List of tennis rivalries

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In tennis history there have been a number of famous rivalries. This is a list of some of the greatest rivalries.[1][2][3][4]
For the purpose of this article only, the criteria for inclusion are (all must be met):

  • Both players must have a career high ranking of world No. 3 or better, and one of them must have reached No. 1.
  • The players must have met multiple times in semi-finals or finals of a Grand Slam (in pre-Open era also, Pro Slam counts).
  • They must have at least a total of 12 career meetings in main tour matches.

Men[edit]

Active rivalries are highlighted

Pre-Open Era[edit]

Rivalry Period Meetings Grand Slam Pro Slam All Matches
JohnstonTilden 1919–1927 1–6 0–0
Gonzales–Rosewall 1957–1970 182 0–0 2–3 107–75
Laver–Rosewall 1963–1976 142 [5] 1–1 4–6 80–63
Gonzales-Kramer 1949–1954 139 0–0 1–0 38-101
Hoad–Rosewall 1953–1967 70 2–2 0–5 25–45
Emerson–Laver 1958–1975 67 2–7 0–0 18–49
Gonzales–Segura 1951–1965 61 0–0 8–3 38–23
Gonzales–Laver 1964–1970 59 0–1 0–2 21–38

Open Era[edit]

Rivalry Period All Grand Slam event Grand Slam event finals All finals
Meetings Matches Meetings Matches Meetings Matches Meetings Matches
Djokovic–Nadal 2006– 44 21–23 13 4–9 7 3–4 22 12–10
Djokovic–Federer 2006– 42* 20–21 13 7–6 3 2–1 16 9–6*
Lendl–McEnroe ** 1980–1992 37 21–15 10 7–3 3 2–1 18 7–10
Connors–Lendl 1979–1992 36* 13–22 7 3–4 2 2–0 7 4–2*
Becker–Edberg 1984–1996 35 25–10 4 1–3 3 1–2 16 11–5
Connors–McEnroe 1977–1991 35* 14–20 9 3–6 2 1–1 15 7–7*
Agassi–Sampras 1989–2002 34 14–20 9 3–6 5 1–4 16 7–9
Federer–Nadal 2004– 33 10–23 11 2–9 8 2–6 20 6–14
FerrerNadal 2004– 29 6–23 6 2–4 1 0–1 8 0–8
Djokovic–Murray 2006– 28 19-9 8 6-2 5 3–2 12 6–6
Edberg–Lendl 1984–1992 27 14–13 9 5–4 1 0–1 7 3–4
FedererHewitt 1999– 27 18–9 8 8–0 1 1–0 5 3–2
Federer–Murray 2005– 25 14–11 6 5–1 3 3–0 8 5–3
Federer–Roddick 2001–2012 24 21–3 8 8–0 4 4–0 7 7–0
Borg–Connors 1973–1981 23 15–8 8 5–3 4 2–2 13 8–5
ConnorsGerulaitis 1974–1985 23 17–6 3 2–1 0 0 5 4–1
BorgVilas 1973–1980 23* 17–5 3 3–0 2 2–0 10 8–1*
Lendl–Wilander 1982–1994 22 15–7 9 5–4 5 2–3 9 6–3
AgassiChang 1988–2003 22 15–7 5 3–2 0 0 4 3–1
DjokovicWawrinka 2006– 22 18–4 6 4–2 1 0–1 4 2–2
Murray–Nadal 2007– 22* 6–15 9 2–7 0 0 4 3–1
BeckerLendl 1985–1993 22* 10–11 6 5–1 3 3–0 13 7–6
ChangEdberg 1988–1996 21 9–12 5 1–4 1 1–0 4 3–1
DavydenkoFederer 2002–2013 21 2–19 6 0–6 0 0 2 0–2
EdbergWilander 1983–1995 20 9–11 5 2–3 1 1–0 5 3–2
CourierSampras 1988–1999 20 4–16 8 2–6 1 0–1 4 0–4
ChangSampras 1989–2001 20 8–12 5 1–4 1 0–1 3 0–3
DjokovicFerrer 2004– 20 15–5 5 5–0 0 0 3 3–0
BeckerIvanišević 1990–1998 20* 10–9 3 1–2 0 0 3 3–0
BeckerSampras 1990–1997 19 7–12 3 0–3 1 0–1 7 1–6
IvaniševićSampras 1990–1999 19* 6–12 5 1–4 2 0–2 4 1–3
NewcombeRosewall 1970–1974 17 8–9 6 3–3 1 1–0 6 3–3
BorgGerulaitis 1974–1981 17* 16–0 5 5–0 1 1–0 7 7–0
RafterSampras 1993–2001 16 4–12 3 1–2 1 0–1 5 1–4
BorgNăstase 1972–1980 16* 10–5 3 3–0 1 1–0 5 2–3
AsheLaver 1959–1976 15 2–13 4 0–4 0 0 2 0–2
ConnorsOrantes 1972–1979 15 12–3 3 2–1 1 0–1 2 0–2
AgassiRafter 1993–2001 15 10–5 7 4–3 0 0 0 0
LaverRoche 1968–1972 14 9–5 3 3–0 2 2–0 9 5–4
Borg–McEnroe 1978–1981 14 7–7 4 1–3 4 1–3 9 4–5
GerulaitisMcEnroe 1979–1984 14 3–11 2 0–2 1 0–1 5 1–4
AgassiBecker 1988–1999 14 10–4 5 4–1 0 0 1 1–0
EdbergSampras 1990–1995 14 6–8 2 2–0 1 1–0 1 1–0
McEnroeWilander 1982–1989 13 7–6 5 2–3 0 0 3 1–2
AgassiCourier 1989–1996 12 5–7 6 2–4 1 0–1 2 0–2
CourierStich 1990–1997 12 5–7 4 2–2 0 0 0 0
AgassiKafelnikov 1994–2003 12 8–4 5 4–1 1 1–0 2 2–0
FedererSafin 2001–2009 12 10–2 5 4–1 1 1–0 3 3–0

