ATP Mount Rushmore – Which 4 players have defined men’s tennis?

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There have been countless players come into men’s tennis and dominate the sport. Here are the four players that make our ATP Mount Rushmore.

We’ve seen some incredible players in tennis. From old legends like Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall to the modern greats of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Countless players have entered the tour and dominated in their respective eras.

In this article, we’re going to create the ATP Mount Rushmore. We’ll list the four most tour-defining players from each era and why they deserve to be on this list.

NOTE: This is not the four greatest players on Tour. If that were the case, we’d have multiple players from one era make the Mount, so for the sake of fairness, we’ll be putting one player from each era on the monument. 

Let’s get started!

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Australian tennis player Rod Laver stretches to reach a ball against Tom Okker, 27 June 1971, during the Wimbledon championships. Laver won four times the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1961, 1962, 1968, and 1969. Throughout his career, he won twice the Grand Slam (Wimbledon, Melbourne, Roland Garros, Forest Hills), in 1962 and 1969. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Rod Laver

Laver was the first “era-defining player” in men’s tennis. He joined the Australian Davis Cup team in 1959 as an amateur and led them to four straight Cup victories from 1959-1962. In 1962, Laver won his first four singles championships, those being the four major tournaments, thus becoming the second man in tennis history to accomplish the feat. Open tournaments began in 1968 and Laver jumped to a hot start. He won the first Wimbledon Championship and only one year later, he completed the calendar Grand Slam for the second time.

What sets Laver apart from his main rivals in his era is his dominance and impact on the game of tennis. He was the first man to reach over $1 million in career earnings and the first man to achieve the calendar Grand Slam twice. His impact on tennis is clearly shown; the Australian Open centre court is named ‘Rod Laver Arena’ and the recently-started Laver Cup, a team-style match between Teams Europe and World, also bears his name.

Laver was the first superstar in tennis and deserves his spot on the list without a doubt.

Next: #2 - Bjorn Borg

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