The days of American tennis domination are clearly in the past. With countries such as Russia, Serbia, and Spain dominating the top rankings on the Men's and Women's tours, the field of gifted tennis nations has truly become diverse. However, the United States has still produced some of the best tennis champions over the past 20 years. Here is a look at 16 of the most successful American tennis players since Zina Garrison would withstand the pressure of high expectations as the first African-American woman to reach the top 10 since Althea Gibson.
Garrison was quick around the court and crafty at the net. Todd Martin took a unique path to becoming professional, playing four years of college tennis at Northwestern University before joining the ATP Tour. Once on tour the serve-and-volley player would make two Grand Slam Finals , , as well as a career-high ranking of No.
Lisa Raymond may not have had a standout singles career on the WTA. However as a Doubles expert Raymond would more than prove her tremendous abilities on the court.
Another rare player to have come through college, Lisa was a college star athlete at The University of Florida. Standing at only 5'9'', Chang used his quickness and court savvy to be competitive with the world's best and strongest. Chang made history by becoming not only one of the youngest ever Grand Slam winners, but also the first of Asian ethnicity.
Mary-Jo Fernandez was a pioneer Latin-American athlete and skilled tennis player. Although she had trouble with Graf, and Seles, her grit and determination would get her to three Grand Slam Finals.
Fernandez also won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in Doubles , , and a bronze medal in Singles With a career-high ranking of No. Martina Navritilova is the most accomplished tennis player of all time. However, from , Navritilova would have only her win at the Wimbledon. Although Monica Seles is one of the most accomplished women in tennis, she only played for the United States from , before which she played for Yugoslavia.
Only one of her nine Grand Slam titles would come as an American citizen. Therefore, in analyzing the greatest American tennis players over the past 22 years, only Seles' Australian Open victory qualifies. The Bryan brothers are the most successful doubles team of all time. The twins have captivated tennis audiences for over a decade. The two also won the gold medal in Doubles at the London games. Andy Roddick turned pro in , and immediately made an impression on the Men's field. Jennifer Capriatti turned professional in as a teenage prodigy.
Although Capriatti's career was plagued by off-court controversy and on-court injuries, she managed to win 14 Career WTA titles, three Grand Slam titles, and a No. After taking off several years in the '90s, Capriatti will be remembered as one of the best comeback stories in tennis.
Jim Courier turned professional in The Florida-born redhead competed admirably in a generation dominated by the rivalry of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. However, during the '90s Courier was a mainstay in the second week of Grand Slams, and became a crowd favorite. California native Lindsay Davenport is known as being one of the cleanest ball-strikers in tennis. Her textbook-perfect form and strong physique was a consistent presence on the WTA tour in the '90s and '00s.
Often overlooked in favor of fellow Americans Serena and Venus Williams or Jennifer Capriatti, the shy Davenport made a name for herself on the court and not in the media.
Since that time, she has changed the game with her powerful serve, athletic prowess and no-nonsense persona. Venus has the fastest-recorded serve ever by a female player at MPH. She is perhaps more significant to tennis for her civil rights contributions in the fight for equal prize money for women. Andre Agassi was a true tennis superstar. With his on-court fashion flare, and off-court celebrity love life, Agassi kept the media wanting more. He was one half of the greatest rivalry of the '90s with Pete Sampras.
Agassi is well-loved by tennis fans for both his crafty tennis game and his humanitarian work with children. Pete Sampras was the premier tennis player of the '90s. He dominated the Men's Tour with a serve-and-volley game that was unmatched. Quiet, humble and hard working, Sampras conducted himself as a role model for other ATP athletes to follow both on and off court.
Sampras does not rank No. However, what he was able to accomplish in his career is truly remarkable, and his stellar resume secures him as the best American Male Tennis Player ever, with no one on the horizon to challenge him. With the best serve to ever come through women's professional tennis, Williams has won Grand Slam titles for a span of over 13 years.
With several major wins on hard courts, grass, clay and indoor courts, Serena has proven to be successful on all surfaces, as well as in Singles and Doubles play. A controversial and emotional player, Williams has brought legions of first-time followers to tennis. Top 16 American Tennis Players from 0 of