Tennisphilia

A tennis blog from a tennis fan.

Top 5 Most Searched Women Tennis Players in 2017

1. Serena Williams

Serena Williams is an American female professional tennis player who has been ranked as nor1. From 2002 – 2017 by the Women’s tennis association. She is the only woman who has tried to break a record set by Steffi Graff for the most consecutive wins in the history of women’s tennis. She has a grand slam title record of 39 making her third on the list of all time record holders. She has recently gained popularity and perhaps becoming the most searched tennis women player in most search engines due to her recent victory in WTA Auckland open and the US open. On January 28th, she won the Australian open by defeating her sister Venus Williams. What has increased popularity is by announcing that she was 8 weeks pregnant after she won the Australian Open.

2. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova, tennis player, participated in the tennis opens held in the US. During the event, she wore shoes and dress provided by Nike which is her main sponsor. Maria won by beating Simona Halep in two of the three sets. She won with an aggregate record of 7-0 against her closest opponent Simona Halep. This win made her progress to the second round. She has also gained popularity especially when she was found with doping issues. She failed a drug test and was eliminated from the competition by the International Tennis Federation in the Australia opens. Nike, Maria’s main sponsor said that it had put its operation on hold as the investigations go on.

After the International Tennis Federation concluded their investigation, they gave a report which stated that Maria Sharapova did not intentionally break the drug rules. Based on this report Maria’s main sponsor Nike said that they were satisfied with the report and said that Maria made an honest mistake and they would continue to offer support to her.

3. Simona Halep

Simona Halep is a Romanian tennis player who was ranked 3rd by Women’s International Tennis federation in 2017. However, she was beaten by Maria Sharapova during the US tennis opens. She is said to be an aggressive baseline player whose favorite playing style is serve. She is one of the most paid female athletes with a number of key sponsors. Currently her clothing is provided by Addidas, her shoes provided by Nike and her apparel provided by Lacoste. She has won the US open twice the recent being in the 2015 US open.

4. Venus Williams

Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player and a sister to the tennis champion Serena Williams. She has been ranked 4th by the Women’s International Tennis Federation. She has gained popularity and become one of the most searched women tennis professionals after winning the 2017 French tennis opens. She has also gained popularity among fans due to the alleged rivalry between her and Serena Williams.

5. Flavia Pennetta

This is another women’s tennis player who has rocked the internet to be among the most searched women tennis player in 2017. She is an Italian tennis profession who has won several tennis matches. She has gained popularity and appeared in most search engines due to the recent birth of her child.

Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders – 2014 Updates

May/June 2014 UPDATE: Nadal closes in on Roger Federer

Spanish world #1 continues to close in Roger Federer’s lead on men’s tennis career prize money leaders list. By reaching the finals at the 2014 French Open, Nadal is assured of at winning at least 750,000 euros. The current gap between Federer and Nadal is around $13 million. Novak Djokovic, also a 2014 French Open finalist along with Nadal is currently #3 in the list. David Ferrer, currently at #9 is the only player in the top 10 list without having won a Grand Slam and has never reached the #1 ranking.

ATP Career Prize Money Leaders (US$)
Prior to French Open 2014
1 Federer, Roger $81,245,913
2 Nadal, Rafael $68,240,345
3 Djokovic, Novak $61,215,267
4 Sampras, Pete $43,280,489
5 Agassi, Andre $31,152,975
6 Murray, Andy $30,968,220
7 Becker, Boris $25,080,956
8 Kafelnikov, Yevgeny $23,883,797
9 Ferrer, David $22,975,724
10 Lendl, Ivan $21,262,417
11 Roddick, Andy $20,637,390
12 Edberg, Stefan $20,630,941
13 Hewitt, Lleyton $20,133,139
14 Ivanisevic, Goran $19,878,007
15 Chang, Michael $19,145,632
16 Berdych, Tomas $17,783,298
17 Davydenko, Nikolay $16,153,783
18 Del Potro, Juan Martin $15,345,947
19 Kuerten, Gustavo $14,807,000
20 Bjorkman, Jonas $14,610,671

July 2012 UPDATE: Murray overtakes Edberg, Lendl; Federer earnings reaches $72.9 million

World no. 1 Roger Federer who won his 7th Wimbledon title this season has reached almost $73 million in career prize money earnings to continue and break his total prize money record. Second place Rafael Nadal remains far behind in second place, more than $20 million behind Federer. This year’s Wimbledon runner-up, Andy Murray, moved past two tennis legends by reaching his first ever Wimbledon final. He is now no. 8 in the standings, moving past Stefan Edberg and his current coach, Ivan Lendl. Murray remains the only player in the top 10 list without a Grand Slam title to his name. He is also the only player in the top 10 that hasn’t reached the no. 1 ranking. Wimbledon semi-finalist, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, moves closer to the $10 million mark with $9.7 million.

Top 100 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: July 9, 2012

 

 Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
   1. Federer, Roger                         $72,918,077
   2. Nadal, Rafael                          $50,061,827
   3. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
   4. Djokovic, Novak                        $38,120,025
   5. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
   6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
   7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
   8. Murray, Andy                           $21,473,551
   9. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
  10. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
  11. Roddick, Andy                          $20,412,850
  12. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007
  13. Hewitt, Lleyton                        $19,194,603
  14. Chang, Michael                         $19,145,632
  15. Davydenko, Nikolay                     $15,131,022
  16. Kuerten, Gustavo                       $14,807,000
  17. Bjorkman, Jonas                        $14,600,323
  18. Ferrer, David                          $14,579,002
  19. Safin, Marat                           $14,373,291
  20. Courier, Jim                           $14,034,132
  21. Ferrero, Juan Carlos                   $13,961,459
  22. Moya, Carlos                           $13,443,970
  23. Stich, Michael                         $12,595,128
  24. McEnroe, John                          $12,552,132
  25. Muster, Thomas                         $12,266,977
  26. Henman, Tim                            $11,635,542
  27. Bruguera, Sergi                        $11,632,199
  28. Berdych, Tomas                         $11,489,088
  29. Rafter, Patrick                        $11,127,058
  30. Nalbandian, David                      $11,009,750
  31. Haas, Tommy                            $10,525,597
  32. Nestor, Daniel                         $10,468,689
  33. Enqvist, Thomas                        $10,461,641
  34. Korda, Petr                            $10,448,900
  35. Soderling, Robin                       $10,423,124
  36. Corretja, Alex                         $10,411,354
  37. Mirnyi, Max                            $10,222,885
  38. Ljubicic, Ivan                         $10,169,964
  39. Woodbridge, Todd                       $10,095,245
  40. Krajicek, Richard                      $10,077,425
  41. Santoro, Fabrice                       $10,021,132
  42. Ferreira, Wayne                         $9,969,617
  43. Rios, Marcelo                           $9,713,771
  44. Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried                     $9,686,586
  45. Youzhny, Mikhail                        $9,515,876
  46. Del Potro, Juan Martin                  $9,225,549
  47. Robredo, Tommy                          $9,224,246
  48. Bryan, Bob                              $9,027,763
  49. Rusedski, Greg                          $8,944,841
  50. Gonzalez, Fernando                      $8,862,276
  51. Verdasco, Fernando                      $8,815,199
  52. Bryan, Mike                             $8,798,840
  53. Connors, Jimmy                          $8,641,040
  54. Woodforde, Mark                         $8,571,605
  55. Stepanek, Radek                         $8,267,836
  56. Martin, Todd                            $8,254,455
  57. Grosjean, Sebastien                     $8,131,803
  58. Wilander, Mats                          $7,976,256
  59. Haarhuis, Paul                          $7,751,962
  60. Costa, Albert                           $7,685,228
  61. Novak, Jiri                             $7,618,613
  62. Melzer, Jurgen                          $7,526,571
  63. Kiefer, Nicolas                         $7,480,465
  64. Blake, James                            $7,458,014
  65. Schuettler, Rainer                      $7,407,508
  66. Llodra, Michael                         $7,228,929
  67. Johansson, Thomas                       $7,168,029
  68. Clement, Arnaud                         $7,125,228
  69. Hrbaty, Dominik                         $7,069,399
  70. Knowles, Mark                           $7,039,565
  71. Philippoussis, Mark                     $6,985,202
  72. Pioline, Cedric                         $6,921,029
  73. Fish, Mardy                             $6,912,141
  74. Paes, Leander                           $6,883,021
  75. Almagro, Nicolas                        $6,814,714
  76. Rosset, Marc                            $6,812,693
  77. Lopez, Feliciano                        $6,778,404
  78. Medvedev, Andrei                        $6,721,560
  79. Chela, Juan Ignacio                     $6,572,494
  80. Gasquet, Richard                        $6,494,296
  81. Lapentti, Nicolas                       $6,313,898
  82. Simon, Gilles                           $6,298,424
  83. Monfils, Gael                           $6,252,709
  84. Zimonjic, Nenad                         $6,160,363
  85. Bhupathi, Mahesh                        $6,067,173
  86. Gaudio, Gaston                          $6,066,156
  87. Coria, Guillermo                        $5,915,620
  88. Hlasek, Jakob                           $5,895,293
  89. Larsson, Magnus                         $5,839,451
  90. Nieminen, Jarkko                        $5,789,378
  91. Damm, Martin                            $5,735,972
  92. Forget, Guy                             $5,669,934
  93. Gilbert, Brad                           $5,509,060
  94. Wawrinka, Stanislas                     $5,482,975
  95. Tipsarevic, Janko                       $5,423,437
  96. Jarryd, Anders                          $5,378,067
  97. Sanchez, Emilio                         $5,339,395
  98. Mantilla, Felix                         $5,332,214
  99. Canas, Guillermo                        $5,285,575
 100. Wheaton, David                          $5,238,401

June 2012 UPDATE: Nadal surpasses $50 million mark; Ferrer in top 20

Two Spaniards performing really well in this year’s French Open at Roland Garros reached men’s prize money ranking milestones .World no. 2 Rafael Nadal won a record 7th title and broke the $50 million mark in career prize money earnings. He trails Roger Federer by more than $20 million as the Swiss legend stayed at the top of the list extending his record earnings to beyond $70 million. Spanish no. 2 player, David Ferrer, a semi-finalist at the French Open broke into the top 20 with total earnings of $14.3 million. Janko Tipsaveric, the world no. 8 also broke into the top 100 earners list with career prize money of $5.4 million.
Top 20 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: June 25, 2012

 

 Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
   1. Federer, Roger                         $71,126,377
   2. Nadal, Rafael                          $50,025,798
   3. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
   4. Djokovic, Novak                        $37,672,100
   5. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
   6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
   7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
   8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
   9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
  10. Murray, Andy                           $20,577,701
  11. Roddick, Andy                          $20,260,081
  12. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007
  13. Hewitt, Lleyton                        $19,159,041
  14. Chang, Michael                         $19,145,632
  15. Davydenko, Nikolay                     $15,108,431
  16. Kuerten, Gustavo                       $14,807,000
  17. Bjorkman, Jonas                        $14,600,323
  18. Safin, Marat                           $14,373,291
  19. Ferrer, David                          $14,266,869
  20. Courier, Jim                           $14,034,132

05/12 Update: By virtue of reaching the finals of the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, Roger Federer’s record career prize money has now exceeded $70 million dollars.

May 2012 UPDATE: Federer almost at $70 million mark; Murray in top 10

World #3 Roger Federer is almost at the $70 million mark with his current record earnings of $69,746,521. Federer did not play for the whole month of April but he’s entered in money-rich tennis tournaments in Madrid and Rome in the next two weeks. The Swiss simply needs to live up to his seeding in both tournaments to attain the $70 million milestone.

World #2 Rafael Nadal won the most prize money in the month of April earning almost $1 million by winning Monte-Carlo and Barcelona in back-to-back weeks. He remains in second place almost $22 million behind Federer. In perspective, the gap between Federer and Nadal is more than the career prize money of Ivan Lendl who is #8 in the list.

