The Best 10 Male Tennis Players In History and Fastest Tennis Serves Ever Recorded

  1. Andre Agassi

  2. John McEnroe

  3. Ivan Lendl

  4. Jimmy Connors

  5. Bjorn Borg

  6. Pete Sampras

  7. Rod Laver

  8. Novak Djokovic

  9. Rafael Nadal

  10. Roger Federer


Novak Djokovic won his 22nd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, exceeding Roger Federer’s record and approaching Rafael Nadal’s all-time record. This achievement has led to ongoing discussions among tennis fans about who the greatest tennis player of all time is. To share our perspective, we have compiled a list of the top male tennis players in history.


Although they didn’t make it to the top 10, these exceptional tennis players deserve honourable mentions for their remarkable accomplishments in the tennis world. Fred Perry is a tennis player who won 10 majors, including two Pro Slams and 8 Grand Slam titles. He also won the Wimbledon Championships three years in a row. 

Ken Rosewall is another tennis player who won 23 majors, including 8 Grand Slam titles during the Open Era and 15 Pro Slam titles before 1968. Arthur Ashe won 3 Grand Slam singles titles and 2 Grand Slam doubles titles. 

Stefan Edberg won 6 Grand Slam singles titles and is one of three male players to reach the world no.1 ranking in both singles and doubles, along with John McEnroe and Stan Smith.

Mats Wilander has won 7 Grand Slam titles and is part of an exclusive group of three men to have won two slam titles on all three surfaces, which includes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Boris Becker has won 6 Grand Slam singles titles and was the first unseeded player to win Wimbledon in 1986 at the young age of 17.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi was a remarkable tennis player during the 90s, which is considered the golden age of American tennis. Throughout his 20-year career, he achieved 60 singles titles, including eight Grand Slam titles (4 Australian Open, 2 US Open, 1 French Open & 1 Wimbledon). Agassi also made history as the first player to win a Grand Slam singles title on all three playing surfaces. He is the only male player who has attained the Career Super Slam by winning all four Grand Slams, year-end championships,  and an Olympic gold medal, which led him to sign new sponsorship contracts, and there was also a record in live casino gaming for the number of bets on his wins.

Andre Agassi

Andre’s autobiography, “Open: An Autobiography,” became a best-seller and is regarded as one of the most exceptional books ever written about tennis, after he retired from the sport. It claimed the top spot on the New York Times Best Seller list.

John McEnroe

John McEnroe, a famous tennis player known for his outbursts during matches, was a top player in the 1980s. He started playing tennis in 1977 as an 18-year-old amateur and won his first Grand Slam title in the French Open Mixed Doubles. He also had an impressive performance at Wimbledon as a qualifier, making it to the semifinals. In 1978, he won the NCAA singles title and led Stanford University to an NCAA championship before turning professional and winning five more titles.

John McEnroe

He won a total of 77 singles titles and 78 doubles titles during his career. This includes 7 Grand Slam singles titles (4 US Open and 3 Wimbledon) and 10 Grand Slam doubles titles. He also helped the United States win the Davis Cup five times. He is one of only three players in the Open Era to be ranked world no. 1 in both singles and doubles. In 1984, he won 96.5% of his matches, which is the record for the best match record in a season (82 wins, 3 defeats).

In 2003, McEnroe released his autobiography titled “Serious”, which also became a bestseller.

Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl was ranked junior world no. 1 and turned pro in 1978. He was a prominent player in the tennis scene in the 80s and played for 22 years, achieving an impressive 94 singles titles, including 8 Grand Slam titles (3 French Open, 3 US Open, and 2 Australian Open). He is ranked third on the all-time titles leaderboard in the Open Era, behind Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. Lendl also held the world no. 1 ranking for a total of 270 weeks and is the only male player to win over 90% of matches in five separate years.

Ivan Lendl

Since retiring, he’s found success in coaching, after helping Andy Murray to three Grand Slam titles including Wimbledon glory back in 2013.

Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors was a dominant tennis player in the late 70s. He held the world no.1 ranking for 160 consecutive weeks from 1974 to 1977 and was the ATP top-ranked player for a total of 268 weeks throughout his 24 year career. He won three Grand Slams in a calendar year in 1974, but was not allowed to participate in the French Open due to his involvement with World Team Tennis. Over the course of his career, he won a total of eight Grand Slam singles titles (5 US Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 1 Australian Open) and two doubles Grand Slam titles.

