15 Best Tennis Players of All Time

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Hey Tennis Fan! Rooting for your favorite player. Here we present you with the best tennis players of all time.

Tennis! The game is all we know, and love passed through three major centuries and developed into the sport that it has become today. It evolved from the 12th, 16th, and finally, in the 19th century to be what we know now. 

By the late 19th Century, tennis became more of a mainstream sport; ever since, many great players have come and gone.

However, it is quite challenging to compare players of a different era in any sport due to technicality and technology changes.

Despite the challenge, here is our today’s list of the best tennis players of all time. 

15 Best Tennis Players of All Time

Moving on to the list comes the 15 best tennis players of all time with three bonus ones.

15. Venus Williams (Born: June 17, 1980)

Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player. She can establish herself as a powerful server and pro athlete in the field of tennis.

As early as 14 years old, this pro player has won seven grand slam championships, where five of the seven come from Wimbledon.

In addition, Williams has won 14 doubles titles with her sister Serena. Also, she is a former World No.1 in both singles and doubles.

14. John McEnroe (Born: February 16, 1995)

There may have been no one better than John McEnroe regarding hard courts, fast surface, and creative shot-making.  

Likewise, McEnroe is a winner of 77 career titles, 7 Grand Slam Singles, and 881 wins. Also, John was inducted into the tennis hall of fame in 1999. 

13. Jimmy Connors (Born: September 2, 1952)

A true tennis fan will never forget the year 1974 where Jimmy Connors established his dominance of the men’s game. Same year American won 3 majors.

Nevertheless, the same year marked Connors’ 160-week reign as the number 1 men player in the world that stayed unbeaten until three decades.

The player achieved 147 career titles with 8 Grand Slam Single Titles and records for ATP tour titles with 109 valid to date.

Similarly, he retired in 1996 and 1998 was inducted into the Tennis hall of fame.

12. Andre Agassi (Born: April 29, 1970)

Andre Agassi, recognized for his first-strike style of play, is the former world number one tennis player. He is an Olympic gold medalist (1996) with eight grand slam titles.

Moreover, in his 20-years career has won 60 overall titles and holds a career record of 76.0% Win.

Andre-Agassi(Left)-and-Novak-Djokovic: Source Instagram

His remarkable career makes him one of the best tennis players of all time. Over time even his game grew with consistency and accuracy.

Andre Agassi is a great opponent, mover, and brilliant thinker. He belongs to the group of greats.

11. Serena Williams (Born: September 26, 1981)

Yong William took to playing tennis at the age of four along with her sister Venus William. Likewise, she turned to become a professional tennis player in 1995. 

She has won 23 Grand Slams, 73 Career Titles; not only this, but she also became the oldest number one player at 31 years and four months.

Significantly, Serena’s high level of play over a very long career certainly makes her top best tennis player.

“I always believe I can beat the best. Achieve the best. I always see myself in the top position.”- Serena William

10. Billie Jean King (Born: November 22, 1943)

Billie Jean King comes from the era of the best tennis players. King dominated women’s tennis from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

 In her 31 years of career, she has won 12 Grand Slam singles titles and 129 Career titles.

Billie Jean King
Billie-Jean-King: Source Instagram

Notably, King is known for both her on and off-the-field success, where she fought for gender equality in sport and equal pay for women and men in tennis.

9. Ivan Lendl (Born: March 7, 1960)

Ivan Lendl, nicknamed “The Terminator,” is one of the former world number one (270 weeks) players before Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Likewise, he remained the foremost player during the 1980s and the top competitor of the 1990s. Has won 1000 plus singles matches and 94 titles.

In addition, Ivan was inducted into the International Hall of Fame year in 2001. 

Lendl became couch to pro tennis player Andy Murray in 2012 and Alexander Zverev in 2018.

8. Bjorn Borg (Born: June 6, 1956)

Bjorn Borg is one of the two men to appear in four consecutive French Open and Wimbledon Finals.

Also, Borg started his tennis career at a young age and grew in his teenage years. He had an active career year from 1977 to 1980. 

Likewise, Borg has won 66 career titles (11 consecutive Grand Slam single) with an 82.4%. He has the fourth-best record, behind Pete Sampras, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal at the French Open Finals.

Furthermore, Borg won the Overseas Personality award at BBC Sports Personality of the year in 1997.

Sadly, Bjorn retired at the age of just 26 years old.

7. Pete Sampras (Born: August 12, 1971)

One of the best tennis players and greatest of the 1990s, Pete Sampras, has won 14 Grand Slam titles during his career years.

