25- Mats Wilander: http://sportsthenandnow.com/wp/wp-co...ander-1988.jpg
Career Resume- Won 3 Australian Opens from 4 finals, won 3 French Opens from 5 finals, never won Wimbledon, 3 times a quarterfinalist, won 1 US Open from 2 finals. 7 total slams from 11 finals, at least one on hard, grass, and clay. 1 Year end Masters final appearance and 8 Tennis Championship Series titles from 8 finals. Wilander had a career year in 1988, winning 3 of the 4 slams, losing in the quarters of Wimbledon that year.
Wilander had a 72% career winning percentage, won 33 total titles from 59 finals, and was world #1 for a total of 20 weeks. Wilander was the undisputed world #1 in 1988, and was the world #2 in 1983 and 1985. 3 years as #1 or #2 in the world. Compiled a 36-16 career Davis Cup record and led the Swedes to 3 titles in 1984, 1985, and 1987.
Career Blemishes- Never won Wimbledon, very short time as the #1 player in the world, lost all kinds of motivation understandably after his awesome 1988 year. Wilander played pretty much in the shadow of other players in the 80’s, the likes of Connors, McEnroe, Lendl.
24- Stefan Edberg: http://sportige.com/wp-content/uploa...and-volley.jpg
Career Resume- Won 2 Australian Opens from 5 finals, 1 French Open final, won 2 Wimbledons from 3 finals, won 2 US Opens. 6 slams from 11 total finals. Edberg also won the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal in singles. Edberg won 1 Year End Championship from 3 finals. Made at least one slam final 7 years in a row.
42 total titles from 78 finals and a 74.9% career winning percentage. 8 Tennis Championship Series/Masters Series titles from 18 finals. Edberg was undisputed year end world #1 in 1990 and 1991. He was also year end world #2 in 1987 and 1992. 4 years as #1 or #2 in the world. 72 total weeks as the world #1. Edberg had a 35-15 career record in Davis Cup singles and won the Swedes 4 titles in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1994.
Career Blemishes- Never won the French Open, only 6 slams, only world #1 for a short time.
23- Boris Becker: http://www.mentalfloss.com/wp-conten...ris-becker.jpg
Career Resume- Won 2 Australian Opens, never won the French, but had 3 semifinals, won 3 Wimbledons from 7 finals, won 1 US Open. 6 slams from 10 finals. Won 4 Year End Championships from 10 finals. Won 10 Championship Series/Masters Series titles from 17 finals. Won 49 titles from 79 total finals.
Becker was the undisputed year end world #1 in 1989 and #2 in 1986. Just 2 years as #1 or #2 in the world and 12 total weeks as world #1. Becker was perhaps the greatest indoor player ever. He had a 76.91% career winning percentage. In Davis Cup, Becker had an insane 38-3 reord in singles, leading the Germans to the title in 1988 and 1989.
Career Blemishes- Weak on clay courts, never won French Open, very short time as world #1, only 6 slams, only 2 years as #1 or #2 in the world.
22- Anthony Wilding: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ny_Wilding.jpg
Career Resume- A New Zealander who played on the Australasian Davis Cup team in the first two decades of the 1900’s. Helped them to win 4 Davis Cup titles in 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1914, a 15-6 career singles record in Davis Cup. Won 2 Australian Opens, Won 4 Wimbledons from 5 finals, never won the US Open. 6 total slams from 7 finals.
Won at least 112 total titles on grass, clay, and indoor wood surfaces on all continents including the Australian and Wimbledon titles, as well as the big tournaments like the World Hard Court Championships and the World Covered Court Championships. He won a unique triple in 1913, winning Wimbledon, the World Covered Court Championships, and the World Hard Court Championships. A Grand Slam of his day.
Wilding was the undisputed year end world #1 for 2 years in 1912, 1913. Wilding was the year end co #1 in 1911, and #2 in 1909, 1910, 1914. 6 years as #1 or #2 in the world.
