Tennis - Champion of Champions
Over the years, the sport of tennis saw many legends in gentlemen and ladies categories. Some of them have been inducted in to Hall of Fame for their contribution towards the sport. We will discuss more about their career and stats.
Rod Laver, an Australian born, is considered greatest player in history of the sport. Tennis was in his blood as his mother played professional. He was famous for his aggression and agility. He had the guile to beat his opponents with these two qualities. He was nick named “The Rocket” by his Davis Cup team captain.
Rod held a unique record of completing Grand Prix twice; once in 1962 and second time in 1969. A Grand Prix means winning all four major titles in a year. Overall, he held 228 career titles that consisted of 20 Grand Slam titles across all variants. He was finalist for 14 Grand Slams and won 11 of them which was a record then.
Borg was a Swedish player who drew large crowds to the stadium with his playing ability and off the field lifestyle. He was nick named as ‘Ice-man’ for his cool temperament in all situations. He won 64 career titles that comprised of 11 major titles.
Borg has won 41% of the Grand Slam singles tournaments he entered and 90% of those matches. He has won both the French Open and Wimbledon for three consecutive years. In addition, he has won three Grand Slams without losing a set.
Vijay Amritraj is the only Indian Tennis player who ranked amongst top 20 in the world in Singles. He has the credit of defeating top seed players like Rod Laver, Bjon Borg, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe on different occasions.
He has a tally of 29 career titles and only Indian player to have twice reached quarter finals of Wimbledon and US Open in Singles and semi-finals in Men’s doubles. Surprisingly, he is yet to be inducted in to Hall of Fame.
He was born in West Germany and brought up in New York, USA. He started playing Tennis at the age of eight and holds a rare record of being the youngest to reach semi-finals of Wimbledon in a century.
He was well-known for his passion and aggression towards the sport and fought for every single point. In many instances, he ended up paying fine for arguing with chair umpires and on-field bad behaviour. Despite so many low-key points, his game was exceptional and he won 17 major titles in the whole career.
An American born, Connors played left-handed. He was ranked no. 1 in 1974. Connors was equally aggressive like McEnroe and never felt bad for his on-field behaviour.
As his counterparts described, he was the most rebellious player in history of Tennis. Connors won 125 titles in his complete career span. Ten of them have been major titles.
Edberg was another Swedish legend in Tennis. It must be said that his serve and volley game was so exceptional that it won him six major titles in singles.
His backhand volleys were accurate and beautiful to watch during play. Edberg had won 59 titles in his career of which 9 are major titles.
If McEnroe was youngest to reach semi-finals of a grand slam then, Becker bettered the record by being the youngest to win a major title at the age of 17. This record was later broken by Michael Chang of United States.
A German born Becker started playing professional tennis in 1984. In short time, he became popular by his own style of play that balance, agility, and precision with power. He had won six major titles out of 64 titles in his career.
This star player came on to the international scene with a bang. He defeated Agassi in US Open finals at the age of 19. Since then, there was no looking back for the champion. Of course, there were few injuries that plagued his career for some time.
He then held the record for highest number of major titles (14) which is now equalled by Rafael Nadal and broken by Roger Federer (17). Sampras won 66 titles in his complete career.
Courier was a four time major champion and a true fighter when it comes to playing tennis. It didn’t come to him all that easy as he had to work really hard to win against some of the best players in game’s history.
Born in Florida, United States; Courier created a rare feat of being the youngest player in history to reach finals of all four Grand Slams. He was 22 then. Courier won 29 titles throughout his career.
Agassi was the most flamboyant of all the players in history of the game. He had the charm and grace in his play and off the court activities.
Agassi had seen highs and lows in his 21-year long career that brought him shame and fame. He won eight major tournaments and 61 in total during his career span.
This Swiss player is as stylish as the line of watches from his home land. He already holds the record for highest number of Grand Slams by any player ever.
In a 14-year long career, Federer has won 86 titles. With age catching up fast and pressure to perform, there was slump in form and rank in middle of his career. Being a fighter and hard worker, Federer came back up in rankings and is currently ranked 3rd in world.
Federer may be the World’s best in modern era but, this Spaniard gave tough time to Federer since his arrival on to the international scene. He was one of the youngest to have won a Grand Slam and has record number of Roland Garros titles.
Rafael Nadal is next to Federer in overall number of major tournaments. Nadal has 14 titles to his name and an overall tally of 67. He is currently ranked seven in the world. Frequent injuries kept him in and out of the game during recent time. It led to slump in his form and world ranking.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is Queen of Wimbledon as she won 20 titles. Born in California, United States, King was extraordinary on and off the court. She was the first woman player to be awarded Sportsman of the Year by Illustrated magazine.
Being a homosexual, she fought for LGBT rights during her playing days. She was popular for the Battle of Sexes match that she won against Bobby Riggs. King won 140 titles overall including 39 major tournaments.
Margaret Smith Court
Margaret Court is the only player in history of Tennis to have won multiple Grand Slams in all the categories. Her winning streak equates to 92 percent considering amateur and professional games which is a record for itself.
She is undoubtedly the most dominating player ever. Court has 64 major titles to her name and 118 overall. She still holds the record for most major titles in Singles category and has Steffi Graf just one title behind her with 23.
This great lady was just born to play the most beautiful racket sport. Martina Navratilova represented United States, though she was born in Czechoslovakia. Tennis was her passion and she thrived to win at all times.
Martina Navratilova ruled the sport in ladies category for years together. She was invincible and clearly the best in history. She still holds the record for highest number career titles in ladies category. A staggering tally of 369 career titles included 57 major titles that is next Margaret Court’s 64. She won 18 major titles in singles and rest in doubles variants. Based on the stats, she is truly the greatest tennis player ever lived.
The beauty of a sport is that a legend is always replaced by another. Stefanie Graf, a German by birth launched her career at international level in 1986 with victory over Chris Evert.
She holds couple of unique records; first being next to only Margaret Court in number of singles major titles (23) and second being the only Tennis player in both genders to have won a grand slam at least four times. Her total number of career titles is 118. Steffi as she was fondly called by her fans was critically the best player on any court.
Monica Seles played for United States though born in Yugoslavia. She had very strong forehand and backhand in Tennis. She is the most feared opponent for Steffi Graf.
Seles drew level with Graf in her six meetings. However, her career was cut short after a freak on-court incident where a spectator stabbed her on back. She made a comeback after injury but not for long though and then retired. Her career witnessed 9 major titles and 59 titles overall.
Hingis will be ever known for being the youngest to win a major title. She was just 15 when she won Wimbledon doubles title. Hingis is also the youngest to have junior major title at the age of 12 in 1993.
She is one of the greatest players to have played Tennis along with Graf, Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Sabatini, and Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario. She has won a total of 80 titles of which 16 are major titles.
Serena Williams, the youngest of William sisters is a living legend. She has already won 20 singles major titles and 13 doubles major titles.
She has won 90 titles in total till date and going strong. Serena has a powerful forehand and plays deep into corners of the court. She also has a powerful serve.