Andy Murray moved into the top 10 of the career prize money leaders list overtaking former American world no. 1 Andy Roddick. Murray is the only player in the top 10 who was never ranked as world no. 1 and who has not won multiple Grand Slams. Other players achieving milestones in the list are Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka who entered the top 100 at #98 and Argentine Juan Martin del Potro who is now ranked #50.
Top 20 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: May 7, 2012

Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
1. Federer, Roger                         $69,746,521
2. Nadal, Rafael                          $47,789,103
3. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
4. Djokovic, Novak                        $36,501,649
5. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
10. Murray, Andy                           $20,338,013
11. Roddick, Andy                          $20,228,866
12. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007
13. Chang, Michael                         $19,145,632
14. Hewitt, Lleyton                        $19,130,483
15. Davydenko, Nikolay                     $15,022,374
16. Kuerten, Gustavo                       $14,807,000
17. Bjorkman, Jonas                        $14,600,323
18. Safin, Marat                           $14,373,291
19. Courier, Jim                           $14,034,132
20. Ferrero, Juan Carlos                   $13,842,063

April 2012 UPDATE: Federer may be 1 or 2 tournaments away from $70 million; Murray reaches $20 million mark

World #3 Roger Federer is getting closer to the $70 million mark with his current record earnings of $69,746,521 as of April 2, 2012. He could have reached this milestone by reaching the finals of the Miami 2012 tennis tournament but he was an upset victim to former world #1 in the third round. Sony Ericsson Open champion and world #1 Novak Djokovic surpassed $36 million in career prize money earnings. He remains at the fourth spot behind Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Pete Sampras.

Andy Murray reached the $20 million mark by reaching the finals of the Miami 2012 tennis tournament. He is close to entering the top 10 as he trails current #10 Andy Roddick by “just” $28,000. Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is set to displace American legend Jimmy Connors from the top 50 as he moves up to #51, less than $50,000 away from the #50 spot. Meanwhile, Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka is the next active player set to enter the top 100 list of prize money leaders. He is currently ranked #102, $35,000 away from current #100 Sjeng Schalken.
Top 20 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: April 2, 2012

Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
1. Federer, Roger                         $69,746,521
2. Nadal, Rafael                          $46,789,842
3. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
4. Djokovic, Novak                        $36,206,641
5. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
10. Roddick, Andy                          $20,228,866
11. Murray, Andy                           $20,200,873
12. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007
13. Chang, Michael                         $19,145,632
14. Hewitt, Lleyton                        $19,130,483
15. Davydenko, Nikolay                     $15,016,970
16. Kuerten, Gustavo                       $14,807,000
17. Bjorkman, Jonas                        $14,600,323
18. Safin, Marat                           $14,373,291
19. Courier, Jim                           $14,034,132
20. Ferrero, Juan Carlos                   $13,842,063

March 2012 UPDATE: Federer’s prize money earnings approaching $70 million

While Novak Djokovic added almost $2.4 million to his career prize money earnings by winning the Australian Open 2012, the next major milestone in terms of tennis career prize money is going to be broken by Roger Federer within this year. The 16-time grand slam champion holds the record for most tennis prize money earnings with $ $67,930,818 and barring any sudden retirement, is most likely going to break that record even before his favorite tournament – Wimbledon – starts this year. Federer is currently $21 million ahead of the #2 person in the list, Rafael Nadal, who has won $46.3 million to date. To put that in perspective, only either male tennis players have won more than $21 million.

Of the top men’s tennis prize money earners, all those in the top 10 list are both Grand Slam winners and have achieved the #1 ranking. That is about to change this year as Andy Murray is set to break into the top 10 list. Murray has neither won a Grand Slam nor achieved the world #1 ranking, but he is less than $500,000 away from the top 10 list. He is currently #12 with $19.7 million and the current #10 in the list is Andy Roddick with $20.1 million.

In the top 100, 40 players have earned more than $10 million during the span of their tennis careers. The latest addition is doubles specialist Daniel Nestor who sailed past the $10 million mark with the $72,000 he earned at the recent Australian Open 2012 doubles tournament. At #50 in the list is recent Australian Open 2012 singles quarterfinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who has earned $8.6 million. Rounding the top 100 is retired Dutch player Sjeng Schalken who has earned $5.2 million. Candidates to enter the top 100 men’s tennis prize money leaders list are active players Stanislas Wawrinka (#103), Marcos Baghdatis (#109), Philipp Kohlschreiber (#111), and Janko Tipsaveric (#112).
Top 20 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: March 2, 2012

 

 Rnk  Player                                 TotalEarnings
   1. Federer, Roger                         $68,314,141
   2. Nadal, Rafael                          $46,300,862
   3. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
   4. Djokovic, Novak                        $35,255,670
   5. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
   6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
   7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
   8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
   9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
  10. Roddick, Andy                          $20,146,069
  11. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007
  12. Murray, Andy                           $19,674,559
  13. Chang, Michael                         $19,145,632
  14. Hewitt, Lleyton                        $19,130,483
  15. Davydenko, Nikolay                     $14,969,324
  16. Kuerten, Gustavo                       $14,807,000
  17. Bjorkman, Jonas                        $14,600,323
  18. Safin, Marat                           $14,373,291
  19. Courier, Jim                           $14,034,132
  20. Ferrero, Juan Carlos                   $13,834,033

JANUARY 2012 UPDATE: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic vying for AUS$2.3 million Australian Open 2012 prize money

January 29,2012 Update: Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal to win the AUS$2.3 million Australian Open 2012 prize money for the men’s singles champion. Nadal wins AUS$1.15 million for being the runner-up.

January 16,2012 Update: Roger Federer will be attempting to add the top prize of AUS$2.30 million to his record haul of $67.5 million dollars at the Australian Open 2012 grand slam. Federer is at the very top of the men’s tennis career prize money leaders list. He will be joined in the hunt by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both players are both in the top 5 of men’s tennis career prize money leaders list. Nadal has earnings of $45.1 million and is ranked #2, while Djokovic has earnings of $32.9 million and is ranked #4. Andy Roddick is the other top 10 in the list entered in the Australian Open 2012 singles draw. He has earnings of $20.1 million and is ranked #10. The next highest earner in the draw is former Australian #1 Lleyton Hewitt. He has earnings of $19 million and is ranked at #14.
Top 50 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: January 16, 2012

Rnk Player Total Earnings

1. Federer, Roger $67,479,965
2. Nadal, Rafael $45,114,407
3. Sampras, Pete $43,280,489
4. Djokovic, Novak $32,882,760
5. Agassi, Andre $31,152,975
6. Becker, Boris $25,080,956
7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny $23,883,797
8. Lendl, Ivan $21,262,417
9. Edberg, Stefan $20,630,941
10. Roddick, Andy $20,088,103

AUGUST 2011 UPDATE: Djokovic in Top 5 of Prize Money Leaders

World #1 and current Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia continues to move up the ATP Tour Career Prize Money Leaders list. Based on the list released on August 15, 2011, Djokovic is now at #5 with $28.3 million. He trails current #4 Andre Agassi by less than $3 million – a deficit he can make up within the year if he does well in the US Open and the ATP World Championships in December. 16-time grand slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland continues to lead the list with $63.6 million. American legend Pete Sampras is a distant #2 with $43.3 but he’ll most likely be overtaken by Spain’s Rafael Nadal after the US Open next month. Nadal is at #3 and trails Sampras by less than a million dollars with $42.7M.

Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia is the highest ranked player in the list never to have achieved the #1 ranking. He is at #10 with $19.8M. Andy Murray of the United Kingdom is the highest earning player without a singles grand slam championship. He is at #14 with $16.5M. Other active players in the top 20 list include Andy Roddick of the USA – #11 ($19.6M), Lleyton Hewitt of Australia – #13 ($19.0M), Nikolay Davydenko of Russia – #16 (14.6M), and Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain – #20 ($13.5M).

Only 9 players have won more than $20 million in prize money with Andy Roddick expected to join the list this year. The American needs less than $400,000 to join the list and when he earns that much, he will move up one spot into #10 bumping Ivansevic out of the Top 10 and ensuring that all those in the Top 10 prize money earners list have been ranked #1.

Doubles specialist Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden (#17 – $14.6M) and Nikolay Davydenko are the only players in the Top 20 earners list not to have reached a singles grand slam final. Bjorkman has won 6 singles titles and 54 doubles titles including multiple Grand Slam championships. He reached a career high ranking of #4 in singles while Davydenko has been a mainstay in the top 10 from 2004 to 2009 years, peaking at #3 in the world in 2006. The Russian has 21 singles career titles.

Top 100 Men’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders

Source: www.atpworldtour.com

Date: August 15, 2011

Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
1. Federer, Roger                         $63,594,558
2. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
3. Nadal, Rafael                          $42,665,252
4. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
5. Djokovic, Novak                        $28,326,475
6. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
7. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
10. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007

FEB 2011 UPDATE: Djokovic moves up

2011 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia moves up the ATP Tour Career Prize Money Leaders list to #7 with his earnings totaling $22.5 million. The Serb is the highest earning tennis player who has never reached the #1 ranking. At the top of the list is 16-time grand slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland with $61.7 million. Far behind in second place is American legend Pete Sampras with $43.3 million, while top-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain occupies the 3rd spot with $37.7 million. American Andre Agassi is #4 with $31.2 million while Boris Becker of Germany is #5 with $25.1 million.

Other active players in the top 20 men’s tennis players with the most prize money earned are Andy Roddick of the US (#11 – $19.2 million), Lleyton Hewitt of Australia (#13 – $18.9 million), Andy Murray of the UK (#14 – 15.1 million), and Nikolay Davydenko of Russian (#18 – 14.3 million). Murray is the top earner amongst men’s tennis players who has not won a singles grand slam title. Roddick is expected to enter the top 10 if he earns around $719 thousand this year. He will displace current #10 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia who has $19.9 million in earnings.

The difference between the top two earners – Federer and Sampras – is a staggering $18.4 million. This difference is more than what Murray – the #14 player in the list has earned in his entire career. Nadal is likely to overtake Sampras in second place as he needs to win “only” $5.6 million more. On the other hand, Djokovic will need to earn $8.7 million more to overtake Becker for the #5 spot.

35 players has so far earned $10 million or more in men’s tennis with David Ferrer of Spain reaching the milestone this year. Recently retired Tommy Haas of Germany didn’t make this list – he is $20K short with $9.98 million in earnings. Robin Soderling of Sweden is most likely the next member of the $10 million dollar club. He is currently at #40 with $9.3 million in total earnings.

Rnk  Player                                 Total Earnings
1. Federer, Roger                         $61,657,232
2. Sampras, Pete                          $43,280,489
3. Nadal, Rafael                          $37,684,949
4. Agassi, Andre                          $31,152,975
5. Becker, Boris                          $25,080,956
6. Kafelnikov, Yevgeny                    $23,883,797
7. Djokovic, Novak                        $22,462,296
8. Lendl, Ivan                            $21,262,417
9. Edberg, Stefan                         $20,630,941
10. Ivanisevic, Goran                      $19,878,007

The top 100 men’s tennis career prize money leaders list is from the ATP TOUR website.

Google: Top 10 Most Searched Women Tennis Players for 2010

A woman tennis player currently ranked #165 in the tennis rankings is the most searched woman tennis player in 2010 based on Google search volume index. Sania Mirza, India’s most famous sportswoman, beat out more accomplished tennis players such as 13-time Grand Slam titlist Serena Williams, WTA player of the year Kim Clijsters, and world #1 Caroline Wozniacki. Mirza was heavily searched during her April marriage to Shoaib Malik, the former Pakistan cricket captain, and the tumultuous build-up to the event. Pakistan, India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Poland were the top 5 countries where Mirza was searched.

 

Last year’s most search woman tennis player, Serena Williams is in second spot behind Mirza. The former world #1 player barely played this year, but her searches peaked in January and July – when she won her 12th and 13th Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, respectively. Williams has not played a WTA tournament since Wimbledon due to a knee injury and has just announced recently that she will not defend her Australian Open title in Melbourne this coming January. Top countries searching for Serena Williams are India, United States, Australia, Belgium, and Canada.

3-time Grand Slam champion and advertising star Maria Sharapova is the third most search tennis player. Peak searches for Sharapova were during her Australian Open campaign (lost in the first round to Maria Kirilenko), her US Open campaign (lost to Wozniacki in fourth round), and her October
engagement to basketball player Sasha Vujacic. Top countries searching for Sharapova are Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Morocco, and Malaysia.

World #4 and 7-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and tennis glamour girl Anna Kournikova are the fourth and fifth most searched women tennis players. Venus was most searched in South Africa, the United States and Australia while Kournikova was most searched in India, Finland and Australia. Rounding out the top 10 most searched women tennis players are former #1 Ana Ivanovic (#6), current world #1 Caroline Wozniacki (#7), Chinese player Na Li (#8), WTA player of the year and US Open champion Kim Clijsters (#9), and WTA comeback player of the year Justine Henin (#10).

