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World number 1 ranked male tennis players

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Federer broke onto the tennis scene as a teenager, and won his maiden Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 22. The emergence of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, and the continued presence of Rafael Nadal, saw Federer struggle to go distance at Grand Slams, and he won just two Grand Slams between 2010 and 2012 before a drought of four years follow. Hound by talk of possible retirement, and having spent the second half of 2016 sidelined by injury, Federer responded as only legend could: he won the 2017 Australian Open and 2017 Wimbledon title in a resounding statement to his doubters. Federers rivalry with Nadal has produced some matches of legendary status-unfortunately for Federer, he has been on the losing end of many! Together with Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray, Federer forms part of a group dubbed the Big Four, which has dominated men's tennis for much of the past decade. The affable Swiss has legions of fans across the world, and his professionalism on and off court, coupled with his philanthropic efforts with the Roger Federer Foundation, have seen him win 14 ATP Fans Favourite Awards, Laureus World Sportsman of Year for 4 consecutive years from 2005 to 2008, and named recipient of Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award 12 times. For good measure, he claimed a further six Grand Slam doubles titles, and three in mixed doubles. Had Laver not been barred from Grand Slams after turning Pro in 1963 and before dawn of Open Era in 1968, he would surely have rack up a Grand Slam total that would have been near-impossible to match. The main show court at Melbourne Park, venue for the Australian Open, was renamed in Lavers honor in 2000. Not surprisingly, Laver was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981. Nadal's glory has not just been on the individual front, either, with the Spaniard having won the Davis Cup on four occasions, while also securing Gold at the Olympics in singles in 2008 and doubles in 2016. Nadal rivalry with Roger Federer has produced many highlights for tennis fans, and stands as a defining point in the careers of both players. Nadal is the only player to have beat Federer at Grand Slam on all three surfaces, and leads the Swiss 23-14 in head-to-head matches. An aggressive hitter from behind the baseline, Nadal has always been heavily reliant on his ability to race around court and charge down balls that no other player could reach. As a result, Nadal's career appeared on the ropes in 2014 and 2015 when a host of injuries hampered his unrivaled athleticism. However, underlining his legendary status, Nadal notch up his first Grand Slam title since 2014 when he won the 2017 French Open, feat he followed up with success at the US Open the same year.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Rankings before 1973

Table

TournamentYears
Bristol Cup1920s
Queen's Club Pro1928
Bonnardel Cup1930s
World Professional Championships in Berlin1932-1933
International Pro Championship of Britain1935-1939
U.S Pro hardcourt1945
Philadelphia Indoor Pro1950-1952
Australian Pro1954, 1957-1958
Tournament of Champions1957-1959
Masters Pro Round Robin1956-1959
Kramer Cup1961-1963
Madison Square Garden Pro1966, 1967
Wimbledon Pro1967

Before the Open era of Tennis arrived in 1968, rankings for amateur players were generally compiled only for full year of play. Professional players were ranked by journalists, promoters, and players' associations, usually at the end of the year, and there were also point ranking systems attached to Professional tournament series from 1946, 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1965, until Open Tennis in 1968. Even for amateurs, however, there was no single official overall ranking that encompass entire World. Instead, nation rankings were made by the National Tennis Association of each country, and world rankings were preserved by tennis journalists. It was only with the introduction of computerized rankings in the Open era that rankings were issued more frequently than once yearly, although interim rankings were reported in those years which had point series. Even end-of-year amateur rankings issued by official organizations such as United States Lawn Tennis Association were based on judgments made by men and women and not on mathematical formulas assigning points for wins or losses. In 1938, for instance, when Don Budge won the amateur Grand Slam, it was easy to conclude that Budge was not only US No. 1 but also World No. 1 amateur player. It was far more difficult, however, to decide who was the best overall player, amateur or professional, for that year because both Ellsworth Vines and Fred Perry, now professionals, were still at top of their form. In 1946, Bobby Riggs, professional, had established himself as the best player in the world. In 1947, he was still the best professional player but Jack Kramer, as an amateur player, won Wimbledon and the US Championships. Kramer, having turned professional in November after the amateur Pacific Coast Championships, met Riggs three times in late December on fast Indoor courts and Riggs won twice. But at the end of their long series of matches in May 1948, Kramer had led Riggs decisively in head-to-head meetings. 1948 was the last year in which amateur players turned professional and then went on to beat the defending Professional Champion. Even here, however, some years present difficulties. Kramer was perhaps the world's best player in 1950 and 1951 when he defeated first Pancho Gonzales and then Pancho Segura in head-to-head Tours but was beaten in tournaments by those same players. In 1952, there was no long, headline tour. Instead, there were short tours between different players and several professional tournaments, with the result that none of the professionals playing extensively. The U. S. Professional Lawn Tennis Association published an end-of-the-year List in which Segura was ranked the best player in the World, with Gonzales second. During the year, however, Gonzales had defeated Segura 4 matches to 1. Segura had also won a number of important tournaments, including the Cleveland International Pro Championships in which he had defeated Gonzales in the final. The following year, 1953, Kramer narrowly defeated the top amateur-turn-Professional, Frank Sedgman, in their tour during the first half of the year and so reestablished himself as World No.

