Blog Entry

Top 10 Male Tennis Players of All-Time

Posted on: June 22, 2010 1:56 am
 
So a few months ago I ranked the Top 10 Tennis players of the decade. Now I decided to do the top 10 players of All-Time.

Using only the 4 GS tournaments here is how the points were awarded:

Winner - 2000 pts
RUP - 1200 pts
SF Loss - 720 pts
QF Loss - 360 pts
4th Rd Loss - 180 pts
3rd Rd Loss - 90 pts
2nd Rd Loss - 45 pts
1st Rd Loss - 10 Pts

Career Grand Slam - 2000 pts
Calendar Year Grand Slam - 2500 pts

For players that played professional tennis before the open era (i.e. Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Bill Tilden), I gave them points for the 3 major pro tournaments as follows:

Winner - 360 pts
RUP - 180 pts
SF Loss - 90 pts
QF Loss - 45 pts
1st Rd Loss - 10 pts

**Since there was only a 16 player draw in the pro tournaments, I didn't feel it was as hard to win one of those tournaments, so I didn't give the same point values as the Grand Slams.

I felt this points system was fair and measured not only talent but also longevity, consistency and the ability to play on all surfaces.


So, here goes the rankings. Hope you enjoy!


No. 10) Bjorn Borg (7,731pts) - The Swede had a relatively short, but brilliant career. He won a total of 11 Grand Slam singles titles in only 27 appearances, which is a 41% winning percentage and an open are a record among men. This also includes winning 6 of the 8 French Opens he entered and 5 of 9 Wimbledons. He is the only player to win 6 French Opens and 5 Wimbledons.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open - 3rd Round (1974)
  • French Open -Champion (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
  • Wimbledon - Champion (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)
  • US Open - Finalist (1976, 1978, 1980, 1981)


No. 9) Bill Tilden (8,283pts) - He played the first half of his career amateur and the second half as a pro. So he missed out on 16 years of tournaments. Believe it or not, the guy played until he was 53 years old. But nonetheless, he dominated the world of international tennis in the first half of the 1920s. From 1920-1925 he won every Grand Slam tournament he entered. And during his 18 year amateur period of 1912-30, he won 138 of 192 tournaments, and had a match record of 907-62, a winning percentage of .936.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open - Never Competed
  • French Open - Finalist (1927, 1930)
  • Wimbledon - Champion (1920, 1921, 1930)
  • US Open - Champion (1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925)


No. 8) Roy Emerson (9,691pts) - Here is a guy who not only won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, but also captured 16 doubles titles. He is the only player to have a singles and doubles career grand slam. He was also the first male player to win all 4 Grand Slams twice. Emerson had a streak of reaching the Australian Open Final 7 times, winning 6 of them. And at one point in his career he made the QF at 32 of 37 grand slams.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open - Champion (1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967)
  • French Open -Champion (1963, 1967)  
  • Wimbledon - Champion (1964, 1965)
  • US Open - Champion (1961, 1964)


No. 7) Ivan Lendl (9,905pts) - Lendl attained the World No. 1 ranking on February 28, 1983 and bolstered his claim to the top spot when he defeated John McEnroe in the 1984 French Open final. For much of the next five years, Lendl was the top ranked player until August 1990. He finished four years ranked as the world's top player (1985–1987 and 1989) and was ranked World No. 1 for a total of 270 weeks.  He won 8 Grand Slam tournaments, but could have won a lot more as he made it to the semi-finals of 20 other major tournaments.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open - Champion (1989, 1990)
  • French Open - Champion (1984, 1986, 1987)
  • Wimbledon - Finalist (1986, 1987)
  • US Open - Champion (1985, 1986, 1987)
No. 6) Andre Agassi (9,905pts) – First off, I want to say that I’ve read his book and it is excellent. I highly recommend it even if you’re not a tennis fan. Anyway, Andre is one of the best, if not the best, serve returner in the history of the game. He is also the only male player (his wife, Steffi Graf is the lone female player, go figure) to achieve a career “Golden Slam” by winning all 4 grand slams and an Olympic gold medal. He appeared in 15 grand slam finals over his career and won 8 of them. Despite the shocking revelations in his new book, he still remains to be one of the most loved players in American Tennis history.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open - Champion (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003)
  • French Open - Champion (1999)
  • Wimbledon - Champion (1992)
  • US Open - Champion (1994, 1999)
No. 5) Pete Sampras (10,096pts) – Personally, I was surprised to see “Pistol Pete” so low on the list, and I’m sure many of you are surprised as well. I looked into his statistics a little deeper to figure out why, and I came to the conclusion that he was too inconsistent at the grand slams. Yes, he won 14 grand slams, but he was also knocked out before the QF 24 times, and with the exception of 1 SF appearance, he had a bad record in Paris. Well, enough negativity. Like I said before, the guy won 14 grand slam titles, which was a record until it was broken by Roger Federer in 2009. In an 8 year stretch from 1993-2000, he won 12 of those titles including 7 Wimbledon Championships.

