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The Best Tennis Players All Time

The Best Tennis Players of All Time: The Big Three

Roger Federer has retired, Novak Djokovic has won his 22nd Grand Slam to tie with Rafael Nadal in Grand Slam titles for most in the Open Era. This is a good time to step back and evaluate where we are in the race in tennis history to be the greatest male tennis players of all time. For years this has been a silent arms race to accumulate grand slam titles and weeks at number one between three players. Federer’s career is in the books now and the two other members of the Big 3 are tied for grand slam titles and push on. Lets take a look to see where these three legends now stand in the pantheon of all-time greats. Not much is likely to change at the top of these greatest of all-time rankings for decades, if ever, once the final stretch run playing tennis of the careers of Nadal and Djokovic are complete.

As we have talked about previously in other articles Grand Slam titles are not the end all be all at least when trying to compare eras in our opinion. We lay out our reasoning for the Australian Open (the little secret no one talks about) in particular, and how it was not played often by non-Australians for much of its history. We believe that needs to be pointed out when talking about slams as a major factor. Some of the other players who never played it were automatically at a disadvantage for tennis players in accumulating Grand Slam titles.

There are also players that had to navigate the changing game and professional rules in the pre-open and early-open era. Players like Laver and Rosewall were tennis players in their 30s before they were playing other pros in Grand Slam titles which skews their resumes and has to be considered. There was an equipment transition in the 1980s that really changed the game as well many all-time greats had to navigate. Andy Murray and several players of the more recent era had the bad luck of being in an era with the Big 3. In fact, the Big 3 canalized their own accomplishments as the best male tennis players in many ways.

We will try to adjust for that some of the tennis players of that era or that played when the Australian Open Grand Slam wasn’t as popular to compete for. We will also consider the Grand Slam titles equivalents prior to the Open Era some of the professionals competed for.

Many of the players have different types of careers as well. A player like Bjorn Borg that retired at 25 years old possibly could have been the best tennis player of all time if he had been more motivated. Longevity and staying power have to be considered and not just each major title. There are so many factors as to who should go where in these greatest of all-time rankings, but this is our list and criteria which is widely accepted in history. These are our best male tennis players as we see them by the numbers, and for us Grand Slam tournaments aren’t the entire resume.

Male Tennis Players

Legend: Big Tournaments (BT) are Grand Slams, ATP tour finals Titles, Masters, and Olympic gold medal

Grand Slams (GS), Finals (F), Titles (T) Weeks 1 (W1), Winning Percentage W%

1Novak Djokovic2436699639083.7
2Rafael Nadal2230599220983.0
3Roger Federer20315410331081.9
4Bjorn Borg1116256610982.5
5Pete Sampras1418326428677.4
6Jimmy Connors8153110926881.7
7Ivan Lendl819339427081.5
8John McEnroe711327717081.6
9Rod Laver56257221979.7
10Andre Agassi815276010176.0
11Andy Murray31120464175.4
12Boris Becker61023491276.9
13Stefan Edberg61114427274.8
14Ken Rosewall4813402673.7
15Mats Wilander71115332071.8
16Ilie Nastase2512658872.8
17John Newcombe571241871.6
18Guillermo Vilas48862076.4
19Stan Smith23749071.7
20Arthur Ashe35845075.2
21Jim Courier479235868.1
22Lleyton Hewitt246308070.2
23Carlos Alcaraz226123678.9
24Stan Wawrinka34416062.6
25Andy Roddick156321374.1
26Gustavo Kuerten339204364.7
27Yevgeny Kafelnikov23326666.6
28Marat Safin24715961.2
29Jan Kodes3539063.6
30Michael Chang14834068.0
31Daniil Medvedev158201671.5
32Juan Martin Del Potro12222071.6
33Thomas Muster11944669.6
34Vitas Gerulaitis13626069.6
35Carlos Moya12420264.3
36Patrick Rafter24411165.2
37Juan Carlos Ferrero13516864.6
38Michael Stich13518068.6
39Goran Ivanisevic14422064.3
40Yannick Noah11523069.4
41Roscoe Tanner12416066.7
42Sergi Bruguera23414062.3
43Marin Cilic13220064.0
44Dominic Thiem14217063.4
45Richard Krajicek11317065.2
46Manuel Orantes12335071.7
47Johan Kriek22414062.9
48Andres Gomez11321065.9
49Petr Korda12310062.3
50David Ferrer01127066.1

