Top 10 Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

Updated on April 25, 2018
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Bill has had a lifelong passion for the game of tennis from his days as a competitive youth player to now following the world's top players.

International Tennis Hall of Fame: Newport, RI

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum | Source

I grew up playing tennis in the 1970s, which was a great time for the sport of tennis. It was then that tennis really became more of a mainstream sport than a sport for the privileged, especially here in the United States. With the likes of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, and others, there were plenty of personalities to fuel the rivalries that took place on and off the court. Since that time, many great players have come and gone. Because it is difficult to compare players of different eras in any sport due to technology changes and higher fitness standards, selecting the greatest player ever can be a difficult and very subjective task.

Despite the challenge, here is my list of the ten greatest male tennis players of all-time. I have actually included eleven players here with two greats tied for the tenth position.

10. Ken Rosewall

Ken Rosewall
Ken Rosewall | Source
  • Born: November 2, 1934
    Sydney, Australia
  • Resides: Sydney, Australia
  • Turned pro: 1957
  • Retired: 1980
  • Career prize money: $1,602,700
  • 133 career 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
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1980

With a long career that included both the pre and post Open Era, Ken Rosewall certainly deserves a place among the all-time greats of tennis. His eight Grand Slam titles combined with 15 Major Championships undoubtedly qualifies Rosewall a place in tennis immortality. With a career that started in the early 1950s and ended with his retirement in 1980, the quick and agile Aussie was renowned for his backhand and crisp and accurate volleying. His last Grand Slam title came at the 1972 Australian Open at the age of 37, still a record for the oldest Grand Slam winner. Rosewall also owns the record for the second oldest Grand Slam winner when he won the 1971 Australian Open at the age of 36.

I watched Ken Rosewall play during the latter part of his career and at the time probably did not realize the greatness I was watching. To compete at his age with the next generation of tennis greats speaks volumes to his conditioning and mental toughness. I am placing him in the tenth position along with Andre Agassi as I feel that both players are worthy of a top ten.

10. Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi | Source
  • Born: April 29, 1970
    Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Turned pro: 1986
  • Retired: 2006
  • 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 Tennis Hall of Fame: 2011

Who can forget the young, brash, long-haired Andre Agassi when he first arrived on the tennis scene in the late 1980s? I have to admit that at first I was put off by his seemingly "rock star" looks and attitude. But something happened along the way, and by the time he finished his 20-year career, I was not only a fan but I had also come to respect him as a great player and spokesman for the game. With those killer ground strokes and returns of serve, no top-10 list would be complete without Andre 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.

9. John McEnroe

John McEnroe
John McEnroe | Source
  • Born: February 16, 1959
    Wiesbaden, West Germany
  • Resides: New York City
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1992
  • Career prize money: $12,547,797
  • 105 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Wimbledon, 4 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1999

John McEnroe: What do we do about Johnny Mac? Well, for starters we include him on our list of all-time greats. When it came to hard courts, fast surfaces, and creative shot-making, there may have been no one better.

His fiery attitude and occasional bad-boy behavior made tennis fans either hate him or love him. Underneath was a highly competitive athlete who hated to lose and sometimes let his emotions get the best of him.

Who can forget his epic battles with rival Jimmy Connors and his five-set loss to Bjorn Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon final, one of the greatest matches in Wimbledon history?

8. Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors
Jimmy Connors | Source
  • Born: September 2, 1952
    East St. Louis, Illinois
  • Resides: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Turned pro: 1972
  • Retired: 1996
  • Career prize money: $8,641,040
  • 147 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 2 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1998

No one dominated tennis more during the mid-1970s than Jimmy Connors. In 1974 alone, Connors had a staggering 99-4 record and won the three Grand Slam tournaments that he entered. Connors was banned from playing in the French Open in 1974 due to his association with World Team Tennis, and this prevented him from a possible Grand Slam sweep. Despite peaking in the 1970s, Connors had a long and impressive tennis career, retiring in 1996. Connors still holds the record for ATP tour titles with 109.

7. Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl | Source
  • Born: March 7, 1960
    Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
  • Resides: Goshen, Connecticut
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1994
  • Career prize money: $21,262,417
  • 144 career titles
  • 8 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian, 3 French, 3 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2001

The quiet and stoic Czech with the big serve was the most dominant player of the 1980s. Lendl wore down his opponents with his powerful ground strokes, topspin forehand, and incredible level of conditioning. He was the world’s top-ranked player for four years, and held the number one ranking in the world for 270 weeks, a record in that day. In contrast to many of his more outspoken peers, Lendl was known for letting his game do his talking.

6. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg | Source
  • Born: June 6, 1956
    Sodertalje, Stockholm County, Sweden
  • Resides: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Turned pro: 1973
  • Retired: 1983
  • Career prize money: $3,655,751
  • 101 career titles
  • 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 6 French, 5 Wimbledon
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1987

What was not to love about the long-haired, blonde Swede with the killer ground game? With ice water in his veins, the quiet Borg dominated tennis in the late 1970s and had some memorable matches with the likes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. Borg dominated Wimbledon, winning the title five consecutive years from 1976 to 1980.

Despite his relatively brief career (he retired in 1983 at the age of 26), Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles, all at Wimbledon and the French Open. Borg was the first player of the modern era to win more than 10 majors. In my book Bjorn Borg could have been a top five all-time had he continued to play and not retired while seemingly in the prime of his career.

5. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic | Source
  • Born: May 22, 1987
    Belgrade, Serbia
  • Resides: Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Turned pro: 2003
  • Career prize money: $109,805,403
  • 68 career titles
  • 12 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 6 Australian, 3 Wimbledon, 2 US Open, 1 French Open
  • Current active player

Placing Novak Djokovic on this list was an easy decision, but where to place him was not. At 30 years of age and in the prime of his career, Djokovic has the potential to win many more Grand Slam titles. By the time his career is finished, he could very well find himself among the top few players of all-time. But, in the highly competitive world of tennis, he could also succumb to injury and miss out on some of his best years, so the jury is still out on his place in tennis history, plus he certainly has a lot of tennis ahead of him.

Based on his body of work to date he has certainly made the case that he is deserving of a top five all-time. With his 2016 French Open title Djokovic become the eight man to secure a career Grand Slam. His stunning loss at Wimbledon to Sam Querrey ended his Grand Slam winning streak at four, and 2017 did not start well for Novak with his stunning second round loss at the Australian Open. An elbow injury prevented Novak from playing in the 2017 US Open, and certainly may have contributed to his subpar performances in 2017. Look for Novak to regain his form in 2018 if he can fully recover from the injured elbow.

4. Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras | Source

Born: August 12, 1971
Potomac, Maryland

  • Resides: Lake Sherwood, California
  • Turned pro: 1988
  • Retired 2002
  • Career prize money: $43,280,489
  • 64 career titles
  • 14 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian, 7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2007

Pete's place in tennis history is difficult to judge as he only won three of the four Grand Slam events over the course of his career. Clearly more comfortable on hard courts and grass how do we decide one's place when they dominate on one surface and struggle on another. When Pete retired in 2002, he was considered to be the best player of all-time although some would dispute this. He was number one in the world rankings for six consecutive years and his 14 Grand Slam titles was a record at the time. Who can forget his epic battles with Andre Agassi that made the 1990s a great decade for tennis? Pete went out on top when he won the 2002 US Open, his last Grand Slam tournament. But, without a French Open title, or even a final, how do we decide where he belongs in the list of best ever. For now I think he comes in behind Laver at the number four spot.

3. Rod Laver

Rod Laver
Rod Laver | Source
  • Born: August 8, 1938
    Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  • Resides: Carlsbad, California
  • Turned pro: 1962
  • Retired 1979
  • Career prize money: $1,565,413
  • 200 career titles
  • 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Australian, 2 French, 2 US Open, 4 Wimbledon
  • 9 Pro Slam Singles Titles: 3 US Pro, 4 Wembley Pro, 1 French Pro, 1 Wimbledon Pro
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1981

It’s difficult to assess how Rod Laver would have fared against the players of today, but I suspect the redheaded Aussie would have done just fine. It’s hard to argue with the “Rockets” record. He was ranked number one in the world for seven straight years (1964 – 1970) and has more career titles (200) than anyone in the history of the game.

He is the only player to have twice won the Grand Slam, doing it once as an amateur in 1962 and again as a pro in 1969. If Laver was not excluded from the Grand Slam tournaments during a five-year period in the mid-1960s, who knows how many he would have won. During this time period, the pre-open era, the 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 events. Given that Laver was ranked number one in the world during this five-year period, it’s likely he would have won many more Grand Slam titles.

2. Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal | Source
  • Born: June 3, 1986
    Manacor, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Resides: Manacor, Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
  • Turned pro: 2001
  • Career prize money: $94,588,627
  • 75 career titles
  • 16 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 10 French, 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon
  • Current active player

Were it not for the recurring tendinitis in his knees, and wrist injuries, Rafael Nadal may well have a few more Grand Slam titles to his already impressive resume. At 31 years of age, the fiery Spaniard, known as Rafa and “The King of Clay,” already has 16 Grand Slam titles and certainly has the potential to catch Roger Federer. Rafael is regarded as the greatest clay court player of all-time, although fans of Bjorn Borg may dispute this claim. His record 10th French Open title in 2017 certainly makes it difficult to imagine anyone being better on clay.

Entering the 2017 season, Rafa had clearly put the wrist injury problems of 2016 behind him. His epic final against Roger Federer at the 2017 Australian Open, and his completely dominating performances in winning the 2017 French Open and US Open make it clear that Rafa was on top of his game once again. While it is difficult to draw comparisons of players from different generations I think Nadal has proven that he deserves to be considered among the best to ever grace the courts, and as such we have elevated his all-time ranking to number two.

1. Roger Federer

Roger Federer
Roger Federer | Source
  • Born: August 8, 1981
    Basel, Switzerland
  • Resides: Wollerau, Switzerland and Dubai, UAE
  • Turned pro: 1998
  • Career prize money: $115,050,482
  • 96 career titles
  • 20 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 6 Australian, 1 French, 5 US Open, 8 Wimbledon
  • Current active player

It’s hard not to select Roger Federer as the greatest of all time. His record 20 Grand Slam titles speak for themselves, and even at the age of 36, he is still winning and competing at the highest levels. His 302 weeks ranked as number one in the world is an open-era record. From 2004 to 2008, Federer went 237 consecutive weeks being ranked number one in the world, a record that may never be surpassed. Even though younger players are now finding a way to beat him, his consistently high level of play over his twenty year career is a testament to his conditioning and ability. Winning the 2018 Australian Open at the age of 36, after his outstanding 2017 season that saw him win Wimbledon and the Australian Open prove without a doubt that Roger Federer is indeed the greatest of all-time. Barring injury, Roger will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for who knows how long?

Who do you think is the greatest men's tennis player of all-time?

See results

© 2013 Bill De Giulio


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    • profile image

      Roger 9 days ago

      I seen Jimmy Connors in his days

      To win 109 titles with three letters I think he should be no 7 not ivan lendl the cry baby.

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      Marta Steinbeck 4 weeks ago

      Why is Rob Laver ranked #3 at all. He should be lower. Borg should be above him. Yes he won the gram slams twice but writers failed to say that 3 of those GS were played on grass and only Roland Garros was played on dirt. Imagine Nadal playing 3 GS on clay court or Fed playing or HC. Also Sampras should be lower too since he couldnt play on clay at all. He was a one trick pony with a fast serve.

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      Prashanta Bardhan 7 weeks ago

      Roger Federer is not only the greatest Tennis player ever, he is the greatest athlete of all time too.

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      Welc Golder 8 weeks ago

      Pete Sampras should be 3 instead of Rod Laver

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      James 2 months ago

      Roger federer is the best, it proven!

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      Paul Green 2 months ago

      I think Pancho Gonzalez was the great est tennis player of all time. He was the best in the world for about 10 years. Unfortunately, the professionals were not able to play in the major championships until he was 40 years old.

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      Peter 2 months ago

      We will never know whether Rod Laver or Roger is the greatest. We can't compare. I go for Roger though as his career coincided with other greats. And what most overlook is that Roger was always the oldest on the court when he clashed with the others in the BIG FOUR club.

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      parviz mofidi 2 months ago

      Roger Federer is the GREATEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL . how can people doubt this. some of the other players listed are very good. but Federer is the GOAT.

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      Luke 2 months ago

      Now 304 weeks at #1 and counting.

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       2 months ago

      Novak Djokovic beat Federer and Nadal a lot soo he is the best ever

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      Mirgik 3 months ago

      Who is the greatest tennis player of all time?

    • profile image

      Warren R. Moulds 3 months ago

      See that wood stick in #4's hands? Only a couple of the top 10 listed here could play with that. Today's racquet technology has completely changed how players prepare, play (power vs. finesse) and strategize on ever-changing surfaces. Me thinks Laver would acquit himself better than #4 and be right there with #1.

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      Mileta Cekoci 3 months ago

      You have a computed list based on real facts, rather then opinions, here:

      Thought it is limited to Open Era, but has configurable weights so you can play with what you think is important.

      There are list by each of the surfaces as well, and many more.