Best Results
  • Aussie Open – Champion (1994, 1997)
  • French Open – Semi-Finals (1996)
  • Wimbledon – Champion (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)
  • US Open – Champion (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)
No. 4) Jimmy Connors (10,111pts) – Even though Jimbo never won the French Open, he did win the US Open in 1976, which was during a short time period that the tournament was held on clay making him one of only 5 men to have won grand slam titles on 3 different surfaces. He also is the only player to win the US Open alone on 3 different surfaces.  Connors 1,337 career wins and 31 grand slam semi-final appearances are both all-time records.

Best Results
  • Aussie Open – Champion (1974)
  • French Open – Semi-Finals (1979, 1980, 1984, 1985)  
  • Wimbledon – Champion (1974, 1982)
  • US Open – Champion   (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983)
No. 3) Ken Rosewall (10,452) – In his 10 years as a pro before the open era, he won 15 major professional tournaments which is an astounding number. That only leads me to question, if he won 8 grand slams in the open era and as an amateur, how many could he have piled up if he never went pro? Not only did he win 8 grand slams, but he also made it past the QF on 17 other occasions. Those are amazing numbers considering that over his 28 year career, including his pro years and tournaments he didn’t enter for whatever reason, he missed 71 out of 113 (2 Aussie Opens in ’77) grand slams contested.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open – Champion (1953, 1955, 1971, 1972)
  • French Open – Champion (1953, 1968)
  • Wimbledon – Finalist (1954, 1956, 1970, 1974)
  • US Open – Champion (1956, 1970)
No. 2) Rod Laver (10,863) – Most of what I said for Rosewall can be repeated for Rod Laver. He won a single season grand slam not once, but twice. A feat that was not accomplished before and has not since Laver did it. Unfortunately, he spent 5 years in the pro ranks, unable to compete in the slams. Leading many people to consider him the greatest all-time even though his total number of slam victories doesn’t measure up.

Best Results
  • Aussie Open – Champion (1960, 1962, 1969)
  • French Open – Champion (1962, 1969)
  • Wimbledon – Champion (1961, 1962, 1968, 1969)
  • US Open – Champion (1962, 1969)
No. 1) Roger Federer (11,755pts) – When he beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001, everyone knew that he was going to be something special. But did we honestly think that he would be this good? Numbers don’t lie and this guy certainly has all the numbers to support the claim of being the greatest of all time. We all know that winning 16 grand slams is astonishing. But what is even more amazing is that he’s done it in a span of less than 8 years. He won 3 of the 4 slams in the same year 3 times and holds the record for most consecutive grand slam semi-final appearances with 27 in a row. In that about that same time period he reached the semis in 29 out of 31 chances. He also had a streak of reaching 10 consecutive grand slam finals from Wimbledon 2005 though the 2007 US Open. That streak was part of a 4 and 3/4 year stretch from Wimbledon 2005 to the 2010 Aussie Open in which he reach a ridiculous 18 of 19 grand slam finals. It seems to me like he was put on the planet just to keep Andy Roddick from winning another grand slam so I am really not a fan of his. But like I said above, the numbers don’t lie, and these numbers say that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all-time.

Best Results

  • Aussie Open – Champion (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)
  • French Open - Champion (2009)
  • Wimbledon – Champion (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • US Open – Champion (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)












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Category: Tennis
Comments

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2010 4:04 am
 

Top 10 Male Tennis Players of All-Time

Good stuff..out curiosity, where does Nadal rank so far?


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