Top 25 Greatest Men’s Tennis Players (All-Time Rankings)

greatest tennis players of all time

Tennis is the sport of eloquence and agility. One cannot easily make a name in a sport as competitive as this. It takes time, dedication, and most of all, skill. It’s not like no one has ever gotten the title, though. 

When it comes to all-time rankings, a lot of things come into play, such as the number of Grand Slams and how long players hold their all-time ranking. 

So without waiting further, here are the top 25 greatest male tennis players of all time.

#25 Andy Roddick

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • 26 career titles
  • 1 Career Grand Slam
  • ATP World record for fastest serve
  • Reached #1 in the world
  • He stayed in the top 10 players for a while

The 39-year-old Andy Roddick is famous for his fastest serve in the world and for playing the points short. Roddick has one Grand Slam and 26 career titles under his belt so far.

Andy Roddick has reached the ranks of Roger Federer quite a few times, which is certainly not an easy feat. 

He won his career’s first and only Grand Slam (so far) in the US Open in 2003. 

» Read my blog post about: Top 20 Greatest Female Tennis Players (All-Time Rankings)

#24 Gustavo Kuerten

Country: 🇧🇷 Brazil

Key Achievements: 

  • 3 Career Grand slams
  • 20 career titles  
  • 5 ATP titles
  • 69.9% win percentage on clay courts

Gustavo, also known as Guga Kuerten, is worth mentioning on the list because this player has some records under his belt, and he is a specialist on clay courts. 

He won all three of his career Grand Slams at the French Open in 1997, 2000, and 2001. Guga won his five ATP titles, by the end of his career, after pairing up with the Brazilian player Fernando Meligeni. 

Most of his success was on clay courts, but he did play well on hard surfaces too.

Guga may not have had much success in Grand Slams, but he was a beast at the Roland Garros. 

#23 Ilie Nastase

Country: 🇷🇴 Romania 

Key Achievements: 

  • Tennis Hall of Fame inductee 
  • 4 Masters Grand Prix titles 
  • 2 Grand Slams 
  • 57 career titles
  • Won 780 singles matches

Beauty on the clay courts, Ilie Nastase, has won 2 Grand Slam titles in his career. His tennis career spanned over 16 years, from 1969 to 1985. 

Nastase is known to have won every match on the carpet court and has won ATP titles on all surfaces too. He may not have been the most difficult opponent in singles matches but was a complete threat when paired up with someone in doubles matches.

He’s won a Grand Slam in all forms: singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. 

#22 Arthur Ashe

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • First African-American to win a Grand Slam
  • 33 career titles  
  • 3 Grand Slams 
  • Biggest activist for the fight against AIDS

The African-American, Arthur Ashe was a tough competitor on the courts. He’s won all Grand Slams in his career, except the French Open.

Ashe was and still is the biggest face in the fight against AIDS and was an off-court legend for his social activism.

He had a rivalry against Roy Emerson in the 1960s before the Open Era. Ashe won his final championship at Wimbledon by defeating another American player Jimmy Connors. 

#21 Thomas Muster

Country: 🇦🇹 Austria 

Key Achievements: 

  • King of Clay
  • 44 career titles  
  • 1 Grand Slams 
  • Reached #1 in 1996
  • ATP’s “comeback player” of the year

The Austrian, Thomas Muster, has a 77% win percentage on clay courts, which is enough to suffice his title the “King of Clay.”

He won his only career Grand Slam at the French Open in 1995 after defeating Michael Chang.

Out of his 44 career titles, Thomas Muster won 40 of them on the clay courts. 

Muster reached the #1 player in the world in the early days of 1996. Today, he may not be as well known as some of the players of his time, but Muster was a tough nut during his era. 

#20 Stan Wawrinka

Country: 🇨🇭 Switzerland 

Key Achievements: 

  • 2 Olympics gold medal 
  • 16 singles career titles  
  • 3 Grand Slams 
  • Davis Cup winner 

Starting the list off with Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss tennis player who earned his first Association Of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles ranking in the world in 2014. 

After that, he went on to further conquer the ATP by winning 3 Grand Slam titles consecutively from 2014 to 2015. Wawrinka further went on to win 2 gold medals in the Beijing Olympics along with his partner, Roger Federer. 

With achieving a total of 16 career titles in singles and 2 in the doubles, Stan Wawrinka has been mentioned in the Economist magazine as “Tennis’ great latecomer,” and seeing all his achievements, I couldn’t agree more. 

