Ever since I was a competitive young player, I have had a lifelong obsession with tennis to follow the top players in the world.
I grew up playing tennis in the 1970s, which was a great time to play tennis. Only then, especially here in the United States, has the sport of tennis really become a mainstream sport for privileged individuals, the likes of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn borg, John Mcenroe, Chris Evert, and others. In addition, there were enough personalities in and out of the court to advance the feud. Since then, many great players have come and gone. Because of the change in technology and the high quality of fitness, it is difficult to compare players from different eras in any sport, so choosing the biggest player so far can be a difficult and very thematic task.
I think most fans can agree that we are currently the 3 biggest witnesses so far in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Despite the challenge, here is my list of the ten best male tennis players of the Open Era – 1968 to offer. I’ve actually included eleven players here with two greats tied for tenth place.
Born: 2 November 1934 Sydney, Australia
Lives: Sydney, Australia
Turned pro: 1957
Career Prize money: 60 1,602,700 Career 133 titles
8 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian, 2 French , 2 US Open 15
Pro Majors: 2 US Pro, 5 Wembley Pro, 8 French Pro
Involved in Tennis Hall of Fame: 1980
With a long career, including both Open Era and Post, Ken Roosevelt certainly deserves to be in the tennis all-time greats.
Its eight Grand Slam titles, along with 15 major championships, have undoubtedly qualified Rozswal for tennis immortality. With a career that began in the early 1950s and ended with his retirement in 1980, the fast and agile Asi was known for his backhand and crisp and accurate walking. His last Grand Slam title came at the age of 37 at the 1972 Australian Open, the record for the oldest Grand Slam winner ever.
I saw Ken Caswell play in the last part of his career and at the time I probably didn’t realize the greatness I was seeing. Competing with the next generation of tennis giants at their age speaks volumes about their conditioning and mental toughness. I put him in 10th position with Andre Agassi because I think both players are capable of being in the top ten.
Born: April 29, 1970 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Lives in: Las Vegas, Nevada
Turned pro: 1986
Career prize money: 31,152,975 61 career titles
8 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian, 1 French, 2 US Open, 1 Wimbledon Olympic gold medalist 1996
Inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame: 2011
When he first appeared on the tennis scene in the late 1980s, who can forget the young, brave, long-haired Andre Agassi? I have to admit that at first I was denied by his seemingly “rock star” form and attitude.
But something happened along the way, and when he ended his 20-year career, I was not only a fan but I came to respect him as the best player and spokesman for the game. With these killer groundstrokes and a return to service, no top 10 list would be complete without Andre Agassi. Outside the court, Agassi has also been a champion. There can be no athlete who does more for his community than Agassi and his wife, tennis legend Steffi Graf.
Born: 16 February 1959 Wiesbaden, West Germany
Lives: New York City
Turned pro: 1978
Retired: 1992 Career prize money: 12,547,797 Career 105 titles
7 Grand Slam singles titles: 3 Wimbledon , 4 US Open
Tennis Hall of Fame inducted: 1999
What do we do about Johnny Mack? Well, for starters we add it to our all time post list. When it comes to tough courts, sharp levels and creative shot making, there is probably no better. His flamboyant demeanor and occasional bad boy behavior made tennis fans either hate him or love him. Below was a highly competitive player who hated losing and sometimes let his emotions get the better of him.
Born: 2 September 1952 East St. Louis, Illinois
Lives: Santa Barbara, CA
Turned pro: 1972
Career Prize Money: 8,641,040 Career 147 Titles
8 Grand Slam Singles Titles : 1 Australian title, 2 Wimbledon title, 5 US title
Tennis Hall of Fame: 1998
No one has dominated tennis more than Jimmy Connors in the mid-1970s. In 1974 alone, Connors had an astonishing 99.4 record and won three Grand Slam tournaments. Connors was banned from playing in the French Open in 1974 because of his association with world tennis, and this prevented him from winning the Grand Slam with potential success. Despite looking back in the 1970s, Connors had a long and inspiring tennis career, retiring in 1996. There is still a record of 109 ATP Tour title winners.
Born: 7 March 1960 Austria, Czechoslovakia
Lives: Goshen, Connecticut
Turned pro: 1978
Career Prize Money: 21,262,417 Career 144 titles
8Grand Slam singles titles: 2 Australians , 3 French, 3 US Open
Tennis Hall of Fame: 2001
Calm and passionate Czech with great service was the dominant player of the 1980s. Lendl knocked his opponents down with his powerful groundstrokes, incredible foreign hands, and incredible conditioning. He was the top player in the world for four years, and took first place in the world for 270 weeks, a record for the day. Unlike many of his more vocal colleagues, Lendl was known for letting his game play its part.
