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.
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.
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.
Michael Stich is a popular tennis player from Germany. His career’s highest ranking was World No. 2 in men’s singles. He has won three Grand Slam titles, one in singles, while two in doubles. He also won a title at Olympics.
His only Grand Slam title in singles came in 1991 at Wimbledon. He had to defeat Boris Becker to win the title, which he did in style winning the final in straight sets. In the semifinal, he played against defending champ Stefan Edberg, who was also World No. 1 at that time. Stich beat him without breaking his serve.
Stich teamed with John McEnroe in 1992 doubles at Wimbledon. They played a five hour long match and won the game to claim Grand Slam. It was Stich’s only Grand Slam in doubles. Stich also teamed with Boris Becker in doubles for Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. He also won the Grand Slam cup next year by beating Michael Chang.
Stich had a great year in 1993 when he beat Pete Sampras for ATP World Championship. During that year, he reached his career highest rank of World No. 2. He reached the final of French Open the next year but lost to Andre Agassi this time. Next year, he reached the final of French Open again but lost to Yevgeny in straight sets. Later that year he won his last ATP singles title while playing in Antwerp. The year after, Stich announced his retirement after getting defeated in Wimbledon.
Michael Chang, an American Tennis star, is the youngest player in the history of the game to win a Grand Slam title. He has been among the world’s top ten players for many years. However, he never hit the World No. 1 as his best ever was World No. 2.
Chang was only 16 when he won his first major title at San Francisco in 1988. A year later, he won the French Open by beating Stefan Edberg. Another reason he was popular was the fact that no one had ever won a French Open since 1955. He was listed in top 5 players in the world, which was a record for being so young.
Chang couldn’t continue his career on the high as he showed in his early years. He reached French Open final in 1995 but lost in the final. Although he had beaten tougher opponents in previous matches, his performance in the final was heavily criticized.
Chang also reached finals of US Open and Australian Open in 1996 but unfortunately lost to Boris Becker in Australian Open and Pete Sampras in the US Open. Had he won any of these Grand Slams, he would have achieved World No. 1 rank but it wasn’t to be.
He retired from the sport in 2003 after failing to win anything major for three years.
Lewis Alan Hoad, born in 1934, was a popular tennis player from Australia. He became a professional tennis player in 1957. However, he was recognized in the tennis world way before making his professional debut. He was top ranked among amateur players before he entered the professional tier of the game. He won 5 singles titles in Grand Slam while 7 doubles titles in his career. He performed well in mixed doubles as he won a title in French Open.
Lewis Hoad was part of four Davis Cup winning Australian teams from 1952 to 1956. He also played a series of 27 matches against Poncho Gonzales winning 18 matches. However, Gonzales was a better player as he won 51 matches in total against Lewis while Lewis only managed to win 36 matches in total.
He faced problems with his back and left the professional game due to back injury. After retirement, he moved to Spain with his wife, who was a tennis player at that time. He operated an executive tennis resort for next 30 years of his life. His charming personality made his resort an instant hit among celebrities and movie stars.
He died in 1994 after suffering from leukemia. He waited for a bone marrow donor but couldn’t wait enough. He had a heart attack during the time and it proved to be lethal. During his life, he also wrote a book, co-authored by his lifelong friend.
Ken Rosewall is considered to be among the best tennis players of all times. He was an Australian Tennis player. Till date Ken Rosewall is remembered for some great tennis moves.
Ken was physically weaker compared to many of his rivals but that helped him to become more agile. He was faster compared to any other rival of his time and his volley was considered deadly. He won 1971 Australian Open without dropping a set, which is a record. No other player has won an Open without dropping a set. From 1952 to 1977, Ken never out of world top 20 tennis players.
He started his professional career in 1957 with a match at Kooyong stadium in Melbourne. Ken was only 18 when he surprised the world with his victories in Australian championship, Pacific Southwest Championship, and French championship.
Ken Rosewall faced tough rivalry from great tennis players of his time. Pancho Gonzalez and Rod Laver were among his bitter rivals during the 1960s.
Ken Rosewall won four titles in Grand Slams and proved himself to be unbeatable in clay as he won French Open in 1968. He also won Australian Open in 1971 and 1972 while winning US Open at the same time. He was thought off as a clay court specialist.