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      Gottfried 3 months ago

      I would argue that if Rafa was not injured he would actually have "less" titles. Reason being, you have to take it both ways. He has been able to achieve extraordinary success due to his willingness to extend himself beyond even what his body would allow him to. Had he not exerted himself as much, he would have less Grand Slams.

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      MB 3 months ago

      It’s Roger Rafa then Novak. They all played in the same era where you have to have an all court game to succeed. Any one of the three would have 25+ slams now if the other two didn’t exist. They will be the top 3 on the slams count and they all have career grand slams already.

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      Sar 3 months ago

      Undoubtedly Federer is the greatest of all time.

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      Lucienne Rosset 3 months ago

      please correct Tederer's CV: not 19, but 20 Grand Slam titles,

      6 Australian!


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      Gus 3 months ago

      Federer and Nadal the best ever.......?

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      DDT 3 months ago

      Rafael Nadal is without a doubt the greatest player ever!!!!...IF it wasnt for his injuries he would have won more than 20 Slams

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      B MOHAN 3 months ago

      20 grand slam titles; 20 years in the top 10; And the longest tenure as world No:1. Has anyone else achieved this? NO! What other yardstick can be used to select the all-time best ?


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      Sajid 3 months ago

      Without any doubt the Greatest player Tennis Court has ever saw is none other than THE GREAT ROGER FEDERER. He is the best, phenomenal player of the Game.

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      Benny Seni 3 months ago

      The best tennis player of all times without a doubt is Alan Dale Lee. The guys has more grand slams than the number of teeth in his mouth. Just check him out.

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      Nihal 3 months ago

      andy murray should be here he is the greatest player of all time

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      Keith beaumobt 4 months ago

      Why do they always forget. Ken rosewall

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      Neophytos 4 months ago

      Djokovic should be above Sampras in my opinion. Easily. He reached a higher level with an obviously better well-rounded game.

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      Beni 4 months ago

      Why don't you have in the list Ilie Nastase? He was better than Bjorn Borg (they played in the same period) and even ATP says about Ilie Nastase that he was the most talented tennis player of all time!

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      Pat Rafter 4 months ago

      Obviously written by an American. There are a big list of players who should be above half this list, they just happen to not be Americans.

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      G-man 4 months ago

      All these tennis players are great, I have no top pick, but I love Rafa for never giving up and grinding through ever tough match. I do not think there is any tennis player who can match his intensity and focus on court.

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      Mehmood 4 months ago

      Where is Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg guys, they were also most popular, loved & great players of their time.

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      Censuwine 4 months ago

      What about Wilander? He also won on all surfaces - the Australian Open used to be played on grass when he won it. I would take Sampras out and put Wilander in. Beyond the serve and volley kind of game that is possible on the fast surfaces, Sampras was only marginally above average on the slow courts. He couldn't compete in Paris to save his life.

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      tennis fan Norway 4 months ago

      Andy Murray should be on that top 10 list. Winning that many big trophies playing in the same era as Roger, Rafa and Novak is an enormous achievement.

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      Ugljesa23 4 months ago

      I don't think there is a single greatest player of all time (there is the most successful though), but the trio of Roger, Rafa and Novak is the best, as each of them has achieved what the other two has not. Why? Federer won 19 Grand Slams (the vast majority of them prior to Nadal-Novak maturing) and is record holder in #1 weeks. On the other hand, he had not beaten Nadal in any GS match for 10 years (!), and has not beaten Novak in a GS final since 2007. He holds negative H2Hs vs both his biggest rivals, and it was only in 2017 that he somewhat improved his devastating H2H vs Nadal. He has never beaten Nadal in Roland Garros, never played 5 setter there, never beaten him in Monte Carlo or Rome. Both Federer and Novak not only achieved what Sampras could not even come close to (RG title), but they did it in Nadal's era. Nadal holds a negative H2H vs Novak, with two 0-7 streaks, the last of which included 0-15 sets. An undisputed champion of clay, the best ever who played on that surface. Novak is to be praised as he fought out his way to accompany these two - unbelievable and undisputed champions of their time - only to find his place on equal terms - holding a positive H2H vs both, having beaten both in each GS, including Rafa 3-0 in RG and on any other Master-series clay court. The only of the three to have won the Grand Slam (the holder of the four in the same time), an ATP points record holder (16950), played 17 consecutive finals and a winner of 8/9 Masters (with 5 lost Cincinnati finals). Novak has never beaten Rafa in RG final and overall lost there 6 times to him. Both Roger and Novak hold negative H2H to Rafa in wins/losses in GS finals. Nole and Rafa played record 50 matches, Nole-Federer 45. So, you see - unless you are a casual tennis fan who believes that his idol pees gold - it is not really that one player is truly the best ever. I believe that this trio is something this sport have never seen and will likely never see again - as they have achieved what they did while constantly playing each other. Once any of them retires, this sport won't be the same.

