10. Novak Djokovic
Serbian Tennis legend, Novak Djokovic’s highest rank is No. 1 by the ATP in 4th July 2015. Although Novak is still young (born in 1987), he has won 10 Grand Slams and is expected to keep on winning.
Playstyle, ranking and coaches
In September 2015 the point difference between Novak Djokovic (ranked 1 at that moment) and Roger Federer (ranked 2) is enormous: 16,145 for Djokovic and only 9,420 for Federer, making it the highest difference between No. 1 and No.2 in the history of ATP.
Djokovic’s is an all-rounder player, with all the basis of tennis covered, whose backhand is respected and regarded by many as the best one in today’s tennis. Djokovic’s also known for the superior agility demonstrated when he moves around the court as well as for his defensive capabilities.
Novak has had several coaches that helped him win so many titles: Jelena Genčić (1993-1999), Nikola Pilić (1993-2003), Dejan Petrovic (2004-2005), Riccardo Piatti (2005-2006), Marián Vajda (2006-ongoing), Mark Woodforde (2007), Todd Martin (2009-2010) and former Wimbledon champ Boris Becker (2013-ongoin).
Records and Championships won
Djokovic’s record for the Gland Slams is astonishing: 10 Grand Slams won, 8 times runner up. He won the 2008 Australian Open, 2011 Australian Open, 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open, 2012 Australian Open, 2013 Australian Open, 2014 Wimbledon, 2015 Australian Open, 2015 Wimbledon and the 2015 US Open. He reached the finals but lost unfortunately in the 2007 US Open, 2010 US Open, 2012 French Open, 2012 US Open, 2013 Wimbledon, 2013 US Open, 2014 French Open and the 2015 French Open. Curious fact is that Djokovic has never won a Grand Slam in the French Open but reached the finals three times.
Djokovic is also featured in our Top 10 Longest Tennis Matches:
http://6toplists.com/top-10-longest-tennis-matches-10th-7th/ , in an epic 5 hours and 53 minutes confrontation between him and Nadal.
Great things are still expected from Djokovic and we can’t wait to see what he can further achieve!
9. John McEnroe
John Patrick McEnroe (born in 1959) is a former No. 1 Player in the world, first ranked by ATP in March 3 1980, reaching No. 1 for the last time in 26 August 1985. John McEnroe is considered by many avid tennis fans or players as one of the greatest tennis player ever.
Records and Championships won
McEnroe has won 7 Grand Slams Singles Tournaments: the 1979 US Open, 1980 US Open, 1981 Wimbledon, 1981 US Open, 1983 Wimbledon, 1984 Wimbledon and 1984 US Open. He also reached the Finals but lost in another 4 Grand Slam Tournaments: 1980 Wimbledon, 1982 Wimbledon, 1984 French Open and 1985 US Open.
John McEnroe also won a whooping amount of 9 Grand Slams in Men’s Doubles as well as 1 Grand Slam in mixed doubles.
Inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999, McEnroe is also well known for his on-court rivalries with Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl (all of which are Tennis Legends that placed higher in our own personal ranking).
McEnroe is also featured in our Top 10 Longest Tennis Matches:
http://6toplists.com/top-10-longest-tennis-matches/ with three matches – McEnroe vs Wilander, Becker vs McEnroe and Clerc vs McEnroe.
Still in tennis even after retirement
Following his retreat from tennis, McEnroe has switched to Television. Since a tennis player of his caliber can never really quit tennis (how could he?) he resorted to commentating tennis on TV, covering most of the US national casts of Grand Slam tournaments as well as commentating the Wimbledon for BBC.
McEnroe has admitted that he was taking steroids unwillingly, at some point in his career: “For six years I was unaware I was being given a form of steroid of the legal kind they used to give horses until they decided it was too strong even for horses.”
8. Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl is a former No. 1 tennis player, one that managed to reach the number 1 position in ATP’s rankings without actually winning a Grand Slam beforehand (he and Marcelo Rios are the only two tennis players to ever achieve this).
Records and Championships won
Lendl has managed to win 8 Grand Slams tournaments: the 1984 French Open, the 1985 US Open, the 1986 French Open, the 1986 US Open, the 1987 French Open, the 1987 French Open, the 1989 Australian Open and the 1990 Australian Open.
