Thomas Johansson was a Swedish tennis player who made his mark from his days as an amateur player. He reached the final of Orange Bowl as a junior player. He was ranked World No. 10 in 1993. The same year he started playing pro tennis. His pro career was more successful compared to his career as junior pro. He won 9 singles titles and 1 doubles title during his career. His famous victories include 1999 Canada Masters and 2002 Australian Open. When he won Grand Slam in Australian Open, he became the only Swedish player to win the tournament since 1992. He quickly climbed the rankings and achieved World No. 7 by 2002, which turned out to be his best.
Johansson could not play tennis from 2002 to 2005 due to a knee injury. When he made his comeback, he reached semi-finals in Wimbledon before losing to in-form Andy Roddick. Johansson also suffered an eye injury in 2006 which made it hard for him to train well, resulting in an average year overall. However, despite the injury, he won his first doubles in Bastaad the same year. He won an Olympic silver medal in doubles in 2008 and finally retired in 2009.
Tony Roche is a popular tennis player from Australia. He won 12 grand slam doubles in addition to a singles grand slam title.
Roche played under the supervision of legendary tennis coach Harry Hopman. Harry had already trained tennis legends like Rod Laver and Ken Rosewell. It helped Roche to improve his game.
Roche, the popular left-handed, won only one singles grand slam in life. It came in 1966 French Open. However, he has been in the final for five other times but lost every time. His doubles partner was John Newcombe. They won 12 titles together.
Roche signed with World Championship Tennis in 1968 and became a part of Handsome Eight. It also included other popular players of the time such as Nikola Pilic, Roger Taylor, and Cliff Drysdale.
Roche had plenty of special moments in his career but none like the 1977 Davis Cup when he was called to represent his country despite being ignored for 10 years. He beat Adriano Panatta to win the Davis Cup for his country.
He had knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries during last few years of his career, eventually resulting in his retirement from the professional game. Roche now works as a coach and has already given the tennis world players like Roger Federer, Jelena Dokic, and Lleyton Hewitt.
Vera Zconareva remained Russia’s No. 1 female player for many years. She also remained World No. 2 during 2010 and 2011 season. She has won three Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles. She also won singles titles.
Vera’s career started with a blast as she won the famous Moscow tournament in 2000. She beat Elena Bovina in the final to become the Russian Champion. She also won ITF tournament held in Florida the same year. She won WTA tournament in 2004. This was a special tournament for her as she was included in World Top 10 the same year. However, she had a poor 2005 when she lost in the first round in almost every tournament she participated. She also lost all the rival matches during the year. She then faced carpal injury which put her career at risk. However, she recovered from the injury quickly and won bronze medal in Beijing Olympics in 2008. She also won Fed Cup with her team and maintained Russian No. 2 position for the entire 2010. She is expected to make good progress during the coming years since she has huge potential and she is still to fulfill most of the expectation at international level. She is still considered as one of the best Tennis players from her own era.
Arthur Robert Ashe was born in Virginia in 1943. He was a late starter and entered the professional game at the age of 26. However, his hard work soon rewarded him as he became the first Afro American to represent US as a part of a tennis team. He represented his country in Davis Cup in 1963. Despite being a late bloomer, he achieved plenty of fame and housed number of titles. He won a total of 33 singles titles, which included 3 Grand Slam titles.
Arthur worked on the technical side of his game as he kept winning title after title. In 1975, he won Wimbledon title and WCT Championship finals. However, late 70s were not happy years for him as he faced a critical cardiac problem. Most blamed him for harsh training methods that he was using despite his aging body’s refusal to it. He finally retired after leaving behind a story of pure hard work and sheer determination. He opened up the gate for Afro Americans.
Arthur served the sport after his retirement in his own way. He wrote for Time magazine and joined ABC sports as a pundit. He also founded National Junior tennis League after his retirement. However, he was stopped by his cardiac problem once again in 1983. He had to undergo his second cardiac surgery immediately. He died in the same year but it wasn’t due to his cardiac problem but HIV pneumonia killed him to surprise many. His daughter was only 6 months old at that time. Arthur’s family kept his disease a secret for long but Arthur did talk about it in his last days telling people how blood transfusion can put them in the same problem.
Samantha Jane Stosur is a popular tennis player from Australia. She was born in 1984 and started playing when she was old enough to run around the court. She played her first professional match in 1999 ITF circuit and made a mark with her unique style and spirited performances. Her first professional match in Women’s Tennis Association was in 2000. The next year was great for her as she won four ITF titles in the same year. In 2003, she qualified for WTA in Memphis. She also won her first WTA singles in the same year.
She was able to win her first ever doubles match in 2005 at Sydney event where she was playing alongside fellow Australian Bryanne Stewart. She won mixed doubles title but lost singles match in the first round while playing World No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo. But things were about to change for her as she grabbed seven titles in WTA for doubles. She was ranked World No. 2 in doubles while she was sitting at World No. 46 for singles.
