Compare tennis players across eras

It’s always been difficult to compare tennis players from different generations – not any more!

Now you can compare tennis players by looking at how many grand slam titles they have won over their careers.

How does Pete Sampras compare to Rafael Nadal? Can Novak Djokovic match Roger Federer’s career? Who’s better, Steffi Graf or Serena Williams?

A few interesting match-ups:

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

Federer vs Nadal for grand slams

Many people consider Federer to be the best male tennis player of all time. However, before Nadal’s injury problems, Rafa was generally doing better than Roger was at the same age.

Nadal started winning titles much earlier than Roger did and this gives Nadal an opportunity to match Roger.

If Nadal remains injury free, it will be interesting to see where he finishes relative to Federer’s stellar career.

Ivan Lendl vs Andy Murray

Murray vs Lendl for grand slams

Ivan Lendl won his first grand slam title at the relatively old age of 24 having previously been runner-up on 3 separate occasions. Similarly, Andy Murray won his first title at the practically ancient age of 25 (see John McEnroe below).

It seems unlikely that Murray can match the efforts of his coach, talented though he may be.

Serena Williams vs Monica Seles

Serena vs Seles for grand slams

Monica Seles had an explosive start to her career, winning an amazing 8 grand spam titles by the age of 19. And this at the time when Steffi Graf – one of women’s greatest players – was active.

Her spectacular start put her way ahead of Serena Williams at a similar age, highlighting how events transpired to end the career of a potentially great female player.

In contrast, Serena has demonstrated great longevity, continuing to win grand slam titles well into her thirties. Very few women have won a grand slam title over the age of 30 and this reflects Serena’s talent and dedication to the sport of tennis.

Andre Agassi vs John McEnroe

Agassi vs McEnroe for grand slams
Two incredibly talented American players of contrasting styles – their pattern of grand slam titles are also very different.

John McEnroe’s tennis ability shone early and brightly. Incredibly, he won his last grand slam title at the age of 25 – the same age that Andy Murray won his first title!

Agassi on the other hand had a late bloom starting at age 29. He put on another 5 grand slam titles to bring his final haul to 8 – one more than John McEnroe.

Try it yourself!

We hope you’ve found these comparisons across the eras of tennis interesting.

Why not try it for yourself? Compare your own favourite tennis players.

If you discover an interesting head to head, feel free to pass it on or if you have thoughts or suggestions, let us know!

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