Roger Federer retires: Ranking 10 greatest tennis players of all time

Top 10 Greatest Tennis Players Of All Time

Roger Federer has officially announced his retirement from tennis at the ripe old age of 41, regardless of who your opinion is on the greatest of all time, the Swiss star is always going to be in the conversation.

With 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, there’s few that can boast a better CV than Federer, who will be sorely missed when he leaves the court professionally for the last time at The Laver Cup in London next week.

So, what better time than now to rank the ten greatest players of all time in tennis? There isn’t is the answer, so let’s see where I’ve ranked Federer!

10. Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King is an icon in the tennis world, dominating her field for almost a decade as she won an astonishing 129 titles which included 12 Grand Slams. Most can only dream of having a CV like hers, cementing her as tenth on this list.

Billie Jean King
GUADALAJARA, MEXICO – NOVEMBER 17: Tennis legend Billie Jean King greets public next to the Single’s trophy name after her during Day 8 of 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara at Centro Panamericano de Tenis on November 17, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images for WTA,)

9. Pete Sampras

Widely considered as the GOAT pre-Federer, it would have been harsh to exclude Pete Sampras. However, with a plethora of modern greats jumping him in my opinion, his inability to clinch a single title at the French Open damages his case, but his six consecutive years at number one can’t be overlooked.

Pete Sampras of the United States reaches to make a backhand return against Justin Gimelstob during their Men’s Singles match of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship on 1 July 2000 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon in London, England. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

8. Martina Navratilova

The Open Era hasn’t seen anyone like Martina Navratilova, winning an astonishing 167 titles during that time, which is still a record. A total of 59 Grand Slam crowns is mind blowing, with 18 of those in the singles events.

Jul 1990: Martina Navratilova of the USA holds up the winners” plate after winning the Wimbledon Championships played at Wimbledon, London, England. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

7. Bjon Borg

Bjon Borg has to feature on any list of the greatest tennis players ever, especially when you consider his five consecutive Wimbledon titles, and who could forget that monster match with John McEnroe? His entertainment value on the court was second to none and a player we were truly lucky to have on the courts.

Bjorn Borg of the Sweden holds the trophy aloft after defeating Jimmy Connors of the United States during the Men’s Singles Final match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship on 8 July 1978 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon in London, England. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

6. Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf will feel hard done by to be sixth on this list, and rightly so, it doesn’t feel right having a 22 time Grand Slam champion who could take to any surface like a duck to water with 107 titles in the bottom half. However, some of the names ahead of her means this was as high as she could make it, sorry, Steffi!

6 Jun 1999: Steffi Graf of Germany poses with the trophy during a portrait shoot, one day after winning women’s singles final of the French Open Tennis at Roland Garros in Paris, France.

5. Rod Laver

The iconic racket man has 200 titles to his name, yes, that really does read 200, not 20! Topping the world rankings for seven consecutive years, his legacy lives on today. Centre Court at the Australian Open has been named after him, and rightly so, what a player.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 14: Rod Laver poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup during the Australian Open trophy arrival and Welcome to Country ceremony on day one of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

4. Rafael Nadal

Now, before the outcry of disdain, Rafael Nadal not being on the podium does seem like sacrilege. However, it was incredibly hard to split all 10 on this list, let alone the final few. Considering how much the Spaniard has dominated on the clay rather than being more balanced like the others on the list.

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PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 05: Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the trophy after winning against Casper Ruud of Norway during the Men’s Singles Final match on Day 15 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on June 05, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

3. Novak Djokovic

The Serbian star makes the podium here, with 21 Grand Slams it’s impossible to argue his unreal ability and legacy he will leave on the sport. His stance on the Covid vaccine has potentially hampered him getting a few more Grand Slams in recent years.

Novak Djokovic
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses for a photo with the trophy following his victory against Nick Kyrgios of Australia during their Men’s Singles Final match on day fourteen of The Championships Wimbledon 2022 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

2. Serena Williams

It’s hard to argue Serena Williams isn’t the GOAT of female tennis, and definitely close to the list when you compare both the male and female stars. She has 23 Grand Slam titles to her name and has $100 million in prize money won, recently walking away from the sport in retirement after a US Open swansong in front of a home crowd.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 28: Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women’s Singles Final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

1. Roger Federer

No surprises here that Roger Federer has topped this list. For me, he’s been the GOAT of tennis and one of the most elite sportspeople the planet has seen. It’s not just a case of lumping him into the top spot given his retirement. He has 20 Grand Slam titles and has competed at the top despite being into his 40s. As well, his life away from the court has been exemplary, with no controversies or discretions, he really is the ultimate sportsman. So taking all of that into account he has to top this list in my opinion.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Rod Laver look on as Roger Federer of Switzerland poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on stage after the Men’s Final match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Obviously, I’d imagine there will be a fair bit of disagreement here, which is to be expected when it comes to individual sporting opinions, and in truth, I could easily chop and change the list myself, but Federer sitting on top spot is not going to be changing here!

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