Regarded as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, Venus Williams is credited with introducing never seen before power and athleticism to women's tennis along with her sister Serena. She is also credited with changing the long-standing practice of paying male tennis players more than their female counterparts as she won the fight for equal prize money.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest American tennis players of all time, John McEnroe helped the US team win five Davis Cup titles. McEnroe is also known for his confrontational on-court behavior. His infamous bad temper on court was parodied in satirical TV programs, such as Spitting Image and Not the Nine O'Clock News.
Former professional tennis player, Pete Sampras, became the winner of 14 Grand Slam singles titles during his career. He was ranked world No. 1 in 1993 and held the record for 286 weeks. Nicknamed “Pistol Pete,” the player was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007.
Regarded as one of the best tennis players from Sweden, Björn Borg won 11 Grand Slam singles titles during his playing career. He started off as a teenage sensation and helped popularize tennis during the 1970s. The 2017 film Borg vs McEnroe was inspired by his rivalry against John McEnroe.
Australian former tennis player Rod Laver is widely regarded to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He was ranked world No. 1 in nine different years. He holds 200 singles titles--the most in tennis history. He excelled on a variety of court surfaces: grass, clay, hard, carpet, and wood/parquet. The Laver Cup Tournament is named after him.
Born to professional tennis players, Czech-American tennis legend Ivan Lendl has eight Grand Slam titles under his belt. Known for his topspin groundstrokes, he later turned coach and was responsible for three Grand Slams of Andy Murray. Lendl also has a few Celebrity Tour golf wins in his kitty.
Michael Chang is an American retired professional tennis player. Chang became the youngest male player in Grand Slam history to win a major title when he won the 1989 French Open at the age of 17. In 2008, he was made an inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Since 2014, Chang has been coaching Japanese player Kei Nishikori.
Legendary Australian tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley was once world number 1 and the world’s first mother to earn a Wimbledon win in 66 years. A Wiradjuri Aborigine, she is now part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and also became the Australian of the Year in 1971.
Fred Perry was a British tennis player. A former world No. 1, Perry won three successive Wimbledon Championships from 1934. He won eight Grand Slam tournaments, including a Career Grand Slam. He was the first player and only British player to date to achieve a Career Grand Slam. Also a table tennis player, Perry was the world champion in 1929.
Swedish former tennis player Stefan Edberg was once the world No. 1 professional tennis player (in both singles and doubles). He won six Grand Slam singles titles and three Grand Slam men's doubles titles, besides the Masters Grand Prix. Following his retirement from professional tennis, he began playing competitive squash and became an elite player in Sweden.
Mats Wilander is a former tennis player who won seven Grand Slam singles titles from 1982 to 1988. A former world No. 1, Wilander is one of six men to have emerged victorious in Grand Slam singles tournaments on hard courts, grass courts, and clay courts. In 2002, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Once number 1 in singles, Romanian tennis player Ilie Năstase created became the first European to cross $1 million in career prize money. A 3-time Davis Cup finalist, he won major titles such as the French Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon. He has also penned 2 French novels and a memoir.
Boris Becker is a German former tennis player who has three Wimbledons, one US Open, and two Australian Open titles under his belt. He also won an Olympic gold medal in men's doubles in 1992. Becker, who had a successful start to his career, struggled to cope with his early fame and success; he retired at the age of 31.
Pat Rafter became the first Australian male in the Open Era to win consecutive US Open titles. The former ATP singles number 1 is also the only person with an undefeated record against tennis legend Roger Federer and is remembered for his politeness and his habit of saying “Sorry, mate.”
Throughout his 25-year illustrious career, Australian tennis legend Ken Rosewall has won 18 Grand Slams, including 8 singles titles. Known for his 5’7” lean frame, he was nicknamed Muscles by his teammates, apparently, for the lack of them. The son of a grocer, he had begun playing tennis at age 3.
Gabriela Sabatini is an Argentine former professional tennis player. One of the leading female tennis players in the 1980s and 1990s, she amassed 41 titles, including the WTA Finals in 1988 and the 1990 US Open. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006. Also a businesswoman, she runs a line of fragrances.
Roy Emerson is a former tennis player from Australia. A former world No. 1, Emerson won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles and 12 Grand Slam singles titles, which includes a career Grand Slam in both singles and doubles. Emerson went on to achieve another career Grand Slam, becoming the first man to complete a double career Grand Slam in singles.
Part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, legendary Argentine tennis player Guillermo Vilas is a former world number 1 in singles. His wins include 2 Australian Open titles, 1 French Open, and 1 US Open. The 2020 Netflix documentary Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score was based on his life.
Jana Novotná was a tennis player best remembered for winning the 1998 Wimbledon singles title. She was also renowned as a doubles player as she won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles, achieving the Career Grand Slam twice in the process. Novotná also competed in other important tournaments like the Olympics where she won two silver medals and one bronze medal.
Born to an Iranian hill tribesman, Mansour Bahrami grew up to be one of the greatest Iranian tennis players and a Wimbledon champion. The Islamic Revolution in his country later tagged tennis as capitalist, leading him to focus on gambling and backgammon, though he later returned to tennis.
Apart from being the first Norwegian tennis player to score an ATP title win, Casper Ruud also became the highest ranked player from his country ever. The son of legendary Norwegian tennis player Christian Ruud, Casper has begun his training in the game at age 4.
Tim Henman is a British former tennis player who won 15 ATP titles, including 11 singles titles. In 1996, he won a silver medal in the men's doubles event at the Atlanta Olympics. In 1998, Henman reached the semi-finals of the Wimbledon singles championship, becoming the first male player from the UK to do so since Roger Taylor in 1973.