Top 10 Male Tennis Players of All Time

1. Novak Djokovic

I believe the data is clear at this point that Novak Djokovic is the best player that has ever lived. To do what he did in the era he did, especially with Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray is unmatched. We believe his game carries the best on all surfaces, and he’s one of the mentally strongest players the sport has ever seen. He has the highest peak Elo, the most big tournament wins, the most weeks at #1, and now is tied for the most Grand Slam titles even in the incredible era he played.

Djokovic still seems to have good years left in the tank as well whereas Nadal is starting to break down. Even as a bigger fan personally of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic is undoubtedly number 1. He seems to be third among tennis fans in popularity of the Big 3. I’ve believed this was the case for several years now, and after winning Grand Slam titles number 21 and 22 passing Federer to tie Nadal with 22 grand slam titles, it’s hard for anyone to argue. Especially when he exceeds them in all other metrics. Djokovic’s playing style is the most versatile and carries the best over all surfaces and courts.

With his stance on vaccines, the hope now is that he can just play all calendar Grand Slam events in a given year. Off the court, things have cost him several opportunities as a tennis player. Perhaps the only real failure was never winning the career golden slam (all majors and a Gold at the Olympics). He may have one more serious chance whereas two male tennis players have we will talk about coming up. The Olympics do count like Grand Slams in that context. With so few chances I think they have perhaps more weight.

Djokovic also has seven Wimbledon titles one from tying Roger Federer and is going for five consecutive Wimbledon titles. Five consecutive Wimbledon titles were also only accomplished once, by Roger Federer. Seven Wimbledon titles and counting and heading for his record eighth Wimbledon title potentially this season. It’s also impressive in the era of Nadal he was able to win the French open title twice for the double grand slam. That’s only been accomplished by one other male player, Nadal. Djokovic has also hit a higher peak Elo than any other player as well.

1Novak Djokovic2629
2Bjorn Borg2622
3John McEnroe2583
4Rafael Nadal2552
5Roger Federer2550
6Jimmy Connors2521
7Ivan Lendl2518
8Rod Laver2509
9Andy Murray2500
10Guillermo Vilas2431
11Boris Becker2419
12Pete Sampras2407

23 Grand Slam titles

  • Australian Open: 10 titles (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023)
  • French Open: 2 titles (2016, 2021, 2023)
  • Wimbledon: 7 titles (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
  • US Open: 3 titles (2011, 2015, 2018)

2. Rafael Nadal

We have Rafael Nadal second and his domination of clay is special. He certainly is the King of Clay and the greatest clay court player ever. Nadal’s first grand slam and first french open title came in 2005, and amazingly he’s still winning 17 years later. That reliance on one surface in the Grand Slam titles I believe hurts his overall legacy some. Like Grass it’s more of an alternative surface, but one that plays less like the standard hard courts than the grass of today. I believe that has to be a minor negative on his resume. We have seen players in the past like Muster hack the system and ride basically only one surface to number one in the world to critics’ dismay. It’s a debate we will look into at some point deeper, but one that is valid and the perceptions of Grand Slam titles value. His first Wimbledon title will never be forgotten vs Roger Federer as one of the great matches in tennis history, but Roland Garros is home.

Variety in Court Surfaces

Nadal has had other success certainly, but when comparing to Djokovic I don’t think his game carries as well overall surface-to-surface or is as well-rounded. That said Nadal has a career Golden Slam winning all four grand slam singles titles plus the Olympic Gold Medal. Andre Agassi is the only other player on this list in and in the tennis world to accomplish that. He is also one of only two players with Novak Djokovic with the double career grand slam. He still managed to win two Wimbledon titles which is impressive considering how good Federer and Djokovic were and how many Wimbledon titles they have in the era as well.

