When we talk about the best “shot-makers” in men’s tennis, not all of us will be defining the term the same way. For our purposes here we blend pure aesthetics with compulsory success.
Each man selected won at least one major.
Britain’s Tim Henman, for example, played superlative tennis, but he did not succeed on the biggest stages where ultimately all tennis players are judged.
Some players were less spectacular to watch but with foresight and often technology caused a shift in the way tennis was played. These players affected a change in the game.
By 1985 the era of Borg and McEnroe with a huge dose of Connors was over. True McEnroe and Connors were still playing but both had moved past their peaks.
Serve and volley tennis would soon be giving way completely to tennis played from the baseline.
Tennis slowed down, at least, it gave the appearance of slowing down. Serve and volley could not survive as grass gave way to hard courts and technology improved rackets and string.
Rushing the net became a detriment, and an era in the men’s game died.
Players became bigger, taller and definitely more fit.
These 15 men helped the game evolve to where it stands today...