Career Blemishes- Played in an early era without an open French championship nor as many tournaments as streamlined as today. Just 6 slams. Wilding was a great champion in his time, but he was taken from us too soon. He enlisted into the Royal Marines and was killed in action in 1915 at the age of just 31. Another champion who I wish will rest in peace.
21- Jack Kramer: http://www.tennismirror.com/wp-conte...ucla-1949s.jpg
Career Resume- Won Wimbledon once in 1947, 2 US Opens in 1946 and 1947 while losing in the final in 1943. Kramer had his first 4 years of his early 20’s interrupted by World War 2. Kramer went into the Coast Guard and after the war won his 3 grand slams. He then turned pro in late 1947 and played for only 7 years, having to retire in 1954 with back problems at 33 years old. Kramer is more known these days as a great tennis promoter, commentator, and historian of the game.
1 Wembley Pro in 1949, beating Segura and Riggs to the title, 1 US Pro in 1948, beating Budge and Riggs en route to the title, for 5 total slams as well as a 5 set loss to Pancho Gonzales in the final of the 1952 Wembley Pro. 5 slams from 7 finals. Jack Kramer was the undisputed year end World #1 for 4 years in 1948, 1949, 1951, and 1953. He was the also the year end co #1 in 1947 and 1950. 6 years as #1 or co #1. Kramer also helped lead the Americans to 2 Davis Cup titles in 1946 and 1947.
Career Blemishes- Never played the Aussie or French Open, only 5 total slams, and, like Perry and Budge, was unfortunate to have World War 2 coincide with his career.
20- William Larned: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...rned,_1910.jpg
Career Resume- William Larned was a relatively late bloomer, went to Cornell University and served in the Spanish-American war in 1898 at 26 years old. He contracted rheumatism during the war, which eventually led him to develop rheumatoid arthritis and forced him to retire in 1911 at the age of 39.
Larned won the US Open (then called the US National Championships) 7 times from 9 finals from 1900 to 1911. Of course he only had to play one match to defend his title in many of those years, but he was also a champion in other big tournaments of the time such as the Boston tournament. Larned was the undisputed year end world #1 for 3 years in 1908, 1909, and 1910, was the year end co #1 in 1901 and 1902, and year end world #2 in 1903 and 1907. 7 years as either #1 or #2 in the world.
Larned was also 9-5 in his career in the early years of Davis Cup, helping the Americans win 4 titles in 1902, 1908, 1909, and 1911.
Career Blemishes- Played in the early days, one of the original GOATs, unfortunately had to retire after losing the finals of the 1911 Davis Cup, his health detiorating. Even more unfortunately, Larned eventually became partially paralyzed by spinal meningitis and was depressed by not being able to play sports or do anything he used to love to do. At 53, in December of 1926, William Larned committed suicide with a .45 caliber pistol shot to the head. Rest in peace, William Larned, you are one of the greats.
19- Laurence Doherty: http://www.tennistheme.com/images/wi...istory0006.jpg
Career Resume- Laurence Doherty was the absolute king of tennis in the early 1900’s. He was the undisputed year end world #1 for 4 years in a row in 1903, 1904, 1905, and 1906. Those 4 years he shat on the field Federer style, and then retired in 1906 with a bang Sampras style. He retired as world #1 and winning the Davis Cup. Doherty was also year end world #2 in 1898, and the co #1 in 1902. 6 years as #1 or #2 in the world.
Doherty also won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1900, won Wimbledon 5 years in a row from 1902 to 1905, and the US Open in 1903 in an era when players didn’t really travel overseas. Doherty had 6 total slams in 7 finals. Doherty was 7-0, undefeated in singles in Davis Cup, winning the title in 1903, 1904, 1905, and 1906. Laurence and his brother Reginald both had respiratory problems and Laurence served in World War I in the Royal Navy Reserves, but was released due to poor health and died in 1919 at just 43 years old.
Doherty also won the Queens Indoor 6 years in a row from 1901 to 1906 and the South of France Championships 7 years in a row from 1900 to 1906, both big tournaments at the time. Doherty was the king of his time.