Head-to-head Djokovic leads is 30-29 and they are basically the same age. It’s really close, the only question now is can his body hold out enough to stay in the Grand Slam titles race now they are tied at 22. I thought physically he was done several years back, and he’s added multiple Grand Slam titles since then, so you have to give him the benefit of doubt that he can gut through his problems if his body allows. That fight and problem-solving are some of his greatest qualities as a tennis player. Djokovic has also missed a significant amount of calendar Grand Slam for injury over the years. 22 Grand Slam titles and he’s still playing. For now, he has said 2024 may be his last year.

22 Grand Slam titles

  1. French Open: (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)
  2. US Open: (2010, 2013, 2017
  3. Wimbledon: (2008, 2010)
  4. Australian Open: (2009, 2022)

3. Roger Federer

I think the fact Roger Federer won some Grand Slam titles in a weaker era than the era Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic won all matters. Let me say I do not believe that the era Roger Federer started in was as weak in general or as some try to make it out to be. It just wasn’t the greatest era with Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray all in their primes those players spent their entire careers in. Nadal and Djokovic only knew an era where the Big 3 and Andy Murray existed, so it’s even more impressive what they accomplished as tennis players.

Saying this is as someone who respects the generation Roger Federer is from more than most. That is my generation in fact. Regardless of how strong you believe the Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, generation was where Roger Federer banked some slams, it wasn’t nearly as strong as what would follow. The one after had three of the greatest players ever all essentially the same age. Federer did well in that era as well. His serve and volley game allowed him to be great into his late 30s but he is clearly the third-best player now that the dust has settled of all time. With 103 career titles and 20 Grand Slams it’s still an amazing career by a male player.

  1. Wimbledon – 2003
  2. Australian Open – 2004
  3. Wimbledon – 2004
  4. US Open – 2004
  5. Wimbledon – 2005
  6. US Open – 2005
  7. Wimbledon – 2006
  8. US Open – 2006
  9. Australian Open – 2007
  10. Wimbledon – 2007
  11. US Open – 2007
  12. US Open – 2008
  13. French Open – 2009
  14. Wimbledon – 2009
  15. Australian Open – 2010
  16. Wimbledon – 2012
  17. Wimbledon – 2017
  18. Australian Open – 2017
  19. Wimbledon – 2017
  20. Australian Open – 2018

4. Bjorn Borg

It’s possible that Borg could have gone down as the best player ever if he had the drive and motivation to play beyond 25 years old. He retired at 25. He won 11 majors in 28 attempts (he only played the Australian once). He is the only player with that kind of winning percentage. He just doesn’t have the longevity to really put himself in the conversation at the very top. You have to penalize him for walking away and robbing the sport of more greatness and having no longevity. If it were because of an injury I think you could be more sympathetic, but it wasn’t. His obsessive training schedule helped lead to the burnout.

We just don’t know how he would have won if he stuck around for longer, or if the Australian Open wasn’t as marginalized in the period. I think you got to give the benefit of the doubt to the Big 3 that actually did it, and powered through a lot of injuries and mental burnout in the process. We dug into the landscape of tennis when he retired and tried to project how many he would have won here if you are interested. We are skeptical that with the change of equipment that was coming at the same time he retired, that he would have been as dominant anyway had he not retired.

Borg along with Nadal are the only players to pass a fourth french open title or more (Borg 6). One of the biggest negatives for Borg was he wasn’t able to win the US Open. This was in a period when when the US Open rotated surfaces as well and he was a top level player on on surfaces. Borg did a lot for pushing the sport forward in a period it was at it’s height of popularity perhaps. He brought the cool factor but his entire career was very short relative to other greats.

