[dropcap size=small]W[/dropcap]ith every passing era, more and more players arrive one the scene and make their own cases for why they are the greatest tennis player ever. Here is Crizic’s list of 10 best tennis players of all time.
10. Chris Evert:
Was there ever a player more graceful on the court than Chris Evert? She was a machine from the baseline and with that two-handed backhand shot she dominated womenís tennis from the mid 1970ís into the early 1980ís. Evert still holds the record for reaching the most Grand Slam singles finals with 34, and she managed to win 18 of them including at least every major twice.
9. Roy Emerson:
The Aussie was equally good in singles and doubles. He won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, including the career Grand Slam twice over, and won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, including the career Grand Slam three times over. Add eight Davis Cup titles and his trophy room is plenty full.
8. Bjorn Borg:
Amassing 11 Grand Slam titles is an incredible achievement and thatís before you consider the fact that they were all achieved by one day after Borgís 25th birthday. His retirement just over a year later in 1983 sent shockwaves not only through tennis but also through the wider world where the Swede with the flowing blond locks had become quite the celebrity.
7. Margaret Court:
With a record 24 Grand Slam, 19 doubles and 19 mixed doubles titles and 62 Major titles to her credit, Court is on number seven on this list. She was the first women in the open era to win the singles Grand Slam in 1970, and she is the only women to have won a Grand Slam in mixed doubles, which she did twice. Undoubtedly the best player in the 1960ís to early 1970ís Court was the first women to incorporate weights and fitness training into her routine.
6. Martina Navratilova:
One of the toughest competitors to ever grace the court, Martina Navratilova dominated womenís tennis from the late 1970ís through a good portion of the 1980ís. Known for her extreme physical conditioning, Martina brought the big serve and volley back to the womenís game.
5. Pete Sampras:
With 14 Grand Slam titles to his name and 286 weeks ranked as the best player in the world — second only to Federer; Sampras was a winning machine. His joint record seven Wimbledon titles say much for the quality of both his first serve and perhaps more notably his second serve, both of which may well be the greatest ever.
4. Rod Laver:
Known for his class, Laver won the Grand Slam in 1962 and then suddenly he vanished. After six years he came back to the battle with his class and excellence. In 1968, he won the Grand Slam and a total of 17 titles to his name to become one of the greatest Tennis players of all time.
3. Rafael Nadal:
Eight French Open titles mean that the man from Mallorca can without hesitation claim to be the greatest clay-court player of all time, but he has become so much more than just the master of the terre battue. Throughout his career Nadal has displayed a relentless determination not only to fight for every point but to constantly improve himself as a player and become a winner on all surfaces.
2. Steffi Graf:
Graff was a model of consistency throughout her 17 year career. Her record 377 weeks being ranked number one in the world is a record for any player, male or female. In 1988 Graff became the first player to achieve what is regarded as the calendar year Golden Slam by winning all four majors plus the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year, a remarkable feat. From the late 1980ís to the mid 1990ís there was no one better and when she retired in 1999 she was still ranked number three in the world.
1. Roger Federer:
There can be no dispute about who currently deserves the title of the greatest of all time. A record 17 Grand Slam titles, and counting, would be enough to make Federerís case, but the Swiss master is more than just trophies. When the obsessed club player goes to sleep at night they dream of just once being able to play like Federer.