Top 10 Most Searched Women Tennis Players for 2010
Rank – Tennis Player – Google Search Volume Index relative to Mirza

1 Sania Mirza           1.00
2 Serena Williams       0.75
3 Maria Sharapova       0.55
4 Venus Williams        0.50
5 Anna Kournikova       0.40
6 Ana Ivanovic          0.35
7 Caroline Wozniacki    0.30
8 Na Li                 0.20
9 Kim Clijsters         0.15
10 Justine Henin         0.15

WTA Women’s Tennis Career Prize Money Leaders – 02/01/2010

World #1 and 12-time major winner Serena Williams pushed her record earnings beyond $30 million dollars by winning the Australian Open 2010 singles title and pairing up with sister Venus to win the women’s doubles title as well. Justine Henin of Belgium, who lost to Serena in the singles championship match in Melbourne has broken the $20 million dollar mark and moved past Martina Hingis to #6 in the all-time WTA women’s tennis career prize earnings list. Venus Williams remains at #2 in the list with $25.4 million, while other active players in the top 20 include Kim Clijsters (#9), Svetalana Kuznetsova (#12), Maria Sharapova (#13), Elena Dementieva (#14), Dinara Safina (#18), and Jelena Jankovic (#20).

The list below includes the top 50 WTA women’s tennis career prize money leaders. Earnings specified combine singles and doubles earnings, and is current as of February 1, 2010.

1 WILLIAMS, SERENA                     $30,491,460
2 WILLIAMS, VENUS                      $25,420,036
3 DAVENPORT, LINDSAY                   $22,144,735
4 GRAF, STEFFI                         $21,895,277
5 NAVRATILOVA, MARTINA                 $21,626,089
6 HENIN, JUSTINE                       $20,352,606
7 HINGIS, MARTINA                      $20,130,657
8 SANCHEZ-VICARIO, ARANTXA             $16,942,640
9 CLIJSTERS, KIM                       $16,477,052
10 MAURESMO, AMELIE                    $15,022,476
11 SELES, MONICA                       $14,891,762
12 KUZNETSOVA, SVETLANA                $13,892,894
13 SHARAPOVA, MARIA                    $13,109,099
14 DEMENTIEVA, ELENA                   $13,095,414
15 MARTINEZ, CONCHITA                  $11,527,977
16 NOVOTNA, JANA                       $11,249,284
17 CAPRIATI, JENNIFER                  $10,206,639
18 SAFINA, DINARA                      $9,858,126
19 PIERCE, MARY                        $9,793,119
20 JANKOVIC, JELENA                    $9,487,221
21 EVERT, CHRIS                        $8,896,195
22 SABATINI, GABRIELA                  $8,785,850
23 SUGIYAMA, AI                        $8,128,126
24 PETROVA, NADIA                      $8,090,412
25 RAYMOND, LISA                       $8,037,645
26 SCHNYDER, PATTY                     $8,002,702
27 ZVEREVA, NATASHA                    $7,792,503
28 IVANOVIC, ANA                       $7,235,889
29 ZVONAREVA, VERA                     $6,727,321
30 HANTUCHOVA, DANIELA                 $6,725,110
31 TAUZIAT, NATHALIE                   $6,650,093
32 SUKOVA, HELENA                      $6,391,245
33 LIKHOVTSEVA, ELENA                  $6,237,556
34 BLACK, CARA                         $6,215,870
35 RUANO PASCUAL VIRGINIA              $6,014,076
36 MYSKINA, ANASTASIA                  $5,606,725
37 COETZER, AMANDA                     $5,594,821
38 SHRIVER, PAM                        $5,460,566
39 FERNANDEZ, MARY JOE                 $5,258,471
40 SUAREZ, PAOLA                       $5,134,870
41 STUBBS, RENNAE                      $4,865,093
42 HUBER, ANKE                         $4,768,292
43 SCHIAVONE, FRANCESCA                $4,704,193
44 FERNANDEZ, GIGI                     $4,681,906
45 GARRISON, ZINA                      $4,590,816
46 RUBIN, CHANDA                       $4,470,180
47 MAJOLI, IVA                         $4,405,867
48 MALEEVA, MAGDALENA                  $4,398,582
49 STOSUR, SAMANTHA                    $4,397,723
50 DECHY, NATHALIE                     $4,281,064

Decade’s Greatest Women Tennis Players; 2000 – 2009

Yahoo’s tennis blog – Busted Racquet – came out with a list of the top 10 women’s tennis players this decade. The ranking methodology was not released – I can say that it was somehow based on incorrect information (Venus didn’t win just 5 grand slams) and looks to me that it was dictated more by the blogger’s recent memory and subjectivity than taking the accomplishments of the players for the whole decade. True enough, dozens of readers lambasted the list.

So, I decided to make my own list. As a tennis fan, I have my own biases. To be objective, I decided to come out with a 2-step process to determine how I would rank the players. The first step is to use raw data for greatness and be able to categorize the players. After the players have been categorized, I can further rank the players within the category. My goal is to come out with a list of 10 players that would represent the greatest women’s tennis players for the years of 2000 – 2009.

The two measures for greatness I used are: tennis rankings and grand slam performance. These two factors are measurable and objective. Tennis rankings indicate how well a player compares to her peers at any given time, based on a criteria determined by the WTA. (Yes, it’s not perfect, but it is a good gauge of consistency and performance). Grand slam results gauge how well a player performs in the biggest arenas of tennis.

In the first step – the following factors were used: # of Grand Slams wons, the number of Grand Slam finals reached, the ability to reach the #1 ranking, ending the year as #1, and the length of stay in the top spot.

There were 19 ladies who contested the 40 grand slam finals in the decade. To be considered amongst the greatest tennis players, the minimum criterion is to reach at least 1 grand slam final. For ranking purposes, I used 1 point for a Grand Slam Championship and 1/3 point for a runner-up finish. This resulted in some rather interesting results. Kim Clijsters with 2 grand slams and 6 finals appearances earned the same points as Maria Sharapova who had 2 grand slams and 4 finals appearances. Svetlana Kuznetsova had more points with 2 grand slams in 4 finals contested as compared to Lindsay Davenport with 1 grand slam in 5 finals contested. Using this point allocation, the top grand slam performers this decade are:

Rank Player Won Finals GS Points
1 S Williams 10 3 11.00
2 V Williams 7 6 9.00
3 J Henin 7 4 8.33
4 K Clijsters 2 4 3.33
4 M Sharapova 3 1 3.33
5 J Capriati 3 3.00
6 S Kuznetsova 2 2 2.67
7 L Davenport 1 4 2.33
8 A Mauresmo 2 2.00
9 A Ivanovic 1 2 1.67
10 M Pierce 1 2 1.67
11 M Hingis 3 1.00
12 D Safina 3 1.00
12 A Myskina 1 1.00
14 E Dementieva 2 0.67
15 J Jankovic 1 0.33
15 M Bartoli 1 0.33
15 C Wozniacki 1 0.33
15 C Martinez 1 0.33

Next, the data on the weeks a player spent at #1 was analyzed. I counted weeks spent from June 2000 – Dec 2009 only since the rankings before June 2000 were calculated based on a majority of results from 1999. Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis are impacted on this adjustment as they swapped the top spot 4 times before June 2000. For point allocation, I divided the weeks a player spent at number 1 by the number of weeks in a year – 365.25 / 7 to be exact. This means that about 52 weeks spent at number 1 would equate to one point, or 1 Grand Slam. See column in table below called Rnk A.