#19 Guillermo Vilas

Country: 🇦🇷 Argentina

Key Achievements: 

  • 62 career titles 
  • No.2 on the ATP ranking 
  • 4 Grand Slams  
  • WCT finals 
  • Tour finals 

Former professional tennis player Vilas was number one in the Grand Prix seasons in 1974-1975 and 1977. The Argentinian player also went on to acquire 4 Grand Slams and one year-end master’s title. This bagged him the best player of his time title. 

Known for his rich playing technique, Vilas won more than 900 matches in the open Era, being crowned the second man to do so. Not to mention being titled with the most wins on clay courts. 

Ranked by the daily telegraph as the 3rd best male clay-court player, Vilas has won 62 ATP titles peaking at no.2 in 1975, which he withheld for 83 weeks.

#18 Jim Courier

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • 2 Davis cup
  • 23 singles career titles 
  • 5 Masters titles 
  • 4 Grand Slams    

A 4-time major singles title winner, Courier has seen a lot of peaks in his career. Titled the youngest man to reach the singles final at the ripe age of 22, he even went on to win 2 Masters titles. 

A junior tennis prodigy, Courier, won the Orange Bowl back to back in 1986-1987, and the French juniors double open in 1987. So, it’s that clear right off the bat Courier was made for the court. In 2000 Courier retired and then, in 2005, worked as a commentator for major tennis events. 

» You can also read my post: Tallest Male & Female Tennis Players in the World

#17 John Newcombe 

Country: 🇦🇺 Australia 

Key Achievements: 

  • 61 career titles 
  • 41 open-era titles 
  • 12 doubles Grand Slams 
  • 7 singles titles 
  • 5 Davis cup titles
  • No.1 in both singles and doubles 

One of the very few men to have attained a world No.1 ranking, Newcombe was rated as the 10th best male tennis player between 1965-2005. 

The Australian-born set out to have the tennis world in his hands and managed to do exactly that. He’s won 7 singles titles and a former record of 17 men’s doubles titles. 

Newcombe was a member of the Australian Davis Cup and was the pivot in its success. He was ranked the best amateur player in 1967.

He and his fellow companion, Tony Roche, won 12 Grand Slam titles in doubles, forming a new record for most titles owned. 

#16 Roy Emerson

Country: 🇦🇺 Australia

Key Achievements: 

  • 110 career titles 
  • Ranked No.1  
  • 12 singles titles 
  • 16 doubles titles 
  • 28 Grand slam titles  

The first male player to win 12 singles majors, holding the record for 30 years, Emerson made quite an impact on modern tennis. The way Emerson played felt as if he’d won the moment he began. 

Bagging 12 Grand Slam titles and 16 Grand Slam doubles titles; there was hardly anything he ever lost. He even copped 28 Grand Slam titles and was the first of 4 males to complete a double career in Grand Slams. 

#15 Stefan Edberg 

Country: 🇸🇪 Sweden

Key Achievements: 

  • 41 career titles
  • 3 Grand Slam wins 
  • 6 singles Grand Slams 
  • 4 championship titles 
  • Semifinals of 1988 Olympics 

The former proponent of the serve-and-volley style of tennis, Edberg has won a total of 6 Grand Slams singles titles and 3 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles.

Standing high and mighty at 6 ‘1, Edberg is one of the two men in the open era to be ranked No.1 in both singles and doubles. 

Taking a unique style of playing didn’t stop the player from excelling; instead, he went on to win the Masters Grand Prix and won the 4 Masters series, not to mention the 4 championship titles he has under his name. It’s without a doubt that Edberg is a pioneer of tennis. 

#14 Ken Rosewall 

Country: 🇦🇺 Australia 

Key Achievements: 

  • 147 career titles 
  • 15 Pro Slam titles 
  • 24 major men’s doubles titles 
  • 9 Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles 
  • 8 singles Grand Slams

Top ranking world amateur and pro tennis player, Rosewall quickly made his ground in the unfamiliar courts of tennis.

By winning 23 major singles titles and 8 Grand Slam titles, Rosewall was ranked No.1 frequently from 1961 to 1964. 

And if this wasn’t enough, he also became the first male player to win the Grand Slam without dropping a set in the open era. He is also the only player to have won Pro Grand Slam titles on 3 different surfaces. Now, that’s a skill.