She started 2006 on a high note as she won doubles title at WTA Tour Championship, which was help in Madrid. She was ranked World. No 1 in doubles. She also improved her singles ranking massively and jumped to World No. 29. Next two years were not good for her as she ended up losing almost all her matches. She wanted to make a strong comeback and was training hard when she suffered a shoulder injury. Despite the injury, she was runner-up in French Open in 2010.
She quickly recovered from her shoulder injury and came back as a much improved player. In 2011, she jumped to World No. 4 in singles, which is her highest rank ever. She was ranked World No.10 in doubles though.
Roy Emerson, an Australian tennis legend, won 28 Grand Slam titles in his career. He won 16 of them in men’s doubles while the remaining 12 came in men’s singles. Before Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, Roy was the only player to have won 11 Grand Slam titles. Players and critics consider Roy as the greatest player of all the times.
Emerson started his winning journey in 1959 with his first Gran Slam win in Wimbledon. A year later, he grabbed another two Grand Slams, one in Australian Open while the other one in US Open. He beat tennis legend Rod Laver to win both the titles.
Emerson won 55 matches in 1964 without losing anything at all. His winning streak gave him a win loss record of 109-6, which is considered the best in a year by any player. Although he wasn’t able to win French Open that year, he did win another three Grand Slams.
Emerson won Australian Open six times, which is a record. No other player has even done that. Out of these six titles, Emerson won five consecutively from 1963-1967. For this achievement alone, Emerson is thought of as the greatest tennis player ever to play Australian Open. Emerson also won his first French Open during these years.
Emerson had an amazing serve. His volley was also deadly. His fitness levels were so amazing that he continued playing for long without having any kind of an injury. Also, his physical fitness helped him to grab victories on different surfaces including the hard court.
Rod Laver was born in Australia and was considered the best player of his times. Laver was at World No. 1 rank for seven consecutive years, which is still a record to be broken. He won all the four Grand Slam titles as an amateur player and then won them all again as a professional player. He is the only one in the tennis history to have done this.
Rod Laver was not a huge player, thus power game wasn’t his thing. However, he developed amazing volley and a perfect serve to cover for that. His topspin shots were considered deadliest. His wrist work with attacking topspin and lobs was among his most lethal weapons. Technically, Laver was perfect- he had developed a huge variety of serve and attaching topspin lobs. He was also amazing at controlling the slice.
When the Open Era began, Laver was the first one to win Wimbledon by beating tony Roche. In 1969, he won 18 singles tournaments out of 32 that he participated. His win loss record at that time was 106-16, which is amazing no matter how you see it. When he turned 30, he continued winning at an impressive 80% win record. Laver has a career win percentage of 80 which is just amazing considering ATP only lists 20 titles while he won another 180 before the Open Era.
Andres Gomez was born in Ecuador in 1960. He was popular doubles player. He entered the professional game at the age of 19 in 1979. His second year in professional tennis was filled with success stories as Andres won five doubles titles that year. He became an instant hit with tennis fans from all over the world after his successful year. However, he wasn’t going to stop there. He won another seven doubled titles the next year.
Despite his continued victories, it took him seven years to reach World No. 1 spot. He won seven doubles titles in 1986, which eventually pushed him to the top of rankings. Since he was highly motivated to become the best ever player in men’s doubles history, he give his best on the training court and finally won a Grand Slam in men’s doubles at French Open.
He wasn’t just good at doubles but he was also exceptional singles player. He won his first top tier singles title in 1981, following it with Italian Open title in 1982. He won another title in 1984. He also reached final of Grand Slam in 1990 and defeated Andre Agassi to clinch the title. Andre Agassi was only 19 years old at that time. He was ranked World No. 4 in men’s singles that year, which turned out to be his best ranking.
Gomez won a total of 21 singles titles while 33 doubles title in his illustrious career. He won his last singles title in 1991 while his final title in men’s doubles was in 1992. He retired in 1995. After retirement, he has been actively working with Youth Development Program in Latin America to bring talented young players to the center stage.
Petra Kvitova was born in Czech Republic in 1990. She started playing professional tennis when she was just 16 years old. In her debut year, she won two titles in ITF circuit. She is a little slow compared to her rivals but she makes up for her speed through her technique and power. She prefers playing near the baseline to cover up for her sharpness.
She entered WTA in 2007 and got eliminated in the first round. She failed to qualify for US Open twice before winning two titles in ITF circuit. She gained her confidence and made it to French Open, her first ever Grand Slam entry. However, she lost to Kaia Kanepi in the fourth round.
Petra Kvitova had a great year in 2009 when she won her first WTA title. However, the same year, she withdrew from French Open with an ankle injury. She also lost in the opening round of Wimbledon. She entered her first Grand Slam semi-final in 2010 but lost ot Serena Williams, who was World No. 1 at that time.
She started 2011 on a high note by winning her second title. In the French Open, she was sitting at 9th seed. By the end of the year, she had improved her ranking to world No. 7. She clinched Wimbledon 2011 Championship while ranked World No. 7. She is the only person born in 1990s to win Grand Slam.