5. Pete Sampras

These two are perhaps the most difficult to rank, but I believe connected in how we must view both. Pete Sampras has 14 Grand Slam titles, but he also was a total zero on clay never playing in a final much less winning a French Open title. That hurts his rank as does his weaker relative all-time win percentage and his pretty pedestrian number of titles overall and big titles. When you compare that to Andy Murray for example who was playing in an era with the top 3 players of all time and who’s prime parallel, it’s hard to compare. The surfaces also began to play more alike with some changes at Wimbledon after he retired and serving was less rewarded overall in the game.

Another aspect is Murray’s injury. Had he stopped when he had his first hip surgery his career would have been almost identical in length to Pete Sampras. Murray has weakened his overall numbers by playing on as a diminished player, mostly from injury. I respect the effort, love of the game, and longevity even with serious health issues.

When you understand that Murray was constantly running into the Big 3 in the Semi-Finals in each Grand Slam, and Big Tournaments I think you get more of a sense of his all-time standing. Prior to Murray’s hip surgery, he had almost identical semi-finals appearances in the Grand Slam tournaments as Pete Sampras, actually better. It’s hard to not give him more credit considering who was waiting in the SF’s and Finals in most Grand Slam tournaments. It wasn’t players like Goran Ivanicevic, Carlos Moya, and Patrick Rafter most of the time that stopped his grand slam runs.

Major Semi-Finals

1Roger Federer46
1Novak Djokovic46
3Rafael Nadal38
4Jimmy Connors31
5Ivan Lendl28
6Andre Agassi26
7Pete Sampras23
8Andy Murray21
9John McEnroe19
9Stefan Edberg19
11Boris Becker18
12Bjorn Borg17

Djokovic 69 Majors / 44 SF’s..63.7%
Bjorg 28 majors / 17 SF’s …63%
Federer 81 Majors /46 SF’s. 57%
Nadal 67 Majors / 38 SF’s..56.7%
Conners 57 Majors/ 31 SF’s 54%
Lendel 57 Majors / 28 SF’s..50%
McEnroe 40 Majors / 19 SF’s.48%
Sampras 52 Majors / 23 SF.s?45%
Agassi 60 Majors / 26 SF’s..44%
Becker 46 Majors / 18 SFs.40%

Murray 56 Majors / 21 SF’s.37.5%

Edberg 54 Majors / 18 SF’s..34%

Semi-finals in Slams (before the hip replacement)

Sampras 23 in 52…44%

Murray 21 in 46..46%

Murray at the same age had a better Major Semi-Finals percentage. Had they switched eras, Sampras would have fewer grand slam singles titles, but I don’t believe their talents were as far apart as most would. Murray still had a higher peak Elo, a close win percentage, and won 20 big tournaments, vs 32 and virtually the same number of semi-finals and 1 more quarter-finals in Grand Slam tournaments. The only difference is he had a top 3 all-time player waiting for him in nearly every tournament he played. We talk about how many Murray may have had here if even one of the Big 3 wasn’t around. Sampras also probably left a Grand Slam or two on the table retiring relatively early when he was still winning and one of the top tennis players. He would have been a threat to win Grand Slams into his mid 30’s had he not retired.

6. Jimmy Conners

Conner’s deserves a lot of credit as a tennis player for how well he navigated the transition to a modern graphite tennis racket. First announced to the tennis world as a brash 20-year-old and dominated from nearly the start vs the fading generation that included Laver and Rosewall. He would remain relevant in the tennis world as well still a top 10 player as late as his mid 30’s. This even as the game changed around him. He wasn’t physically big but he was relentless and had a game that allowed him to play into his 40’s even with the bombers that would emerge. That longevity fueled 109 overall career titles which is still the most all time. He also has an impressive nearly 82% win percentage and eight grand slam titles.

7. Ivan Lendl

Lendl is one of the pioneers of the modern game as we know it now with his more Western grip. He was also one of the first to adopt the modern racket and came along at an age where he likely benefited more than anyone with the transition. Don’t get me wrong he was a great player certainly, but had he been born 10 years earlier when wood and steel ruled, or 10 years later when everyone was at an age and had more time to adapt their game I don’t think he would have the same stature or win eight grand slam titles as he did.

