Top 10 Best Tennis Players of All Time

Tennis has seen some truly unforgettable athletes who dominated their era, broke records, and captured imaginations. Think of those lightning-fast serves, the graceful returns, the impossible shots that kept you on the edge of your seat. These greats earned their spots in the history books, but deciding who belongs at the very peak is where the debate gets seriously fun.

Was it the sheer power, or was it mental toughness? Maybe a combination of both, with incredible longevity thrown into the mix? Everyone has their favorites, and we want to know yours.
The Top Ten
1 Roger Federer Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss former professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 3 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player. He has held the world No... read more

I vote for Federer.

A good player must have the ability to combine effectiveness with fluency and elegance in the execution of the game. Nature knows no reviews. Less effort implies less energy consumed, and if you want effectiveness and results, you have to be an exquisite in sport.

Just pass a look through the pictures of the faces of the players hitting the ball, most completely dislocated by the effort. Then watch Federer, there is no effort! Even today, nearly 34 years.

I have almost 45 years following this sport, I have never seen anything like it.

To achieve this and to be the current world No. 2, still playing with such giants of the sport (Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, etc.), must be more than superlative.

In addition, with more age than the rest.

When another player proves to me to be able to transmit that feeling that everything is fluid in tennis, I will change my mind.

Thank you.

2 Rafael Nadal Rafael "Rafa" Nadal Parera is a Spanish professional tennis player, currently world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

For me, greatness is a combination of two factors: how good were you at your best and how long did you stay that good? Djokovic at his best is the greatest player the game has ever seen, but he's only performed at or near that level for about 3 years. Federer demonstrated incredible consistency and longevity, remaining at an elite level for nearly 10 years, but even at his best, he was a step below the level Nadal and Djokovic have achieved. Nadal is the best combination of longevity (first major in 2005, still going strong 8 years later) and peak performance (winning record against every top competitor of his era, particularly Federer, and the highest overall winning percentage of any player in the open era).

3 Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No.1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Difference between popularity and best. Djokovic has 22 Grand Slam titles, major success on all tennis surfaces, the most successful season in history, a record 387 weeks at number 1, still grabbing records, the only player to hold all 4 slams at once in 50+ years, beaten Federer and Nadal more than anyone. He's undoubtedly the best, just not the most popular.

First guy who broke the rivalry between Federer and Nadal, the first to come and become the biggest rival of Federer, the biggest rival of Nadal. He came, and tennis started a new era, an era that showed us he is the biggest threat to Federer and Nadal, not them to each other. Most unique style of play (Nadal is pure athleticism with some technique, Federer is pure technique with some mental strength, Novak is pure mental strength and both, athleticism and technique). A tennis guy from his earliest ages... A legend already, for everything he has done for this great sport! Sorry for my poor English.

4 Pete Sampras

Federer, until recently, didn't have the competition that Sampras faced throughout his entire career. Sampras faced Borg, McEnroe, Agassi, Chang, Martin, and even Federer himself and if he had continued to play, he would have won more majors.

This guy achieved 286 weeks as number 1 in the ATP ranking! He is a legend. He made tennis look like an easy sport, and it isn't. If he played against Roger Federer at his (Pete's) best time of his career, he'd win, easily.

Lord, I miss this guy's matches. He made it look so easy to win, until the day I picked up a racket and learned it is quite the opposite.

5 Bjorn Borg

Five in a row at Wimbledon, unheard of in a time of Connors and McEnroe. The cool Swede was blighted with injuries or would have won more.

6 Jimmy Connors

He only won 8 slams, but he played against much tougher competition. In his era, at least six opponents had multiple slam wins. Today, it's the same three guys winning everything.

Great backhand and service return. Excellent footwork and determination.

7 Steffi Graf

The real deal - it was like watching a goddess with no weaknesses. Truly astonishing. The way she structured points was so intelligent, like a world champion chess player! The movement was supreme, actually even more graceful than the wonderful Roger. Class personified. Thank you, Steffi, you are missed ridiculously!

Best in every aspect - only player ever to win all 4 Grand Slams at least 4 times, best movement ever, most weeks ever at number 1, only player ever to do the "Golden" Grand Slam, won a Grand Slam final 6-0 6-0. These facts don't lie...

8 Ivan Lendl

Underrated because he didn't win Wimbledon. Records are unbelievable.

9 Boris Becker Boris Franz Becker is a German former world No. 1 professional tennis player. He was successful from the start of his career, winning the first of his six major singles titles at age 17.
10 Martina Navratilova

Definitely the greatest tennis player to have ever lived. She ruled the court like an empress. The champion of 18 Grand Slam singles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles, and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles (phew)... Now ask who is the best.