Career Blemishes- Not much, really. He didn’t play in an era when he needed to play through the draw to defend his Wimbledon title, he didn’t play in an era when the French was open to non-French players, and the Australian Open only started in 1905. Doherty would have been a champion in any era. Doherty also died early, at just 43.
18- William Renshaw: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/...76_224x423.jpg
Career Resume- 7 Wimbledon titles from 8 finals including 6 straight from 1881 to 1886. Mind you, this was before 1922 when the defending champion had to play only one match in order to defend his title. Renshaw basically invented the serve and volley, perfected the overhead and invented the overhead serve. Before Renshaw, most serves were underhanded. Renshaw was a revolutionary with his aggressive play. Even after his 6 straight titles, the last in 1886, Renshaw came back to win the title in 1889 and lost the final in 1890. Renshaw was also the Irish champion in 1881 and 1882. After Renshaw won 6 straight, he was injured in 1887 and couldn’t compete. Renshaw returned in 1888, but lost in the quarterfinals before reclaiming his title in 1889 coming back from 2 sets to love down to win 8-6 in the 5th and win his 7th Wimbledon title.
William Renshaw initiated the “Renshaw Rush”, a rush of people to take up the game of tennis in the late 1800’s. Renshaw was the undisputed year end world #1 for 6 years from 1881 to 1886, year end #2 in 1880, and was co year end #1 in 1889. 8 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. Renshaw was the original GOAT.
Career Blemishes- Played in the early days, before the French, Aussie, US, any pro slams, or any legitimate tour had been established, and thus his achievements are not really recognized. I gotta give him some love here.
17- Bobby Riggs: http://chaognosis.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/riggs.jpg
Career Resume- Bobby Riggs played in the late 30’s, 40’s, and early 50’s. His first slam was the 1938 US championships. As a 20 year old, he helped the American Davis Cup win the title in 1938, but lost in the finals in 1939. Riggs was only 2-2 in his Davis Cup career. In 1939, he made the finals of the French Open, but lost to Don McNeill. Later in 1939, Riggs won Wimbledon and the US. He lost in the finals of the US in 1940, but rebounded to win it in 1941 and turned pro. In his amateur career, Riggs never played the Australian, lost once in the finals of the French, won 1 Wimbledon, and 2 US Opens from 3 finals. 3 slams from 5 finals.
But then came World War 2. Riggs was the undisputed year end world #1 in 1945 and 1946, year end co #1 in 1941, 1943, 1944, and 1947, year end world #2 in 1942 and 1948, 8 years as #1 or #2 in the world. Riggs played into the early 1950’s as a top 10 level player in the world.
On the pro tour, Riggs won 3 US Pros in 5 finals, and lost the Wembley Pro finals in 1949. Riggs won a total of 6 slams from 11 finals. Riggs also is famous for his Battle of the Sexes match with Billie Jean King, an awesome promotion event.
Career Blemishes- Never won the French Open or the Australian, but never played it, was unfortunate to have World War 2 coincide with his peak years, “only” 6 slams.
16- Henri Cochet: http://aeltc2011.wimbledon.com/Conte...125-cochet.jpg
Career Resume- Never played the Australian Open, Won 4 French Open from 5 finals, won 2 Wimbledons from 3 finals, 1 US Open from 2 finals, won 1 French Pro from 2 finals, never played the US Pro, only played one Wembley Pro. 8 total slams from 12 finals. Cochet played at an interesting time in tennis. He turned pro before the pro slams had really become huge, and played as an amateur before the Australian Open had much respect.
Part of the 4 French Musketeers who dominated tennis in the late 20’s and early 30’s. He played as an amateur for most of his career before turning pro in 1933 at the age of 31. He mixed it up with the best pros of the day, Tilden, Nusslein, Vinny Richards, Kozeluh, etc. for a few years afterwards. 34-8 career Davis Cup singles record, helped the French team to the title in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1932. 6 titles in a row.