#13 Mats Wilander 

Country: 🇸🇪 Sweden

Key Achievements: 

  • 33 singles titles 
  • the youngest man in history to win 4 Grand Slams 
  • 7 Davis cups
  • No.1 world player 
  • 7 Grand Slam titles

This Swedish world No.1 player has achieved a lot in his career. This includes 7 Grand Slam titles and being 1 of the 3 men to have won Grand Slam titles in all 3 courts twice. 

By getting his breakthrough in the 1982 French opens at 17, Wilander showed massive dedication to making such a renowned name for himself. 

The Swedish player also won 8 Super Grand Prix titles and was the reason Sweden won 7 consecutive Davis cups. And if all this wasn’t enough, in 2002, Wilander sealed his legacy with his inclusion in the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. 

#12 Andy Murray 

Country: 🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Key Achievements: 

  • 2 Olympic gold medals 
  • 46 career titles 
  • Winner of 2016 tour finals 
  • Davis cup 2015 

A British tennis player from Scotland, Andy Murray, has been ranked world No.1 by the ATP for 41 weeks. He even acclaimed the year-end No.1 in 2016. The player went on to win 3 Grand Slams singles and has reached 11 major titles. 

Rising to fame easily, Murray had immediate success in the ATP tours just at the ripe age of 19. The young-blooded player managed to achieve everything through effort, paving the way for all passionate young players. 

» Read my blog post: Here Is What Shoes Does Andy Murray Wear!

#11 Boris Becker 

Country: 🇩🇪 Germany 

Key Achievements: 

  • 6 major singles title
  • 13 masters series 
  • Olympic gold medal 
  • 3 Grand Slams 
  • 49 career titles 

Successful since the start of his career, Becker has won 6 major singles titles at just 17. He then went on to acquire 3 Grand Slam titles as well as being voted as player of the year by both ATP and ITF. 

Now retired, Becker engages in coaching different multinational players such as the infamous Djokovic.

During the height of his career, Becker also won the Olympic gold medal. 

#10 Jimmy Connors 

Country: 🇺🇸 USA

Key Achievements: 

  • 160 weeks on ATP ranking
  • 8 major singles titles
  • 17 Grand Prix Super
  • 109 career titled
  • 8 Grand Slams 

Former no.1 player, Connors has won 8 major singles, along with 3 year-end championships. Starting tennis at a young age, Connors proved to be a child prodigy by winning the Junior Orange Bowl at 12 years old. 

Hard Work was Connor’s middle name as he won the NCAA singles titles while he was still a freshman at UCLA. 

#9 Ivan Lendl

Country: 🇨🇿 Czechia

Key Achievements: 

  • 5 tour finals 
  • 94 career titles 
  • 2 WCT finals
  • Davis cup 
  • Contested 19 major finals 

Widely regarded as the No.1 player, Lendl is a Czechoslovakian player who later attained US citizenship. He’s won 8 central singles titles and 94 singles titles. He was also runner-up at a long-held record of being the first man to contest 19 major finals. 

Lendl is the only man in history to have a winning percentage of over 90.

He’s commonly referred to as the ‘Father of the modern game’, and his 8 Grand Slams surely aid to the title. 

#8 Rod Laver 

Country: 🇦🇺 Australia 

Key Achievements: 

  • 11 Grand Slams 
  • 3 mixed doubles Grand Slam
  • 5 Davis cup
  • 6 double Grand Slam 
  • 8 professional majors 

Former No.1 player Rod Laver was crowned this position from 1964-1965 and 1969-1970. He was also given the title of the No.1 amateur in 1961.  

By now, it’s clear that his entry caused a frenzy in the tennis world. Laver’s 198 singles titles are the most held in history, and he even excelled in every court surface, from grass to clay. 

#7 John McEnroe 

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • 77 singles titles 
  • 78 doubles titles 
  • 9 Grand Slam doubles titles 
  • 7 Grand Slam singles titles 
  • 5 WCT finals 
  • 3 Masters Grand Prix 

Known for his shots, McEnroe has set a pedestal above all others in tennis by winning 77 singles and 78 doubles. With this, he is the only player to have won more than 70 titles in both men’s singles and doubles. 

He’s grabbed 7 Grand Slam titles and one Grand Slam mixed doubles. His aggressive play on courts has gotten him in trouble a lot, but he still managed to pop back in passionately.  

