6 Best Male And Female Tennis Players Of All Time

Rafael Nadal

STARNBERG, May 18, 2022 (Guest Post)

Regardless of the sport, it is never easy selecting the top athletes, and the rankings are always contentious. This challenge is perhaps more evident in tennis because comparing tennis players from different eras is challenging. There have been such significant technological advancements that modern tennis looks slightly different from the tennis played decades ago.

Thanks to technology, it is now easier to witness some of the best tennis players display brilliant performances on the court. For as long as tennis has been a professional sport, some specific players have pushed boundaries and established themselves as icons in the sport.

Today, accomplished players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic are household names. This article will explore the best tennis players of all time. Most of them are still active to date, and as a fan, it is a grand gesture to support them.

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1. Roger Federer

Number one on this list is Swiss Player Roger Federer, who boasts 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Federer started playing pro tennis in 1998. He dominated the sport from 2005 after beating Andre Agassi at the US Open. 2006 was his best career season, and his career was significantly shaped by his record-breaking victory in 2008, where he broke Pete Sampras’ record, scooping a gold medal.

Since his early victories, his ability to fend off younger players has made him the best player worldwide. Roger Federer currently has 103 ATP titles. Although he had to take a break in 2020 after undergoing surgery, the 40-year-old is yet to retire from his very successful career.

2. Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal ranks highly among the tennis players of all time, often coming up in the same conversations as Djokovic and Federer. The Spanish player joined professional tennis in 2001 and has had a rivalry with Roger since 2004. This was at least the case before Djokovic disrupted the status quo.

Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic all had 20 Grand Slam titles. However, at 35, he surpassed his peers, becoming the first man to lift 21 Grand Slam singles titles after defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev on 30th January 2022. Like Federer, Rafael Nadal has two Olympic Gold medals. One is from the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the second from the Rio Olympics in 2016.

His career titles so far stand at 91. He is known to play his best on clay courts, and he has won 62 of his titles on clay courts.

3. Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is a professional Serbian tennis player who turned pro in 2003. During his transition to professional tennis, the sport was dominated by two heavyweights, Roger Federer and Rafael “Rafa” Nadal. He has 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the same as Federer. This is very impressive, mainly because he joined the career when both Federer and Nadal were already established in their careers.

To date, Novak Djokovic has 86 career titles in tennis.

4. Serena Williams

Serena Williams is undoubtedly one of the best players ever to grace the tennis court, which is why she is a household name. Along with sister Venus Williams, she is frequently credited for her role in making women’s tennis more popular. Serena started playing professional tennis in 1995 and is still active to date.

One of her greatest wins was in 2003 when she beat her sister Venus Williams at the Wimbledon final to lift the title.

At the moment, Serena has 73 career titles in tennis. Most might not know that of these titles, 23 are Grand Slam singles titles, making her the second tennis player with the highest Grand Slams among male and female players. Among women, she only comes second to Margaret Court.

5. Margaret Court

Before Serena Williams came into the limelight, Margaret Court already had 192 career titles under her belt years prior. 24 of her titles were Grand Slam singles making her the tennis player with the most Grand Slam wins to date. In 1970, Court became the first woman to achieve a Grand Slam singles victory in the Open Era.

She turned pro in 1960 and had a long and successful injury-free career attributed to her fitness routine and weight. Her routine is adopted by many today. She retired in 1977 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

6. Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras was a great player whose career spanned from 1988 to 2002. He was rated the best tennis player worldwide by the ATP at one point. During his career, Sampras demonstrated his prowess on solid and grass courts. He bagged 64 career titles, 14 of which are Grand Slam singles.

He is famous for having a rivalry with Andre Agassi in the 1990s before Federer stepped into the scene and obliterated their records. Pete Sampras was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.


There have been many exemplary tennis players, both retired and active. This list cannot exhaust the players, most of whom shaped the game before and after the Open Era. Other honorable mentions include Rod Laver, a classic player from the ‘60s, Ivan Lendl and Venus Williams. Currently, players such as Daniil Medvedev and Stefano Tsitsipas are making waves.