Tennis is widely recognized as the popular individual sport in the world and played by millions. What a polite game of tennis is. The chief word in it seems to be “sorry” and admiration of each other’s play crosses the net as frequently as the ball. But there are very few “famous Tennis players who make it big and become the face of the sport. This is because tennis is a game of “Mind, constant diligence and vigilance”. Tennis is not a gentle game, Psychology it is vicious. This game requires your whole life not just the part of it because it’s both mental and physical.
Once Serena Williams said
If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s the concentration
Guess what I got my reason for failure in this sport. Success doesn’t come to you, you have to earn it. Only the winners got the Careem. Whoever said, “It’s not whether you win or lose that counts, ‘probably lost”. Winning is a way of expressing yourself and telling the world who you are. In this article, we are going to talk about some real famous tennis players and winners who devoted their lives to Tennis as Tennis is an addiction that once it has truly hooked a man will not let him go.
1. Serena Williams
There is saying “Ladies First” so I had started the fabulous list of famous tennis players with the stunning Serena Jameka Williams. She is undoubtedly the face of the modern Tennis era. William is an American professional tennis player and the queen of women’s singles tennis as she attains No.1 position eight times in her career. Serena was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, the U.S., and current residence in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Williams started playing tennis at the age of four and her father Richard Williams was her first coach then her mother Oracene Price. Like many black persons, Serena also faced racism but she faced it with courage and proved
“Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism”.
Serena has the highest collection of Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined. The number of her career titles is 73 which makes 5th in overall rankings. Moreover, Williams had won all four Grand Slam singles titles in (2002-03 & 2014-15) which makes her the third player after Rod Laver and Graf to achieve this twice. Williams paired with her sister Venus knocked out all in Grand Slam Finals, their team has won 14 GS doubles titles. Serena’s successful career led her to the highest-paid female athlete in 2016 and 2017. In December 2015 Sports Illustrated magazine declared her “Sportsperson of the Year”. While in singles, her career record is 847-147 (85.2%) by winning 73 career medals. In doubles, her career records 190-34 (84.8%) by winning 23 medals.
2. Roger Federer
Roger is a Swiss professional and one of the famous tennis players. He was born on 8 August 1981, in Basil, Switzerland. Also, Federer is recognized as one of the best players in Tennis history. There is a saying
“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom”.
Well, it looks like Roger took it very seriously because he can speak Standard German, Swiss-German, French, English, Italian and Swedish. Federer started playing at a very early age and won Wimbledon 1998 as a junior player. During his junior career, he won four ITF junior singles tournaments, ending his year on No 1 by Junior World ranking. He started his professional career and entered the top 100 rankings on 20 September 1999. His first victory was winning the 1999 Marseille Open, in the finals, he won this title against the champion of the 1998 French Open the great Carlos Moya. Federer’s life-changing moment came when his 19-year-old self faced the four-time defending champion and all-time Grand Slam leader Pete Sampras. This match is considered the biggest upset in tennis history.
Moreover, Roger is regarded as one of the finest tennis players of the open era. As he had won 103 ATP singles titles, 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles, and a record six ATP Finals. This is outstanding as no other male tennis player has won 20 major singles titles in the Open Era. Although Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are equally talented and these three are mostly regarded as Big Three for the competence of the game. In singles, his career record is 1242-271 (82.1%) by winning 103 career titles. As per doubles his career record is 131-92 (58.7%) by winning 8 career titles.
3. Andre Agassi
Andre Kirk Agassi is a former American professional and one of the famous tennis players. He reached the No.1 ranking in April 1995. At this position, He ruled the Tennis world for a total of 30 weeks. He was born on April 29, 1970, in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Agassi started playing the game at a very young age and it comes naturally to him. As he comes from a middle-class family still his father manages to afford three months in Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Florida. But analyzing his grip and passion in the game for thirty minutes Bollettieri left in aww. He called his parents and said
“Take your check back, He’s here for free”.
That was the turning point of his life and he fully devoted his life to the game. Further, he has a career record of 870-274 (76.0%) by winning 60 Career titles (10th in the Open Era). In Grand Slam Singles he had won the Australian Open for the years of (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003). French Open in 1999, Wimbledon in 1992, and the US Open in 1994, 1999. Andre won the Olympic Games for his country in 1996. Agassi had coached Novak and Grigor Dimitrov and married co tennis star, Steffi Graf.
4. Steffi Graf
Stefanie Maria Steffi Graf is one of the first few females and famous tennis players at that time tennis was a manly man’s sport. She was born on 14 June 1969 in Mannheim, West Germany. Her father Peter Graf was a dotted player of tennis and an enthusiastic coach. Steffi started playing the game at the age of three under his father’s coaching. Graf participated in her first tournament at the mere age of five. Graf is like a queen of Tennis as she holds the longest duration of maintaining the No.1 position for the record time of 377 total weeks. This is the longest time period by any male or female tennis player to date.
