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History of Tennis: Best Male Tennis Players of All Time

November 11th, 2014 by Do It Tennis

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History of Tennis: Best Male Tennis Players of All Time

As we kick off our “History of Tennis” series, we take a look back at some of the most talented and iconic men’s players that have ever taken the court. Everyone has their favorite player for many different reasons, and we know it’s hard to pick just ten players. Some of them are iconic players who’s records have stood the test of times while others are newbies who have emerged to the top within the last 20 years. All have reached greatness at some point in their tennis careers. Without further ado we present, the Do It Tennis Top Ten Men’s Tennis Players.

1) Roger Federer


Roger Federer is #1 for some pretty self explanatory reasons. He holds the most Grand Slam titles among the men at 17 and has been number one ranking for 237 weeks. He is very consistent and seems to be able to ward off injuries unlike many other players on top. He is also probably the most known tennis player and is always a conversation piece anytime tennis is spoken of. He has dominated over the years and that’s why he is number one on my list and as Nike puts it “Federer is Betterer”.

2)Rod Laver


Rod Laver won 8 slams in a row which was something unheard of in his time. He was also first to win all 4 grand slam title in one year making a Career Grand Slam not once but twice. This Aussie has 11 Grand Slams total. Laver holds the record of most singles titles ever won at 200. He had an impeccable serve and volley game as well as solid groundstrokes. Unbeatable in the late 1960’s and even had an arena named after him in Melbourne, Australia where the Australian Open tennis tournament is held.

3)Pete Sampras


Before Federer, Pete Sampras had the most Grand Slams ever won and the most Wimbledon titles. The American Pete Sampras always kept an edge over his rivals and had best serve ever at one time. Pete Sampras won 14 Grand slams in a 14 year span but was never able to master the clay.  His best court was hard court He dominated as the world’s number one from 1993-1998.

4)  Rafael Nadal


Coined the “ King of clay,” Rafael Nadal has really emerged to the top in this decade. He really knows how to play on clay courts, which can be difficult for many players. In the past this Spaniard has won all four Grand Slams twice and each surface at least twice. He has a signature get and the ball never passes him. Focused to the point of superstitious, Nadal is not only interesting to watch but captivating. He uses the most spin out of anyone else and is a versatile all-court player. Nadal holds 14 Grand Slam titles and even one Career Grand Slam. He has won at least one Grand Slam title a year for 10 consecutive years making him on the top ten of the greatest tennis players in history.

5) Bjorn Borg


The pro Bjorn Borg has played tennis professionally from 1973- 1983. Bjorn Borg has 11 Grand Slam titles and has won Wimbledon 5 years in a row and also dominated at the French open. This Swede won Wimbledon and the French open in the same year 3 times which is a rare feat. Besides his tennis playing he also had some pretty memorable hair.

6)Andre Agassi


Andre Agassi is among the best in the history of American tennis players and even of the world.  In his career he has won all 4 Grand Slams. Agassi has one of the best returns of serve around. He also had great hair, but got wiggy with it and donned a wig at one point in his career. Besides his antics he dominated between the 1990s to early 2000s. Agassi won 8 total Grand Slams and 4 of them were the Australian open. For this reason he makes number 6 on my list.

7)john McEnroe


John McEnroe has some of the best volleys despite his unconventional play. He also had trademark tantrums but unlike most tennis players his anger fueled him to win. In the height of his career he had 7 Grand Slams with 4 at the US Open and 3 at Wimbledon. He also played doubles and won 9 Grand Slam doubles titles. He is still playing tennis today at various ATP tournaments and puts on quite the show.

8)Novak Djokovic


Novak Djokovic has been on the scene since 2003 and has dominated in many tennis tournaments as well as in the rankings. He has won every slam except the French. Djokivic has seven Grand Slam titles and held top rank for 119 weeks in a row. He remarkably runs every tennis ball down and has the ability to beat anyone at anytime. Djokovic is a well rounded high endurance tennis player.  He is also a character on and off the court and easily takes the 8 spot.

9)Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl is another tennis great. He ruled in the 1980’s and reached 19 Grand Slam finals and won 8 of them. Lindl was #1 for 270 weeks and won upwards of a thousand singles matches. He had a notable win against John McEnroe at the French Open in 1984 and had asserted his dominance many other times in his career. Lendl had a rough patch with his own country of Czechoslovakia and even ended up eventually applying for US citizenship. His career ended in 1994 but his name is still known in the tennis community.

10) Jimmy Connors


When you hear the name Jimmy Connors, the tennis player will come to mind. Jimmy Connors played professionally over a span of 24 years. In those 24 years he won 8 Grand Slam titles for singles and 2 for doubles. He held the world number 1 ranking for 5 years and was at a top ranking for 15 years. The American had 109 singles titles and won 81% of his matches by the time he retired in 1996. He easily rounds out my top ten tennis players of all time.

That’s our Top Ten List of Best Men’s Tennis Players in the history of the game. Let’s hear it for the boys. Tune in next time for the Top Ten female tennis players of all time.

Think you have what it takes to be one of the greats? It takes time and practice, so grab your tennis racquet, shine up your tennis shoes, and hit the court!
Game on!