Rod Laver, Roger Federer and the Top 13 Tennis Seasons of the Open Era

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Rod Laver, Roger Federer and the Top 13 Tennis Seasons of the Open Era
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

So who was the best? Djokovic, Federer, McEnroe or Laver? Who compiled the “best” year ever?

It is hard to pin down near-perfection—judging inches and angles.

There has been much discussion of late concerning which player's season was the “best” in the modern era of tennis after the playing field leveled.

Men on tour began playing in the same arena once there were no longer amateurs and professionals in men’s tennis. 

That all began in 1968.

By 1969, the tour enjoyed a whole year of competition and beginning in 1970, the men agreed to play an ATP Championship at the conclusion of the calendar year.

That began the formality of gathering meaningful statistics, matching records year by year.

Today, winning majors is, by most standards, the most important nugget in men’s tennis—that and being ranked No. 1.

Also important, however, is winning the year-end championship, which is deemed almost as daunting as capturing a slam trophy, because competition is limited to the top eight players in that particular calendar year.

For this listing, the player had to have a top ranking with a winning percentage of over 90 percent—or at least three majors and a winning percentage over 85. 

Only two on the list dipped below 90 percent but all are worthy of inclusion in a discussion of the best season ever in men's tennis.

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