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Graf had a Career record of 900-115 (88.7%) by winning 107 Career Titles which is the 3rd all-time best. She had won six French Open singles titles, four Australian Open titles, seven Wimbledon singles titles, and five U.S Open singles titles. Graf is mostly considered the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century. In the honor of Graff, in 2004 the Berliner tennis-Arena was renamed Steffi-Graf-Stadion for her markable services towards the game. Graf was awarded International Club’s prestigious Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award.
5. Rafael Nadal
Rafael Rafa Nadal Parerna is a Spanish professional and one of the famous tennis players. He has remained No 1 for 209 weeks in the ATP rankings. He was born on 3 June 1986, Manacor, Mallorca, Spain. One of his uncles, Miguel Angel Nadal, was a retired professional footballer who used to be a member of the Spanish National Team. From his early childhood, Nadal was very fond of playing football, and Barcelona striker Ronaldo was his hero. He started playing tennis at the mere age of three when his uncle introduced it to him. His uncle Tony Nadal was a professional tennis player and coach and he remained Nadal’s coach mostly. At one point his parents asked him to choose ane sport and took his study seriously.
Tennis was his ultimate choice which proved right anyway although he loves to play golf and poker too. Nadal has a career record of 1004-204 by winning 86 career titles. In Grand Slam Singles he had 1 Australian Opens, 13 French Opens, 2 Wimbledon, 4 US Open. In doubles, his career record is 137-74 (64.9%) by winning 11 titles. He won the Olympic games in 2008 in singles and doubles in 2016.
6. Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional, one of the famous tennis players, and the current No 1 by ATP. He was born on 22 May 1987, in Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. His parents used to run a fast food parlor and he can speak English, Serbian, French, German, and Italian. Novak started playing Tennis at the age of four and was mentored by Yugoslav tennis player Jelena Gencic. She registered him in the Pilic tennis academy in Germany. Novak started his international career at the age of 14. Nadal married his high school sweetheart on 12 July 2014 and has two kids.
Djokovic has a career record of 937-192 (83.0%) by winning 81 career titles. In Grand Slam Singles he had won 8 Australian Opens, 1 French Opens, 5 Wimbledon, 3 US Open. In Doubles his career record is 56-73 (43.4%) by winning 1 career title. Novak turned pro in 2003 and the total career prize money is $143,159,599. Djokovic’s career started when Man’s tennis was dominated by Federer and Nadal. It’s so amazing to see that Djokovic is now considered as good as them. Djokovic was first ranked No 1 in 2011 and to date, he had ended as year-end No 1 on six occasions.
7. Petros Pete Sampras
Pete Sampras is an American professional tennis player. He was born on August 12, 1971, in Washington D.C U.S. Sampras was introduced to the game by himself as he found a tennis racket at his home’s basement at the age of three. Dr. Peter Fischer who happens to be a tennis enthusiast was the first person to see the game’s spark in Sampras. He coached him till 1989 and made him ready to win Wimbledon.in Singles his career record is 762-222 (77.4%) by winning 64 career titles. He had won 2 Australian Opens, 1 French Opens, 7 Wimbledon, and 5 U.S Open. As per doubles his career record is 64-70 (47.76%) by winning 2 career titles. He had won the Davis Cup twice with the team.
Pete’s name was included in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007 making him the best player of all time but many will dispute. But there is no argument he was the single person who stands against Agassi. They both made the 1990’s decade great for Tennis Pete’s excellent technique and domain of the serve-and-volley playstyle earned him the nickname of “Pistol Pete”. Pete turned pro in 1988 and retired in 2002 and His career prize money is approx $43 million.
8. Andy Murray
Sir Andrew Barron Murray is a British professional and a prominent name among the famous tennis players. He is former No 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He was born on 15 May 1987, Glasgow, Scotland. Murray’s mother introduced him to Tennis at the age of three and by the age of eight, he participated in the Central District Tennis League. Jammy Murray, Andy’s elder brother is also a professional tennis player though his main focus is on double circuits. Murray’s parents divorced when he was ten. It caused great havoc in his life but he refused to get carried away and fight back.
In the Singles circuit, his career record is 676-200 (77.2%) by winning 46 career titles. He was the first runner up in 5 Australian Open, 1 French Open as First-runner-up. Murray had won 2 Wimbledon and 1 US Open. In Doubles Murray’s career record is 76-76 (50.0%) by winning 3 career titles. In Team Competitions, Murray had won the 2015 Davis Cup.
9. Rod Laver
Rodney George Laver, famous as Rod Laver is an Australian former tennis player. He was the No 1 position holder even before the Open era started. After Roy Emerson, Laver is the male to win each grand slam twice. He was born on 9 August 1938, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. Laver started playing Tennis at a very young age and reaching his teenage years had to leave school to focus on his career. Laver turned pro in 1962 and retired in 1979.
