Today we bring to you the illustrious list of top 10 greatest male tennis players of the open era. The Open Era of the game started around 50 years back in 1969. In the last 5 decades, great players have emerged creating many illustrious records and dominating the game for a long time. They have become global brand ambassadors of the sport and also helped it to become one of the most popular games worldwide. We bring to you the top 10 greatest male tennis players in terms of records and achievements. For a player to get the entry in this illustrious list we have brought it down to 5 key parameters.
- Consistency of Performance
- Great Records and Achievements
- Strength and Impact of the game
- Longevity and Fitness in the career
- Performance across all Surfaces
10. John McEnroe
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The American who excelled on both singles and doubles on the tennis court was well known for his outrageous talent but also volatile temperament. McEnroe succeeded in winning 7 Grand Slam singles titles in his career. These would include 4 at the US Open and 3 at Wimbledon Championships. John McEnroe’s great rivalry with Bjorn Borg at the grass courts of Wimbledon is still cherished by tennis fans.
He was also a great player on the doubles court having won 9 Grand Slams in that category. McEnroe won 77 singles and 78 doubles titles in his illustrious career. His total of 155 career titles in the most by a male player with singles and doubles put together. In the year 1984, John McEnroe won 82 of the 85 singles matches that he played. That was one of the most successful seasons in Men’s tennis in terms of the win-loss ratio and titles won. Among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
9. Ivan Lendl
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The Czech born American was a powerhouse of talent in the game. Lendl won 94 singles career titles that also included 8 Grand Slams. He won 3 titles each at the French Open and the US Open along with 2 Australian Open trophies. Ivan Lendl finished his singles career with 1068 match wins and 270 weeks as world number 1 player.
His strong baseline game along with great resilience on the court powered Lendl to excel on all surfaces. He also had great resilience and would not give up until the very last point was played. Thus, Lendl, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
8. Jimmy Connors
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The American was known as much for his solid game as his will to never give up on the tennis court. He was also a great example of longevity in the game with a career that spanned over 24 years. Connors won 8 Grand Slams in his career and was also the world number 1 for 268 weeks. He also won a record 109 singles titles and 1274 matches.
Both these great records remain intact. Connors won 5 Grand Slams in his home major of the US Open along with 2 at Wimbledon and 1 at the Australian Open. At Roland Garros, he remained a 4-time semi-finalist. Thus, Connors, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
7. Andre Agassi
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A winner of 60 singles career titles that also included 8 Grand Slams, Andre Agassi is one of the most famous names in tennis. The American legend was known for his great talent and the intense rivalry with compatriot Pete Sampras. Agassi was only the second male player in Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam after he won the French Open in 1998. He also did his country proud by winning the Gold Medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Agassi with his game and charisma also inspired many great tennis players such as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. His attacking return was one the best in history. It stood strong against great servers like Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic. Andre is married to another great tennis icon Steffi Graf of Germany. The couple has both been inducted in the tennis hall of fame. Thus, Agassi, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
6. Bjorn Borg
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Borg was the super Swede with ice blood in his nerves. He dominated the game in the 1970s like none other. Bjorn who was truly the first rock-star of tennis would be at his supreme best on the slow clay of Roland Garros and fast grass of Wimbledon. He won the French Open- Wimbledon double thrice in his career, famously known as the Channel Slam. A winner of 64 career titles, Borg was one of the precociously and naturally gifted players in the game.
He retired with 64 career titles at the young age of 25. Among them were also the 11 Grand Slam. Borg however could not win a hard-court slam in his great career. He did reach the US Open finals 4 times but was unable to lift the title in New York. The former world number 1 was also regarded as the greatest clay-court male champion before Rafael Nadal had his dream run. His winning percentage is one of the highest among the male players. Thus, Borg, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
5. Pete Sampras
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A winner of 14 major titles Pete Sampras was one of the most complete players in the game. He dominated the fast courts as very few other players have. Pistol Pete as he was famously known had one of the greatest serves, coupled with inch-perfect volley skills. This made him extremely successful in Wimbledon grass courts where the American legend won 7 titles.
