Widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer has won the most number of men's Grand Slam singles titles. He is the only person to be honored with the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award on four occasions. Despite enduring several injuries, Federer continues to dominate the tennis court.
With 39 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, Serena Williams is clearly amongst the greatest female tennis players in the history. With 23 Grand Slam singles win, she is just a win away from equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles. She has bagged the top spot in WTA’s world ranking numerous times.
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Novak Djokovic is currently third in the list of number of Grand Slam singles titles won by male players. He is known for his powerful two-handed backhand and his service returns. Djokovic is also the only player to complete the career Golden Masters and he has achieved this feat twice.
Rafael Nadal is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players ever and is called the king of clay. The Spanish national has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and holds the record of winning 13 French Open Championships. He also has one Australian Open, two Wimbledon and four US Open titles to his name.
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.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka made history by being the first player of Asian origin to hold the world number one rank in singles. Osaka made headlines when in 2021, she withdrew from the French Open after refusing to be part of a press conference to protect her mental health.
Swiss tennis sensation Martina Hingis made waves when she won the Australian Open at age 16, becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles winner of the 20th century. The youngest world number 1, too, she was named after Martina Navratilova and was the daughter of a Czech tennis player and a tennis coach.
Alexander Zverev is a German tennis player. He won the 2018 ATP Finals, becoming the youngest champion at the year-end championship in 10 years. Zverev won the gold medal in the singles event at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Alexander Zverev's backhand play is often regarded as one of the best in the game.
Retired Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanović is a former world number 1 in singles. By 20, she had already won the French Open. Named one of 30 Legends of Women's Tennis by Time in 2011, she later married German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger and is now a mother of two.
Marin Čilić is a Croatian tennis player best known for winning the 2014 US Open and a silver medal at the 2020 Olympic Games. Regarded as one of the best Croatian professional tennis players of all time, Marin Čilić has won many ATP Tour singles titles in his illustrious career. He also helped his country win the 2018 Davis Cup.
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.
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.
Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss tennis player who has won three Grand Slam titles so far in his career. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Wawrinka won the gold medal for Switzerland in the doubles event along with teammate Roger Federer. At the 2014 Davis Cup, Stan Wawrinka played a key role in the Swiss team's victory.
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.
With a career-high singles ranking of 28, Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová is quite a sensation. She also won a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was the first player born in the 1990s to score a Grand Slam tournament win. In 2015, she was named the sixth-highest-paid female athlete by Forbes.
Known as the Female Federer, Belgian tennis legend Justine Henin is a former world number 1 in singles. Apart from winning an Olympic gold medal, she also won Belgium its first Fed Cup title and won 7 Grand Slam titles. She was one of those rare female players who used a single-handed backhand.
Belgian tennis legend Kim Clijsters is a former world number 1 in both singles and doubles. The 4-time Grand Slam winner retired thrice in her career, in 2007, in 2012, and eventually, for good, in 2020. She has also been associated with charitable initiatives and has founded Ten4Kim to help financially weak junior players.
Juan Martín del Potro is an Argentine tennis player best known for winning the 2009 US Open after defeating Roger Federer in the final. He also helped his team win the prestigious Davis Cup in 2016. One of the greatest Argentine players of all time, Juan Martín del Potro also won Olympic bronze and silver in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
Simona Halep is a Romanian tennis player. With 22 WTA singles titles and two Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, Simona Halep is one of the most successful Romanian female tennis players of all time. She is also widely considered one of the WTA Tour's best returners of the current generation.
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.
One of the best British professional tennis players of all time, Andy Murray is popularly known as the Great Scot since he was born in Scotland. He is the only tennis player to have won two Olympic gold medals in singles competition. Also known for his charitable work, Andy Murray has played key roles in raising money for many charity organizations.
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.
Winning her first Grand Slam at 28, Angelique Kerber is an example of a talented later bloomer in tennis. The former World No. 1 German player is known for her defensive tactics, speed, and footwork. She blamed a 2-week COVID-related quarantine for her loss at the 2021 Australian Open.
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.
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.”
Bulgarian tennis star Grigor Dimitrov had had a career-high ranking of number 3 in singles. The most successful player in Bulgarian tennis history, he has also been in the news for his relationship with Maria Sharapova. Known for his acrobatics and athleticism, he was initially named Baby Federer.
Belarusian tennis player Victoria Azarenka has been a 2-time Australian Open champion, scripting history as the first Belarusian player to earn a Grand Slam singles title. She is also a 3-time US Open finalist and has a mixed-doubles gold and a singles bronze at the Olympics.
Carlos Moyá is a Spanish retired tennis player best known for his efforts that earned Spain the Davis Cup in 2004. A former world No. 1, Moyá won the 1998 French Open where he beat Àlex Corretja in the final. Since his retirement, Moyá has focused on his coaching career. Since 2016, he has been working as Rafael Nadal’s coach.
The second-highest ranked Austrian tennis player of all time, Dominic Thiem became the first Austrian to win the singles title at a US Open when he came back from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev in the 2020 US Open final. At the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, he defeated Roger Federer to win his first Masters 1000 title.
Leander Paes is an Indian tennis player who has the most doubles wins in the history of Davis Cup. With 10 mixed doubles and eight doubles Grand Slam titles under his belt, Paes is one of the most successful Indian tennis players of all time. Paes is the recipient of India's highest sporting honor, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios, who has had a career-best singles ranking of 13, has also been part of a few controversies. During a 2019 Wimbledon match, he apparently deliberately hit Rafael Nadal with a ball, straight in the chest, and later defended his actions, saying it was completely fair.