100 Greatest of All Time
100 Greatest of All Time was a sports television series of five one-hour episodes, produced and first aired by the Tennis Channel in March 2012. It presented a list of 100 tennis players to be considered the greatest of all time, both men and women. The series was hosted by Jack Nicklaus, Jerry Rice, Wayne Gretzky, Lisa Leslie and Carl Lewis. Many retired tennis luminaries provided commentary, including Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Björn Borg, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi.
An international panel of tennis experts determined this ranking of 62 men and 38 women. The United States was credited with the most great players (38), followed by Australia (17), France (7), Great Britain (6) and Czechoslovakia (5). Forty-three players made the list from the Americas, 39 from Europe and 18 from Oceania.
Grand Slam singles titles (Australian, French, Wimbledon and US tournaments) column figures reflect number of wins as of March 2012 when the list was published. In addition to that, the pre-Open Era Pro major tournaments (three professional events) were included: the U.S. Pro Championships (first held in 1927), French Pro Championship (first held in 1930) and Wembley Championships (started in 1934). Only male tennis players that turned from amateurs to pros were able to participate in those.[a] The Open Era started in 1968 and all three pro majors tournaments were quickly relegated to lesser events and were all defunct by the 1990s.
Prior to 1924, the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) recognized two other events as world championships. The "World Hard Court Championships" (WHCC) and the "World Covered Court Championships" (WCCC). Between 1913 and 1923 Wimbledon was known as the World Grass Court Championships (WGCC), also sanctioned by the ILTF.
In 1924 ILTF designated the Australasian, French, British and American championship tournaments as the new four majors. 1925 was the first season held with all these four major tournaments opened to all amateurs.
‡ The Grand Slam, winning all four Grand Slam tournament singles titles (Australian, French, Wimbledon and US) in one calendar year was achieved six times by five different players: Don Budge in 1938, Maureen Connolly in 1953, Rod Laver in 1962 & 1969, Margaret Court in 1970 and Steffi Graf in 1988.
† Anthony Wilding is the only Triple World Champion. In 1913, he won all three ILTF singles titles, the World Covered Court Championships (WCCC), the World Hard Court Championships (WHCC) and Wimbledon Championships (also known as World Grass Court Championships or simply WGCC).
Top 100 ranking
- Bolded players are still active today.
- Empty spots in the table mean player did not participate in any of those tournaments.
- except for 1960 U.S. Pro Tennis Championships where also women could have participate. Althea Gibson won the event
- "Tennis Panorama News". Tennis Panorama. Retrieved 2012-03-23.