How do you determine the greatest ever tennis player - the GOAT? It is not just the number of tournaments won, you also need to consider the people they played and era in which they played.
We are compiling a list of some of the greatest tennis players from the history of tennis, which will then be voted on with the winner placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (all sports). The first stage is to get nominations for tennis before the vote is started.
See the current list below of top players, compiled using other published lists and visitor feedback. If you believe that there is someone missing from this list, please place a comment below, including any relevant details about the person.
A somewhat similar poll to determine the Greatest Tennis Athlete of All Time was conducted on the ESPN Sport Science website in 2012 - looking for the greatest athlete (physical attributes), not the greatest overall player.
Tennis' Greatest Male Players
The athletes below are listed in no particular order - once the shortlist is complete then you will be able to vote for who you think is the greatest of all. This list is not complete - if you know of someone who should be listed here, let us know using the comment form below.
- Roger Federer
- Rafael Nadal - the fourth man in the Open era to claim a Career Grand Slam
- Novak Djokovic
- Andre Agassi
- Björn Borg
- Pete Sampras
- Bill Tilden
- Jimmy Conners
- Donald Budge
- Jack Kramer
- Fred Perry
- Lew Hoad
- Pancho Gonzalez
- Rod Laver
- Ken Rosewall
Tennis' Greatest Female Players
- Serena Williams
- Billie Jean King
- Martina Navratilova
- Monica Seles
- Steffi Graf
- Venus Williams
- Margaret Court
- Who is the fittest tennis player?
- Profiles of Tennis Legends
- Some more Tennis Player Profiles
- More about tennis
- All time greatest index of sports
- Other sport specific lists
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- these are all bril players ever :) Ashley charters (2013)
- Men Rod Laver, Women Margaret Court, winner of 24 or 25 grand slam tournaments. Amanda Nemaric (2016)
- Consider Margaret Court, the all-time Grand Slam singles title holder of either gender. Mark McCleary (2015)
- i think fred perry should be on this list. Liam (2014)
- i think that Andy Murray is a good player he doesnt give up after failing and has a good serve. Guest (2013)
- Remember the feather - Fat man #3 Guest (2013)
- What about Ken Rosewall?, 8 Grand Slam, 15 Pro Slam, player with most majors in the history. (from piterpol, Apr 2013)
- Ivan Lendl was no1 for 270 weeks, behind only Federer and Sampras he was in eight consecutive us finals. He won eight majors, more than McEnroe and the same as Connors and Agassi. He might be regarded as the first modern player. (from Michael McMorris, feb 2013)
- What about Boris Becker, he won 3 wimbledons and was the number 1 player in the world for years. (from Dwight, Nov 2012)
- Roger Federer the only person all-time greatest tennis player in the tennis history.. He is a legend.. He captured the world. He is very famous, adorable and amazing. He is the god of tennis sports. What a human!!! Incredible.
- Rafael Nadal is greatest of all time (from Prakash, Sept 2012)
- What Lleyton Hewitt? Youngest person to ever be world no. 1, youngest person to win a match at the Aussie Open. Not the best now admittedly, but he still has those achievenments to his name.
- Rod Laver was shut out of the majors for 9 years but still was the greatest player before and after the shut out, he would have won over 20 majors easily, without the shut out. (from victor hunter, 30 Aug 2012)
- Roger Federer is The Greatest player of All Time ... (from Lucky, July 2012)
- Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all the time and he must be in the top 5 greatest athlete of all the time (from farhat, July 2012)
- Fed-X is the topmost legendry in the Tennis world. (From saikiran, July 2012)
- Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. he is a legend. (from rahul choudhary, June 2012)
- Federer is the greatest tennis player of the Open era. Then Sampras and Nadal and Borg. Then Becker and Lendl. Not Agassi or Connors (from gervaise, May 2012)
- Federer is all time great champion his game is simply excellent (from Bammidi karthik, May 2012)
- What about Marat Safat, held the No. 1 world ranking for a total of 9 weeks between November 2000 and April 2001? (from thessalon harrison, June 2011)
- WHAT ABOUT CHRIS EVERET WINNER OF 2 OR 3 WIMBLEDONS? (from Seamus Rigney, May 2011)
- Yes, Chris Evert (Lloyd) is not listed. Great player, even greater court discipline and etiquette. What a lady!! (from W. Booysen, July 2012)
- Roger is the GOAT.. (from India, Oct 2010)