Born:6 June 1956 Sodertalje, Stockholm County, Sweden
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Turned pro: 1973
Career Prize Amount: 65,655,751 Career Prizes 101 Titles
11 Grand Slam Singles titles: 6 French, 5 Wimbledon
Tennis Hall of Fame: 1987
With ice water in his veins, Pacquiao Borg dominated tennis in the late 1970s and made some memorable matches with the likes of John Mcenroe and Jimmy Connors. Borg won Wimbledon, winning the title for five consecutive years from 1976 to 1980. Despite his relatively short career (he retired in 1983 at the age of 263), Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the French Open. Borg was the first player of the modern era to achieve more than 10 major victories. In my book, Bourbon Borg could have been in the top five all the time if he had not played and apparently did not retire early in his career.
Lives: Lake Sherwood, California
Turned pro: 1988 Retired 2002
Career Prize Amount: $ 43,280,489 Career 64 Titles
14 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian title, 7 Wimbledon title, 5 US title
Tennis Hall Involved in fame:2007
Pete’s place in the history of tennis is difficult to decide as he has won only three of the four Grand Slam events during his career. Clearly more comfortable on hard courts and grass when we decide someone’s place when they dominate on one level and struggle on the other. When Pete retired in 2002, he was considered the best player of all time, although some would argue with him. He topped the world rankings for six consecutive years and held a record 14 Grand Slam titles at the time. Who can forget his epic battles with Andre Agassi, who made the 1990s a great decade for tennis? Pete topped the list when he won his last Grand Slam tournament, the 2002 US Open. But, without a French Open title, or the final one, how do we decide if they belong on the best list so far? Right now I think he’s fifth.
Born: August 8, 1938 Rock Hampton, Queensland, Australia
Lives: Carlsbad, California
Turned pro: 1962 Retired 1979
Career Prize money: 1,565,413 Career 200 titles
11 Grand Slam singles titles : 3 Australian title, 2 French title, 2 US title Open, 4 Wimbledon title
9 Pro Slam Singles Titles: 3 US Pro, 4 Wembley Pro, 1 French Pro, 1 Wimbledon Pro Involved
Tennis Hall of Fame: 1981
It is difficult to estimate that How Rod Laver could have competed against today’s players, but I doubt that the red-haired Aussie would have performed well. It’s hard to argue with the “Rocket” record.
He was number one in the world for seven straight years (1964-1970) and won more career (200) titles than any other player in the history of the sport. He is the only player to have won the Grand Slam twice, once as an amateur in 1962 and then as a pro in 1969. If Lever had not been eliminated from the Grand Slam tournament during the five-year period in the mid-1960s. Who knows how much success he must have had. During this time, the Open Slam Grand Slam tournaments were for amateurs only. The “open era” in tennis did not begin until 1968, when professionals were finally allowed to compete in the Grand Slam. Given that Lever has been ranked number one in the world in this five-year period, it is likely that he has won many Grand Slam titles.
Born: 22 May 1987 Born in Belgrade, Serbia
Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Turned pro: 2003
Career prize money: 5 145,861,177 Career 82 titles
18 Grand Slam singles titles: 9 Australians 5 Wimbledon, 3 US Open, 1 French Open
n It was an easy decision to put current active player Novak Djokovic on this list, but where to put him. At the age of 33 and towards the end of his career, Djokovic is clearly the best player in the world at the moment and has the potential to win many Grand Slam titles. With 18 Grand Slam titles already in his belt, he certainly has the potential to surpass Nadal and Federer’s total of 20.
Therefore, the jury is not yet in its last place in the history of tennis. Based on his physical work to date, he has certainly made it a case that he deserves the top three at all times. With his 2016 French Open title, Djokovic became the eighth person to secure a career Grand Slam.
His stellar performance at the 2021 Australian Open and his epic 5-set win over Roger Federer at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships make it clear that Djokovic is currently the best player in the world. But, is it his job to work to this day, and is his status as the current No. 1 enough to give him the greatest status of all time? Time will tell, but for now we keep Djokovic at No. 3 all the time.
Born: 3 June 1986 Manacar, Majorca, Bellary Island, Spain
Residence: Manacar, Majorca, Bellary Island, Spain
Turned pro: 2001
Career Prize Amount: 3 123,482,764 Career 86 Titles
20 Grand Slam singles titles: 1 Australian, 13 French, 4 US Open, 2 Wimbledon
2008 Olympic gold medalist.The current Beijing Summer Olympics active athlete could have won some more Grand Slam titles if he hadn’t had recurrent tendonitis and wrist injuries in his knees, after an already impressive experience.
At 34, the volcanic Spaniard, known as Rafa and “King Clay”, already has 20 Grand Slam titles and is certainly capable of passing Roger Federer. Raphael is considered to be the greatest clay court player of all time, although Bourneborg fans can argue this claim. Ghalib’s style, his 13th French Open title in 2020, certainly makes it hard for anyone to imagine being better on the ground.
While it is difficult to compare players of different races. I think Nadal has proved that he is willing to do justice to the courts. Deserve to be counted among the best players. Its 2020 French Open title gives Rafa 20 Grand Slam championships and combines it with Roger Federer’s previous Grand Slams. This will only increase the debate over who the real GOAT is.