Jimmy Connors

In the Open Era, Connors has the record for the highest number of titles (109), highest number of matches played (1557), and highest number of matches won (1274) in the ATP.

Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg began his professional tennis career at the age of 15, representing Sweden in the Davis Cup in 1972. At just 18 years old, he won his first Grand Slam title and became the youngest male French Open champion at the time. Throughout the late 1970s, Borg formed competitive rivalries with Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe for the top spot in the game. However, the pressure of the sport led him to retire from tennis at 26 years old.

Bjorn Borg

Borg, during his brief career, was ranked world no.1 for 109 weeks and secured a total of 11 Grand Slam titles – 6 French Open and 5 Wimbledon victories. He demonstrated his superiority on the clay and grass courts by achieving four consecutive French Open titles and five consecutive Wimbledon titles (which is a record jointly held with Roger Federer).

Pete Sampras

Pete Sampras, who was the most successful player in the 90s, held the top ranking position for a total of 286 weeks and achieved a year-end no.1 ranking for six consecutive years from 1993 to 1998.

Pete Sampras

He was very successful on grass courts and won Wimbledon seven times, but Roger Federer later broke this record. He was also good on hard courts, winning two Australian Open titles and five US Open titles, which he shares as a record with Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. He retired after winning the 2002 US Open final against his longtime rival Andre Agassi. In total, Sampras won 64 singles titles, including a then-record of 14 Grand Slam titles at the time of his retirement.

Rod Laver

Rod Laver is a highly respected and beloved tennis who is widely recognized as one of the best of all time. He achieved numerous impressive accomplishments throughout his career, including holding the record for the most tennis titles won, with a total of 198. He won 6 Grand Slam titles before 1968 and 5 Grand Slam titles after that year. Laver also won 6 doubles Grand Slam titles and 5 Davis Cup titles. Additionally, he set a record by winning ten or more titles in seven consecutive seasons from 1964 to 1970.

Rod Laver

He is still the only male player who has won all four major tennis tournaments in a single year  in the Open Era, achieving this feat in 1969.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is a record-breaking tennis player who has won 93 singles titles, including 22 Grand Slam titles, which ties him with Nadal for the all-time record. Djokovic is the current No.1 and has held the top ranking for a total of 378 weeks – more than any other player. He has won nine Australian Open titles, seven Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles, and two French Open titles. Djokovic is seen as the most likely of the “Big Three” to win another major title. He is the only player to have achieved the Career Golden Masters by winning every one of the nine Masters 1000 titles at least once. He currently holds the record for the most Masters titles won, with a total of 38.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic won the non-calendar Grand Slam and held all four Slams at the same time during 2015-2016. He also won his second French Open title in 2020 by defeating Nadal and became the only player in the Open Era to complete the Career Grand Slam twice. Djokovic is playing his best tennis and seems unstoppable, making him the most likely player to break the all-time Grand Slam titles record.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, a teenager who became one of the most successful players in ATP tour history, achieved the world no. 2 ranking when he was just 19 years old. He won 16 titles, including his first French Open title in 2005. In 2008, he won his fourth French Open title and defeated Roger Federer in one of the greatest tennis matches ever to claim his first Wimbledon title. That same year, he became the world no. 1 player and won an Olympic Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal has won a total of 92 titles, including a record breaking 22 Grand Slam titles. Throughout his career, he has a 91% win record on clay and a 112-3 record at Roland Garros. He won his 14th French Open title in 2022, earning him the title of “King of Clay”. In addition, he is one of only two men to achieve the Career Golden Slam (all four Slams and an Olympic Gold medal), alongside Andre Agassi.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer is considered by many to be the greatest tennis player ever. He had a career that lasted 23 years and spanned four decades. In that time, he spent a total of 310 weeks as the world’s number one ranked player and holds the record for the longest streak at world number one in the Open Era, which was four and a half years, or 237 weeks, from 2004 to 2008. Federer was dominant in the 2000s and made 18 of 19 major finals between 2005 and 2010. He won three out of four Grand Slam titles in 2004, 2006, and 2007 and completed his Career Golden Slam in 2009 after winning the French Open.

