Ranking the Best Grass-Court Players in Tennis History

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Ranking the Best Grass-Court Players in Tennis History
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Roger Federer and Pete Sampras in 2001 Wimbledon

Before 1975, when three of the four Grand Slam events were played on grass, proficiency on grass courts was necessary to achieve tennis stardom.

The U.S. Pro Championships, a major event for professionals before the Open Era began in 1968, was also contested on grass sometimes.

Today, Wimbledon is the only major tournament played on grass, with the few other grass-court tournaments serving primarily as Wimbledon tuneups.

In ranking our top 10 grass-court players of all time, we considered how dominant the player was in the major grass-court tournaments of his or her era. We gave more weight to success in the Open Era because the depth of talent was much greater. Nonetheless, only one current player made our list, although a similar list compiled five or 10 years from now might include several of today's stars.

We start with eight players who barely missed making our top 10. We then list the top 10 in descending order, although we hedged at the outset by having two players tie for the 10th spot.

We noted three categories for each listed player: Why He or She Is Here, Wimbledon Highlights and Best Asset.

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