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      Marko 4 months ago

      .First time Djokovic defeated Federer in GS when Federer was 27 yo (it was on AO 2008 in semifinal!) No more no less.And again in 2011, AO semifinal, Federer lost to Novak when He was 30 yo.Wimbledon 2011, Federer lost QF to Tsonga.And so on and on...Federer hasn't won US open for 10 years (last time it was in 2008).On Aussie last time was on 2017, after 7 long years.Wimbledon after 5 years in 2017.Novak wasn't there (finished earlier due to health problems).In those years from 2012 to 2017,it was domination of Novak and Nadal.And it's nothing to do with Federer's old years, but to strong competition.

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      Ryder 4 months ago

      Well these tennis players are amazing

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      4 months ago

      ? list is not correct in my opinion

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      orisraeli 4 months ago

      nadal is the best

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      todd saed 5 months ago

      Pancho Gonzalez beat Rod Laver, Don BUdge beat him, Ellsworth VInes and Jack Kramer could also beat anybody, any era, lack of tennis history knowledge here, big time,Pancho the best, Bud COllins said it too

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      Prashant S Akerkar 5 months ago

      It was great watching games between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

      Same with Federer and Nadal.

      Thanks & Regards,

      Prashant S Akerkar

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      dave 5 months ago

      borg is the greatest having won 11 slams in a year period .had he not retired would have easy eclipsed the others

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      Aj 5 months ago

      313131 What are you on about? Federer is the best. Period.

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      313131 5 months ago

      Roger at this very moments has the numbers and the needed consistency to be the greatest of all time, but I believe that it's not just about titles. There's competition, rivalries, impact on court, attitude etc. For me both Nadal and Djokovic have something more than Federer. What this is, who knows.. Just feel that they are just a little underrated, especially Novak who's been consistent as hell after 2007, but doesn't get that hype. Anyways, just an opinion, don't kill me.

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      Rahul 5 months ago

      Roger Federar is the Greatest and best tennis player of all time....but he knows himself not better than Rafael Nadal

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      Markimark 5 months ago

      Correction to my comment below: Only 3 times on grass...

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      Markimark 5 months ago

      Federer should be number 1 by far! A lot of tennis fans argue about the head to head against Nadal which ja in nadals favour (23:15). But you need to look closer on this aspect. They played 15 times against each other on clay (13:2 for Nadal) but only 3 times on clay (2:1 for Fed). That means that they played almost 40% of the matches on Nadals best surface but only 7 % on Federers best surface. Federer is the better player on the other surfaces except clay. If you take all the other stats into consideration (year end number one, weeks number one, titles, consecutive semifinals and finals at slams) there is on doubt that Roger is the GOAT!

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      Jairam 5 months ago

      Great ratings Roger Federer is surely the best no one can beat him

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      Reese 5 months ago

      I hate Roger Federer Novak Djokovic is the best he beat him 3000 times

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      5 months ago

      real list should be:

      1. federer

      2. laver

      3. sampras

      4. djokovic

      5. agassi

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      Yo 6 months ago

      It looks like Jimmy Connors just lost a game.

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      Jimmer 6 months ago

      There's a reason Federer got 69% of the vote and Nadal got 14%

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      saher ibrahim 6 months ago

      pete Sampras is the greatest ever to hold a racket

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      hayden north 6 months ago

      roger is the best tennis player of all time for now

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      Rogg 6 months ago

      Federer has brought the sport to a whole new level. It’s more than tennis. Just by the stats, he owns that GOAT spot. I believe it shouldn’t only be based on numbers, titles, prize money, etc. When you think of tennis you can’t help but think of Federer. It doesn’t matter if someone surpasses Federers slams, titles in the future, what he has done for tennis and raise it to the platform that is at now will always make him the greatest in history.

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      mike 6 months ago

      roger federer should be number one

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      Alan 6 months ago

      1. Laver

      2. McEnroe

      3. Agassi

      4. Sampras

      5. Federer

      6. Nadal

      (Do we really imagine Nadal dominating the above guys? I don't think so.)

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      Roger Federer biggest fan 7 months ago

      Roger Federer is always called Master Federer by me. I worship him day and night. He calls me his biggest fan. So I believe that he should be at the first position in ATP Rankings.

