The Ten Best Tennis Players Of All Time
By Kevin Cain
With W imbledon and Strawberry Teas percolating through the mind it seems apt that an article reflecting one of the world’s oldest games is due and so we take a look at the ten greatest tennis players of all time, five male and five female. The selection has been made using a combination of factors including the amount of titles won and prize money accumulated. Obviously because the modern game has much more prize money floating around than in Don Buge’s day, we have had to employ the Pattaya Trader Adjudication Panel to decide. (If you do not agree, please post on FB or write and tell us)
The Five Greatest Male Tennis Players Of All Time
5. Novak Djokovic
Novak had to feature on this list and it was an easy decision to include him, the Serbian has amassed 66 career titles including 12 Grand Slams. (6 Australian, 3 Wimbledon, 2 US, 1 French)
Djokovic still has time on his side, and if he can remain injury free then who knows he might climb higher on our list.
4. Rafael Nadal
If it was not for being hampered by the recurring problems Rafael has suffered with tendinitis, he may have well won a great many more titles than he has. Nicknamed the “King of Clay” he is generally considered the greatest clay court player of all time.
3. Rod Laver
For our younger readers Rod Laver may not be a familiar name as he retired in 1979 and it is difficult to consider how he would have fared against the players of today but his record stands for itself. He was rated world number 1 for seven straight years (1964-1970) and won 200 career titles, more than anyone in the history of the game.
Considering that for much of his career the Grand Slam tournaments were only for amateurs, his record is unbelievable.
2. Pete Sampras
Sampras was number one ranked player for six consecutive years and when he won his 14th Grand Slam it was a record at the time. He played in an era that threw up epic battles against Andre Agassi,and captured the tennis world’s attention as well as the spectators’.
1. Roger Federer
Nobody can possibly dispute our choice for the number one position. His record of 18 Grand Slam titles is beyond argument and his 302 weeks ranked as the world number one is an open-era record. Nowadays some of the up and coming newcomers can find ways to beat the master, but even so his epic 2017 Australian Open victory over Nadal proves he can still beat the best.
Roger Federer is a perfect sportsman on court and a gentleman off, his temperament has been key to his success and he is a role model to all the younger players learning the game.
The Five Greatest Female Tennis Players Of All Time
5. Margaret Court
There are some people who would pick Margaret as their number one, and undoubtedly her record speaks for itself. Margaret Court won 24 Grand Slam Singles Titles and 192 career titles.She was the first woman in the open-era to win the Singles Grand Slam in 1970, and she is one of the first athletes to incorporate weights and fitness training into her tennis regime.
4. Chris Evert
Chris Evert oozed class and grace when she was on court, and was one of formative players to use a baseline game. With her powerful two-handed backhand, she dominated the women’s game from the mid-1970’s right into the early eighties. She still holds the record for reaching the most Grand Slam singles finals with 34, winning 18 of them. She had a career winning percentage in singles matches of over 90 percent.
3. Martina Navratilova
Almost the opposite of our former player, Martina was one of the toughest competitors ever to play the ladies game. She was extremely fit and utilised a huge serve to grind her opponents down.
With 59 Grand Slam titles including singles, doubles and mixed doubles she was also a very versatile player. Although a formidable singles player, she will probably best best remembered as one of the greatest doubles players of all time, winning 31 Grand Slam Doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam Mixed Doubles.
2. Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf’s great strength was that she was just as good on one type of surface as another and consistently good.Her record of 377 weeks being ranked as the world’s number one is a record for any tennis player, male or female.
She was inducted into the tennis Hall of Fame in 2004, probably due to her career from the late 1980’s to the mid-90’s when nobody surpassed her. When she retired in 1999 she was still ranked as number three in the world.
1. Serena Williams
Our choice for the women’s number one slot is as per our one for the men’s in that it cannot be disputed. Serena Williams is without doubt one of the strongest and most powerful women ever to play the game. Together with her sister Venus, the Williams sisters have dominated the ladies game for almost twenty years, steam-rollering every opponent.
Amazingly at the age of 35, Serena has regained the number one ranking in the world, a ranking that she first achieved way back in 2002. Her game has adapted to withstand the tennis test of time, highlighted by her Grand Slam victories spreading over an eighteen year period.
This makes her the undisputed number one female tennis player ever!
So what did you think of our top ten selection? Are there any players that you consider should have made it? Or has the Pattaya Trader Adjudication Panel come up trumps with their selection?