9 Greatest Records and Achievements in Recent Tennis History

Professional tennis is a highly popular yet somewhat confusing sport to follow. Events are eight different major tournaments, which are overseen by multiple governing institutions or leagues. Professional tennis players are some of the best athletes in the world. Their endurance, win totals and feats set long-lasting records across the world. 

Tennis enthusiasts searching for information on these records might get lost in seemingly endless information but for helpful guides such as the one you are reading now. Continue reading below for insightful and entertaining information on the 9 greatest records and achievements in recent tennis history.

9 Amazing Junior and Professional Tennis Achievements

The sport of tennis is full of amazing athletes setting world records from the USTA Junior Tournaments to the top of the professional leagues. Some records have held up for ages, while others have only recently been broken. 9 of the most amazing records and achievements in tennis history include:

  1. Rafael Nadal – All time Wins.
  2. Fastest Serves.
  3. Top 5 Women’s Tennis Players of All Time.
  4. Top 5 Men’s Tennis Players of All Time.
  5. Jimmy Conners’ Open Era Records.
  6. The Legend of Billie Jean King.
  7. USTA Junior Tournaments Records.
  8. Combined Records of the Top Siblings in Tennis.
  9. John McEnroe’s Career Fines and Other Random Records
Rafael Nadal – All Time Wins
Rafael Nadal - All Time Wins

Rafael Nadal holds multiple records and is one of the all-time winningest tennis players in history. Nadal has an 83.1% winning percentage. He has also won twenty (20!) career grand slams, four U.S. Opens, two Wimbledon tournaments and thirteen French Opens. Nadal’s exceptional proficiency on clay yielded him a 91.8% winning record, which is more than any other player on a single surface in history.

In addition to winning the most grand slam titles, Nadal also holds the record for most consecutive years winning a grand slam (10) and as the youngest player in the world to ever win a career grand slam at twenty-four years old.

Fastest Serves
Fastest Serves

Winning a tennis match is not always about who has the fastest serve, although fast serves certainly help the cause. The fastest men’s serve to ever be recorded was recorded by Australian native Sam Groth at the 2012 Busan Open. Groth’s serve reached a stunning 163.4 mph that day.

Interestingly, the second-fastest men’s serve was also delivered in 2012 by French native Albano Olivetti. Olivetti’s serve reached 160 mph at the 2012 Internazionali Trofeo tournament. The two fastest women’s serves reached 136.7 and 131.0 mph off the rackets of Georgina Garcia Pérez (ESP) and Sabine Lisicki (DEU) respectively.

Pérez’s monster serve at the 2018 Hungarian Open unseated Lisicki’s prior record, which was set at the 2014 Stanford Classic. Prior to these events, Venus Williams (USA) and Ivana Jorović (SRB) were tied for the fastest serve in women’s tennis history at 129 mph.

Top 5 Women’s Tennis Players of All Time
Top 5 Women’s Tennis Players of All Time

So many great women’s tennis players – so little time. Venus might have a faster serve but her sister Serena Williams has recorded an overall dominant performance history. The top 5 women’s tennis players of all time are:

5. Chris Evert (USA).

4. Margaret Court (AUS).

3. Martina Navratilova (CZE).

2. Steffi Graff (DEU).

  1. Serena Williams (USA).
Top 5 Men’s Tennis Players of All Time
Top 5 Men’s Tennis Players of All Time

Having so many great men’s tennis players to choose from is an excellent problem to have for a fan. Records are set, then are broken and broken again. The top 5 men’s tennis players of all time are:

5. Pete Sampras (USA).

4. Rod Laver (AUS).

3. Rafael Nadal (ESP).

2. Roger Federer (CHE).

  1. Novak Djokovic (SRB).
Jimmy Connors’ Open Era Records
Jimmy Connors’ Open Era Records

Jimmy Connors was truly one of the all-time greats. The Roger Federer tennis record for most consecutive wins finally overtook Connors’ prior win streak in 2007.

Connors still holds the record for all-time titles in the open era (109). He also holds the record for all-time open era match wins at 1,274.

The Legend of Billie Jean King
The Legend of Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King simply dominated tennis for over twenty years straight. She won thirty-nine combined titles including grand slams, singles, doubles and mixed doubles tournaments. King also holds twenty Wimbledon titles as well. Despite all her amazing statistical and athletic accomplishments, King will likely best be known for defeating men’s pro Bobby Riggs in the historic “Battle of the Sexes.” Riggs constantly asserted that a woman tennis player could not best a male player, to the point of openly challenging her in the public media.

Needless to say, Riggs ate his words as King not only beat him but went on to Hall of Fame status for her numerous records and winning percentages. 

USTA Junior Tournament Achievements
USTA Junior Tournament Achievements

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the governing body for tennis across the U.S. today. USTA is responsible for developing and promoting the growth of the sport of tennis. If you are looking to see someone break a tennis record USTA players are always worth keeping an eye on. For example, Sofia Kenin won the USTA Girls 18s National Championship in 2015. USTA is not without its rough patches, however. During the same year (2015) Eugenie Bouchard sues USTA over the head injury she sustained after slipping on cleaning fluid left on the courts during the U.S. open. Still, USTA also facilitates multiple scholarship and awards programs such as the:

  • Jr Scholar-Athlete Award.
  • Outstanding Facility Award.
  • League Volunteer Award.
  • CTA of the Year Award.
  • Tennis Educational Merit Awards.
Combined Achievements of the Top Siblings in Tennis
Combined Achievements of the Top Siblings in Tennis

Venus and Serena Williams might be the most famous siblings to combine for earth-shattering records but they are not the only sibling pairs out there. Bob and Mike Bryan have won 106 doubles titles together, which is an all-time world record. Agnieszka and Urszula Radwańska (Poland) are second only to Venus and Serena for sibling wins on a WTA tour. Even Novak Djokovic and his younger brother Djordje sometimes play in doubles tournaments together.

John McEnroe’s Career Fines and Other Random Records
John McEnroe’s Career Fines and Other Random Records

John McEnroe is a Hall of Famer player who holds the record for the most dominant single-season in 1984. McEnroe is also famous for losing his temper and insulting umpires. He is so famous for this he also holds the world record for career fines ($90,000). Additional random records include the following:

  • Victoria Azarenka (first professional tennis player from Belarus to reach the number one position in her sport).
  • Rod Laver (2 grand slams in a single calendar year).
  • Steffi Graff (Golden Slam).
  • Maria Sharapova (one of six women to complete a career Grand Slam in open era; ranked ten seasons inside the top-10).