Who Are Britain’s Greatest Ever Tennis Players?

February 24, 2017

- Grant Whittington

In many ways, we are spoilt in terms of quality,  male British tennis players at present. While Andy Murray may deservedly take the headlines for his sustained excellence and three Grand Slam titles, for example, players such Dan Evans and the precocious Kyle Edmund have also earned their place in the world’s top 50.

Trying to determine the best British tennis players of all time is a challenging pastime, however, thanks largely to the dearth of talent that has existed for long periods during the Open Era. The team at thought that they would try to list their top three, however, and came up with the following names…

Roger Taylor

There was a temptation to include Tim Henman here, but before him came another great hope of British tennis who failed to deliver a Grand Slam title.

Roger Taylor was arguably more gifted than Henman, however, boasting an exceptional game and capable of beating any single players on his day. Taylor, despite never progressing beyond the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event during his career, beat both Bjorn Borg and the brilliant Rod Laver at Wimbledon and was considered as a leading player at his peak.

He reached an ATP ranking peak of 11 in 1970, although he had been seeded as the world number eight before the new system was introduced.

Andy Murray

For many younger fans, the sight of the great Scot at number two will come as a huge surprise. After all, this is a player who has won two Olympic gold medals and three Grand Slam titles in the most competitive era of all-time, while he is also the favourite to win at SW19 this year according to the early Wimbledon odds.

This should not detract from Murray’s brilliance, however, nor the consistency of his achievements in an age that has featured Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (to name but three).

Now the world number one, there is the prospect of more Grand Slam titles in the future while the Scot will also harbour hopes of competing for his maiden French Open title in May this year. His record of five Australian Open defeats also suggests that he is more than capable of succeeding in Melbourne, raising the tantalising prospect of a coveted Career Slam.

Fred Perry

The legend of eight-time Slam winner Perry is the sole reason for Murray’s relegation to second place, but somehow we don’t think that the Scot will mind this perceived slight (for now, at least). After all, the man was also the last British player to win at SW19 before Murray’s 2013 triumph, while he also has the distinction of winning three consecutive Wimbledon titles as an amateur.

Sadly, the upper echelons of British society frowned on the concept of professional sport in the 1930s, forcing Perry to move to the state and become a naturalised citizen during the Second World War.

This should not detract from his incredible and sustained success, while it is also fair to note that Murray has some way to go to match his predecessor.

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