Tennis has been graced by some of the best athletes the world has ever seen. So being ultra-successful is extremely difficult given the nature of the competition.
But some have prevailed despite the obstacles in their way… the list below contains the ten most successful men’s players of all time based on the number of titles they have won.
#1 – Jimmy Connors (109)
The debate as to who is the greatest men’s tennis player in history can be feverishly discussed given the number of genuine candidates for the accolade, but as far as silverware is concerned there can be only one. Jimmy Connors won 109 singles titles, including eight Grand Slams.
#2 – Roger Federer (103)
You wonder how many titles Roger Federer would have won had he not been part of the golden generation that includes Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal.
As it is, he won 103 titles prior to retirement, including a fantastic haul of 20 Grand Slams.
#3 – Novak Djokovic & Ivan Lendl (94*)
There’s an asterisk next to the 94 here as Djokovic has the power to add many more titles to his collection – he will be amongst the favourites in the odds on tennis to win Wimbledon in 2024, ahead of the likes of Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev despite defeat in the 2023 final.
Most of the tennis tips today have the Serbian as the favourite for the US Open in August/September as well, so it surely won’t be long before he outstrips Ivan Lendl as the third most successful player in history… and counting.
#5 – Rafa Nadal (92*)
The hope is that Nadal makes a full recovery from a serious hip injury and he’s able to retire on his terms in 2024.
If he can, the Spaniard may yet add to his haul of 92 ATP titles, which includes 22 Grand Slam majors in all.
#6 – John McEnroe (77)
The volcanic John McEnroe was very much one of the most entertaining tennis players in history to watch, but the American was far more than just an armchair spectator’s favourite.
He was embroiled in two of the greatest rivalries in tennis against Connors and Bjorn Bjorg, which perhaps explains why he *only* won seven Grand Slam titles. However, all told, McEnroe would win 77 singles events during a hugely successful career.
#7 – Rod Laver (72)
So good was Rod Laver that today he has an entire tournament and even a stadium named after him in Melbourne.
The Australian achieved one of the hardest feats in tennis – winning the calendar year Grand Slam (holding all four major trophies at once) – not once but twice. His overall title haul of 72 was even more impressive when you consider that there wasn’t a formalised schedule of weekly tournaments for much of his career.
#8 – Bjorn Bjork (66)
When he wasn’t butting heads with McEnroe and co, Bjorn Bjorg was regarded as one of the most graceful men’s tennis players ever to play on a court of any surface.
The Swedish star was the first man in the Open Era to win eleven Grand Slam singles titles, including four consecutive French Open titles and five successive Wimbledon wins in a reign of terror that lasted between 1976 and 1981.
#9 and 10 – Pete Sampras & Ilie Nastase (64)
Alongside Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras was the trailblazer for men’s tennis in the 1990s – winning 14 Grand Slam tournaments but never, surprisingly, the French Open.
Pistol Pete has only been surpassed by Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in the modern era, collecting 64 titles in all in a trophy-laden career.
Ilie Nastase, meanwhile, became a mainstay of the exhibition circuit thanks to his comedic timing and entertaining style of play, but this was a joker with a serious side during the height of his career. The Romanian won seven majors and is just one of ten players in history with more than 100 ATP titles to their name when doubles events are also included.
Who from the current generation of tennis stars will join this illustrious company?