#6 Bjorn Borg 

Country: 🇸🇪 Sweden

Key Achievements: 

  • 16 Grand Prix super series
  • 11 Grand Slams 
  • Only Swedish player to have more than 10 Grand Slams 
  • 66 singles titles 
  • 1 WCT finals win

The first man in the open era to have 11 Grand Slam titles, Borg was a former No.1 player between 1974-1981. He has consecutively won 4 French Opens but never a US open despite playing 4 times. 

Bjorn Borg is the only man to have won both the Wimbledon opens and French Opens for 3 consecutive years. 

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#5 Andre Agassi 

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • 17 masters titles 
  • 3 Davis cup
  • Career Grand Slam 
  • Super Slam 
  • Olympic gold medalist 

8-time major champion Agassi is the second in 5 men to have a career in Grand Slam in the open era. He is also the first of 2 men to have the career Golden Slam and the only man to have a super Slam. 

Besides this, he is also an Olympic gold medalist while he’s also won 4 singles on all types of courts. During all his career highs, he was referred to as ‘The punisher. 

#4 Pete Sampras 

Country: 🇺🇸 USA 

Key Achievements: 

  • 64 singles titles 
  • 2 Davis cup
  • 5 tour finals 
  • 14 Grand Slams

Former American player Sampras has achieved 14 major singles titles. He went on to be ranked No.1 in 1993, holding the position for a further 286 weeks. 

A right-handed player with a killer backhand earned the title of “Pistol Pete” giving his opponents a tough man to beat. Later in 2007, he was included in the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. 

#3 Novak Djokovic 

Country: 🇷🇸 Serbia

Key Achievements: 

  • 20 Grand Slams singles titles 
  • 87 ATP singles titles 
  • 38 masters events 
  • 1st to achieve double career Grand Slam 

Currently ranked as the No.1 professional tennis player by the ATP, Djokovic has been ranked at the position for a total of 371 weeks, even finishing the year-end No.1 seven times. 

Djokovic was quick to make a name for himself by defeating the then-top duo of Nadal and Federer. Soon the duo transformed into a trio with Djokovic in the lead.

In 2011, he earned his first No.1 by winning 5 Masters events, followed by 3 out of 4 majors. 

Djokovic has also shone light onto his country by winning bronze in the Beijing Olympics as well as leading his team in the Davis cup. 

» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: What Tennis Racquet Novak Djokovic Uses?

#2 Rafael Nadal 

Country: 🇪🇸 Spain 

Key Achievements: 

  • 21 Grand Slams 
  • 91 ATP singles titles 
  • 81 wins on clay 
  • 2 time Olympic gold medalist 
  • Career Grand Slam recipient
  •  Davis cup
  • 5 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award 

Ranked No.5 in singles by ATP, Nadal has won an all-time high of 21 singles Grand Slams, including a record 13 French Opens. He’s won 91 ATP singles, with 62 of these on clay courts. 

Nadal was a born player winning 16 titles and reaching No.2 in the world ranking all before his 20th birthday.

Nadal is the youngest recipient of the career Grand Slam at 24. 

#1 Roger Federer 

Country: 🇨🇭 Switzerland 

Key Achievements: 

  • 103 ATP singles titles 
  • 20 Grand Slams in singles 
  • 6 Tour finals 
  • Olympic silver medalist in 2012
  • Olympic gold medalist in 2008 
  • 3 Hoopman cups 
  • Davis cup

World No.1 ATP player Federer is the pioneer of modern tennis records. He’s finished as a year-end No.1 5 times and also won a record 8 men’s Wimbledon titles. 

Federer, along with Djokovic and Nadal, has reinvented the sport known to us today.

As part of the ‘Big 3’, Federer won his first major singles title at 21. After that, he made 18 out of 19 singles finals.

In 2014, along with Wawrinka, Federer led the Swiss team into the Davis cup victory, also winning doubles in the 2008 Olympics. 

» I have also written this post, about: Best Tennis Racquet Brands

Final Thoughts

These were the top 20 greatest players of all time, and seeing their contribution to the sport, it’s clear they deserved it. 

These players worked relentlessly to get the high pedestal and weren’t an overnight sensation. They provide a means of motivation to all the passionate newbies in the game to never give up and keep on trying!

Hi, I'm Simon, and I am passionate about "other sports".

There are many other (and much more fun!) sports than football, soccer and hockey.

If you are looking for inspiration beyond the most popular sports in the world, then you have come to the right place.


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