* – Including walkover or abandoned match (not counted in H2H, same as in the official ATP H2H)
** – Lendl and McEnroe have played two other "finals" (World Team Cup 1984 and 1985), which are team finals. Both matches are counted in their overall H2H. Their finals (and overall meetings) count includes an unfinished final at Stratton mountain in 1987 (not counted in the H2H).

Source: ATP [6]

Women[edit]

Active rivalries are highlighted

Pre-Open Era[edit]

Rivalry Period Meetings Grand Slam All Matches
Brough ClappduPont 1942–1956 40 3–1 25–15
CourtKing 1962–1973 32 6–4 22–10
BingleyCooper 1893–1901 ≈ 26 4–1 19–6–1[7][8]
CourtBueno 1960–1969 24 5–3 17–6
WillsJacobs 1925–1938 12 7–1 11–1

≈ (approximately – early records are incomplete)

Open Era[edit]

Rivalry Period All Grand Slam events Grand Slam event finals
Meetings Matches Meetings Matches Meetings Matches
Evert–Navratilova 1973–1988 80 37–43 22 8–14 14 4–10
EvertWade 1971–1982 46 40–6 3 2–1 0 0
NavratilovaShriver 1978–1992 43 40–3 9 7–2 0 0
GoolagongWade 1970–1983 40 30–10 6 5–1 1 0–1
Graf–Sabatini 1985–1995 40 29–11 12 11–1 3 2–1
EvertGoolagong 1972–1983 39 26–13 10 6–4 5 3–2
MandlikovaNavratilova 1980–1989 36 7–29 10 4–6 3 2–1
GrafSánchez-Vicario 1988–1996 36 28–8 13 9–4 7 5–2
NavratilovaTurnbull 1973–1988 34 29–5 4 2–2 0 0
CourtCasals 1967–1977 33 30–3 6 6–0 1 1–0
AustinNavratilova 1977–1983 33 13–20 4 2–2 1 1–0
GrafNovotná 1987–1999 33 29–4 11 10–1 1 1–0
KingWade 1968–1981 31 22–9 6 5–1 1 0–1
GoolagongNavratilova 1973–1982 27 12–15 4 2–2 1 1–0
DavenportV. Williams 1997–2005 27 14–13 9 4–5 3 0–3
EvertKing 1971–1983 26 19–7 9 6–3 1 0–1
Evert–Mandlikova 1980–1989 26 19–7 13 10–3 3 3–0
S. Williams–V. Williams 1998– 26 15–11 13 8–5 8 6–2
DavenportHingis 1995–2006 25 14–11 4 3–1 2 2–0
Clijsters–Henin 1998–2010 25 13–12 8 3–5 3 0–3
SabatiniSánchez-Vicario 1986–1995 23 12–11 5 2–3 0 0
Sánchez-VicarioSeles 1989–2002 23 3–20 5 1–4 3 1–2
CourtGoolagong 1968–1975 22 17–5 8 6–2 4 3–1
EvertTurnbull 1976–1987 22 21–1 6 6–0 2 2–0
EvertShriver 1978–1988 21 18–3 2 2–0 1 1–0
NavratilovaSabatini 1986–1994 21 16–5 4 4–0 0 0
NovotnáSánchez-Vicario 1987–1998 21 11–10 5 2–3 0 0
MartínezSeles 1989–2002 21 1–20 4 0–4 0 0
Hingis–V. Williams 1997–2006 21 11–10 6 4–2 1 1–0
EvertJaeger 1980–1984 20 17–3 5 4–1 0 0
HingisSeles 1996–2002 20 15–5 7 5–2 0 0
SharapovaS. Williams 2004– 20 2–18 7 1–6 4 1–3
AzarenkaS. Williams 2008– 20 3–17 10 0–10 2 0–2
HeninKuznetsova 2003–2011 19 16–3 6 5–1 2 2–0
Graf–Navratilova 1985–1994 18 9–9 9 4–5 6 4–2
MartínezSánchez-Vicario 1992–2002 18 4–14 3 1–2 0 0
AustinEvert 1977–1982 17 9–8 4 1–3 1 1–0
NavratilovaSeles 1989–1993 17 7–10 2 0–2 1 0–1
ClijstersDavenport 2000–2005 17 9–8 6 1–5 0 0
DavenportMauresmo 1998–2006 16 12–4 2 1–1 0 0
HingisPierce 1994–2000 16 10–6 4 3–1 1 1–0
GoolagongKing 1971–1980 15 4–11 6 1–5 4 0–4
JaegerNavratilova 1980–1983 15 4–11 2 0–2 2 0–2
Graf–Seles 1989–1999 15 10–5 10 6–4 6 3–3
LiSharapova 2005–2014 15 5–10 5 2–3 0 0
AzarenkaSharapova 2007– 15 7–8 3 2–1 1 1–0
SabatiniSeles 1988–1996 14 3–11 3 0–3 0 0
GrafMartínez 1989–1996 14 13–1 6 6–0 0 0
