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The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 12, 2019 27.8k votes 4.1k voters 36.1k views 89 items

List Rules Only male tennis players from 1968 to the present

This list of the greatest male tennis players of the Open Era includes some of the most iconic names in men's tennis. Who are the best male singles tennis players since the game became open (professionals included) in 1968? Some might argue that Roger Federer is, without question, one of the best - if not *the* best men's tennis player of all time. Disagree? That's totally fine, just cast your votes as you see fit and, if you want, you can also re-rank this list in any order you like. Any list of great male tennis players of the Open Era should include many of the players on this list of the greatest men's tennis players of all time. And debates can certainly get interesting. Nadal vs. Federer is a pretty epic debate, for example. Sure, Nadal may rule the clay courts, but where does he stack up in the bigger picture, especially against the likes of Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg? Does Novak Djokovic deserve to be listed here? He's arguably one of the top current men's tennis players. Andy Murray? Same situation. It's hard to know for sure where these younger players will rank in the annals of tennis history, but it's sure hard to argue they aren't some of the best. If you're a huge tennis fan, you might also want to check out these lists and vote for the greatest female tennis players of the Open Era and the best players of all time, too.
list ordered by
1
Pete Sampras is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America

Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland

Year Turned Pro: 1988

Australian Open: Winner 1994, 1997; Finalist 1995
Wimbledon: Winner 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999
US Open: Winner 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002; Finalist 1992, 2000, 2001

More Pete Sampras 

#292 of 770 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #121 of 179 The Smartest Professional Athleteslisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

2
Rod Laver is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Australia

Birthplace: Rockhampton, Australia

Year Turned Pro: 1962

Australian Open: Winner 1969
French Open: Winner 1969; Finalist 1968
Wimbledon: Winner 1968, 1969
US Open: Winner 1969

More Rod Laver 

#8 of 119 The Greatest Left-Handed Athletes of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People

3
John McEnroe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America

Birthplace: Wiesbaden, Germany

French Open: Finalist 1984
Wimbledon: Winner 1981, 1983, 1984; Finalist 1980, 1982
US Open: Winner 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984; Finalist 1985

More John McEnroe 

#297 of 508 The Best Duos of All Time How Superstar John McEnroe Became The Most Hated Tennis Champion of All Timelisted on Left Handed Tennis Players

4
Roger Federer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Switzerland, South Africa

Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Year Turned Pro: 1998

Australian Open: Winner 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018; Finalist 2009
French Open: Winner 2009; Finalist 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011
Wimbledon: Winner 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017; Finalist 2008, 2014, 2015, 2019
US Open: Winner 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; Finalist 2009, 2015

More Roger Federer 

#13 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 18 Coolest Athlete Logos #7 of 202 The All-Around Best Athletes of 2018

5
Rafael Nadal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Spain

Birthplace: Manacor, Spain

Year Turned Pro: 2001

Australian Open: Winner 2009; Finalist 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019
French Open: Winner 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019
Wimbledon: Winner 2008, 2010; Finalist 2006, 2007, 2011
US Open: Winner 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019; Finalist 2011

More Rafael Nadal 

#400 of 525 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With #159 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athletes #5 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

6
Novak Djokovic is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Serbia

Birthplace: Serbia, Belgrade

Year Turned Pro: 2003

Australian Open: Winner 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019
French Open: Winner 2016; Finalist 2012, 2014, 2015
Wimbledon: Winner 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019; Finalist 2013
US Open: Winner 2011, 2015, 2018; Finalist 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016

More Novak Djokovic 

#55 of 179 The Smartest Professional Athletes #7 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

7
Stefan Edberg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Sweden

Birthplace: Västervik, Sweden

Year Turned Pro: 1983

Australian Open: Winner 1985, 1987; Finalist 1990, 1992, 1993
French Open: Finalist 1989
Wimbledon: Winner 1988, 1990; Finalist 1989
US Open: Winner 1991, 1992

More Stefan Edberg 

#7 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time #11 of 41 The Best Men's Tennis Serves of All Time

8
Ken Rosewall is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Australia

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Australian Open: Winner 1971, 1972
French Open: Winner 1968; Finalist 1969
Wimbledon: Finalist 1970, 1974
US Open: Winner 1970; Finalist 1974