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      Percy 7 months ago

      Would suggest that someone no one mentions as an all rounder as being the greatest of all time is Roy Emerson. He had 28 Grand Slam wins although some before the Open era.

      What is not considered is that

      1. He won bot singles AND doubles at many tournaments This means playing 14 matches NOT 7 and in the days of no tie breaks. From the fitness point of view he must have been a great player.

      Many people today opt out of doubles if they make the finals of the singles or do not play the doubles at all.

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      mabrito67 7 months ago

      @PandaBears Federer also lacks an important outdoor hard court title: Olympic Gold Medal in singles. To win all GS plus the OG in singles is called Career Gold Slam, there is no such label for the WTF.

      @Pascal Nadal has won at least 2 GS titles on each surface (hard, clay and grass). Federer only won 1 GS on clay. So Nadal has his GS titles more evenly distributed by surface than Federer.

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      Berlin 7 months ago

      I think Roger just took the game to a whole different dimension.

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      Pascal 8 months ago

      Ok let's compare it.

      Nadal is better than Fed on Clay

      Fed is better than Nadal on Grass

      Nadal has 10 clay slam

      Fed has 8 grass slam... For this fact Nadal is better than Roger on his profession.

      Now on hard Fed is better than Rafa, because he won more slam. So for now Fed got to be considered the GOAT, but he played 5 years more than RAFA...Rafa can clearly finished his career as the GOAT, He needs to win a couple more slam on Hard to change the mind of everybody. I think he'll do.

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      PandaBears 8 months ago

      The only debate now, who is #1 and #2....Both Nadal and Federer have a case for #1 but Roger does have the edge in "overall numbers" and on all surfaces. Nadal has the h2h but lacks indoor numbers especially the year end championship. For now IMO, Fed is #1 and Rafa #2...Rafa needs that year end championship at least once.

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      Tiger 8 months ago

      It should be obvious who is the Goat! The player who wins heavily over another in their prime! The one who wins most vs each other in majors! The one who played against the tougher period of players!

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      sanj puth 8 months ago

      2018 aus open will settle all the fuming over goat debate because rafa is gonna win it.

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      Lul 8 months ago

      The head to head vs one particular guy stats does not determine how good u are as a tennis player.

      Federer has the most records of the history:

      Grand Slams, Grand Slam finals, Grand Slam semifinals.

      Consecutive weeks as Nº 1, (237) , Weeks as nº 1 (302).

      6 Master Series Finals Titles.

      And the most important: His playstyle.

      The most orthodox player in the history, grab a tennis book, see how u should serve, how u should backhand and then see Roger in a slow motion.

      And his TALENT, as Mark said 2 days ago, he can hit any shot.

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      Mvin 8 months ago

      You are right Jc. These federer clowns doesnt know rafa dominates roger overall one on one. They are very close in hardcourts and grass total domination on clay... He should dominate Rafa convincingly on hardcourts, grass and clay to be called GOAT... but unfortunately he hasnt... so Rafa is GOAT

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      Mark 8 months ago

      Federer has been in more Grand Slam semi-finals than any other player has been in quarter-finals. He has been in almost as many finals and Nadal has Quarter-Finals. He holds the number 1 and 2 spots in terms of consecutive grand-slam appearances with 10 and 8. He has won more matches at the US Open, Australian Open, and Wimbledon than Nadal has won at the French. He has won the second most number of matches at the French (only 15 or so behind Rafa). Meanwhile, Nadal has won slightly over half of the matches at the other slams as Federer.

      Just think about these numbers and consistency/dominance. Also, Rafa plays a very impressive game, but he pushes himself physically perhaps too much. This increases the chance of injury, but helps you win matches.

      Nadal is probably the better athlete, and definitely the best Clay court player (his match against Coria at the French is one of my favorite matches of all time), but I dont think we can call him the greatest tennis player based on stats alone. He still has time, though, but he will need to dominate the sport to a certain degree over the next few years. We will see.

      In terms of raw talent, subjectivity will always rule, but my vote is for Feds. He can hit any shot, and has a grace about the way he plays.

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      mabrito67 8 months ago

      Dear Bill De Giulio.

      Upload the ranking information please! Nadal won his 3th US Open and 16th Grand Slam overall :).

