Tennis All-Time Records

The list of tennis' biggest winners—including record-holders for singles, doubles, and Grand Slams—dates back decades, but also extends to the present. The names of tennis' most successful pros today populate the lists: Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. But players who dominated earlier eras also hold noted spots on the record lists: Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, and Billie Jean King. This list covers tennis' biggest winners through the ages.

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Winning the Grand Slam in Singles

Tennis player
Getty Images/ Caiaimage/Chris Ryan

A Grand Slam in singles occurs when a professional tennis player wins all four of the sport's most important tournaments in a single calendar year: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open. However, none of the current big names in tennis—both men and women—have achieved this honor. Serena Williams came close in 2017 but lost in the Wimbledon finals in July of that year. The most recent tennis great to have achieved the feat is Steffi Graf in 1988. And, Rod Laver achieved the difficult task twice during the 1960s.

  1. Don Budge: 1938
  2. Maureen Connolly: 1953
  3. Rod Laver: 1962 and 1969
  4. Margaret Smith Court: 1970
  5. Steffi Graf: 1988
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Most Grand Slam Singles Titles: Men

Roger Federer, the ironman of the sport, has, indeed, won the most singles titles—19 as of fall 2017.  “I love this tournament," Federer said in July 2017, just before his finals match at Wimbledon. "All my dreams came true here as a player ...Yeah, unbelievably excited. I hope I can play one more good match.” He certainly did, winning the tournament for the eighth time just a day after making that statement.

  1. Roger Federer: 19
  2. Rafael Nadal:​ 14
  3. Pete Sampras: 14
  4. Roy Emerson: 12
  5. Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg: 11
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Most Grand Slam Singles Titles: Women

In 1989, one of the players on this list won one of her Grand Slam titles at the expense of another: Tennis pros Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graff had a showdown in this epic finale. Navratilova maintains the record of the greatest number of single titles, but Graf beat her opponent on that day: 6-2, 6-7, 6-1. Nevertheless, both great players are among the top five female Grand Slam title winners. Added note: Serena Williams, No. 2 on this list, won one of her Grand Slam titles by beating her sister, Venus, in the 2002 Wimbledon final.

  1. Margaret Smith Court: 24
  2. Serena Williams:​ 23
  3. Steffi Graf: 22
  4. Helen Wills Moody: 19
  5. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert: 18
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Most Career Singles Titles: Men

With all the press grabbed by current tennis stars, it's easy to forget one of the most iconic figures who ever played the game: Jimmy Connors still holds a sizeable lead over Roger Federer (as of fall 2017) in the number of singles titles each has won. Bleacher Report ranks Connors as the seventh best tennis player in the sport's history and considering the number of men's singles titles he's won, it's not hard to see why.

  1. Jimmy Connors: 109
  2. Roger Federer: 94
  3. Ivan Lendl: 94
  4. John McEnroe: 77
  5. Rafael Nadal: 75
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Most Career Singles Titles: Women

If there is a figure—male or female—who towers above other competitors in the tennis world, it is certainly Martina Navratilova. She won 167 single's titles, nearly 50 more than her male counterpart Jimmy Connors. Her tennis matches with Chris Evert, who won just 10 fewer singles titles than Navratilova, are epic. Even Evert won nearly 50 more titles than Connors, proving that in the quest for singles titles, women clearly came out ahead of the men.

  1. Martina Navratilova: 167
  2. Chris Evert: 157
  3. Steffi Graf: 107
  4. Margaret Smith Court: 92
  5. Billie-Jean King: 67
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Most Career Singles and Doubles* Titles: Men

John McEnroe had a reputation as a feisty, fiery presence on the tennis court. He often argued with line judges in fits of rage that sometimes turned into screaming matches, which even made the evening news. So, it's surprising that the one area where McEnroe makes this list involves matches where, in many cases, he had to play—and presumably get along—with another tennis partner. Yet, MacEnroe stands squarely atop this list of men's combined singles and doubles titles.

  1. John McEnroe: 155
  2. Jimmy Connors: 124
  3. Ilie Nastase: 109
  4. Tom Okker: 109
  5. Stan Smith: 109

*Doubles titles counts do not include mixed doubles.

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Most Career Singles and Doubles* Titles: Women

If Martina Navratilova was dominant in the category of most female singles titles, she completely owns the category of most combined singles and doubles crowns. Her record of 344 may never be equaled. While Christ Evert was nipping at Navratilova's heels in the race for the most single's titles, the competition wasn't even close in this category. Not surprisingly, Bleacher Report ranks Navratilova as the best tennis player of all time—male or female.

  1. Martina Navratilova: 344
  2. Chris Evert: 175
  3. Billie-Jean King: 168
  4. Margaret Smith Court: 140
  5. Rosie Casals: 123

    *Doubles titles counts do not include mixed doubles.