8. John McEnroe

John McEnroe and Lendl were of a similar age, but their games couldn’t have been more different. John McEnroe had a game built for an earlier era. Where the transition to modern equipment we believe added Lendl, it was a detriment to John McEnroe. His serve and volley game and eastern grip still won after, but not nearly as much. He also seemed to lose the drive after his measuring stick in Bjorn Borg retired. Like with all Western players the Australian open in the 70’s and 80s just wasn’t as big either. One of his most notable achievements was defending home turf and blocking Borg from that first grand slam title at the US Open. He beat him twice in finals. John McEnroe was probably the best doubles player among the all-time greats as well winning 9 doubles Grand Slam titles there as well to go with his seven grand slam titles in tennis history.

9. Rod Laver

The forearm won 11 majors in total. Unfortunately, six were prior to the Open Era. To that point, professionals were allowed to play in Gran Slam titles. He won 8 “professional” Grand Slam titles in this span. (US Pro, Wembley Pro, French Pro) He still had an all-time great career but like his countryman, Ken Rosewall was already in his 30’s when the rules changed for the Open Era and past his true prime. It’s a career that is harder to qualify for since he spanned this tennis transition. He’s still no doubt one of the best in tennis history. He was also an accomplished double player as well winning 8 double Grand Slam Titles to go along with the 5 Open Era Grand Slam singles title.

10. Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi is one of those players that probably could have accomplished more than he did. That’s saying something as he’s one of the few players ever with a Golden Slam. He wasn’t very focused early in his career. Often times he was hurt or distracted by his off-the-court superstardom and tennis seemed secondary. For example, he’s told the story about how his hair weave and the fear of it falling off probably cost him the 1990 French Open. Andre Agassi skipped Wimbledon for three years partly in protest of having to wear white and he didn’t play in the Australian the first 8 years of his career he rarely played all four grand slam events. Ironically an unexpected Wimbledon title would be his first grand slam title. There were a lot of missed opportunities in those years as a tennis player when he obviously had the talent that was spent more on image and celebrity and winning a grand slam title.

By the same token if he had been 100% dialed in from year one of his career I’m not sure if he plays until into his mid-30s. Like Pete Sampras and others before him it’s also possible he burns out far sooner or his body breaks down sooner as it did in the end. This could have been the career he always would have had, but I could have seen 2 or 3 more Grand Slam Titles if Andre Agassi was as focused as a tennis player early on as he would be later in his career. Murray very well could be a top ten player all time.

11. Andy Murray

We’ve already talk earlier about Murray, he’s one of the best tennis players in our opinion. If he was in another era without the Big 3 he would have more Grand Slams. Murray made it to the final of 11 grand slam singles titles. He lost 8 of them to Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. Murray is the only player that I really feel his grand slam numbers aren’t reflective of his overall talent. He’s not the only player that was unlucky in the era, but he was the only player that could have been an all-time great himself if he was in another era. Murray has an Olympic gold medal as well which I believe counts like a Major as well for tennis players. It’s rare and you only have a few chances in your career.

12. Boris Becker

Becker won Wimbledon at the age of 17 to become the youngest Grand Slam singles winner ever at the time (later broken by Michael Chang). He would go back to back at Wimbledon winning again the following year as well.

Becker would have an outstanding career winning 6 grand slam singles titles the last at age 29 in 1996, but he was at his peak those seven straight years when he first broke onto the big stage at 17. He was a great player and that was proven out, but the mid 1980’s were a bit of a transition year in equipment with most players having switched over to graphite only recently. This may have allowed him as a younger more adaptable player without the built in habits to excel early on while other older players who were good on grass were figuring out how to navigate the change out.

13. Stefan Edberg

Edberg won 6 grand slam singles titles evenly distributed 2 each between Wimbledon, Australian Open, and US Open. He came as close as nearly any modern player to winning all four major tournaments to completing the grand slam by winning the French Open. He was in the Finals of the French Open in 1989 losing in 5 sets at Roland Garros to a 17 year old Chang (his only grand slam victory). Edberg was also an accomplished doubles player among the greats as well winning three doubles grand slam titles.

