1 Tennis player in the world - Tennis Review

1 Tennis player in the world

WSJ. Magazine March 2015 Men s

Rafael Nadal's incredible victory at the U.S. Open on Monday has led to many wondering whether the 27-year-old Spaniard can now go onto become the greatest player in history. Everyone will have their own view, but it seems a fitting time then in the midst of an amazing era of men’s tennis to reevaluate the 10 greatest players of all time.

1. Roger Federer
There can be no dispute about who currently deserves the title of the greatest of all time. A record 17 Grand Slam titles - and counting - would be enough to make Federer’s case, but the Swiss master is more than just trophies. When the obsessed club player goes to sleep at night they dream of just once being able to play like Federer. To a far greater degree than any of his contemporaries at the top of the game, it is easy to imagine Federer excelling in a previous age of wooden racquets when a tennis players’ instrument was more of a wand than a blunt instrument. An incredible record of, before Wimbledon this year, having reached 36 Grand Slam quarterfinals speaks volumes, not only for his sustained brilliance, but also for the grace with which he played and moved which enabled him to avoid the injuries that impacted many of his rivals.

2. Rafael Nadal
Eight French Open titles mean that the man from Mallorca can without hesitation claim to be the greatest clay-court player of all time, but he has become so much more than just the master of the terre battue. Throughout his career Nadal has displayed a relentless determination not only to fight for every point but to constantly improve himself as a player and become a winner on all surfaces. That fortitude is also responsible for his improbable recovery from a knee injury that had some observers already preparing his tennis eulogy just a year ago. Instead, he returned and enjoyed arguably his best year yet, culminating in taking his game to another level at the U.S. Open. Straining every sinew of his body for every point may prevent him from having the same longevity of success as Federer - the man who in many ways is his stylistic opposite - but it would be most unwise to bet against it.

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