Cochet was the undisputed year end world #1 for 3 years in 1928, 1929, and 1930. Year end world #2 in 1931. 4 years as either #1 or #2 in the world.
Career Blemishes- Only 8 total slams, never played the Australian Open or the US Pro, and obviously never won them, nor the Wembley Pro, though admittedly they did not have the same status as they would in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Only 4 years as the world #1 or 2.
15- John McEnroe: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/...93_468x395.jpg
Career Resume- Never won the Australian Open, furthest was a semifinal in 1983. Never won the French Open after that heartbreaking 1984 loss to Lendl in the finals. Won 3 Wimbledons from 5 finals including the 1980 and 1981 finals, which changed the course of tennis history. Won 4 US Opens from 5 finals. 7 total slams in 11 total finals. Played in at least 1 slam final for 7 years in a row. Was never the same after his break from the game in 1986. Known for his antics and temper as much as his mercurial game. An 81.55% career winning percentage.
McEnroe won 8 of 12 Masters Finals tournaments, whether WCT finals or Grand Prix Masters finals. McEnroe also won 19 Tennis Championship Series titles from 25 finals. McEnroe won at least 63 titles from at least 95 total finals. Possibly the greatest year of all time in 1984, recording an 82-3 Win-Loss record, 2 slams, and a slam final. Compiled a 41-8 career singles Davis Cup record, aiding the USA in winning 5 titles in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1992.
McEnroe was the undisputed year end World #1 in 1981, 1983, 1984, year end world #2 in 1979, and 1980. 5 total years as #1 or #2 and 170 total weeks as the world #1.
Career Blemishes- Never won the Australian, but more importantly, never won the French Open. Was never the same after his 1986 6 month sabbatical from the game.
14- Andre Agassi: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image..._longevity.jpg
Career Resume- Won 4 Australian Opens, 1 French Open from 3 finals, 1 Wimbledon from 2 finals, 2 US Opens from 6 finals. 8 slams from 15 finals. Took “taking the ball early” to a new level in his career and perhaps the greatest returner of the 2nd serve of all time. Another candidate for longevity GOAT, playing over 20 years. Agassi was the undisputed year end world #1 in 1999, the year end world #2 in 1990, 1994, 1995, and 2002. 5 total years as #1 or #2. 101 total weeks as World #1. Won all 4 slams.
Agassi had a 76% career winning percentage and 60 career titles in 90 total finals. Agassi won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Won 1 Year End Championship from 4 finals. Won from 17 tennis Masters Series titles from 23 finals. 30-6 career singles Davis Cup record and helped the Americans to the 1990, 1992, and 1995 titles.
Career Blemishes- Consistently the 2nd fiddle to Sampras his entire career, only 1 Wimbledon and 1 French, up and down career on account of drugs and wives, not enough time as world #1.
13- Jimmy Connors: http://www.swotti.com/tmp/swotti/cac...20connors2.jpg
Career Resume- Won 3 slams in 1974. Won 1 Australian Open from 2 finals, no French Opens but 4 semifinals, won 2 Wimbledons from 6 finals, won 5 US Opens from 6 finals. 8 slams total from 15 finals. Won the Year End Masters in 1977. Won 19 Tennis Championship Series titles, and won at least 109 total titles from 163 finals.
Connors was World #1 for 160 straight weeks, 268 total weeks. Connors was the undisputed year end World #1 for 3 years in 1974, 1976, and 1982, and world #2 in 1975 and 1978. 5 years as either #1 or #2. 10-3 career Davis Cup singles record, never won a Davis Cup. Was the “official” year end #1 from 1974 to 1978, but the rankings were pretty screwy back then.
Played until he was 44, finally retiring in 1996, and made the US Open finals at age 39 in 1991. Another candidate for longevity GOAT. Made countless slam semifinals and was a consistent top 10 player into his 30’s.
Career Blemishes- Never won the French Open, only 8 total slams, only 3 true years as world #1.
