Over the span of decades, we have seen a plethora of fascinating tennis stars grace a variety of courts throughout the world. It provides spectators tremendous joy to see the world’s most famous male tennis players compete for the top place.
Many players have distinct strength zones based on the field. The Australian and American Opens are played on hard grass, the French Open on clay, while the Wimbledon is played on grass.
Only the finest tennis players may be custom-made to play on each court.
Over the years, we’ve seen so many male tennis players create records, build a fandom, and rule our hearts.
In this article, I’ll list down the top 25 famous male tennis players who achieved amazing feats and it is/was always a treat to watch them play.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- 1. Roger Federer
- 2. Rafael Nadal
- 3. Novak Djokovic
- 4. Pete Sampras
- 5. Andre Agassi
- 6. Bjorn Borg
- 7. Ivan Lendl
- 8. John McEnroe
- 9. Jimmy Connors
- 10. Roy Emerson
- 11. Jim Courier
- 12. Rod Laver
- 13. Lleyton Hewitt
- 14. Boris Becker
- 15. Ken Rosewall
- 16. John Newcombe
- 17. Stan Wawrinka
- 18. Stefan Edberg
- 19. Gustavo Kuerten
- 20. Guillermo Vilas
- 21. Mats Wilander
- 22. Yevgeny Kafelnikov
- 23. Arthur Ashe
- 24. Andy Murray
- 25. Michael Chang
1. Roger Federer
And he is still dominating and playing at the top levels at the age of 39. Federer held the world’s number one ranking for 237 weeks in a row, a record that might never be broken.
Injuries forced Roger to miss the 2020 and early 2021 seasons. Fans will be waiting for his comeback with bated breath, especially at Wimbledon, his preferred surface.
2. Rafael Nadal
The commendable Spaniard, dubbed as The King of Clay, won 20 Grand Slam championships at the age of 35. Rafael Nadal is widely considered to be the best clay-court player of all time.
His dominant performance in winning a record 13th French Open championship in 2020 makes it impossible to see anybody being better on clay.
Nadal has shown that he is worthy of being regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace the courts. Rafa’s 2020 French Open win brings him 20 Grand Slam titles, tying him with Roger Federer and now Novak Djokovic for the most Grand Slams of all time.
3. Novak Djokovic
With his victory over Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2014, Djokovic became the first man to overcome Federer at all 4 Grand Slams.
Novak Djokovic had also surpassed what looked to be a declining Nadal as the player with the best chance of breaking Federer’s major record.
But both Nadal and Federer have called those aspirations to a halt as they have both had tremendous resurgences in recent years.
In 2021, the Serbian won the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon, increasing his career total of 20 grand slams.
4. Pete Sampras
The victory at Wimbledon in 2000 probably cemented Sampras as the greatest male player of all time. Sampras ruled at a time when power smashes were becoming the standard.
Sampras was not as good as Andre Agassi from the baseline, but he didn’t have to be. His 14 major championships say it all.
5. Andre Agassi
Glory was anticipated for Agassi long before he joined the professional realm, as he was regarded as one of the best hitters of a ball to have ever played the game.
As a 22-year-old Agassi defeated both Boris Becker and John McEnroe on his route to a five-set thriller at Wimbledon in 1992, he fully announced himself to the world.
6. Bjorn Borg
The serene Borg ruled tennis in the late 1970s and had memorable battles with John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. From 1976 through 1980, Borg dominated Wimbledon, winning the championship five years in a row.
Despite his limited career, Borg won 11 Grand Slam championships, all of which he won at Wimbledon and the French Open. Borg was the first player in modern history to win more than ten majors.
7. Ivan Lendl
In the current era, he is perhaps most recognized for guiding Andy Murray to Wimbledon and US Open titles, as well as Olympic gold from 2012 to 2014.
The Czech frequently let his skills speak for themselves, and his matches with rival tennis giants such as John McEnroe were thrilling to watch.
He won eight grand slams, rendering him a formidable opponent for his opponents. Lendl was a force to be reckoned with, and he clearly poured his talents into coaching after retiring.
8. John McEnroe
Whenever it came to hard courts, quick surfaces, and inventive shot-making, John McEnroe might be the best.
Tennis enthusiasts either hated or loved him because of his fiery demeanor and sometimes bad-boy antics. But he was a very competitive athlete who despised defeat and occasionally let his emotions get the better of him.
9. Jimmy Connors
Jimmy Connors reigned in the 1970s and 1980s until retiring in 1996. In 1974, he had an amazing 99-4 record and won all three grand slams he played.
With 109 ATP Tour championships, he still maintains the record for the most in history.
In the mid-1970s, he spent 268 weeks at number one, cementing his place as among the greatest tennis players of all time. His career length makes him one of the most consistent performers.
10. Roy Emerson
Australian Roy Emerson began his tennis career as a doubles player, winning 16 championships, and his later transition into singles was virtually as fruitful. He won 12 singles titles in his career.
The fact that Emerson is the only player in history to have won all four Grand Slam titles in both doubles and singles competition is the most astounding aspect of his extraordinary career. Emerson’s flexibility on various surfaces contributed to his widespread popularity.
11. Jim Courier
Courier had a strong start to his career, beating fellow emerging star Andre Agassi in five sets at the French Open.
