The Open Era in tennis began from 1968 allowing professional tennis players to compete with amateurs
One of the most followed games on the planet, tennis underwent a radical change with the start of the Open Era.
The Open Era is the current era of tennis, starting from 1968 when the Grand Slam tournaments allowed professional tennis players to compete with amateurs.
This was something that the sport lacked since the dawn of the game in the 19th century. The arrival of the Open Era ended the division that had pre-existed in the sport, giving it a new and better look.
The first event of the Open Era was the 1968 British Hardcourt Championships held in April, followed by the first Open Era Grand Slam event – the French Open the very next month.
Now let’s take a brief look at the top-five men’s Grand Slam winners from the Open Era.
1. Roger Federer (20)
Hailed as one of the greatest of all time, Roger Federer has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles since turning professional in 1998.
At present, the Swiss star leads the list of most Grand Slam wins by a male player in the Open Era. Despite turning 38, Federer is still going strong and won his last Grand Slam title at the 2018 Australian Open.
Federer won the bulk of his trophies between 2004 and 2009 when he dominated the men’s tennis scene. At this point he won as many as 15 Majors, earning himself the tag as one of the best in the business.
2. Rafael Nadal (19)
Following Federer closely behind is 33-year-old Rafael Nadal, who is just one title short of the Swiss maestro.
Known as the ‘King of Clay’, Nadal won the majority of his Grand Slams at the French Open clay court.
Of his 19 Grand Slam titles, 12 were won in the Major event held in Paris. The Spaniard last won a Grand Slam at the 2019 US Open. He achieved the rare feat of becoming the youngest male player in Open Era to win a Career Slam in 2010 at the age of 24.
3. Novak Djokovic (17)
Current World No.1 Novak Djokovic is third in the list with 17 Grand Slam titles to his name.
The Serbian tennis star had a fantastic start to his year by winning the Australian Open – his record eighth title at Melbourne.
He had a superb run last year also, winning the Australian and Wimbledon titles and has been dominating the tennis scene in the past couple of years.
The 32-year-old won 16 of his overall 17 tittles after 2011 that gives a clear picture of the Serb’s dominance in the last few years.
4. Pete Sampras (14)
Before the arrival of the Big Three – Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, Pete Sampras was the lone dominant force in tennis during the 1990s.
He was the most successful men’s tennis player around, having held the world number one ranking for six consecutive years between 1993 and 1998 until the Big-Three burst into the scene.
He is fourth in the list with 14 Grand Slam titles to his name and won the highest number of titles – seven, at his favourite tournament – the Wimbledon Championships.
5. Bjorn Borg (11)
The Swedish tennis great comes fifth in the list, with 11 Grand Slam titles to his credit.
However, it should be noted that he retired at a young and ripe age of 26 due to the burnout caused by constant attention and pressure he received from the game.
A former World No.1, Borg won six French Open titles and five Wimbledon Championships respectively. However, he could never bag the US Open title despite making four final appearances or the Australian Open.
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