12- Fred Perry: http://www.antennamag.com/online/wp-.../fredperry.jpg
Career Resume- Won 1 Australian Open from 2 finals, 1 French Open from 2 finals, 3 Wimbledons in a row from 1934 to 1936, and 3 US Opens for 8 total amateur slams and the career slam. He then turned pro in 1937 and won 2 US Pros from 4 finals for 10 total slams from 14 finals. Perry competed with Budge and Vines on the pro tour in the late 30’s. He led the British to 4 straight Davis Cups from 1933 to 1936 and was 34-4 in his career in Davis Cup singles rubbers. Made at least one slam final 8 straight years.
He was the undisputed year end World #1 in 1934, co year end #1 in 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1941, and was year end #2 in the world in 1933, 1940. So 7 straight years as either #1 or #2 in the world. Perry’s career, like Budge’s, was interrupted by World War 2 as Perry enlisted into the American Air Force, having emigrated from Britain by that time. At the end of the war, Perry was 36 years old and returned to the game with limited success.
Career Belmishes- Was only the undisputed world #1 for one year, and was consistently battling greats like Budge and Vines for most of his career. Mostly though, Perry took a slight second seat behind those two. Also was unlucky to have World War 2 coincide with his career like Budge.
11- Ellsworth Vines: http://www.estadium.ya.com/daviscup/...orth_Vines.jpg
Career Resume- Played the Australian Open once, losing in the quarterfinals in 1933, never played the French Open, won 1 Wimbledon from 2 finals, and 2 US Opens before turning pro in 1934. Vines won the US Pro in 1939, won 2 Wembley Pros, and won 1 French Pro from 2 finals. 7 total slams from 9 finals. Vines didn’t play many of the pro slams in his time on the pro tour, and played mostly tours with the leading players of the time, Perry, Budge, Tilden, etc.
Vines was the undisputed year end World #1 in 1932, year end co #1 in 1935, 1936, 1937 year end #2 in 1934, 1938, and 1939. 7 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. 13-3 career Davis Cup record in singles, but never won a Davis Cup.
Jack Kramer the great tennis historian considered Vines to be the best ever when on his game, but Vines suffered from laziness and a lack of passion and/or desire for the game of tennis. He had other interests in his life, golf and his family life being the main two.
Retired in May 1940 at only 28 years old from tennis. Went on to play golf at a pretty damn good level, top 10 in earnings in both golf and tennis.
Career Blemishes- Early retirement, a little bit of inconsistency in his results, described by Kramer as relatively “lazy” in regards to his extreme talent. Only 7 total slams, no Davis Cup.
10- Rafael Nadal: http://worldbestsports.com/wp-conten...fael-Nadal.jpg
Career Resume- Won 1 Australian Open, 6 French Opens, 2 Wimbledons from 5 finals, and 1 US Open for 10 total slams from 13 finals. Also has an Olympic Gold Medal in singles from the 2008 games and led the Spanish to 3 Davis Cup titles in 2004, 2008, and 2009. 46 career titles from 63 finals, an 82.71% career winning percentage, an 81 match clay winning streak, 32 match winning streak on clay, grass, and hard in 2008. A 6-2 record over Roger Federer in grand slam finals, and a positive head to head record over all of his rivals including Djokovic and Federer.
He was the undisputed year end World #1 in 2008 and 2010, and the year end world #2 in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. 6 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. 7 years winning at least one slam. Career Davis Cup record of 16-1. 19 Tennis Masters Series titles from 29 finals. More to come.
Career Blemishes- Only 1 Year End Championship final, and no titles. Vulnerable indoors and on faster hard courts. Only 1 US Open and 1 Australian Open.
9- Ivan Lendl: http://amranfaisal.com/wp-content/up...lendl-1983.jpg
Career Resume- Won 2 Australian Opens from 4 finals, 3 French Opens from 5 finals, lost twice in the finals of Wimbledon, and 3 US Opens from 8 finals. 8 slams from 19 total finals. Lendl won 7 Masters Finals from 12 Finals. Lendl was the undisputed year end World #1 for 3 years in 1985, 1986, and 1987, and year end world #2 in 1982, 1984, 1988, and 1989. 7 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. Lendl was ranked number one for 270 weeks, 3rd in the Open Era behind Sampras and Federer.
