10 Most Illustrious Tennis Players of All Time

Everyone will have their favourite, but it cannot be denied that some of the greatest sporting moments have been witnessed on the hallowed tennis court. This sacred ground has seen a number of different special events over the years such as the spectacular triumph of one Andy Murray. The Scot became the first British player in more than seven decades to win Wimbledon and thus became a legend.

There was also the five set thriller on Centre Court in 2008 between Swiss sensation Roger Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal. After nearly five hours on court, Nadal triumphed with the light fading and it was considered to be the longest ever singles final in history.

At this particular moment, Nadal was gunning to hold both the French and Wimbledon titles during the same period. As far as the Open era is concerned only two had managed to achieve this previously, namely Australian Rod Laver and Björn Borg.

Whether it is about trophies or impact on the game, here is a rundown of the 10 greatest players of all time.

10 Roger Federer

As graceful on the court as off it, Roger Federer is one of the most successful tennis players of his generation if not all time. With an incredible 17 Grand Slam wins he is certainly up there in terms of silverware. Meanwhile, he has reached more than 30 consecutive major quarter finals on the trot which says so much about the man. His incredible brilliance ensures he barely touches the court with his array of shot making skills.

9 Rafael Nadal

With eight French Open titles under his belt and 13 major Slams altogether, it might be time to retire. However, this is not the case for Spanish starlet Rafael Nadal. Born in Mallorca he is without doubt the finest clay court player in history. His prowess is unmatched around the sandy baseline and his sheer will not to give up is incredible viewing. His will, not to mention his speed, has ensured he is a champion on different types of surfaces. He has been hampered in recent years by an ongoing knee injury, but this does not detract from his incredible trophy haul.

8 Billie Jean King

One of the most iconic players of the last century, Billie Jean King amassed more than 70 singles as well as more than 20 doubles titles. This incorporated a wealth of Wimbledon titles on her own and as a pairing. Her influence is so great that she has become the first female to have a sporting venue named after her. In addition, she has promoted social change to greater heights and is the original founder of the WTA, Women's Tennis Association.

7  7. Martina Navratilova

There are not enough superlatives to describe the on court ability of Martina Navratilova. Ranked in the top spot for a staggering 332 weeks on the run, the Czech star is an illustrious player and deserves her place in the top 10. A nine-time Wimbledon champion, a two-time French Open winner, and three-time Australian Open winner has firmly placed her in the history books.

6 Pete Sampras

Having won 14 Grand Slams, American Pete Sampras is right up there in terms of one of the most illustrious players. With more than 285 weeks as World Number 1, his wins were relentless thanks to seven Wimbledon titles. A Californian resident, Sampras is definitely one of the finest serve and volleyers of our time and was renowned for his incredible passing forehand. This was in spite of the fact that he never managed to win the French Open at Roland Garros.

5 Rod Laver

Known as the “Rocket”, Australian figurehead Rod Laver is still well respected within the game. He achieved a full calendar Grand Slam back in the 1960's and also won Wimbledon in 1968. His collection of 17 Grand slam titles still puts him in the highest of tennis echelons with an incredible 200 career titles

4 Bjorn Borg

His character and personality was one thing but Bjorn Borg’s ability to amass more than 10 Grand Slams at just the age of 25 is special. The Swede was as cool as ice and was known for his rivalries with both Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. Borg’s haul of trophies came from two of the major slams, the French Open and Wimbledon. He only appeared at the Australian Open once which goes to show how many titles he could have actually won

3 Andre Agassi

His flowing locks were a part of his career but Andre Agassi is another highly respected player that had a wonderful career. Hailing from Las Vegas, he has gone on to become a worldwide ambassador for the sport. With his haul of eight Grand Slams, Agassi is worthy of praise which saw his return forehand as one of his signature shots. After personal issues in 1997, Agassi returned to the court just two years later and went on to claim victory at the French Open in 1999. Other medals he has include a gold medal at the Olympics in Barcelona which he won in 1992.

2 Novak Djokovic

Born in Serbia, Novak Djokovic is most famous for his blistering power and incredible feats of stamina. Facing stiff competition from Nadal and Federer, it has been tough for the six feet plus star but it has not stopped him from being on top in the world rankings for two consecutive years. With 10 single titles in the last 12 months alone, Djokovic amassed three Grand Slams back in 2011 alone. He is best known for his impressive two handed backhand which has seen him almost unbeatable on all surfaces. He has won seven Grand Slams and more than 40 career titles to date.

1 John McEnroe

We are certainly “serious” when it comes to John McEnroe and his legendary position on the court. The king of catchphrases, a brief glimpse shows his seven Open era titles and nine in doubles meaning he is not to be underestimated. This all American lefty still has a big personality in the commentary box and was made for the super quick courts of Wimbledon. He achieved all his Grand Slams between 1979 and 1984 and is best known for his fiery competitiveness with Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and most notably Bjorn Borg.

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