To add more weight to the ranking, the ability of reaching the #1 spot is given another point. This gave advantage to Safina, Jankovic, and Hingis while penalizing Kuznetsova. See column in table marked as Rnk B.

I further gave an additional 1/3 point for every year a player finished in the top spot. This gave extra points to Jelena Jankovic which I really don’t agree with, plus it allowed Lindsay Davenport to have more points than Serena Williams even with lesser weeks spent at #1. See column in table marked as Rnk C.

Here are the top performers based on the rankings:

Rank Player Weeks @ #1 Rnk A Rnk B Rnk C Total Rnk Points
1 J Henin 117 2.24 1.00 1.00 4.24
2 L Davenport 70 1.34 1.00 1.00 3.34
3 S Williams 84 1.61 1.00 0.67 3.28
4 M Hingis 70 1.34 1.00 0.33 2.67
5 A Mauresmo 39 0.75 1.00 1.75
6 J Jankovic 18 0.34 1.00 0.33 1.68
7 D Safina 26 0.50 1.00 1.50
8 K Clijsters 19 0.36 1.00 1.36
9 M Sharapova 17 0.33 1.00 1.33
9 J Capriati 17 0.33 1.00 1.33
11 A Ivanovic 12 0.23 1.00 1.23
12 V Williams 11 0.21 1.00 1.21

By adding the points together, I was able to see a good picture how players can be categorized.

Player GS Points Rnk Points Total Pts Category
S Williams 11.00 3.28 14.28 A
J Henin 8.33 4.24 12.57 A
V Williams 9.00 1.21 10.21 B
L Davenport 2.33 3.34 5.67 C
K Clijsters 3.33 1.36 4.69 C
M Sharapova 3.33 1.33 4.66 C
J Capriati 3.00 1.33 4.33 C
A Mauresmo 2.00 1.75 3.75 C
M Hingis 1.00 2.67 3.67 D
A Ivanovic 1.67 1.23 2.90 D
S Kuznetsova 2.67 0.00 2.67 D
D Safina 1.00 1.50 2.50 D
J Jankovic 0.33 1.68 2.01 D
M Pierce 1.67 0.00 1.67 D
A Myskina 1.00 0.00 1.00
E Dementieva 0.67 0.00 0.67
M Bartoli 0.33 0.00 0.33
C Wozniacki 0.33 0.00 0.33
C Martinez 0.33 0.00 0.33

I separated the top 2 players, Serena Williams and Justine Henin away from the rest as they were within 2 points of each other, but more than 2 points from the next player. Note that in the point allocation, 1 Grand Slam is 1 point. Venus Williams with 10.21 points had her own category. There were 5 other players in the next category and this included Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati, and Amelie Mauresmo. The next category was composed of Martina Hingis, Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dinara Safina,  Jelena Jankovic and Mary Pierce.

I made a distinction between Hingis and Mauresmo since Mauresmo won 2 grand slams and Hingis didn’t win anything. To me, that was enough to categorize differently. Hingis is an unusual case because she spent a relatively long time in the number 1 position despite not having won a grand slam for the full 10 years. I am only going for the top 10 greatest of the decade so at this point, I will eliminate Myskina, Dementieva and the rest who had less than or equal to 1 point.

Based on the four categories, I identified common points to validate my initial classification of the players. Now comes the second step and fun part – within a category, I will have to rank the players to come out with my top 10 greatest list.

Category A:
– At least 80 weeks as #1
– At least 7 Grand Slams won on 3 different surfaces
– At least 2 year-end #1 rankings
– Players: Serena Williams, Justine Henin

The two rivals are way ahead of the other great players for the decade. Henin has the edge over Serena in terms of weeks spent at #1. Serena however, won all 4 grand slams and is in very rare company by winning the “Serena Slam” – she was the only one to do this within this period. Add that to the fact that Serena won 3 more grand slams than her rival. Serena’s grand slam performance lead over Henin is far more significant than the latter’s advantage in the rankings. Justine Henin is my #2 greatest player for the decade. Serena Williams is #1.

Category 2:
– Reached #1
– At least 5 Grand Slams won and at least 1 appearance in all 4 different grand slam finals
– At least 3 year-end top 5 ranking and 7 year-end top 10 ranking
– Player: Venus Williams

The older Williams did match Henin in terms of grand slams won but lagged behind the two top players in terms of staying at the top spot. Her 4 majors lead over the next highest achiever puts her in a class of her own. Venus Wiliams takes the #3 spot.

Category 3 :
– Reached #1
– At least 2 Grand Slams won OR 1 Grand Slam won and appearance in at least 3 different grand slam finals
– At least 2 year-end top 5 ranking and 4 year-end top 10 ranking
– Players: L Davenport, K Clijsters, M Sharapova, J Capriati, A Mauresmo

This bunch is so close to each other. There is also a significant gap within the group between best Grand Slam performers – 3 wins against 1 win; and longest stay at #1. To compare this group, I had to be able to compare them on one level. With regards to grand slam performance, Sharapova won 3 / 4 finals. Capriati won 3 / 3. Clijsters won 2 / 6. Mauresmo won 2 / 2. Davenport won just 1 / 4.

To be able to compare, I had to find a way to convert finals reached to majors. I equated 3 finals reached to 1 major. I believe this is a conservative estimate. When it comes to actual ranking points, just 2 finals would be greater than 1 major win. (And that’s why Safina was #1 for most of 2009). If we convert the finals reached to majors using the above conversion –

3 majors won or equivalent: Sharapova, Capriati, Clijsters, Davenport
2 majors won: Mauresmo

With regards to weeks stay at #1, Davenport leads the group with 70 weeks at the top. Mauresmo had 39 weeks. Clijsters had 19. Capriati and Sharapova had 17 weeks each. If we equate 39 weeks of stay at #1 to 1 major, Mauresmo would have 1 more major; Davenport 2 more majors; Sharapova, Clijsters and Capriati have 0.5 majors each.