Reached at least one slam final for 11 straight years and won 94 total titles from 146 finals. Lendl had an 82% career winning percentage. Won 22 career Tennis Championship series titles. Revolutionized the game with power tennis and uber nutrition. Led the Czech team to the Davis Cup title in 1980, but his career singles Davis Cup record was only 18-11.
Career Blemishes- Never won Wimbledon, though lost twice in the finals. Bad slam finals record.
8- Bjorn Borg: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HEvIhdAYFW...s1600/borg.jpg
Career Resume- Bjorn Borg played the Australian Open just once back in 1974, losing in the third round. Borg won 3 year end championships from 6 finals. Borg won 11 of 16 slam finals, had an 82.7% career winning percentage, and nearly an 89.81% grand slam winning percentage. Borg won 6 French Opens, 5 Wimbledons from 6 finals including 3 Channel Slams winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon back to back from 1978 to 1980. Borg also competed in 4 US Open finals.
Borg won 101 titles from 129 total finals. Borg won 15 titles from 19 Grand Prix Tennis Championship Series events, similar to the Masters Series events today. Borg was the undisputed year end world #1 for 3 years in 1978, 1979, and 1980, the co year end #1 in in 1977, and year end #2 in 1975, 1976, and 1981. 7 years in a row as either #1 or #2 in the world. Borg was also a beast in Davis Cup, compiling a 37-3 career record in singles, including a 33 match win streak to end his career, a record that still stands, leading the Swedes to the 1975 Davis Cup.
Career Blemishes- Never won the Australian or the US Open, losing twice in the finals to Connors, and twice to McEnroe. Basically retired after losing the 1981 US Open final at the age of only 25. But he had already achieved nearly all there is to achieve in the game. He was a rock star at the time.
7- Don Budge: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2370/...6fb9b60203.jpg
Career Resume- Budge played from the early 1930’s until the mid 1950’s. He won all 4 slams in 1938, the first man ever to do so. ’38 was the only year he played the Australian or the French. He won 9 straight slams pro or amateur from Wimbledon 1937 to the US Pro in 1940. He won also 2 Wimbledons and 2 US Opens from 3 finals. He won the French Pro and Wembley Pro in 1939, and 2 US Pros from 6 finals. 10 total slams from 15 finals. A 92 match win streak in 1937-1938. A 19-2 career singles record in Davis Cup, and led the Americans to 2 Davis Cups in 1937 and 1938.
Budge was the undisputed year end world #1 for 4 years in 1938, 1939, 1940, and 1942. He was also co year end #1 in 1937, 1943, 1944, and year end #2 in the world in 1945 and 1946. 9 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. Unfortunately for Budge, World War 2 interrupted the peak of his career. Budge also suffered a shoulder injury during his time in the service. Budge was in the air force and tore a muscle during an obstacle course that never truly healed. In 1945 at the end of the war, Budge played his rival Bobby Riggs in a series of Pacific Island exhibitions that cemented Budge’s status as #2 in the world as Riggs defeated him in the series. Budge was still a solid top 10 player after the war, and made the finals of the US Pro in 1946, 1947, 1949, and 1953.
Career Blemishes- Bad luck for having his career coincide with World War 2
6- Pete Sampras: http://topnews.in/sports/files/Pete-Sampras.jpg
Career Resume- Made at least one slam final for 10 years in a row from 1993 to 2002. 2 Australian Opens from 3 finals, 1 semifinal at the French Open, 7 Wimbledons, perhaps the greatest grass courter of all time. 5 US Opens from 8 finals, 14 total slams in a deep 90’s field. 14 slam wins in 18 finals. He also won 5 year end championships from 6 finals. A 15-8 career Davis Cup record and helped the Americans to the 1992 and 1995 Davis Cup titles. Made at least one slam final 11 straight years.