In Singles his career record is 1473-407 (78.4%) by winning 200 career titles. Laver had won 3 Australian Opens, 2 French Opens, 4 Wimbledon, and 2 US Open. While in Doubles his career record is 235-77 (75.32%) by winning 28 career titles. In this circuit, he had won 4 Australian Opens, 1 French Opens, 1 Wimbledon, and 3 US Open as first-runner-up. Laver‘s career prize money is $1,565,413 and his total career titles are 200. Laver was ranked No 1 in the Tennis world for seven straight years (1964-1970). It is said that the “Big Three” are lucky they didn’t have a laver face.
10. Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Rune Borg is a professional tennis player from Sweden who once ruled the world of Tennis. He was born on 6 June 1956, Stockholm, Sweden. His father was a table-tennis player and won a golden racket in one competition. This racket eventually comes to Borg and the golden racket gives us the golden boy of Tennis. Borg turned pro in 1973 and retired in 1983. His career prize money is $3,655,751 by winning 101 career titles. In singles, his career record is 654-140 (82.4%) by winning 66 career titles.
Borg had won 6 French Opens, 5 Wimbledon, and 4 US Open as first-runner-up. In doubles, his career record is 86-81 (51.2%) by winning 4 career titles. With the team, he had won Davis Cup 1975. A long-haired, blonde Swede with the killer ground game made him popular and became a teenage sensation. It is said that Borg made tennis popular and was the first player to earn more than one million dollars in prize money in a single season. Bjorn Borg’s name was included in the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
11. Jimmy Connors
James Scott Connors is a former American Tennis player who ruled the ATP rankings for a then-record 160 consecutive weeks. He was born on September 2, 1952, in Belleville, IL, the U.S. He turned pro in 1972 and retired in 1996. In Singles he holds the career record of 1274-283 (81.8%) by winning 109 career titles. He has won 1 Australian Open, 2 Wimbledon, 5 US Open. In doubles, his career record is 174-78 (68.9%) by winning 16 career titles. While in team competitions, he had won Davis Cup in 1981. In his early childhood, Connors was introduced to the game by his mother and grandmother. The ladies groomed the future star player. Connors’s first Championship was The U.S boys 11-and-under of 1961.
Connors was deeply in love with fellow tennis pro-Chris Evert. The couple remained engaged for almost a year but was broke-off. In his autobiography, Jimmy accused Evert that she was pregnant by their child and unilaterally made the decision to have an abortion. Jimmy’s career prize money is $8,641,040 and had won 147 career titles. Connors was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 1998.
12. Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl is a former Czech-American professional tennis player. He was born on March 7, 1960, in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, and stands tall amongst famous tennis players. Lendl comes from a tennis family. His mother reached No 2 in the country’s ranking. He turned pro in 1978 and retired in 1994. In singles, his career record is 1068-242 (81.5%) by winning 94 career titles. He had won 2 Australian Open, 3 French Open, 3 US Open, and 2 Wimbledon as first-runner-up. In the doubles circuit, Lendl’s career record is 187-140 (57.2%) by winning 6 career titles. He had won Davis Cup 1980 with team competitions.
Lendl had won career prize money of $21,262,417 and had won 144 career titles. He was the top player of tennis for four years and held the No 1 position for 270 weeks. Evan was quiet by nature and let his game do the talking. Lendl ruled the 1980s era with big serves.
13. John McEnroe
John Patrick McEnroe Jr is a former professional American as well as one of the famous tennis players. He was born on February 16, 1959, in Wiesbaden, West Germany. He turned pro in 1978 and got retired in 1994 from men’s single tennis. In singles, his career record is 881-198 (81.6%) by winning 77 career titles. He had won 3 Wimbledon 4 US Open and ended French Open 1984 as the first runner up. While in doubles his career record is 530-103 (83.73%) by winning 78 career titles. John ruled the tennis world as the No 1 ranking holder in both singles and doubles.
McEnroe’s career prize money is approx $13 million and had won a total of 105 career titles. John inducted into the tennis Hall of fame in 1999. McEnroe is famous for his passionate game and fiery attitude. Most of the time his emotions took over his thinking which made him the most controversial player in tennis history. Despite his behavior, he was the most committed player and received ITP World Champion in 1081, 1983, and1984.
14. Ken Rosewall
Kenneth Robert Rosewall is a former Australian professional, and one of the famous tennis players. He was born on 2 November 1934, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He turned pro in 1957 and got retired in 1980. Ken started playing tennis at the age of three and was a natural left-hander. His father took the responsibility to teach him to play with the right hand. In singles, his career record is 1655-627 (72.5%) by winning 133 career titles. He had won 4 Australian Open, 2 French Open, 2 US Open and ended 4 Wimbledon as the first runner up. As per doubles his career record is 211-113 by winning 14 career titles.
Ken had won 3 Australian Open 2 French Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 2 US Open, In team competitions, he had won Davis Cup for 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1973. Ken had earned $1,602,700 career prize money and had won 133 titles. Ken’s name inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. Ken undoubtedly is one of the best all-time best players as he had played in both the pre and post Open era.