Tennis has some of the most skilled athletes in existence. As you may have guessed, most of the players play with their right hands. However, today I wanted to take a look at the best players who are left-handed.
There is certainly more to tennis than talking about what a player’s hand preference is. I simply took interest in this topic because a lot of these players are highly skilled. There is no notable causation of a player being left-handed with their skill, but I still found the train of thought interesting.
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What Makes a Player “The Best”?
I have narrowed down a few simple factors to make this list of players. Let me explain these in brief first.
First, the players on this list are all left-handed. Since this is a list about that particular topic, I probably do not need to explain that, right?
Second, all of these players have won at least seven or more Grand Slam events each. They have also claimed 50 titles or more. Lastly, they have acquired or shared position as the number 1 in their career at some point or another.
I have also made this list keeping their skills in mind. While the factors I have mentioned above are an easy way to judge a player, there is more to it than that. You probably would not say that Lionel Messi is a bad footballer just because he does not have a world cup under his belt.
This is why I have also included how they have performed in general in big events. They didn’t always have to win them.
Left-Handed Tennis Players
I will now be listing down the legendary feats, the legacy, and the accomplishments of the players mentioned below. These left-hand legends make sure that young players strive to be as good as them. The power of a left-handed racquet starts now.
1. Rod Laver
Rod Laver is considered one of the best tennis players in general, not only amongst the left-handed. Even though he has not held the highest number of Grand Slam titles, he is still an absolute legend in the game.
In his time, he has won a total of 11 Grand Slams, and other major titles that include the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. With a total of 52 different titles and achieving the highest ranking of 3rd, Rod lever is truly a juggernaut in tennis.
The prowess of his left-handed shots does not stop there however, Rod Laver has also done something considered unimaginable before his presence. He has managed to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the years 1962 and 1969.
Amazing, right? This is why I have put Rod Laver at first on this list. Awards and medals are a great achievement, but to be this good consistently – that is something else. Rod Laver is one of the icons in both tennis and among left-handed tennis players.
Rod Laver has since retired in 1978 after leaving a legacy behind. He has been around the world giving speeches, holding tennis clinics, and been introduced into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981.
2. Rafael Nadal
Familiar with this name I assume, you probably are. Rafael Nadal is honestly a household name for anyone who has read the sports page of their newspaper in the last decade. With the number of times, Nadal has shaken the tennis world with his left-handed techniques, it was bound to happen.
So what makes Nadal so great? Well, it’s not just one or two feats. Rafael Nadal has won over one dozen Grand Slam titles in his career. This does not just establish his name in the history books as one of the best left-handed tennis players, but more.
A total of 13 Grand Slams, once attaining the position of No. 1 in history – Rafael Nadal is a name to be celebrated everywhere tennis. He has also won Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Australia Open and has a total of 60 titles under his name. Needless to say, he is one of the best left-handed players in modern times.
I wanted to look up the best matches of Rafael Nadal for an assignment once. I thought it would be able to help me. It left me astonished as there were just so many to watch from. His matches with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are truly some of the best matches in tennis history.
Considered by many as the Queen of tennis, Martina Navratilova is not only one of the best left-handed tennis players, but perhaps the greatest female tennis player ever. What makes her so special? Just the sheer scale of her techniques.
Navratilova has cemented her position at the top of the game. She has won 16 Grand Slam titles, and 167 titles. Her position? Number 1! Navratilova was once at the number 1 position with her amazing left-hand techniques.
No woman or man had won more single tournaments before 1968 when the Open Era had started. Navratilova would end up having opponents who would stand a mere 13% chance of winning. If I were going up against this woman, I would simply back out due to the fear of embarrassment.
The left-handed tennis legend was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. Navratilova still appears in public, making her voice heard against injustice towards women. Young women in tennis consider this left-handed tennis player as a gold standard for what they should aspire to be.
4. John McEnroe
John McEnroe is a rather controversial player in the tennis scene. However, I learned from this example that controversy does not nullify sheer brilliance. This left-handed tennis player is one of the all-time greats.
McEnroe has shown moments of unprofessionalism when arguing with an umpire and then with partners, after losing doubles. This earned him the reputation of the “Super Brat”. The man’s feats are just too amazing however, to signify his legacy with this.
With an astounding 7 Grand Slam titles and 77 total titles won, John McEnroe was bound to become one of the all-time greats. His left-handed serves have even earned him the position of the highest rank of number 1.
McEnroe won the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He is continued to be loved by tennis lovers all around. Controversial as he may be, the respect he receives at his position is still astounding. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
5. Jimmy Connors
The legendary user of the two-fisted backhand, Jimmy Connors, remains imprinted into the memories of his fans. The left-handed juggernaut in tennis is almost as well known for his tennis skills and accomplishments as he is for his personality.
The statistics will impress you just as they impressed me. He has won 8 Grand Slam titles and won the Wimbledon and U.S. Open. He has won a total of 110 titles throughout his career, but Jimmy Connors was more than just this.
Using the left-handed serves, the player in Jimmy Connors is set apart by another feat. He remains the only player in history to have won the U.S. Open in three different countries. This sets him apart from every other tennis player in existence, as this record will probably never be broken.
The two-handed backhand and the left-handed service return will never be forgotten, as these were the best weapons of Connors. Believe me when I say, after looking up a few videos of the serves of Connors’, you would be frightened if you were on the receiving end of them.
6. Monica Seles
One of the two younger players on this list; do not underestimate the left-handed tennis beast -Monica Seles. This woman has made her mark on the tennis world and she’s not even past 50.
She is a left-handed tennis player who has set a record in 1990 by having won the French Open at the age of just 16. Being inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2009. Seles has won 9 Grand Slams and a total of 53 titles in total.
To my further surprise, Seles also had a career of just 8 years. This was astounding as this meant all these accomplishments were fulfilled in less than one decade. Seles was also notable for being able to hit with two hands from both sides, which is a rare skill in the world of tennis.
She has also become the highest-ranked player at a point, to no surprise. Her left-handed forehand was her greatest asset, as she would destroy her opponents fairly easily when she would pull it out.
These were the five best left-handed tennis players according to me. These left-handed juggernauts have shaken the tennis world with aggression and precision. They are legends in the game and are remembered all around the world. I hope you were able to find this article helpful and informative.