Sampras was the undisputed year end world #1 for 6 years in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998, and year end world #2 in 1999. 7 years as world #1 or #2. 286 total weeks as World #1, an open era record. He had a winning head to head record against all of his contemporaries save for a 4-6 record Richard Krajicek and a 4-5 record vs. Michael Stich. Sampras won 64 total titles, 11 of 19 Masters Series finals.
Career Blemishes- Never won the French Open, furthest he ever reached was the semifinal, and was mediocre on clay for his entire career.
5- Pancho Gonzales: http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/505...1E70F2B3269972
Career Resume- Made at least one slam final for 12 straight years, 1948 to 1959. Went pro at age 22, so was unable to play the 4 grand slams from 1950 to 1967, his peak years. Even at the dawn of the open era, at such an advanced age he still was top 10 in the world, won at least 11 titles, and made a SF at the French Open in 1968. He even won the equivalent of a Tennis Masters Series event in 1971, beating Jimmy Connors in the final. He won at least 113 total titles over his 25 year career. He played the Australian just once in 1969, the French Open just twice, and 5 times at Wimbledon, not winning any, but again, was unable to compete during his peak years. He won the US Open in 1948 and 1949 and then went pro. Never won the French Pro, 2 semis and 2 finals in 4 appearances, won 4 Wembley pros from 5 finals, and 8 US pros from 11 finals. 1949 Davis Cup champ as well.
Gonzales was year end #2 in 1949, 1961, the year end undisputed #1 for 6 years in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, and co year end #1 in 1952, 1960. So Gonzales was #1 or #2 in 10 different years. He had a winning record against all of his contemporaries, Hoad, Trabert, Rosewall, Sedgman, Segura, etc.
Career Blemishes- Not as good on clay and was vulnerable on that surface. Never won the French Pro, French Open, Australian Open, or Wimbledon, but mostly due to Gonzales not being able to compete there during his prime.
4- Ken Rosewall: http://chaognosis.files.wordpress.co...rosewallbg.jpg
Career Resume- Made at least one slam final from 1953 to 1972. Probably the longevity GOAT. 4 Australian Opens from 5 finals, 2 French Opens from 3 finals, 4 Wimbledon finals, but never won it, 2 US Opens from 4 finals, 8 French Pros including 7 straight, 5 Wembley Pros from 8 finals, 2 US Pros from 3 finals. 23 total slams from 35 slam finals. Rosewall also won 2 Tennis Championship Series titles from 3 finals in the 70’s, the last one all the way in 1976! Not to mention two WCT year end finals in 1971 and 1972. A 17-2 career Davis Cup record and helped the Aussies to win the 1953, 1955, and 1956 Davis Cups.
Rosewall was the year end world #1 in 1961, 1962, and 1963. He was co year end #1 in 1960, 1964, and 1970. He was year end #2 in the world in 1957, 1965, 1966, 1967. Rosewall was either #1 or #2 in 10 different years, 3 undisputed #1 years, 3 co #1 years, and 4 #2 years. He was a part of 4 Davis Cup winning Australia teams, was 7-5 against Rod Laver in slam finals, won at least 132 titles in his career, and won the pro slam in 1963.
Career Blemishes- Never won Wimbledon bu did make 4 finals, negative head to head record with Laver over their careers, and was just 59-101 against Pancho Gonzales in his career, although the age difference can account for some of this.
3- Bill Tilden: http://weblogs.variety.com/.a/6a00d8...f936970b-320wi
Won 13 slams in 21 finals. 3 Wimbledons, 7 US Opens in 10 finals, 1 French Pros from 2 finals, 2 Wembley Pro finals, 2 US Pros. He led the United States to 7 straight Davis Cup titles from 1920 to 1926 and had a 25-5 career Davis Cup record.
