Can You Identify These Tennis Legends?

Jonnathan Chadwick

Image: US Open Tennis Championships via YouTube

About This Quiz

Tennis, like golf, comes down to Grand Slams, and the phrase "Grand Slam" has multiple meanings.

The first meaning of the phrase "Grand Slam" defines a major tennis tournament. There are four Grand Slam tournaments each year. They're commonly known as majors, and the first step to reaching legendary status is winning at least one of these Grand Slam tournaments. All legends do it.

The second step to reaching legendary status brings us to the next meaning of the phrase "Grand Slam," which is the act of winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in a career. Not all legends do it.

Players who have won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open have achieved a Grand Slam. The third meaning of the phrase, and the third step to reaching legendary status, is winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single season. Only six legends have done it. It gets harder to do every year, and the last time it happened was 1988.

If all those Grand Slams aren't enough, if you want to enter the most legendary of legendary statuses, you need to win the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Only three legends have done it. Only one has done it in the Open Era.

Can you identify the greatest tennis players to ever step on the court?

Can you name this Swiss legend who has 20 Grand Slam titles?

It's crazy to think that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player in the world after playing for more than 16 years, but he is, and he holds the record for most Grand Slam titles by a male player with 20 of them. He won eight Wimbledon championships and only one French Open.

This player was at the top of the tennis world in the '80s and '90s. Who is he?

Agassi was one of the best ever to play the game but was also one of the game's true international superstars. As far as technical skills go, he was one of the best at returning any serve he saw, and as far as celebrity status goes, he's one of the world's most famous tennis players.

Who is this tennis icon who beat Bobby Riggs in the famous 'Battle of the Sexes' match?

Billie Jean King was 29-years-old when she beat a 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in front of 90 million viewers. Riggs had crushed female superstar Margaret Court just months prior, so King's victory against Riggs was monumental.

Do you know this champion who is often regarded as the best American tennis player?

No American man has more Grand Slam titles than the 14 titles Pete Sampras has. He was never able to win the French Open, and the closest he got was the semi-finals in 1996. His showdowns with Andre Agassi were appointment television in the 1990s.

This big sister is considered one of the world's best, but not better than her younger sister. Who is she?

Venus is one of the best women players the game of tennis has ever seen with seven Grand Slam titles, but she will never catch up to her younger sister, Serena, who has a whopping 23 titles and counting.

Can you recognize this Australian legend who was the best player in the world for the better part of the 1960s?

To say Rod Laver dominated the 1960s is an understatement. He won 11 Grand Slam titles during the decade, and he completed the single-season Grand Slam twice: once in 1962 and once in 1969. He is the only player, man or woman, to have accomplished the feat twice.

Do you know this woman, who holds 22 Grand Slam titles and is married to Andre Agassi?

Steffi Graff is by far the most successful German tennis player, man or woman, and is one of the greatest across both sexes to ever play the game. There are only two players in the game's history to have won more Grand Slams than she.

Who is the Swedish player who dominated the circuit in the 1970s?

Bjorn Borg never won the Australian or U.S. Open, but he won 11 Grand Slam titles: six French Open victories and five Wimbledon victories. He became the first male player of the modern era to win more than 10 Grand Slams.

Can you name this legend, who has the fifth-most Grand Slam titles?

American women have been much more successful than American men in the international tennis circuit, and Chris Evert is one of four American women to win 18 or more Grand Slams. She was ranked No.1 several years in a row in the late 1970s.

Do you know this American legend known for his mid-match outbursts?

John McEnroe holds seven Grand Slam titles, but the native New Yorker is best remembered for his mid-match outbursts and attacks against the referees. He turned pro in 1978 and his best season was 1984 when he won two Grand Slams and appeared in the French Open finals.

Who is this American legend known for his rivalry with John McEnroe?

Jimmy Connors faced off with John McEnroe 34 times over 14 years, and it can be said McEnroe emerged the victor. McEnroe won 20 times and Connors won 14 times. Connors won three Grand Slam titles against McEnroe. McEnroe won six Grand Slam titles against Connors.

Can you name this Hungarian legend who was stabbed by a crazed fan during a match?