9
Björn Borg is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Sweden

Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Year Turned Pro: 1973

French Open: Winner 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Wimbledon: Winner 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980; Finalist 1981
US Open: Finalist 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981

10
John Newcombe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Australia

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Year Turned Pro: 1967

Australian Open: Winner 1973, 1975; Finalist 1976
Wimbledon: Winner 1970, 1971; Finalist 1969
US Open: Winner 1973

11
Andre Agassi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America

Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1986

Australian Open: Winner 1995, 2000, 2001, 2003
French Open: Winner 1999; Finalist 1990, 1991
Wimbledon: Winner 1992; Finalist 1999
US Open: Winner 1994, 1999; Finalist 1995, 2002, 2005

More Andre Agassi 

#254 of 770 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures #600 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #10 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

12
Arthur Ashe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1969

Australian Open: Winner 1970; Finalist 1971
Wimbledon: Winner 1975
US Open: Winner 1968; Finalist 1972

More Arthur Ashe 

#1,234 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #73 of 179 The Smartest Professional Athletes

13
Ivan Lendl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America, Czechoslovakia

Birthplace: Ostrava

Year Turned Pro: 1978

Australian Open: Winner 1989, 1990; Finalist 1983, 1991
French Open: Winner 1984, 1986, 1987; Finalist 1981, 1985
Wimbledon: Finalist 1986, 1987
US Open: Winner 1985, 1986, 1987; Finalist 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989

More Ivan Lendl 

#309 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #41 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

14
Jimmy Connors is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United States of America

Birthplace: East St. Louis, Illinois

More Jimmy Connors 

#731 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #29 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athleteslisted on Famous Left Handed People

15
Boris Becker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
West Germany, Germany

Birthplace: Leimen, Germany

Year Turned Pro: 1984

Australian Open: Winner 1991, 1996
Wimbledon: Winner 1985, 1986, 1989; Finalist 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995
US Open: Winner 1989

More Boris Becker 

#140 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 41 The Best Men's Tennis Serves of All Time

16
Lew Hoad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
kurtuver added Australia

Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

More Lew Hoad 

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17
Pancho Gonzales is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
debbie66 added United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California

More Pancho Gonzales 

#928 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #15 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

18
Pat Cash is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
pdrodosk added Australia

Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Year Turned Pro: 1982

Australian Open: Finalist 1987, 1988
Wimbledon: Winner 1987

More Pat Cash 

#112 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #25 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

19
Andy Murray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
United Kingdom

Birthplace: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Year Turned Pro: 2005

Australian Open: Finalist 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016
French Open: Finalist 2016
Wimbledon: Winner 2013, 2016; Finalist 2012
US Open: Winner 2012; Finalist 2008

More Andy Murray 

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20
Manuel Santana is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Spain

Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

21
Patrick Rafter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Australia

Birthplace: Mount Isa, Australia

Year Turned Pro: 1991

Wimbledon: Finalist 2000, 2001
US Open: Winner 1997, 1998

22
Mats Wilander is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Mats Wilander Sweden

Birthplace: Växjö, Sweden

Year Turned Pro: 1981

Australian Open: Winner 1983, 1984, 1988; Finalist 1985
French Open: Winner 1982, 1985, 1988; Finalist 1983, 1987
US Open: Winner 1988; Finalist 1987

23
Stanislas Wawrinka is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
bezveze added Switzerland

Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland

Year Turned Pro: 2002

Australian Open: Winner 2014
French Open: Winner 2015; Finalist 2017
US Open: Winner 2016

More Stanislas Wawrinka 

#40 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time #13 of 41 The Best Men's Tennis Serves of All Time

24
Ilie Năstase is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Romania

Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

French Open: Winner 1973; Finalist 1971
Wimbledon: Finalist 1972, 1976
US Open: Winner 1972

More Ilie Năstase 

#189 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #29 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Time

25
Guillermo Vilas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Male Tennis Players of the Open Era
Guillermo Vilas Argentina

Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Year Turned Pro: 1969

Australian Open: Winner 1978, 1989; Finalist 1977
French Open: Winner 1977; Finalist 1975, 1978, 1982
US Open: Winner 1977

More Guillermo Vilas 

#33 of 259 The Greatest Men's Tennis Players of All Timelisted on Left Handed Tennis Players