Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Top five men’s American tennis players of all time: A fan’s take
In 2011, American men are hard to find in the rankings. But the nation still has a huge tradition of tennis players in the Open Era. Many Americans have won multiple Grand Slam championships and accumulated many other honors. With the Fourth of July around the corner, it's a good time to remember some of the best American male tennis players ever.
Here are the top five:
1. Pete Sampras
Sampras never won the French Open, a fact that haunts him. But he was a dominant player in an era with a lot of tennis stars. Sampras won 14 Grand Slam titles, a record that stood until 2009. He also won Wimbledon seven times, losing only one match there between 1993 and 2000. He never lost a final there. He also played in eight U.S. Open finals, winning five of them. Sampras spent more time as the No. 1 player in the world than any other player, one week longer than Roger Federer.
2. Andre Agassi
Agassi never put together a string of dominating years the way Sampras did, but he showed the ability to remain strong over a longer period. Agassi owns eight Grand Slam titles and is one of only two players to win all four Grand Slam crowns, as well as an Olympic gold medal. Agassi's first Grand Slam win took place in 1992 and his last in 2003, a span of more than a decade. He also holds the record for wins on hard courts at Grand Slam events.
3. Jimmy Connors
Connors is even with Agassi at eight Grand Slam titles. He is also tied with Sampras and Federer with five U.S. Open championships. Connors also won Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once. He reached the semifinals at the French Open four times but never won. He played in 15 Grand Slam finals and beat his main rival John McEnroe in an epic Wimbledon final in 1982.
4. Arthur Ashe
The main stadium at the U.S. Open is named for this iconic tennis player, who passed away from AIDS. Ashe only won three Grand Slam titles, but he paved the way for many great Americans to follow. That makes him a key part of this list. His stats aren't as impressive as some of the other Americans, but he served as the bridge for Americans as the open era began in 1968.
5. John McEnroe
No American tennis player comes close to McEnroe in terms of personality, but he was also a strong player on the court. McEnroe owns seven Grand Slam titles, all coming at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. He came close to winning the French Open in 1984, but let a two-set lead slip away against Ivan Lendl. McEnroe beat Bjorn Borg three times in Grand Slam finals, including once at Wimbledon. He was as good as any contemporary player.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.