Pete also was world number 1 for 286 weeks, which was a record during the time he retired from the game. Sampras could however never master the slow clay and thus failed to lift a French Open title and finish the career Grand Slam. This was primarily due to his ultra-aggressive style of playing which was unsuited to the clay courts. Sampras also registered 6 year-end finished as the world number 1 player. This great record remains still untouched by any male player. Thus, Pete, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
4. Rod Laver
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The famous Australian legend proudly referred to as the ‘Rockhampton Rocket’ was regarded as the greatest player ever before Big 3 arrived on the scene. Laver who lost many years of his career due to the amateur professional controversy finished his career win 11 major titles in the Open Era. He also succeeded to win all 4 slams twice in his career in the years 1962 and 1969. Laver lost the prime seasons of his great career after being banned from 1963 to 1968.
Rod Laver had a great game that was suited to the surfaces. His effective serve and volley style on the grass along with the effective baseline skills on the clay made him a very versatile tennis star. He also performed well on the hard and carpet courts. If Laver did not lose those formidable years of the game he may well have won more than 20 Grand Slams. Despite all those setbacks, this cool and humble champion has been ranked by most tennis surveys and experts as one of the greatest to pick up a racket. Thus, Laver, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
3. Novak Djokovic
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The Serbian superstar closely follows his two great rivals in the top 10 greatest male tennis players list. Novak who has so far won 17 Grand Slam titles and been world number 1 for 282 weeks is ranked at 3rd place in our countdown. Djokovic has truly been the player of the last decade as since 2011 he won 16 majors and spent most the most weeks at top of ATP rankings. He possesses a great defense aided with a world-class return of serve and one of the most consistent backhands.
Novak Djokovic has also been the player with most prize money won in the game, He has so far accomplished more than 143 million US $ as the on-court earnings. The great Serb has also won 34 Masters 1000 titles and 5 Nitto ATP year-end finale championships among 79 career titles. He also became the 2nd male player after Rod Laver to hold all 4 majors by winning them back to back in 2014-15. Novak has a great chance to go down as the game’s greatest male player once he finishes his career by improving the records set by his great rivals Federer and Nadal. Thus, Djoker, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
2. Rafael Nadal
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The Spanish sensation has truly been the King of Clay in his illustrious career. He has taken the baseline game to new dazzling heights in tennis. Nadal however has not just belonged to the red dirt only. The Spanish bull famously referred to as El Matador has truly emerged as an all-court champion. Rafa has so far lifted 19 Slams and could surpass his great rival Roger Federer in this list. He has won 35 Masters 1000 tournaments and also the Olympic Medals in singles and doubles. Nadal has so far won 85 singles ATP trophies.
Rafa’s real greatness lies in his resilience. Having faced countless injuries during his great career, the great champion has managed to register remarkable comebacks each time. He has also been world number 1 for 209 weeks. Nadal’s dominance on clay, especially the French Open has been something unheard of not just in tennis but in the whole sporting world. The king of clay has won 93 of the 95 matches there and lifted 12 titles so far in his career. Thus, Nadal, features among the top 10 greatest male tennis players.
1. Roger Federer
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The Swiss maestro has dominated the game in the last 2 decades. Roger Federer leads most of the fellow male tennis players in the most important achievements. His 20 Grand Slams titles and 310 weeks at world number 1 remained unparalleled as of now. Federer has also won the Masters 1000s titles 28 times along with the record 6 Nitto year-end championships. He is now setting sights on 2 elusive records on most singles matches and titles won. Roger is now quickly narrowing the gap with current leader Jimmy Connors in these stats.
However, Federer’s success lies beyond games, records, and numbers. The great elegance of a tennis court, the poetic motion of his game and his swim like movement truly set the great Swiss apart from mere mortals. His longevity is another factor that remains paralleled by a few. At almost 39 years of age, Federer continues to be a part of the top 5.. Federer has undoubtedly been an epitome of efficiency and popularity in the game of tennis. He tops our list of greatest male players of the Open Era in the game. Leads the list of top 10 greatest male tennis players.
This is our list of the 10 greatest male tennis players of the Open Era. There are also few honorable mentions like Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson, Boris Becker, and Stefan Edberg that come very close to the above-mentioned tennis legends. We hope that you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to pen down your valuable comments in the section below.
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