At this point, here are the standings within the group:

5.0 majors won or equivalent: Davenport
3.5 majors won or equivalent: Capriati, Clijsters, Sharapova
3.0 majors won or equivalent: Mauresmo

I will now include a new factor within the group to help me decide on my rankings. This factor is the number of years with a year-end rank within the top 2; and within the top 5.

Davenport Clijsters Sharapova Capriati Mauresmo
Year end Top2 4 2 1 1 1
Year end Top5 5 5 4 2 4

Much as I’m hesitant to give the top spot for this group to Davenport, especially since she won just 1 actual major, the indicators point to her deserving it. Of the 4 years she ended a year as amongst the top 2 players; she was #1 3 times. I put a very high value to this since amongst the top players, it was matched only by Justine Henin. It was a rare accomplishment. Compare this to winning 3 grand slams that was done by 5 top players. I confidently give my #4 greatest player of the decade nod to Lindsay Davenport.

Who will round out the top 5? The next two players based on the above indicators are Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. Clijsters has a slight lead in terms of consistency and impact – finishing a year twice as #2 (2003 and 2005); compared to just one for Sharapova (2006). Sharapova however lifted titles at 3 different majors – Australian, Wimbledon and US Open. I put more value to this than Clijster’s 2 majors – both won at the US Open. Maria Sharapova is my #5 greatest, and Kim Clijsters get to be #6.

Mauresmo and Capriati are next. Capriati has an edge in winning 2 Australian Open majors and 1 French Open. Mauresmo won 1 Australian Open and 1 Wimbledon. Mauresmo had more impact though – finishing in the top 5 from 2003 to 2006. Capriati finished in the top 5 on 2 years – 2001 and 2002. Mauresmo also finished in the top 10 for 6 years during the decade as compared to 4 years for Capriati. Amelie Mauresmo gets in my list as #7 greatest. Jennifer Capriati is #8.

Now, I have 2 more slots to fill. The next category has 6 players, but since I needed only 2, I raised the bar a bit.

Category 4:
– Reached #1 or at least 1 Grand Slam won
– At least 3 Grand Slam Finals reached
– At least 2 year end top 5 rankings
– Players: M Hingis, A Ivanovic, S Kuznetsova, D Safina

At this point, Jelena Jankovic and Mary Pierce are dropped from being considered in my Top 10 greatest list. Jankovic may have reached the #1 spot but she only has 1 major final to her name. Mary Pierce, despite 1 major and 2 other finals was in the top 5 for only 1 year in the whole decade and never reached the top spot. As we are talking best of the best in the decade, a player must really meet a particular criterion to be included.

From those remaining, Ivanovic reached 3 major finals, won at least one, and held the top spot as well. She’s definitely a deserving candidate to be in the top 10. Hingis was year-end #1 for 2000 but hasn’t won any major title in the past decade. Her 2006 comeback and 2nd retirement doesn’t impact my selection process. Kuznetsova reached 4 finals and won 2. But her biggest accomplishment that puts her above the others in this group is finishing in the top 5 for 4 years (2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009). She didn’t however reach the top spot but finished a year at #2. Safina is the weakest in the group with 3 major finals, a controversial #1 ranking and no grand slam title to her name. She did finish the past 2 years within the top 3 in the world. At least, she was considered. For my #9 greatest player, I pick Svetlana Kuznetsova. My #10 pick is Ana Ivanovic. (If I would ever make a top 10 list for 1990-1999, Hingis is a shoo-in.)

I’m now very tired and sleepy and I didn’t expect this selection process to take so much energy out of me. Before I log off for the night, here’s a recap my top 10 list:

#1. Serena Williams
#2. Justine Henin
#3. Venus Williams
#4. Lindsay Davenport
#5. Maria Sharapova
#6. Kim Clijsters
#7. Amelie Mauresmo
#8. Jennifer Capriati
#9. Svetlana Kuznetsova
#10. Ana Ivanovic

Some comments on my final list:
– Serena, Justine and Venus won 24 of 40 grand slam titles between them.
– Separating Davenport, Sharapova, and Clijsters was the hardest.
– Two members of the top 3 come from one family.
– 2 continents and 3 countries were represented in the top 5.
– Americans outnumber Russians in the top 10; 4 to 2.
– Only 1 player in the top 10 has retired, and it’s not Jennifer Capriati.

Now, I’ll wait for another day before ranking the men. Who will I select behind Federer and Nadal? Where will Marat Safin rank? How about American legends Agassi and Sampras?

Decade’s Greatest Men Tennis Players; 2000 – 2009

I had a lot of fun deciding my greatest list for the women in terms of the past decade’s performance. For the men, I knew that Roger Federer would come in first; and that Rafael Nadal would come in second. I didn’t know who would be ranked behind them. And, I was curious to find out where recently retired Marat Safin would place. As with the women, I used a two step process to classify the players. In the first step, performance at Grand Slams were taken into consideration along with ability to reach #1, staying power at the top spot, and a bonus was added for players who ended the year as #1.

After the first step, I would group players together and go into the details to decide their final rank. For grand slam performance, I used 1 point for a grand slam won, and 1/3 point for 1 major final reached. After putting the data in a table – I gawked at what Federer accomplished. His major wins for the decade equals the total major wins of the next 5 players in the list! With the point allocation, Roddick with 1 major and 4 other finals got more points than Kuerten who won 2 majors but didn’t reach any other final.

Here are the top performers of the decade based on grand slam performance:

Rank Player Slams Finals GS Points
1 R Federer 15 6 17.00
2 R Nadal 6 2 6.67
3 A Agassi 3 2 3.67
4 L Hewitt 2 2 2.67
4 P Sampras 2 2 2.67
4 M Safin 2 2 2.67
7 A Roddick 1 4 2.33
8 G Kuerten 2 2.00
9 J Ferrero 1 2 1.67
10 N Djokovic 1 1 1.33
11 A Costa 1 1.00
11 G Gaudio 1 1.00
11 G Ivanisevic 1 1.00
11 J DelPotro 1 1.00
11 T Johansson 1 1.00
16 P Rafter 2 0.67

There were only 9 players who reached the top spot during the decade. As with the women, I removed the weeks spent at #1 before June 2000 since those ranking weeks include majority of results from 1999. The player most impacted by this adjustment is Agassi since he was the sole #1 at that point. the following calculation was used to allocate points:

RNK1 is calculated by dividing the weeks at #1, to the number of weeks in a year, or 365.25 / 7 to be exact. RNK 2 is 1 point added to all who reached the top ranking. RNK 3 are bonus points given for a player occupying the year end #1. 1 year as number one is given 1/3 of a point. Based on these, Hewitt outperformed Nadal. Kuerten who finished a year as #1 also ranked high. Again, Federer’s lead is incredible. Of the 500 weeks included in the calculation, Federer was in the top spot for 259 weeks or 52%. The other weeks were distributed between 8 players.