14. Ken Rosewall

Ken Rosewall’s legacy like Rod Laver is affected by the rules changing so much and leading into the Open Era. He still was very competitive, and one of the top tennis players, but his best years were behind him by that point. Unfortunately, the timing of his and Rod Laver’s careers doesn’t allow for true comparisons of Grand Slam singles. He is only credited for four grand slam singles titles in the Open Era. The best indication of his talent was that he was still going to Grand Slam finals into his late 30’s and early 40’s. If you include the alternate majors prior to the Open Era, the US Pro, Wembley Pro, and French Pro he won 15 of those in the 1960’s in his prime. He also won 8 total grand slam singles titles across both eras and 9 doubles grand slam titles He was just a victim of timing in a way.

15. Mats Wilander

Wilander won 7 grand slam singles titles, more than both Becker and Edberg. He has a case to rank higher but overall I do believe they had the better overall resumes. All three would be on the same tier for me because it’s close, but there is more than just Grand Slam singles titles. Both Wilander and Edberg lost in four grand slam titles finals, Becker 3. It’s all similar, but Edberg and Becker won more outside of the slams. Grass courts were his weakness never making it past the QF’s at Wimbledon. Some of the Australian Opens were in an era of weaker fields as well. The US Open 1988, French Open 1982, French Open 1985, and French Open 1988 titles are all very strong accomplishments. Certainly a stronger player on clay courts than hard and grass courts. He’s not quite one of the top 10 players of players of all time like Andre Agassi who also has 7 titles. Certaily not comparable to Nadal and Novak Djokovic. He did spend 20 weeks at number one in the world rankings.

Carlos Alcaraz: A Heat Seeker Enters the Top 25

There seems to be little doubt if Carlos Alcaraz can stay healthy he’s going to make a big push towards the top before all is said and done. After his epic and historic Wimbledon victory over Novak Djokovic, he’s already entered the top 25 of all time in our opinion. I don’t think anyone expected Alcaraz to win at Wimbledon this early, especially over Djokovic no less, not with the form Novak was in. It wasn’t beating and old man as Djokovic was coming off of winning the first 2 majors of the year and the last 3 he had played in as well as the last four Wimbledon championships.

Honorable Mentions

Stan Wawrninka has 3 Grand Slam Titles as a tennis player (the same as Andy Murray and we detailed earlier) in the toughest era facing many of the same issues as Murray, why isn’t he ranked higher? I just couldn’t get there when you look at the overall resume. He has only 16 titles overall and 4 Big Tournaments wins. Certainly, the Big 3 / Big 4 cost him in a similar way to how it did Andy Murray, but Murray made so many more finals and semi-finals. He still won bigger even if they have three grand slam titles in ther tennis career.

Wawrinka did make the most of his opportunities as a tennis player when they presented themselves winning 3 different majors in only 4 Grand Slam finals appearances. That’s capitalizing, I just don’t think he has enough weight on the resume otherwise, and his 62.6% win percentage is pretty low. I understand tennis players like Andy Roddick skews his percentages by comparison to Wawrinka by retiring so young. He’s not the only player that has an inflated winning percentage with a shorter career. I think you need to reward longevity and is still playing now and hurting that win percentage. Even in a shorter career Roddick just did more in my opinion, even if less of his career overlapped directly with all of the Big 4.

Head-to-Head Performance

PlayerDjokovicNadalFedererWin %Finals win %
Novak Djokovic30-2927-2357-52 (52.3%)28-19 (59.6%)
Rafael Nadal29-3024-1653-46 (53.5%)27-25 (51.9%)
Roger Federer23-2716-2439-51 (43.3%)16-27 (37.2%)

What would it take for Nadal to take over 1st?

Nadal and Djokovic are a similar age and theoretically could play another 5 years as high level tennis players as they are now. I can’t see Nadal overtaking Djokovic though, mostly because Djokovic seems to have better overall health, drive, and longevity for a tennis player. The only way at this point I can really see the tide turning is if some vaccination status annoys Djokovic enough that he walks away from being a tennis player and competing for grand slam singles title. I don’t see that happening with Nadal still around though. Make no mistake this is a race still for who has the most grand slam singles titles in male tennis.