CapriatiSeles 1990–2002 14 5–9 6 1–5 0 0
HingisMartínez 1995–2001 14 11–3 2 2–0 1 1–0
DavenportS. Williams 1997–2005 14 4–10 5 1–4 1 0–1
HeninMauresmo 1999–2007 14 8–6 3 0–3 2 0–2
KuznetsovaSafina 2000–2009 14 6–8 3 2–1 1 1–0
Henin–S. Williams 2001–2010 14 6–8 7 4–3 1 0–1
IvanovicSharapova 2006– 14 4–10 2 1–1 1 0–1
EvertCourt[a] 1970–1977 13 9–4 3 1–2 1 0–1
EvertGraf 1985–1989 13 6–7 3 1–2 1 0–1
Hingis–S. Williams 1998–2002 13 6–7 3 1–2 1 0–1
ClijstersV. Williams 2001–2011 13 7–6 5 3–2 0 0
GrafShriver 1985–1993 12 9–3 6 5–1 0 0
HingisNovotná 1995–1999 12 9–3 4 3–1 1 1–0
CapriatiDavenport 1997–2003 12 3–9 4 1–3 0 0
MauresmoS. Williams 1999–2008 12 2–10 6 1–5 0 0
DementievaS. Williams 2003–2010 12 5–7 3 0–3 0 0
LiS. Williams 2006–2014 12 1–11 4 0–4 0 0
Source: WTA[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Evert – Court head-to-head: 1970:,[9] 1972:,[10][11] 1973:,[12] 1975:[13][14][15] 1977[16][17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerald Marzorati (August 23, 2011). "The Fierce Intimacy of Tennis Rivalries". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Ten great tennis rivalries". www.independent.ie. Independent.ie. 8 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Thomas Golianopoulos (June 20, 2011). "Tennis's 10 Greatest Rivalries". GQ.com. 
  4. ^ "Two to tango". www.guardian.com. The Observer. 28 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "'Rafa' and the 'Djoker': the new great rivalry of tennis". 2 February 2012. Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "ATP Tour – Head to head". www.atpworldtour.com. ATP. 
  7. ^ "Pastime magazines". 1893–1895. 
  8. ^ "Lawn Tennis and Badminton magazines". 1896–1901. 
  9. ^ "Excerpts from Chrissie: My Own Story by Chris Evert Lloyd with Neil Amdur, 1982, Simon and Schuster, NY, Early Years Pages 19-25". tennis.quickfound.net. quickfound.net. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Evert Goolagong Battle to Final". 13 August 1972. The Lowell Sun Newspaper. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bonny Rematch For Two Belles". 7 August 1972. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Courts Grand Slam hopes shattered". 5 July 1973. Beckley Post Herald Newspaper. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Chris Evert beats Margaret Court". 10 February 1975. Montreal Gazette Newspaper. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Margaret Court and Evert Compete". 15 March 1975. The Gallup Independent from Gallup, New Mexico · Page 5. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "WTA tournament archive – 1975 New York draws" (PDF). www.wtatennis.com. WTA. 
  16. ^ "Tennis-List of French Open women's singles champions". 24 May 2014. Reuters. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Chris Evert beats Margaret Court". 14 February 1977. Sarosta Hearld News Paper. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Chris Evert vs Margaret Court Head To Head Evert H2H Stats & Matches". stevegtennis.com. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "WTA Tour – Head to head". www.wtatennis.com. WTA.