Roger Federer

With 103 singles titles, he has won the second highest number in the Open Era, just behind Jimmy Connors. He holds the record for winning the most Grand Slams (20) along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and has won a record six ATP Tour Finals titles. In 2017, he won his eighth Wimbledon title which is a record, and he shares the record for most US Open titles (5) with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.

Roger Federer has won the ATP Fan’s Player of the Year award for 19 years in a row (from 2003 to 2020) and has also won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award five times. He is very popular among fans and is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. The “Big Three,” including Federer, have greatly influenced tennis in recent years and this era is often regarded as one of the best in the sport’s history. Although people have different opinions on who should be at the top of the list of the greatest players, there is no doubt that Federer has made an impact on the sport.


For men’s professional tennis, the average speed of a first serve is usually around 190-200 km/h or 120 mph, while for women, it is around 170-180 km/h or 105 mph. The fastest serve ever recorded was hit by Australian player Sam Groth in Busan, South Korea in 2012 at a speed of 263.4 km/h or 163.7 mph.


Although a serve was recorded at an ITF Challenger level event, the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) does not consider it as the fastest serve because the serve speed tracking equipment used was not uniformly calibrated. The official record of the ATP for the fastest serve is held by John Isner from the United States, who hit a serve at 253 km/h or 157.2 mph during the 2016 Davis Cup.

Here’s a list of the fastest-recorded tennis serves and the players who achieved them:

  • Sam Groth from Australia, who hit a serve of 263.0 km/h (163.4 mph) at the 2012 Busan Open Challenger Tennis Albano Olivetti from France, who hit a serve of 257.5 km/h (160.0 mph) at the 2012 Internazionali Trofeo Lame Perrel-Faip

  • John Isner from the United States, who hit a serve of 253.0 km/h (157.2 mph) at the 2016 Davis Cup Jerzy Janowicz from Poland, who hit a serve of 251.0 km/h (156.0 mph) at the 2012 Pekao Szczecin Open

  • Ivo Karlović from Croatia, who hit a serve of 251.0 km/h (156.0 mph) at the 2011 Davis Cup

  • Milos Raonic from Canada, who hit a serve of 249.9 km/h (155.3 mph) at the 2012 SAP Open

  • Andy Roddick from the United States, who hit a serve of 249.4 km/h (155.0 mph) at the 2004 Davis Cup

  • Feliciano López from Spain, who hit a serve of 244.6 km/h (152.0 mph) at the 2014 Aegon Championships

  • Bernabe Zapata Miralles from Spain hit a 237.0 km/h (147.3 mph) serve at the 2022 Monte Carlo Masters (Q).

  • Taylor Fritz from the United States hit a 237.0 km/h (147.3 mph) serve at the 2020 US Open.

  • Frances Tiafoe from the United States hit a 237.0 km/h (147.3 mph) serve at the 2018 Estoril Open.

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from France hit a 237.0 km/h (147.3 mph) serve at the 2014 Rogers Cup.

  • Dmitry Tursunov from Russia hit a 237.0 km/h (147.3 mph) serve at the 2006 Davis Cup.

  • Ben Shelton from the United States hit a 236.6 km/h (147.0 mph) serve at the 2023 Indian Wells Masters.

  • Alexander Zverev from Germany hit a 236.6 km/h (147.0 mph) serve at the 2021 Indian Wells Masters.

  • Fernando González from Chile hit a 236.0 km/h (146.6 mph) serve at the 2007 Italian Open.

  • Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia hit 230.1 km/h (143.0 mph) at the 2017 Wimbledon tournament.

  • Jiří Veselý from the Czech Republic also hit 230.1 km/h (143.0 mph), but at the 2014 Wimbledon tournament.

  • Roger Federer from Switzerland hit 230.1 km/h (143.0 mph) at the 2010 Gerry Weber Open.

  • Laslo Djere from Serbia hit 230.0 km/h (142.9 mph) at the 2022 Italian Open.

  • Mats Rosenkranz from Germany hit 230.0 km/h (142.9 mph) at the 2022 Mallorca tournament.

  • Nicolás Almagro from Spain hit 230.0 km/h (142.9 mph) at the 2016 Argentina Open.

  • Martin Verkerk from the Netherlands hit 230.0 km/h (142.9 mph) at the 2003 Breil Milano Indoor tournament.

We hope you liked our list of the best male tennis players ever. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments if you agree or disagree and want to suggest other players.

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