Monica Seles is the youngest player ever to win the French Open when she won at 16 years old, and of her nine Grand Slam titles, she won eight of them before turning 20. She took two years off from tennis after the stabbing incident and was never the same when she returned.

This player dominated the 1980s and has the third-most career wins. Who is he?

From 1984 to 1990 Ivan Lendl won eight Grand Slam titles when Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker where at the top of their games. Lendl's dependence on his forehand with a lot of topspin led to the "Lendl style" of tennis that many modern players use.

She was considered the best player in the world from 1975 to 2005. Who is she?

Martina Navratilova has 18 Grand Slam titles and has the most Wimbledon titles with nine. She is one of only three players who have won the title for women's singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

Can you name this player, who was the first American to win Wimbledon?

Bill Tilden played tennis way back in the 1920s, and in 1920 he became the first American to win the Wimbledon title. Before 1968 (the start of the Open Era) professionals couldn't play in the Grand Slams, so Tilden won Wimbledon as an amateur.

Who is this German great who won his first Grand Slam title at age 17?

Becker burst onto the tennis scene and became the first unseeded player, the first German player and the youngest man to win the Wimbledon title in 1985 when he was just 17 years old. He went on to win five more Grand Slams and is Germany's best male player.

Do you know this Belgian player who won three French Opens in a row?

Justine Henin has seven Grand Slam titles in total, and she won the French Open four times, three of them being consecutive. She never won Wimbledon, but she helped put Belgium on the map in the tennis world.

Can you name this icon who is the only black man to ever win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open or the Australian Open?

The only other black man to win a Grand Slam is Frenchman Yannick Noah when he won the French Open in 1983. Ashe contracted HIV after heart surgery and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993. Center court at the U.S. Open is called Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is the world's largest tennis stadium.

At 16 years and 177 days old, she is the youngest person to ever win a Grand Slam. Who is she?

Martina Hingis was less than two weeks younger than Monica Seles when she won her first Grand Slam, making her the youngest player, male or female, to ever do it. She went on to win five Grand Slams in all but never won the French Open.

Do you know this Serbian player who is one of the "Big Three" and has 15 Grand Slam titles?

Today's "Big Three" tennis stars are Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Federer has 20 Slams, Nadal has 18 and Djokovic has 15, but he's also the youngest of the three and on pace to win more than them all. He is also the first and only man to win all the Masters 1000 tournaments, which weren't created until 1990. Nadal has the most Masters 1000 victories with 34.

This Spaniard is a master of clay and has 18 Grand Slam titles. Who is he?

Rafael Nadal is almost impossible to beat on clay, and he has owned Roland Garros ever since he turned pro. Of his 18 Grand Slam titles, 12 have come at the French Open, which is double the number of wins Boris Becker has at Roland Garros, and he has the second-most wins there overall.

Who is this American great who has held the singles and doubles world No. 1 ranking?

Davenport held the No. 1 ranking in the world multiple times in both women's singles and doubles. Her best stretch of tennis came from 1998 to 2000 when she won all her Grand Slam titles, but she was never able to get over the hump at Roland Garros.

Can you name this American great who was known for his 140-mph serves?

The men's game hasn't had a great American player since the '90s, but Roddick came close. He made it to the Wimbledon finals four times but never won, and his only Grand Slam title came at the U.S. Open. He was most known for his rocket serves topping 140 mph.

What's the name of this Belgian former No. 1 in both singles and doubles who has won six Grand Slams?

Kim Clijsters retired in 2012, and she was the second-best tennis player to come out of Belgium behind Justine Henin. Clijsters won three U.S. Open titles and an Australian Open title, and she won the Wimbledon and French Open women's doubles titles.

Do you know the first man to win all four majors in a single year?

Only two men have completed the single-season Grand Slam, and Don Budge was the first player, male or female, to do it way back in 1938. He's also the only American man to complete the feat, and he went on to win six consecutive Grand Slam titles during the streak.

Can you name this Russian great who is one of only 10 women to achieve the career Grand Slam?

Maria Sharapova is by far Russia's greatest tennis player. The only current female players with more Grand Slam titles than her are the Williams sisters. Her career suffered from injury, but she is still actively playing and is considered one of the game's best ever.