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      rene zamora 8 months ago

      you have to be blind or plain stupid if any one thinks that rafa nadal is not the greatest of all time.he has the lead in head to head matches,i will take john McEnroe who says rafa is the greatest-plus all of the americans would be in front if they had played,1rafa nadal 2pete Sampras 3.john McEnroe 4.jimmy conners 5.andre Agassi 6borg-7 lendel 8.novak 9.laver 10.federer, just made it to 10

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      Sid 8 months ago

      Nadal is by far the greatest of all time. Federer can never be called greatest with such a low record against Nadal.

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      sumit 8 months ago

      Sustaining the injuries is an essential for a player..So Federer is one and only GOAT

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      YOU 8 months ago

      actually this is how it should be











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      Larry Coulthurst 8 months ago

      Where are the names of Bill Tilden, Don Budge, Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzales?

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      Uday 8 months ago

      Roger Fedrer the best of all time.

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      mabrito67 8 months ago

      @Huh? Nadal has won a Masters 1000 on indoor hard courts: Madrid Open 2005. He also won another ATP tournament on indoor clay. Nadal is the only player along with Wilander who has won at least 2 Grand Slam titles on any asurface (grass, clay or hard). Federer only has 1 of 19 Grand Slams on clay. It means only 5% of Federer's Grand Slam titles are on clay. Nadal doesn't have such a low percentage on any Grand Slam surface.

      @Mimi Sampras only has 14 Grand Slams. Nadal has 15. Nadal has won all Grand Slams on all surfaces (hard, clay or grass). Therefore he is more complete than Sampras. Sampras was bad on clay. Sampras never won the French Open, he didn't even arrive to the final of the French Open in his entire career.

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      C-A Bauer 9 months ago

      What about Stefan Edberg ?

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      Heather ward 9 months ago

      I don't disagree with the top 3 but Andy Murray should be in the top 10. Somebody suggested Pat Cash! Murray's way better than he was. He won 11 out of 12 of the matches the year Britain won the Davis Cup, 2 singles gold medals at the Olympics and 42 weeks at number one.

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      vitaly 9 months ago

      roger federer 19 slams the greatest of all time

      been number 1 for weeks then anybody in history

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      Tennis fan 9 months ago

      It's obvious Rod Laver would have surpassed Roger Federer with the most grand slams but Roger is the greatest of all time.

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      nicela 9 months ago

      @Joel de silva, you are obviously a raffa's correct that roger lost way more games....but federer is overall better in games than raffa ;-) i don't think we are gonna discus about this

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      Huh? 9 months ago

      Obviously Federer is the GOAT but I'd put Laver as #2 and Nadal as #3. When are people going to admit that Nadal is essentially a clay courter who occasionally wins on other surfaces? One look at his 73 career titles - says it all 53 titles on clay (37 are from just 4 tournments), 20 on other surfaces. His career record in hard court finals? 16 wins, 24 losses. Grass? He can barely stand on the stuff the last 6 years. Indoors? Has he ever won an indoor hard court Masters 1000 event? I don't think so. Plus, he's never won the ATP Tour Finals and has only been in 2 finals. On clay - he's been Superman. Anything NOT CLAY is his kryptonite.

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      Rhianne Gear 9 months ago

      Partly agree with list. Top 3 is 100% correct. I'd have Borg 4, Djokovic 5, Sampras 6, Lendl 7, Murray 8, Agassi 9, Becker 10.

      Factors depend on competitiveness of era. 90's weaker era than now.

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      usopentennis2017 9 months ago

      Good Post!! Roger Federer has won 19 Grand Slam singles titles. Roger Federer is a great character. visit tennis players

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      Paul H Davis, Jr 10 months ago

      From the time Roger Federer began his dominance, I have always been an avid supporter as well due to his outstanding character on the courts as well as off. I remain behind him for as long as he represents men's tennis in the most admirable method I have ever witnessed in any sport. He is truly an inspiration to all who play the game.

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      Joel de silva 10 months ago

      How could roger be better than Rafa an in there 37 meeting Rafa won 24.federer turn pro in 1998 Rafa in 2001 that's 3 more years making it 12 grand slam with no nadal an about 15 months on injuries.Food 4 taught

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      simon yen 10 months ago

      why isn't Roy Emerson in the top 10 who has won 12 grand slam titles?

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      Mimi 10 months ago

      Where is Bjorn Borg here????? And I'm sorry but when we talk about dominancy in tennis you have to put Sampras at the number 2 spot, he's been dominated tennis for like 6 years in a row, Nadal never dit that, he has 5 Master Nadal 0. If you erase the clay titles that Rafa has, I don't think he would be in your top 10. My top 3 is definitely: Federer,Sampras and then Laver

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      ishika 10 months ago

      why isn't Andy Murray in the top ten?

