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Top 5 Men's Grand Slam Winners

Updated on November 6, 2016

Tennis is a sport with a long history, being firstly played in 1859 in Birmingham, England and besides the technology involved in the sport and a couple of new rules it hasn't changed much since then.

The biggest professional circuits at the moments are the ATP Wold Tour and the WTA World Tour. The biggest tournaments on the circuits are the Grand Slams, including the Australian Open, the French Open( or Roland Garros), Wimbledon and the US Open, the ATP/WTA Finals and the Olympic Games.

Here is the list of the most prolific male tennis players at the Grand Slam tournaments.

Rod Laver.
Rod Laver. | Source

5. Rod Laver - 11 titles

Rod Laver is one of Australia's greatest ever tennis player. Laver turned pro 1963 starting a career in which he would win 52 ATP titles, 11 of them being in the major tournaments.

Rod is the 3rd youngest player to achieve the Career Grand Slam ( winning all 4 majors) at 24 years and 32 days. The left-handed Australian is still the record holder for most tournaments won in a season, with a staggering 22 titles, holding also the record for most consecutive years (7) with at least 10 titles won.

Laver retired in 1976 after 200 career titles, being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981.

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
3
2
4
2
1960, 1962, 1969
1962, 1969
1961, 1962, 1968, 1969
1962, 1969

Rivalries

Rod Laver's biggest rivals were Ken Rosewall, Roy Emerson and Pancho Gonzales, Laver dominating all 3 of them. Out of 142 matches against Rosewall, Laver 80 of them. 2 matches were in Grand Slam tournaments with each of them achieving one victory.

Emerson managed to win only 18 of the 67 matches that the two participated in, with 7 out of 9 matches in Grand Slam tournaments won by Laver.

Gonzales and Laver met on 59 different occasions, Laver caming out as victorious in 38 of them, 1 of which being in a Grand Slam.

Roy Emerson.
Roy Emerson. | Source

4. Roy Emerson - 12 titles

The second Australian on this list, and at the same time the most prolific Aussie in history, Roy Emerson achieved 12 Grand Slam titles out of 65 titles in his professional career.

Emerson is the 4th ever player to accomplish the Career Grand Slam, being surpassed in this category by his above mentioned co-national.

He also managed to win the Davis Cup an impressive 8 times, between 1959 and 1967.

Roy Emerson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1982 and has several arenas and trophies named after him.

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
6
2
2
2
1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967
1963, 1967
1964, 1965
1961, 1964

Rivalries

Roy Emerson's most notable rivalry was with Rod Laver. They met on 67 occasions but Emerson won only 18 of them. During Grand Slam tournaments they met 9 times and Rod Laver won 7 of the matches.

Pete Sampras.
Pete Sampras. | Source

3. Pete Sampras - 14 titles

Pete Sampras is United States' most prolific tennis player, and comes from Greek descend. Before retiring in 2002 he managed to win 65 titles out of which 14 were at major tournaments.

Sampras holds the record( together with William Renshaw and Roger Federer) of 7 Wimbledon titles but has not managed to ever win the Roland Garros.

Among other records Sampras is the Youngest ever US Open Champion and still holds the record for most consecutive years as No. 1 (6).

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
2
0
7
5
1994, 1997
-
1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002

Rivalries

Pete Sampreas' most notable rivalry was against Andre Agassi. Sampreas won 20 out of the 34 matches that they played together, 6 of the wins being during the 9 matches that they had in Grand slam tournaments.

Other rivalries worth mentioning were against Courier and Chang, Sampras dominating both of them (16-4 and 12-8).

Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal. | Source

2. Rafael Nadal - 14 titles

The Spaniard ranks higher than Sampras in this top as being only 28 years old he will for sure win another Grand Slam title soon. Nadal turned pro in 2001 and rapidly ascended to being one of the most glorified sportsman in the world.

He is considered the greatest player in history on the clay court, proof being his 9 Roland Garros titles and having never been beaten in any final of the tournament that he had reached.

Nadal also holds the record for most consecutive year with a major tournament win (10) and there is still much that he can show to the world of tennis.

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
1
9
2
2
2009
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
2008, 2010
2010, 2013

Rivalries

Nadal was part of what is known as the Big Two and later the Big Four. These terms refer to the dominance 2 and late 4 names in the world of tennis. the Big Two refers to Nadal and Federer, while the Big Four refers to Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray.

Nadal met Federer in 33 matches and won 20 of them. 11 meeting were in Grand Slam tournaments, winning on 9 occasions.

Nadal and Djokovic played 42 matches together, out of which Nadal won 23. Out of the 42, 12 happened during Grand Slams, Nadal winning 9 matches.

Out of the 21 matches against Murray, Nadal won 15, 1 being a walkover. In Grand Slams they met 9 times and Murray lost on 7 occasions.

Roger Federer.
Roger Federer. | Source

1. Roger Federer - 17 titles

Roger Federer is considered by many the greatest player in the history of tennis and is unarguably the most elegant player to have ever played the sport.

The Swiss, turned pro in 1998, holds the record for most weeks as No.1 (302), out of which 237 were consecutive. He also holds the all-time record for reaching each of the major tournaments finals at least 5 times.

Federer is one of the four players in the Open Era to have reached a Career Grand Slam. He has managed to claim a staggering 83 titles and won 1000 matches up until today.

Roger is also the all time highest earning tennis player, being followed by the second on this list, Rafael Nadal.

Australian Open
French Open
Wimbledon
US Open
4
1
7
5
2004, 2006, 2007, 2010
2009
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Rivalries

As Nadal, Federer was part of the Big Two and later of the Big Four.

Federer faced Nadal 33 times and lost 23 of the matches, during Grand Slam tournaments winning 2 and losing 9 matches.

The largest number of meeting though were against Djokovic. Federer won 19 of the 37 matches, while Djokovic won 17. One of the matches was a walkover during the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The two are even in Grands Slam tournament matches wins with 6 each.

Federer managed to squeeze one extra victory against Murray, in 12 of the 23 matches played against each other. In major tournaments Federer won 4 out of the 5 matches that hey had.

Special mentions:

  • Novak Djokovic - 12 titles
  • Bj√∂rn Borg - 11 titles
  • Andre Agassi - 8 titles
  • Jimmy Connors - 8 titles
  • John McEnroe - 7 titles

There is much debate over who is the greatest tennis player in the history of the sport. Is he one of the players that played also outside of the Open Era? Is he one of the legends that the current generation players have dreamed of becoming? Or is he one of our contemporaries?

Who do you think is the greatest player of all time?

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