The best left-handed tennis players of all time

Photo by Cristina Anne Costello / Unsplash

Highlighting the greatest left-handed tennis players in history, this article covers their achievements, styles, and impact, featuring both male and female legends.

Related: How to choose the best left-handed tennis rackets

Male players

Rod Laver
Rod Laver

1. Rod Laver

  • Era: 1960s
  • Achievements: Laver is the only player in history to win the Grand Slam twice. His 11 Grand Slam titles, including four Wimbledon championships, showcase his dominance. His aggressive play and versatility on all surfaces solidified his legendary status.
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

2. Rafael Nadal

  • Era: 2000s to present
  • Achievements: Nadal, the "King of Clay," is renowned for his 13 French Open titles and 21 Grand Slam singles titles. His signature topspin, athleticism, and fighting spirit rank him among the all-time greats.
John McEnroe
John McEnroe

3. John McEnroe

  • Era: 1970s-1980s
  • Achievements: McEnroe, known for his exceptional touch and volleying skills, won seven Grand Slam singles titles. His legendary rivalry with Bj√∂rn Borg and success in doubles competition (nine Grand Slam titles) are highlights of his career.

Female players

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova

1. Martina Navratilova

  • Era: 1970s-1990s
  • Achievements: Navratilova dominated women's tennis with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including nine Wimbledon singles championships. Her athleticism and aggressive playstyle set new standards in the sport.
Monica Seles
Monica Seles

2. Monica Seles

  • Era: 1990s
  • Achievements: Seles, known for her powerful strokes, won eight Grand Slam titles before turning 20. She finished her career with nine Grand Slam singles titles, having lasting impact on the sport.
Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova

3. Petra Kvitova

  • Era: 2010s to present
  • Achievements: Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, is celebrated for her powerful serve and aggressive groundstrokes. Her talent and big-stage performances have made her a notable figure in modern tennis.

Honorable Mentions

While the aforementioned players have had a significant impact on the world of tennis, there are several other left-handed players who have also made notable contributions to the sport. Here are a few who deserve recognition:

1. Jimmy Connors

  • Era: 1970s-1980s
  • Achievements: With eight Grand Slam singles titles and a record 109 ATP singles titles, Connors was known for his fiery competitiveness and baseline play. His intense rivalries and longevity in the sport make him a standout figure.

2. Bob Hewitt

  • Era: 1960s-1970s
  • Achievements: An exceptional doubles player, Hewitt won nine Grand Slam doubles titles and six mixed doubles titles. His tactical acumen and volleying skills were key to his success on the court.

3. Thomas Muster

  • Era: 1990s
  • Achievements: Muster, known as the "King of Clay" before the era of Rafael Nadal, won the 1995 French Open and was ranked world No. 1. His tenacity and heavy topspin forehand were his trademarks.

4. Guillermo Vilas

  • Era: 1970s-1980s
  • Achievements: Vilas won four Grand Slam titles and was particularly dominant on clay. His baseline play and topspin strokes influenced the next generation of players, especially on clay courts.

5. Rosie Casals

  • Era: 1960s-1970s
  • Achievements: Casals was a trailblazer in women's tennis, winning nine Grand Slam doubles titles and playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the women's professional tennis tour.

With their unique skills and contributions, these players have also left a lasting impact on the sport, inspiring countless fans and upcoming tennis players worldwide.

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw: Left-handed, left-leaning, and left in every sense of the word. Writer, musician, and southpaw enthusiast.
Atlanta