The following are the top players of the decade in terms of staying at #1.

Rank Player Wks #1 Rnk1 Rnk2 Rnk3 RnkPts
1 R Federer 259 4.96 1.00 1.67 7.63
2 L Hewitt 80 1.53 1.00 0.67 3.20
3 R Nadal 46 0.88 1.00 0.33 2.21
4 G Kuerten 43 0.82 1.00 0.33 2.15
5 A Agassi 32 0.61 1.00 1.61
6 A Roddick 13 0.25 1.00 0.33 1.58
7 P Sampras 10 0.19 1.00 1.19
8 M Safin 9 0.17 1.00 1.17
9 J Ferrero 8 0.15 1.00 1.15

By adding both the Grand Slam points and the ranking points, I was able to categorize the players into 6 groups. Based on memory alone, I could have easily assigned the #10 ranking to Djokovic but like the French, I wanted to make things more complicated. (Kidding!) I did want to give the other one-time Slam winners a chance since they may have made more impact earlier in the decade. I had to discard Patrick Rafter off my list since he didn’t win a major and didn’t reach the top spot as well.

Player GS Points RnkPts Total Points Category
R Federer 17.00 7.63 24.63 A
R Nadal 6.67 2.21 8.88 B
L Hewitt 2.67 3.20 5.87 C
A Agassi 3.67 1.61 5.28 C
G Kuerten 2.00 2.15 4.15 D
A Roddick 2.33 1.58 3.91 D
P Sampras 2.67 1.19 3.86 D
M Safin 2.67 1.17 3.84 D
J Ferrero 1.67 1.15 2.82 D
N Djokovic 1.33 0.00 1.33 E
A Costa 1.00 0.00 1.00 E
G Gaudio 1.00 0.00 1.00 E
G Ivanisevic 1.00 0.00 1.00 E
J DelPotro 1.00 0.00 1.00 E
T Johansson 1.00 0.00 1.00 E
P Rafter 0.67 0.00 0.67

Category A – my #1 pick – Roger Federer. The numbers don’t lie. Only player to have reached all 4 major finals at least 4 times each. Only player to have won all majors at least once. Established record of 237 consecutive weeks at #1 during the decade. Won 15 major titles and reached 6 other major finals. Enough said.

Category B – my #2 pick – Rafael Nadal. Could have won 2 more Wimbledon titles if not for Federer. Second best behind arguably the best player in history is a position all players save one would die for.

The only thing going against Federer is his head-to-head record against Nadal. Again, this is not his fault. I will take CNNSI’s Jon Wertheim’s take on this – had Nadal been good enough to reach the finals in other surfaces as Federer did, the head-to-head wouldn’t be that skewed in Nadal’s favor. Federer is number #1 on all surfaces other than clay. On clay, he’s #2 behind Nadal – not a bad place to be since experts are tagging Nadal as the best clay-court ever.

Category C – players who were both in the top 5 based on grand slam performance and #1 ranking. Hewitt was #2 in ranking points and #4 in grand slam points. Agassi was #5 in ranking points and #3 in grand slam points.

Hewitt vs Agassi: Agassi has the lead in grand slam performance winning 3 majors and 2 other finals. (3 Australian Open wins; 2 US Open finals). Hewitt had more variety though – 1 title each at Wimbledon and the US Open, and 2 other finals at the Australian and US Open. Hewitt also finished 2 consecutive years at #1 which was second only to Federer. Agassi is one of my favorite players but I would have to list Lleyton Hewitt as my #3 player for the decade. Andre Agassi takes the #4 spot.

Category D – reached the #1 ranking, reached at least 3 major finals and won at least 1 major title. Players in this group are Kuerten, Roddick, Sampras, Safin, and Ferrero. From the two factors used in initial classification, Ferrero ranked last within the group on both ranking points and grand slam points. I will go ahead and put Juan Carlos Ferrero as my #9 greatest player.

The other 4 players are tough to place using just the above indicators. While Sampras and Safin have a slight advantage with regards to Grand Slam performance, Kuerten had a big lead in ranking points plus a year end #1 (2000); while Roddick also had a year where he placed on the top spot (2003). At this point, all four are equal. I went ahead and looked at the year end rankings of the 4 players during the decade along with the number of titles and finals they’ve reached.

Roddick Safin Kuerten Sampras
Top 10 8 3 2 2
Top 5 3 3 2 1
Top 2 2 1 2 0
All Titles 27 14 15 3
All Finals 17 11 5 7

Based on the above table, I will have to pick Andy Roddick as my #5 greatest player. He may have won just 1 major title, but he did reach 4 other finals. He made far greater impact than the 3 other players during the decade with 8 top 10 finishes and 27 titles – these 2 stats really puts him above the others.

I’ll pick Marat Safin as my #6 greatest player. He had more impact during the decade than Kuerten and Sampras; finishing 3 years in the top 5 – 1 more year than Kuerten. His 4 grand slam finals appearances were from 2000 – 2005. Gustavo Kuerten, the top player in the first 2 years of the decade gets my #7 ranking; while tennis legend Pete Sampras will be placed at #8 in my list.

Category E – Players who won at least 1 Grand Slam title. I went ahead and did my homework but my initial gut feel was correct. Novak Djokovic deserved the #10 slot. Of those who won 1 grand slam, he was the only 1 who finished 3 years in the top 5. If not for Federer and Nadal, I would have had placed Novak Djokovic as high as #7.

Here’s my final list of the 10 greatest players for the 2000 – 2009 decade:

#10. Novak Djokovic
#9. Juan Carlos Ferrero
#8. Pete Sampras
#7. Gustavo Kuerten
#6. Marat Safin
#5. Andy Roddick
#4. Andre Agassi
#3. Lleyton Hewitt
#2. Rafael Nadal
#1. Roger Federer

Do you agree with my list? Feel free to leave a comment.