF World Championship from 1978 to 1980.
Male or female, Borg is the only Swede to have won more than ten championships. Borg abruptly ended his tennis career in 1981 at the age of 25. In 1991, he attempted a brief but fruitless return.
7. John McEnroe
John Patrick McEnroe Jr., an American former professional tennis player, was born on February 16, 1959.
His shot-making and volleying prowess, his rivalries with Jimmy Connors and Björn Borg, and his combative on-court behavior—all of which regularly got him into conflict with umpires and tennis officials—made him well-known.
McEnroe performed admirably at the year-end events as well, setting records by taking home eight singles trophies and seven doubles titles.
Five of his six singles year-end championships were at the World Championship Tennis (WCT) Finals, an event that was discontinued in 1989, while three were in the Masters Grand Prix, the ATP year-end competition.
There has only been one annual men’s singles tournament since 2000: the ATP Finals. Three times each in 1981, 1983, and 1984, he was named the ATP Player of the Year and the ITF World Champion.
6. Andre Agassi
Former No. 1 tennis player in the world, Andre Kirk Agassi is American. In addition to winning eight major tournaments, he has won an Olympic gold medal and finished in second place in seven more majors.
Agassi is the fifth person overall and the second of five men to complete the career Grand Slam in the Open Era.
He is also the first player to have won a career Super Slam and the first of two men to complete the career Golden Grand Slam title (career Grand Slam and Olympic gold medal) (career Grand Slam, plus the Olympic gold medal and the year-end championships).
What was the play style of Agassi for the Grand slam titles match?
Early in his career, Agassi would play first-strike tennis to conclude points as fast as possible. Typically, he would induce a poor return with a deep, hard shot before hitting a winner at a sharp angle.
Agassi preferred to take the ball up in the air and hit a swinging volley for a victory when he rarely rushed the net. His flat, precise two-handed backhand was his go-to groundstroke; it was effective both cross-court and especially down the line.
His inside-out to the ad court forehand was extremely good.
5. Rod laver
Rodney An ex-tennis player from Australia is named George Laver.
In the four years prior to and the three years after the beginning of the Open Era in 1968, Laver was the professional with the highest ranking in some sources in 1964, in all sources from 1965 to 1969, and in some sources in 1970.
In addition, he received the top amateur ranking in the globe in 1961 and 1962 from Lance Tingay and Ned Potter.
Laver won 11 Grand Slam singles titles despite being prohibited from competing in those competitions for five years prior to the Open Era.
Laver is the only male or female player to have achieved the Grand Slam singles titles twice, in 1962 and 1969, the only instance of a man having done so during the Open Era.
He and Roger Federer are the only two male athletes to have finished second and first at each of the four grand slams.
4. Pete sampras
American tennis player Petros “Pete” Sampras, born August 12, 1971, formerly held the top spot in the world.
He started working as a professional in 1988, and his career came to a close in 2002 at the US Open, which he won by beating his old nemesis Andre Agassi.
Pete Sampras finished his career with 14 major singles wins, which was a record at the time of his retirement. These triumphs included a then-record seven Wimbledon victories, two Australian Open victories, and a joint Open Era record five US Open victories.
In total, he won 64 solo championships. His first No. 1 ranking came in 1993, and he held it for a total of 286 weeks (third all-time), including an Open Era record-tying six straight Year-End No. 1 rankings from 1993 to 1998.
“Pistol Pete” was a right-handed player with a single-handed backhand whose accurate and powerful serve earned him the moniker. He was admitted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.
3. Rafael nadal
Rafael Nadal Parera, a Spanish tennis player, was born on June 3, 1986. The Association of Tennis Professionals now has him rated No. 2 in the world in singles (ATP).
He has held the top spot in the world rankings for 209 weeks and five times at the end of the year. Nadal holds the record for the most Grand Slam men’s singles victories with 22, including a record 14 at the French Open.
He has 92 ATP singles wins under his belt, including 36 Masters titles, with 63 of them victories coming on clay. Only two men—including Nadal—have achieved the Career Golden Slam in singles.
The longest winning run in the Open Era has been his 81 straight victories on clay.
Jimmy Connors has provided the following descriptions of Nadal’s playing and personality:
“He is constructed in a mould from which I believe I also emerged, which is that no matter how the game turns out, you always give your all. And you’re not scared to let the public realise that you’re prepared to put it all on the line.”
2. Novak djokovic
Novak Djokovic, a Serbian professional tennis player, was born on May 22, 1987. According to the Association of Tennis Professionals, he is presently ranked eighth in the world in singles (ATP).
He held the top spot in the global rankings for an unprecedented 373 weeks, and he set a record seven times as the year’s final leader.
He has won a record nine Australian Open championships in addition to 21 Grand Slam men’s singles victories overall.
He has amassed a total of 90 ATP singles victories, including a record 64 Big Wins and 38 Masters titles.
The non-calendar year Grand Slam in singles was achieved by Djokovic, who is now the first player in tennis history to hold the titles of the four majors simultaneously on three distinct surfaces.
He is also the only person to complete the Career Golden Masters in singles on the ATP Tour, which he has done twice, and the first man to accomplish a double Career Grand Slam in singles in the Open Era.
1. Roger federer – One of the Greatest tennis players
Roger Federer, a former professional tennis player from Switzerland, was born on August 8, 1981.
He held the top spot in the global rankings for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, including a record 237 straight weeks, and five times at the end of the year.
His 103 ATP singles titles rank second all-time, and they include 20 Grand Slam singles titles, an Open Era record eight Wimbledon men’s singles trophies, an Open Era record five US Open men’s singles titles, and an unprecedented six year-end titles.
Federer played during a time when the Big Three—Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and him—dominated men’s tennis.
The Big Three are regarded by some as the three most successful men’s tennis players of all time. Federer, a former ball boy and the Wimbledon junior winner in 1998, won his first major singles championship at Wimbledon in 2003 at the age of 21.
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