He has earned the nickname “Pistol Pete” for playing singlehandedly with a solid and precise backhand.

Sampras’ victory at Wimbledon(2000), without a doubt, added him to the list of best tennis players of all time. Pete ranked number one for six consecutive years in the Open Era between 1993 and 1998.

Meanwhile, Pete Sampras’ introduced into the Hall of Fame in 2007. A year after that, he won the Olympic gold medal.

6. Novak Djokovic (Born: May 22, 1987)

In the history of professional tennis, Novak Djokovic is one of the best tennis players of all time and an active player. He has held the ranking for the 287 straight weeks. He has won 20 Grand Slam titles. ATP ranked his world number one until 2014.

He made the record of the only player to win the Australian Open single three times in a row (2011-2013).

For 2015 he won the fourth Grand Slam title in a single calendar year. In addition, Novak created an Open-era record for getting six tags in a single season.

In addition, he is the only player to complete a golden career in the ATP World Tour Master 1000.

With the prime year of his career achievements and performances, this player is the best tennis player of all time. And is also one of the candidates for future GOAT. 

5. Rafal Nadal (Born: June 3, 1986)

Spanish tennis player Rafal Nadal Parera is a renowned name among tennis fans.

The young genius described as King of Clay has earned 20 Grand Slam titles and 88 Career titles under his belt and claimed the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal. 

Rafal Nadal
Rafal-Nadal: Source Instagram

In particular, Nadal holds a tournament record of 13 French Open championships.

He is the only Big Three member to play with a left-handed grip. 

Here Rafal Nadal Quotes >>

He is one of the best to breaking severs, regularly appearing in the top five on the return game. Not just this, he is also one of the highest-paid tennis players at present. 

4. Margaret Court (Born: July 16, 1942)

One of the best tennis players also inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997, Margaret Court won 64 Grand Slam.

Her 24 Grand Slam singles titles and 21 in Mixed Doubles are records for both sexes.

In 1970, Court became the first woman in the Open Era to win singles Grand Slam and only two to win Grand Slam in Mixed Double. 

3. Steffi Graf (Born June 14, 1969):

Better known for her consistency throughout her tennis career, Steffi Graf is one of the best female tennis players of all time.

Likewise, Graf holds the record of 377 weeks as number one globally, a tough challenge to both male and female players to date.

Not only this, but also she is the only person to win Calendar Golden Slam, i.e., all 4 Slam titles plus gold at the Olympics in a single calendar year (1988).

In the same way, Graf is the only woman to win Wimbledon nine times in a row (74-7 records)

Sadly, the tennis legend retired back in 1999. However, even after her retirement, Steffi Graf continues to aspire millions worldwide as an example of what great play can be. 

2. Rod Laver (Born: August 9, 1938)

A former Australian tennis player Rod Laver is arguably the best tennis player of all time and mostly during the late 1970s.

Laver is ranked number one in the world for seven consecutive years, 1964-1970. Moreover, he is the only player to have won Grand Slam twice in 1962 and 1969.

Meanwhile, his 200 Career titles which is a record in itself in the history of the game.

Furthermore, he has won 11 Grand Slam Singles titles. In addition, won 8 pro titles, including 1967.

Rod Laver was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981.

1. Roger Federer (Born: August 8, 1981)

A Swiss Professional tennis player, Roger Federer is known for his consistency. Federer won his first Grand Slam Single at Wimbledon in 2003 at the age of 21.

Statically, the 2006 season remained the best season for Federer’s career with 92-5 records, winning 3 out of 4 Grand Slam finals that year.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer: Source Instagram

Federer remained in the top three through most of the 2010s.

A versatile all-court player, Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slam Titles, 103 Career titles, and 1242 singles match.

Similarly, ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) rankings have ranked Federer at number 1 for 310 weeks and has ranked 9th currently(2021).

Federer is also an active philanthropist who’s working for the betterment of impoverished children in southern Africa.

The legacy and popularity of the player among fans make Roger Federer one of the best tennis players ever in history.

Rafael Nadal – ” If anyone says I’m better than Roger, he doesn’t know anything about tennis.”

Jimmy Connors -“You’re either a grass specialist, clay specialist, a hard court specialist, or you’re Roger Federer.”

45 Motivating Roger Federer Quotes >>

Some Honorable mentions:

  • Bill Tilden
  • Ken Rosewell
  • Boris Becker
  • Roy Emerson
  • Anay Murray

Final Words

We sure hope you enjoyed our list of best tennis players ever. We appreciate your time.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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