He went on to win four Grand Slam championships, including two at Roland Garros and two more in Melbourne. Courier defeated his arch-rival, Stefan Edberg, in three Grand Slam finals, winning two of them.
He was rated number one for 58 weeks straight, and while having a good game on all surfaces, he won the bulk of his tournaments on hard courts.
12. Rod Laver
Rod Laver is the most dominant player in the 1960s. He has won 11 grand slams, nine pro slams, and 200 career championships, which is the most in tennis history.
The ‘open’ period did not begin until 1968, when professionals were allowed to compete in grand slam competitions, implying that Laver might have won many more major titles throughout his career.
13. Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt, the fierce Australian lad who climbed to the top of the world rankings quicker than anybody else.
Hewitt became the world’s greatest at the age of roughly 21. He defeated Pete Sampras in the US Open to earn his first Grand Slam championship.
Hewitt also won the US Open doubles final in 2000. Throughout his career, he has been a standout on the hardcourt and is widely considered as one of the game’s best defenders.
14. Boris Becker
Boris Becker achieved about everything a tennis player could hope for. He won six Grand Slam championships in his career, an Olympic gold medal in Barcelona, and led West Germany to a stunning Davis Cup win against the United States in 1989, where he defeated Andre Agassi in five hard sets.
Over the course of his career, Becker won an unprecedented 26 titles on indoor carpet courts, which remains a record to this day.
15. Ken Rosewall
Although being overshadowed by his Australian rival Rod Laver and winning only three Grand Slams, Ken Rosewall holds the record for the most major final appearances. In his 25-year career, he added 35.
From 1952 until 1977, the World No. 1 player was consistently ranked within the top 20 players.
16. John Newcombe
The previous world number one John Newcombe is one of just a few players who has held the world No. 1 position in both singles and doubles. He won six Grand Slam singles titles and a previous world record 17 doubles titles.
John Newcombe was well-known for his quickness, lethal forehand, and serve. He was among the steadiest players in the world, finishing in the top ten for almost ten years in a row from 1965 to1975.
17. Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka has spent his whole career in the shadow of his countryman Roger Federer.
To win three Grand Slam championships in the most difficult era in tennis history demonstrates Wawrinka’s brilliance.
For almost 15 years, he has regularly been one of the most dangerous players on tour, and one of the few who can beat the big three.
18. Stefan Edberg
The previous world number one During the 1990s, Stefan Edberg was one of the most accomplished tennis players.
After winning the Wimbledon title in 1990, he rose to number 1 for the first time in his career, a position he held for more than 70 weeks.
Edberg is still the only player to have won all four Junior Grand Slams in the same calendar year, in 1983.
Edberg won six Grand Slam titles during his career. Two at Wimbledon, two at the US Open, and two at the Australian Open.
19. Gustavo Kuerten
Gustavo Kuerten’s career achievements include 20 victories, three Grand Slams (the French Open in 1997, 2000, and 2001), and a world number one position in 2000.
The Brazilian retired in 2008 owing to several hip operations, leaving his imprint on tennis history in more senses than one.
20. Guillermo Vilas
Guillermo Vilas of Argentina was a dominant player during the serve and volley period in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the first South American to win a grand slam title, and by the time he retired, he had amassed four grand slam trophies.
Vilas owns many world records, including a 46-match winning run in 1977. He also holds the record for the most singles championships won in a single season, with 16 ATP titles won in 1977.
21. Mats Wilander
Mats Wilander won his first French Open championship at the age of 17 in 1982, making him the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Not only does he hold the record for the most Grand Slam championships won before the age of 20, but he also owns the record for the most Grand Slam titles (4) won before the age of 20.
Mats Wilander was unable to extend his winning run throughout his career, although he did manage to win three more Grand Slams before retiring at the age of 32.
22. Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Kafelnikov has a unique mark on his record. In 1996, he was the last player to win both the singles and doubles titles in a Grand Slam event, at the French Open. In 1999, he also won the Australian Open.
The heavy-hitting right-hander from Sochi also won four Grand Slam doubles titles and an Olympic gold medal in singles in Sydney in 2000.
23. Arthur Ashe
Arthur Ashe was the first black player to be selected for the United States Davis Cup squad, and he remains the only black man to have won the singles titles at Wimbledon, the United States Open, and the Australian Open.
Ashe died of AIDS-related pneumonia in February 1993, at the age of 49, and was posthumously given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton later that year.
24. Andy Murray
Despite living under the shadow of the top three for most of his career, no other player has been as challenging against them as Andy Murray.
During the 2016-2017 season, he was the world’s number one for half a year, which isn’t an easy job with Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer in the mix.
He has three Grand Slam championships to his record, but he might have had many more because he lost eight Grand Slam finals during his career.
25. Michael Chang
Chang, despite his small stature, had a reputation for seducing the young. As a youngster, he won several trophies, but none more memorable than his Grand Slam triumph at the French Open in 1989.
Chang, 17, defeated World No. 1 and three-time champion Ivan Lendl in a five-set battle that lasted well over four hours. Chang is still regarded as one of the finest defenders in history because of his incredible quickness and recovery.
That concludes our list! Hopefully, we covered your favorite famous male tennis players as well.
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My name is Reagen and I started AllTennisGear (earlier AllTennisShoes) as a way to share my humble experience and help new Tennis players. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day here and know that your feedback is always welcome.