Do you know this Australian lefty who won 15 major titles before the Open era?

Don Budge was said to have the best backhand shot in the game until Ken Rosewall joined the circuit. Rosewall won eight Grand Slam titles, but he never won at Wimbledon despite making the finals four times.

Can you name this player who won eight Wimbledon titles and is considered the greatest female player in the history of the game?

Helen Wills is considered by many to be the greatest female tennis player ever. She won 31 Grand Slam titles. She was one of the first female athletes to become a worldwide celebrity, and she beat a top 10 male player in his prime in an exhibition match.

Who is this former No. 1 who famously lost to Billie Jean King in a $100,000 winner-take-all match?

Bobby Riggs is most known for being a tennis hustler after he retired and planning events like the "Battle of Sexes" against Billie Jean King in which he lost. When he was in his prime, he won three Grand Slam titles and held the No. 1 ranking for three years.

In 1953 she became the first woman to achieve a single-season Grand Slam. Who is she?

We don't know how good Maureen Connolly could have been. She turned pro in 1951, and by 1954 she became the first woman to complete the single-season Grand Slam and had won nine Grand Slam titles. But in 1954, a horseback riding accident ended her professional career.

Do you know this American, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for a record eight years?

Pancho Gonzalez (aka Richard Gonzalez) is one of America's best male players, and he holds the record for most years ranked No. 1 with eight years. He won back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 1948 and '49 and won 12 Pro Slam titles.

Can you name this French icon who won 98% of her matches and is considered the first female tennis star and the best female player ever?

It's hard to dispute Lenglen's crown as the greatest female player in history. She was the first worldwide female tennis star. She once won 181 matches in a row, and her overall record was 341-7, which is a 98% win rate.

She was the fist African American tennis player. Do you know her?

Althea Gibson was the first black tennis player, and she won the 1956 French Open and the 1957 Wimbledon title. She won five Grand Slam singles titles and another six in women's and mixed doubles events. She later became the first black person to play on the women's pro golf tour.

Do you know this Scottish player who is one of Britain's best ever?

Andy Murray was born in Glasgow and is Britain's best tennis player in at least half a century. He won three Grand Slam titles, and he almost became the fourth member of the "Big Three." He beat Djokovic to win two of his titles but has had little success against Federer or Nadal.

Can you name this American great who turned pro at 13 years old and cracked the top 10 at age 14?

Jennifer Capriati began her pro career at a very young age, and it may have taken a toll on her. By 17 she took a break from pro tennis and was arrested for shoplifting. She eventually came back and won three Grand Slam titles, including back-to-back Australian Open titles in 2001 and 2002.

Who is this Swedish player who won six Grand Slam titles in seven years?

Stefan Edberg is the only tennis player to complete the single-season Grand Slam as a junior player, and he went on to win six Grand Slam titles as a professional. The French Open was the only Slam he couldn't win, but he made it to the finals in 1989.

Can you name this legend who won more Grand Slams than any tennis player in history?

Margaret Court won 24 Grand Slam titles, and nobody, male or female, has tied or topped that. Until Rafa Nadal won his 12th French Open in 2019, Court had the record for most wins at a single Grand Slam event with 11 Australian Open wins. She's the only woman to win the single-season Grand Slam in mixed doubles, which she did twice, and she also completed the women's singles Grand Slam and women's doubles Grand Slam.

At 17 years old he was the youngest man to ever win a Grand Slam. Do you know who he is?

At just 5'9'', Michael Chang was one of the shorter players on the circuit, which led to his gritty defensive playing style. In 1989 his name was etched into the history books when became the youngest male ever to win a Grand Slam title.

Do you know this Brazilian icon who is the only South American to win Wimbledon?

Maria Bueno won seven Grand Slam singles titles and 12 doubles titles and is South America's best female player by far. She completed the calendar-year Grand Slam in women's doubles in 1960 and was the first woman ever to do so.

Who is this legend who has 23 Grand Slam titles?

It's very difficult to imagine Serena Williams going back in history and losing to any other female tennis player who has ever played. She has the second-most Grand Slam titles of all time, and she is still at the top of her game.

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