From the outside, ranking the greatest male tennis players of all time could appear like an easy task. However, dig a little bit below the surface, and it’s remarkably nuanced, brimming with subjectivity and emotion.
Nevertheless, working through the data and then thinking through the logic behind how one may rank players is a fun exercise. In this article, we’ll share our selection of the greatest tennis players of all time.
With a long career that included both the pre and post Open Era, without a doubt Ken Rosewall deserves a place among the all-time great tennis players. His eight Grand Slam titles – together with 15 Major Championships – undoubtedly gives Rosewall a place in tennis immortality.
With a career that began in the early 1950s and ended up with his retirement in 1980, the quick and agile Australian was legendary for his backhand and his crisp and precise volleying. His very last Grand Slam title came at the 1972 Australian Open when Rosewell was 37, which is still a record for the world’s oldest Grand Slam winner.
The 1999 Hall of Famer – John McEnroe -is the next tennis player on this list, having over 100 career titles with seven Grand Slams. He was a controversial character with his fierce attitude, but his ability on the courts was not questioned.
Rafter might very well be the last true serve-and-volley Grand Slam champion. Even though he played a short career, this Australian won back-to-back US Open titles in 1997 and 1998.
In addition, Rafter was twice a runner-up at Wimbledon, one of those times being defeated by Pete Sampras. He also won 10 doubles titles, netting the Australian Open title together with doubles legend Jonas Bjorkman in 1999. He was voted into the Australian Open Hall of Fame on Australia Day in 2008.
Roger Federer has impressed spectators with a jaw-dropping range of shots since his debut in 1998. In addition, he has collected quite the trophy cabinet.
Federer has bagged eight Wimbledon titles, five US Opens, six Australian Opens as well as a French Open title in 2009. Thus, his Grand Slam total stands at a massive 20 – however he has not won a major tournament since 2018. Already in the twilight of his tennis career, the Swiss icon might soon hang up his racquet.
However Federer may not be done with tennis. Reports claim that the 40-year-old is planning a comeback and this news is as exciting as claiming an online casino welcome bonus from a top rated site!
By the time Andre Agassi finished his 20-year career, we had also come to respect him as a great tennis player and spokesman for the game. With those killer ground strokes and returns of serve, no list of the greatest tennis players would be complete without Agassi.
Off the court, Agassi has proven to be a champion as well. There may be no athlete out there who does more for their community than Agassi and his wife, tennis legend Steffi Graf.