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10. Ken Rosewall

Table

TournamentYears
Bristol Cup1920s
Queen's Club Pro1928
Bonnardel Cup1930s
World Professional Championships in Berlin1932-1933
International Pro Championship of Britain1935-1939
U.S Pro hardcourt1945
Philadelphia Indoor Pro1950-1952
Australian Pro1954, 1957-1958
Tournament of Champions1957-1959
Masters Pro Round Robin1956-1959
Kramer Cup1961-1963
Madison Square Garden Pro1966, 1967
Wimbledon Pro1967

As a tennis fan, you may be wondering who the Greatest Mens Tennis Players Of All-Time are. SportyTell take a look Read on to find out if your favourite tennis stars make our Top List. Throughout history, several tennis players have gained the admiration of fans, thanks to their adept skills. But narrowing these tennis greats to Top-10 can be a difficult task. We bring to you an updated ranking of the Top-10 Greatest Mens Tennis Players Of All-Time considering the influence they wield during the summit of their careers and essentially, number of Grand Slam Titles won. These descriptions add little to understanding of the significance of older players like Laver and Rosewall. Counting numbers of Grand Slam Titles was not a thing until Sampras broke Roy Emerson's record of 12. Both Laver and Rosewall were contemporaries of Emerson who won those Titles when he remained eligible amateur while Laver and Rosewall were ineligible as pros. Laver won the Calendar-year Grand Slam twice-as amateur in 1962 and as Pro in 1969. Rosewall won 8 majors before turning Pro at 21 and after Open Tennis began in 1968 when he was 33, years comprising the entire career of the vast majority of most players. Jim, I completely agree with your assessment. Agree that not only Ken Rosewall but John Newcombe were great too. As an Australian, I believe the great Rod Laver, would have ended up with more than 25 Grand Slam Singles Titles had he been allowed to play from 1963 to 1968, as he had turned Professional and was banned from playing in Grand Slam Tournaments during that period. Therefore, nearly all of Roy Emersons Grand Slam Singles Titles and plus a few more would have take Laver from 11 Grand Slam Singles Titles to over 25. Laver, as you mention, is in a class of his own with 2 Calendar Grand Slams, with Nadal, Djokovic and Federer yet to achieve even 1 Calendar Grand Slam. However, as Nadal, Djokovic and Federer are so close in Grand Slam Singles Titles with currently 20 each for Nadal and Federer and 17 for Djokovic, that whoever wins most Grand Slam Singles Titles after all 3 players have retired should be the Greatest Male Tennis Player of the Modern Era. If it ends up being equal with Grand Slam Singles titles, if it is between Nadal and Federer, Nadal should get the nod because he has won his Grand Slam Singles titles in a shorter time frame than Federer. Likewise, if Nadal and Djokovic end up being equal with Grand Slam Singles titles, whoever has won them in least number of Grand Slam Tournaments play, should be recognise as the Greatest Male Tennis Player Of All Time, otherwise drawn as the Greatest Male Grand Slam Singles Titles Of All Time. I Cant wait to see who ends up with most Grand Slam Singles Titles after all 3 have retire. Rod Laver could be the Greatest Male Tennis Player Of Pre Open Era.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