If Nadal added a couple more and had a 2 Grand Slam leads, it’s more of a conversation. I don’t see that happening though. I believe Djokovic will be a high level tennis player play longer and win more in whatever time they both have left cementing both’s legacy as number one and number 2 tennis player ever. Roger Federer’s a nice player, and my favorite of the three, but he’s been passed for me in tennis player legacy. All of these players are heading to the international tennis hall of fame if they are not already in it. These are the players with Grand Slam success in the Grand Slam singles tournaments. It’s this Grand Slam count that is the biggest factor in who is crowned the greats men’s tennis player and men’s tennis players. As it should be. This isn’t world team tennis. It’s just one player out there competing against 1 other players in singles for that first grand slam title and a Grand Slam tournament as professional tennis players.

The Greatest Women Tennis Players of All Time

Open Era
Serena Williams237341983.22389
Steffi Graf2210839788.92580
Martina Navratilova1817734986.32647
Chris Evert181639889.12622
Margaret Court*119719090.32618
Monica Seles95328382.82534
Billie Jean King98411080.12564

Monica Seles

The women’s all time greatest rankings become much more subjective for several factors. The first of which is that many of Margaret Courts grand slams were prior to the Open Era. Another unfortunate one was the attack on Monica Seles. That robbed the sport of two of the all time greats of female tennis with Monica Seles and Steffi Graf going head-to-head more. It greatly impacted Seles’s career. That also indirectly gave Graf a boost taking out here biggest rival of her era. Unfortunately, that’s what the perpetrator of the attack intended. There is a pretty clear top 7 players in the sport of women’s tennis of which Seles must be included for those factors as well.

Margaret Court, the Australian tennis player won 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in tennis history. That is a little misleading though as 13 came prior to the open era. She also won 19 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles and 21 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Margaret Court had a total of 24 Grand Slam titles is the most by any player in tennis history. We list them but must understand the context and history of tennis at this time. It’s still very impressive. It’s also a number of grand slams I’m sure Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have circled for obvious reasons.

Margaret Court

Margaret Court is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Her accomplishments on the court are unparalleled, and her record of 24 grand slam singles titles remains an incredible feat that has yet to be matched. In this article, we’ll explore Court’s remarkable career and delve into why her Grand Slam record is such an impressive accomplishment. By the pure number of Grand Slams she has more than any female or male player.

  • Australian Open: 11 titles (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973)
  • French Open: 5 titles (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973)
  • Wimbledon: 3 titles (1963, 1965, 1970)
  • US Open: 5 titles (1962, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1973)

Steffi Graf and Serena Williams

Steffi Graf and Serena Williams are the greatest female tennis players ever. Serena Williams was likely the most talented women’s player that the game has ever seen. Wimbledon title, US Open, French Open, Australian Open they both were virtually unbeatable. If you put her and Graf against one another for one match, or a series of matches, I would put my money on Serena Williams. We still believe Steffi Graf had the best overall career in women’s tennis and by the numbers is the greatest female tennis player. Steffi Graf won all 4 majors and the calendar Grand Slam once. Steffi Graf won five in a row and went to 13 finals in a row in the stretch. Serena Williams held the Grand Slam title for all 4 but not in the same year.

Even with the boost she probably received with Seles being impacted, she was on track to be the best female tennis player with the number of grand slam titles she posted. The numbers and what she accomplished in a shorter career are overwhelming. Especially when you consider Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert were still top players when she first started to win majors and were previously considered the best female tennis player. She defeated Navratilova four times in Grand Slams and Evert once to go on the resume. What Serena did in majors was impressive but the entire resume matters when considering the best female tennis player. Her biggest competition was mostly from her sister Venus Williams who she had played tennis with her entire life and knew all the weaknesses. Steffi Graf had, an older, but still very dangerous Navratilova and Seles to deal with much of her career.

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