Monday, December 31, 2007

Top Ten Male Players in Australian Open Tennis

Australian Open is one of the four grand slam tournaments in world tennis. It is also the first grad slam tournament of calendar year. First time the tournament took place was in 1905. The tournament was known as Australian Championship until the Open Era began in 1968. Naturally, the tournament experienced many great players and many historic matches in its history. As another tournament of Australian Open is approaching, the tennis fans are now eagerly waiting for some more classic matches and impressive performances. Australia Open 2008 will kick off from January 14, 2008. Now, ahead of the tournament, I have made a list of top ten male players of Australian Open.

Well, you know that making a list of top ten of anything is not so easy. I guess there is no one who has seen all the great players of Australian Open playing in the tournament in his or her lifetime. So, the list of top ten male players of Australian Open is mainly based on their record and statistical success of the players in Australian Open. The list is made on the basis of my personal opinion. Here, I am giving the list of players with a short introduction for each of the players:

Roy Emerson

This Australian is undoubtedly the most influential player of Australian Open so far. Roy Emerson holds the record of winning highest number of Men Singles titles in Australian Open with 6 championship titles alongside a runner up trophy. Though he has won most of his grand slam titles before the start of Open Era when only the amateur players were allowed to play in the grand slam tournament, you can hardly claim any question regarding his greatness as a tennis player. Former greats like Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe were among his contemporaries and many of his grand slam titles came through defeating these two greats in the final.

All of his major successes came from 1961 to 1967. You can term it Golden Time of Roy Emerson’s career Out of 12 grand slam singles titles, Emerson won six grand slam singles titles in Australian Open. He won five successive men’s singles titles in Australian Open from 1963-1967. I think, this is enough to make you understand the dominance he had in Australian Open that time.

Ken Rosewall

The name comes after Roy Emerson when it comes to Australian Open is Ken Rosewall. This former world no. 1 was one of the two best players of his time. Trained by his father, he grew up with an effective backhand that later emerged as his best strength. To many, Ken Rosewall’s backhand is one of the best of all time. With four Australian Open titles, he is obviously one of the most successful players of Australian Open. He also had a long career from efarly 50’s to early 70’s and he played with sheer consistency throughout his career. Besides four titles in Australian Open, this great Australian tennis player also won two French Open and U.S. Open titles in his career.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi is another great player of tennis with eight grand slam titles to his credit. However, most of his success came in Australian Open as he won four of his eight grand slam titles in Australian Open. Well, this is just a mare record and it does not reveal much about his dominance in Australian Open. From 2000-2003, he won three Australian Open titles though his first title came five years earlier. According to TENNIS Magazine, Andre Agassi is ranked 7 in the list of greatest male players from 1965 to 2005. The former world no. 1 also has Olympic Gold medal to his credit. With some physical problems Andre Agassi retired from tennis last year.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Rod Laver

He is another great Australian tennis player. Let me give you just two things to make you understand the greatness of Rod Laver. 1. He was world no. 1 for seven successive years. 2. He is the only male tennis players who won all of the four grand slam titles twice. Well, if these are not enough to you then note that he is the only male tennis player who won calendar year grand slam in Open Era. He also has the same feat before the Open Era as well. So, you have no chance to deny his greatness. Actually, he is considered to be the greatest male tennis players of all time with 11 grand slam singles title in his career.

Rod Laver as a player is successful in all of the grand slam tournaments. So, it is a bit hard to mention his record in Australian Open particularly. However, with three Australian Open singles titles, he is considered as one of the greatest player of Australian Open. What made me surprised is that despite a successful career in men’s singles, Rod Laver had no title in doubles. However, it does not lessen greatness in world tennis.

Mats Wilander

This Swedish former world no. 1 is another greatest player Australian Open got. Among 7 grand slam titles, Mats Wilander has won three grand slam singles titles in Australian Open. The year 1988 was the most successful one in hi career as he won three grand slam titles in that year. However, Mats Wilander did not win any other grand slam titles after 1988. Except Wimbledon, he won the men’s singles titles of other three grand slam tournaments in his career. After turning professional in 1981, he played consistently well until his retirement from professional tennis in 1996.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Roger Federer

Roger Federer is perhaps the widely known name in the world tennis today. He is the only player of this list who is currently playing professional tennis. No doubt, with 12 grand slam titles so far in his career, he has already become a legend in the history of tennis. He is now just two grand slam titles away to touch Pete Sampras’s record 14 grand slam singles title.

Roger Federer is the present world no. 1 and he is now dominating the tennis world winning almost everything in his way. So far, he has won three titles in Australian Open including the title of last year. So, he still has lots of years ahead of him to win many more titles in Australian Open as well in other grand slam tournaments.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Jack Crawford

This former world no. 1 won four of his six grand slam titles in Australian Championships. Besides, he also lost in the final of Australian Championships three times. So, Jack Crawford is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever players played in Australian Open. He also won four doubles and three mixed doubles titles of Australian Open. He has singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles in Australian Championships, French Championships and Wimbledon Championships. However, this Australian great never won any titles in U.S. Open.

Adrian Quist

This Australian is one of the greatest players of Australian Open with three singles titles to his credit. However, Adrian Quis is widely known for his doubles titles. He along with John Bromwich won eight successive Australia Open titles from 1936-1950 (the tournament did not held due to WWII from 1941-1945). Expect three Australian Open singles titles; Adrian Quist did not win any other grand slam singles titles in his career. However, he won doubles titles in all other grand slam tournaments. He is one of the few players who won “Career Doubles Slams”.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Stefan Edberg

In his eight year-long career, Stefan Edberg has confirmed a place for him in the history of world tennis. Winning six grand slam titles, he is now considered as one of the greatest players of all time in world tennis. If you go through his whole career then you can see that he never won more than one grand slam titles in his career. However, it does not mean that he ahs done everything in he was inconsistent in his career. Actually besides six grand slam titles he has five runner-up titles as well. He had to face strong challenges from some of the great contemporary players like Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier throughout his career. Among his six career titles, he won two grand slam titles in Australian Open. Except French Open, Stefan Edberg also won Wimbledon and U.S. Open twice in his career.

Ivan Lendl

This great male tennis player is considered as one of the finest ever players in the history of tennis. Ivan Lendl won eight grand slam titles in his career alongside 11 runner-up titles. Thus, he holds the record of playing highest number of grand slam finals in men’s singles. In total, he appeared in the grand slam titles 19 times. He is one of the ten greatest tennis players since 1966 according to TENNIS magazine. He faced a lot of challenges from the former great players like John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker. Actually, I think, he would have won much more grand slam titles in his career if he were not in professional tennis that time.

Among his eight grand slam titles, Ivan Lendl won only twice in Australian Open. However, he was also the runner-up of 1983 and 1991 Australian Open. However, still his performance in Australian Open deserves to get a place in the list of top ten male players of Australian Open.

Well, I earlier mention that this list of players is based mainly on their career record and this is of my personal choices. So, you do not need to agree with this list, though I believe that the list will satisfy many of you. To tell the truth, I had to exclude some great players like John Bromwich, John David Newcombe etc. from this list.

1 comment:

Arun Maythil said...

This is a nice compilation of Australian Open super stars. Pete Sampras does not appear in this list which is a notable omission considering his record is better than players like Edberg et al.

Nice article.