8. Jimmy Connors

Being called best in any sport is a high honor. In the world of Tennis, many have used this title time and time again when mentioning the careers of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. But ONE who gets to stand above them all with, science by his side, is Jimmy Connors. Give GOAT by study published this month in scientific journal PLoS ONE, built by Northwestern University statistical physicist Boffin Filippo Radicchi, he ran all matches played by professional tennis players between 1968, start of Open Era and 2010. Build similarly to the data system used by Google for ranking web pages, Radicchi pulls digital data from thousands of matches as well as the Association of Tennis Professionals website. Under his system, players are quantified by importance and ranked with tennis prestige score. This score is given by the player's competitiveness, quality of his performance and number of victories. In this particular ranking system, it's more important to win a single match against very good players than many matches against not-so-good players. Players who have yet to retire are penalized with respect to those who have ended their careers. Prestige scores strongly correlate with the number of victories, and active players haven't played all matches of their careers yet, explain Radicchi. ONE of the reasons Jimmy Connors ranks on top is because he played for more than 20 years and had opportunity to win a lot of matches against other very good players. According to Radicchi's calculations, Federer has 39 quality victories. Nadal has just 21, while Connors had 178 points. I'll run this algorithm again in 10 years and see if the ranking is still the same, he say. 1. Jimmy Connors 2. Ivan Lendl 3. John McEnroe 4. Guillermo Vilas 5. Andre Agassi 6. Stefan Edberg 7. Roger Federer 8. Pete Sampras 9. Ilie Nastase 10. Bjorn Borg 11. Boris Becker 12. Arthur Ashe 13. Brian Gottfried 14. Stan Smith 15. Manuel Orantes, 16. Michael Chang 17. Roscoe Tanner, 18. Eddie Dibbs, 19. Harold Solomon, 20. Tom Okker, 21. Mats Wilander, 22. Goran Ivanisevic, 23. Vitas Gerulaitis 24. Rafael Nadal 25. Raul Ramirez 26. John Newcombe, 27. Ken Rosewall, 28. Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 29. Andy Roddick, 30.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

7. Ivan Lendl

You guess it right, its Roger Federer with 302 weeks on top. Its common knowledge that staying at top is more difficult than getting there, and current World No. 1 Andy Murray is learning the hard way. He has lost a fair bit of steam ever since he hit the top, and the first half of 2017 has been a nightmare for him. Yes, he has reached the semi-finals of the French Open and won the Dubai Open, but hell know that a lot more is expected from him. The good thing for Andy is that his closest competitors, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, are clear favourites to win Wimbledon, upcoming Grand Slam. While Wawrinkas favourite surface is definitely not grass, Nadal has struggled to get past initial rounds during his last few appearances. Novak Djokovic is another player who might threaten Murray, but he has been struggling to find form this season. That say, if Murray continues the way he has this year, hell will start losing points real quick and somebody else will take his place. To be fair to him, Murray has maintained his ranking for 34 consecutive weeks, which is No. 15 on the list of players who had the longest reign as ATPs No. 1 rank Player. If you look at the top 7, that start with Federer and end with Nadal, youll know exactly why the Greatest Of All Time debate between Federer and Nadal fans needs to be settle. Another thing that you may notice is the presence of US players on the list. Four of the top seven are Americans, namely Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors. Its also evident how World No. 1 ranking is not determined by Grand Slam victories, even though they are events with maximum points. Rafael Nadal is joint second on the list of most Grand Slams with 14 Titles, with Pete Sampras too having the same number of trophies. Even in Masters 1000 tournaments, Nadal leads the roost with 30 Titles so, only explanation for Nadal being ranked low in this list, could be the fact that he was hampered by both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic-two of the greatest players in the history of the game. Murray doesnt seem like he is going to come close to these guys, but whatever happen, hell still be referred to as former World No.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

4. Rod Laver

Country: Argentina Born: 1952 turn Pro: 1969 retire: 1992 Grand Slam Titles: 4 Career Titles: 16 Prize Money Winnings: $4. 9M Argentinean Guillermo Vilas was one of the dominating players during the serve and volley Era in the 70s & 80s. He was the first ever South American to ever win a Grand Slam title, and on his retirement day, he had scrapped 4 Grand Slam Titles. Vilas hold several different world records, including a 46 match win streak in 1977. He also holds the record for most singles titles won in one single season, with 16 ATP Titles during the same 1977 season.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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