How on earth can Djokovic be placed in front of Navratilova?

In my book, Martina Navratilova is easily in the women's tennis top 3 list of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She is definitely the most decorated tennis player ever. Like I said, she's simply a...

Top 3


... enough said!

The Contenders
11 Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams is an American former professional tennis player. The Women's Tennis Association ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002.

Cannot understand why she is only at 14 on this list!

Number 1 player of all timeā€¦ Ask McEnroe.

12 Andy Murray

He is one of the best and most talented athletes ever. He has an exquisite backhand, amazing footwork, strong emotions, and he's crazily passionate about the sport.

He will be a grand slam winner and a legend soon.

-Mohammad Nawaflih

13 Andre Agassi

Should be number 3 behind Federer and Sampras.

14 John McEnroe John Patrick McEnroe Jr. is a retired American tennis player, often considered among the greatest in the history of the sport.

Mac should be higher on this list. His 7 slams aren't spectacular, but he carried the US Davis Cup team for years and is the greatest doubles player on this list, with nobody close. And he had the prettiest game to watch from a fan's perspective, again nobody close.

15 Rod Laver

Laver won the Grand Slam (all four majors) as an amateur in 1962. He then turned professional and as a result was banned from playing the four Grand Slam tournaments for five years. He was allowed back in 1969 when tennis turned professional and duly won the Grand Slam again in 1969. How many Grand Slams would he have won if he wasn't banned for five years? He is the only player to win the Grand Slam twice and the only player (male or female) to win the Grand Slam in the Open Era. He also won the doubles Grand Slam six times and the mixed doubles Grand Slam twice. He has won the Davis Cup five times as a member of the Australian team. How's he going so far?

16 Monica Seles

Without a doubt, the greatest women's tennis player in the game at her time. Even Martina Navratilova went to Florida to bring Monica back to the game after her stabbing, that says a lot.

Every single "Grand Slam" that she entered... and guess what?

She would always make it to the final!

100% of the time...


If she entered a tournament at a Grand Slam, 100% of the time, she would always make it to the final championship match in 100% of her Grand Slam tournament appearances!

And she was only a little teenager!

This little teen girl was pure dominance!

She was pure... "magic"!

And as a young teenager, there was nobody in the world that could keep up with her high level of intensity, of greatness!

And as I previously said, Monica Seles was pure dominance! She was literally one-of-a-kind, and she had ascended to a level beyond the norm. She had ascended to greatness and to legendary status during her teenage years!

Indeed, she was simply in a league of her own!

In essence, she was basically:

"The Michael Jordan of Tennis!"


She was "that" good...

She was simply that awesome!

She was an incredible tennis player!

And there is no doubt in my mind that in her teenage years (before the stabbing), Monica Seles was most certainly:

"The greatest player that 'almost' was..."


She was...







17 Margaret Court

Margaret Court was measurably faster than the players of today, beating the best Australian female sprinters over 100 meters. She bench pressed greater weights than the current female players. After having a child, she served and volleyed on clay to beat Chris Evert in the French Open, stopping the longest clay court run for a woman. Her doubles skills with serve and volley tennis, added to her Grand Slam, showed she was a multi-skilled tennis player. She won more slams than anyone.

She has won 24 Grand Slams, a record and the highest of both genders, so she should at least be in the top 5.

18 Billie Jean King
19 Chris Evert

An all-time great, Chris Evert changed how women played tennis, and she was the first teenage terror.

There were a spate of Chrissie clones, and the modern-day game bears the mark of Evert. She started it. When she began in the early '70s, her game and poker face demeanor were novelties, and opponents could figure out neither her game nor her.

She destroyed top players and their reputations from age 15, instilling a sense of fear and helplessness in opponents, including the top women. She rarely lost to someone she was not supposed to lose to, often winning 6-0, 6-1.

She sowed doubts in the minds of serve-and-volleyers through excellent anticipation and service returns, followed by lobs and passing shots. She made them look silly - with her lobs when they rushed the net and with her drop shot when they stayed back. And boy, did she make them run side to side, and front to back, tiring and demoralizing them. On the other hand, Evert seemed to never run and never sweat. It was intimidating.

People dreaded playing her, a hallmark of greatness.

20 Andy Roddick
21 Venus Williams
22 Justine Henin
23 Lleyton Hewitt
24 Evonne Goolagong
25 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

He is one of the most aggressive tennis players ever. Once he has confidence, he can sometimes be unstoppable. Jo fights until the end, for example, against Roger Federer in Wimbledon 2011 when he was 2 sets down, and in the 3rd set, he built up his confidence, and in the 4th and 5th, he was ripping winners to Roger Federer.

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