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      Sanjay HUBBALLI(India-Pune) 10 months ago


      You are going great, example is 2017 Wimbledon Result!!!

      Keep on playing till you reach 50 years.

      Believe me you can do it.

      Good luck!!!!

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      starman445 10 months ago

      "WHAT IFS" don't cut it.....Actual stats, facts, numbers, and big wins are what we can objectively analyze. Yes, Rod Laver MAY HAVE won more slam titles if he were allowed to play the slams as a professional. Yes Borg may MAY HAVE won more slams if he hadn't retired retired at 26...Those are strong educated guesses but not absolutes. All we can do is be honest evaluating the comparative numbers of what each great player ACTUALLY accomplished during their respective careers.....The author did just that.

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      starman445 10 months ago

      This is an excellent list from top to bottom, unbiased and very fair based on performance....Good Job!

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      Jack 10 months ago

      I think Roy Emerson deserves a spot on this list.

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      Richard 10 months ago

      In an era of ever increasing talent Federer and Nadal are TOTAL dominance

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      Rohan Gupta 10 months ago


      lets not forget the other Hard Court Major...The US Open. You just said that Djokovic won more Australian Opens than Federer, but Federer won more US and Australian Opens combined than any other player. While I agree that Federer may not dominate a specific surface, his longevity and number of Grand Slams won is significantly better than any of his competition. Tennis isn't about one match. It's a whole journey in a tournament. And Federer has clearly had a better major performance than Nadal. So Nadal may be the king of clay, Federer is now the undisputed king of grass thanks to his wimbledon win, and also has won more hard court majors than any other player, making him the best hard court player as well. Let's face it: FEDS THE GOAT

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      Mitz 10 months ago

      FEDERER easily. Yes Nadal has won their head to head but until he spends 5 years ranked #1 and wins more slams, Nadal cant be considered the GOAT. At nearly 36, Federer is still winning slams and playing the best tennis of his career. Nadal is a great athlete but he has to be second in my books. Wimbledon 2017 just proves my argument. Not to mention Federer has won 4 or 5 of his last meetings with Rafa, so the head to head is swinging slowly in Roger's favour

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      niki 10 months ago

      How is this even a discussion? Laver by a mile.

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      John Elliott 10 months ago

      Roger Federer is the greatest player of all time,no one can comes

      close to his ability to place shots his opponent can't touch.

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      piru 10 months ago

      Pete Sampras is the best tennis player ever because he danced when he was playing. had an artistic style and looked like he's flying while runing cathching his ball

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      Evert ten Napel 10 months ago

      Missing Richard Krajicek, Pete Sampras VS Richard Krajicek head2head 6-4 so Richard was a better player then Pete Sampras. My list

      1 Roger Federer

      2 John McEnroe

      3 Stefan Edberg

      4 Boris Becker

      5 Novak Djokovic

      6 Richard Krajicek

      7 Andre Agassi

      8 Fabrice Santoro

      9 Pat Cash

      10 Goran Ivanišević

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      Mahboob 10 months ago

      Surprising to see people doubting Federer's superiority here. Most of them missing the point is he is 5 years older than Nadal & 7 of Novak - at their prime, Roger was a different also. His record in French is relatively poor only because of cutting the path with the by far best ever Clay Court player. Without Rafa, Roger would have won at least 6 more French.

      His W/L ratio in Grand Slam is relatively poor because of long career of almost 2 decades. Overall, his consistency in every type of Court is unparalleled. Apart from age gap, another reason for his poor head to head with Rafa is that most tournaments these days are played on Clay & there is no doubt that Rafa is by far the best clay court player against anyone. If these 2 existed may be 50 years back, this head to head would have been even more skewed to Roger.

      All 3 are outstanding all round players, but Roger is the all round player & great to watch.

      My top 4 will be, in order





      For 5th spot, Borg, Sampras, Lendel has to fight it out, because they don't hold a career grand slam.

      PS: Game has changed lot since Lever era, therefore it's unfair to compare players of different era. Personally, I don't think any player from early 70s or before would have survived modern power tennis, but he is true legend of the game.

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      Ven 10 months ago

      @Michael Hogan Please don't offer an excuse of Borg having a shorter career. He is great no doubt but Federer and Nadal are greater and their Grand Slam titles back this up.

    • profile image

      Michael Hogan 10 months ago

      Borg had a shorter career than most and would defeat all on this list with losses here and there to Federer or Nadal or whomever but he should be listed as number one. His win/entered ratio is greater and he was second many, many times.


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