Back in the 20’s and 30’s, Tilden absolutely dominated the game. He did not ever play the Australian Open, and only played Roland Garros 3 times. Most of Tilden’s career was touring the country and playing many series of matches against the best players of the day. Back then, they would transport a court across the country and play matches to crowds at nights. Late in his career, he focused more on management of the game and taking pro tennis to the next level as he played less and less.
Tilden was the undisupted year end World #1 in 1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1931, for 6 years. He was co year end #1 in 1922, and year end World #2 in 1927, 1930, and 1932. So Tilden was #1 or #2 for 10 years. He competed against champions like Little Bill Johnston, Vinny Richards, Henri Cochet, Rene Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Ellsworth Vines, Hans Nusslein, Don Budge, and was in the top 10 even until 1939!!! He had a 93.6% winning percentage during his 18 year amateur career. He won at least 130 tournaments. He also had a 95 match win streak in 1924-1925 and a 50 match win streak in 1930.
Career Blemishes- Never won Roland Garros, lost 11-9 in the 5th to Rene Lacoste in the 1927 final, and to Cochet in the finals in 1930. Never won the Wembley Pro, losing in the finals to Ellsworth Vines in the 1935 final in 5 sets, and to Hans Nusslein in 5 sets in 1937. Not to mention the sexual morals charges he went to jail for in the 1940’s.
2- Roger Federer: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/...b_1428585c.jpg
Career Resume- 4 Australian Opens from 5 finals, 1 French Open from 5 finals, 6 Wimbledons from 7 finals, 5 US Opens from 6 finals. 5 Year End Championships from 6 finals, 67 total titles on all surfaces from 97 finals, 23 straight slam semifinals, a 41 and 35 match win streak, 65 straight grass court wins, 56 straight hard court wins, 18 of 19 slam finals including 10 straight. 16 total slams from 23 total finals. Federer won 17 Masters titles from 29 finals.
He has dominated the game for years, arguably the most dominant 4 year stretch in the history of the game from 2004 to 2007, and has been pretty damn good since. Federer was the undisputed year end World #1 for 5 years in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009. He was year end #2 in 2003, 2008 and 2010. 8 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. 27-6 career Davis Cup record. 237 straight weeks as world #1, a record, and 285 weeks total as world #1, one week shy of Sampras in the Open Era. More to come.
Career Blemishes- Never won the calendar year grand slam, though was one match away in 2006 and 2007. Never beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and has struggled with Nadal his whole career. No Davis Cup or Olympic Gold Medal in singles.
1- Rod Laver: http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z...rod-laver2.jpg
Career Resume- 3 Australian Opens from 4 finals, 2 French Opens from 3 finals, 4 Wimbledons from 6 finals, 2 US Opens from 4 finals. Also 1 French Pro from 5 finals, 4 Wembley Pros, 3 US Pros from 5 finals, 200 total titles on all surfaces, and 5 Davis Cup titles. 15 straight slam finals from 1963 to 1968, and reached at least the finals in 29 of 32 slams from 1960 to 1969! He won 19 total slams from 31 total slam finals.
He won the Grand Slam as an amateur in 1962, the Pro Slam in 1967, winning all 3, and the Grand Slam again in 1969 as an open era professional. Laver had a 79-63 career head to head with Ken Rosewall, his greatest rival. Laver was year end World #1 undisputed for 5 years in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969. He was also year end World #2 in 1963 and co #1 in 1964 and 1970. 8 years as either #1 or #2 in the world. Laver’s numbers speak for themselves. Even past his prime in the 70’s he was a top 10 consistent player. From 1970 to 1989, there was a Grand Prix Tennis Championship Series, the precursors to the modern Tennis Masers Series events. Laver also won 8 titles from 12 finals there from 1970 to 1974. Laver had a 79.8% winning percentage in the Open Era. 16-4 career Davis Cup singles record. Helped the Australians to the Davis Cup title in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1973.
Career Blemishes- 5-7 career record vs. Rosewall in amateur or pro slam finals, and when he won his 2 slams in 62 and 69, 3 of the 4 slams were on grass.