Lendl also reached the finals in another 11 Grand Slam tournaments, but lost, at the: 1981 French Open, 1982 US Open, 1983 Australian Open, 1983 US Open, 1984 US Open, 1985 French Open, 1986 Wimbledon, 1987 Wimbledon, 1988 US Open, 1989 US Open and the 1991 Australian Open. Since 1981, Lendl has managed to be in at least one Grand Slam final every year (although not all were wins) until 1989, record he is sharing with Pete Sampras.
Lendl’s ranking as No. 1 in the ATP rankings counted for a total of 270 weeks, and has since been surpassed in duration as No. 1 only by Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Lendl’s record breaking don’t stop here, since he (alongside two other male tennis players: Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer) has won over 1000 tennis singles matches. Also, Lendl is the overall tournament leader 2nd, with 94 singles titles won, with Connors being the 1st with 109 titles won in the Open Era.
Retirement and coaching
Lendl retreated from tennis at the age of 34, in 1994, due to chronic back pain. He switched his interest to golf, the interest passed on his daughters: Marika, Isabelle and Daniela. Since late 2011, Lendl became the coach of Andy Murray, helping him win the US Open Grand Slam in 2012 and the Wimbledon Grand Slam in 2013.
Lendl also guided Murray through the Olympic Games, helping him win against Roger Federer for the Golden Medal. Murray became the first British singles champion in the Olympic Games in over 100 years.
Lendl parted ways with Murray in March 2014, later to be revealed to have been due to family concerns: http://en.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/336867.html. When asked if he would take on coaching again Lendl responded: “Maybe eventually but it has to fit right. It wouldn’t have worked if Andy had called me two years earlier, or if he had called me two years later. And it has to be someone I feel I can offer something to. If it was John Isner, for example, I am not going to be able to tell him how to hit a serve.”
7. Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg is considered by many avid tennis fans and experts as one of the best tennis player in history although he retired at the age of 26 years old. In his short career spam, Borg has achieved so much, becoming the first player to earn more than 1 million dollars as prize money in a single season in 1979.
Records and Tournaments won
Borg’s set a number of records for the Open Era, some of which are still standing: winning 41% of the Grand Slams singles tourneys he entered as well as winning 90% of the matches played in these tournaments; winning the French Open and Wimbledon for three consecutive years (in 1978, 1979 and 1980) – which is quite incredible seeing as how different clay and grass were back in the late 70s and 80s; and last but not least, the most impressive record of them all: winning 3 Grand Slam tournaments without losing a single set (Nadal is closing in with 2 such Grand Slam wins).
Borg has won a total of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, ranking fifth in the male’s list of tennis players with most Grand Slams won: the 1974 French Open, the 1975 French Open, the 1976 Wimbledon, the 1977 Wimbledon, the 1978 French Open, the 1978 Wimbledon, the 1979 French Open, the 1979 Wimbledon, the 1980 French Open, the 1980 Wimbledon and the 1981 French Open.
Borg also managed to make it to the finals of another 5 Grand Slams tournaments but couldn’t come out victorious: 1976 US Open, 1978 US Open, 1980 US Open, 1981 US Open and 1981 Wimbledon.
Retirement and a failed comeback
When Borg retired in 1983 (10 years after turning to professional tennis) and shocked the whole tennis world with his announcement he said it was due to losing the drive and passion to win.
Romanian tennis legend, Ilie Nastase said that Borg was different than the rest: “We’re playing tennis, and he’s playing something else”. However, when Borg came out of retirement, in the early 90’s he failed to win almost any match he played (he won one match in 1992 against John Lloyd) mostly due to lack of training and stubbornness to use modern-day rackets.
In a more recent interview, Bjorn Borg told The Guardian that: “Like McEnroe, he has never lost his love of the game whether playing or watching. Lately, he says, he has become friendly with Roger Federer. He practised with him recently in Dubai and he can’t help but see a lot of himself in the four-time Wimbledon champion – and also a lot of his rivalry with McEnroe in Federer’s matches with Rafael Nadal.”