Top ten most Grand Slam tennis wins: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal but no Bjorn Borg or Billie Jean King
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Top ten most Grand Slam tennis wins: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal but no Bjorn Borg or Billie Jean King

Nov 17, 2023

A Grand Slam title is the pinnacle of a tennis player’s career with only a handful able to claim that they’ve won more than one.

Tennis is played year-round but only four annual tournaments offer stars the chance to prove themselves among the sport’s elite.

The 'Big Four' had a hold on men's tennis for two decades

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The ‘Big Four’ had a hold on men’s tennis for two decadesCredit: AFP

The differing grass or clay surfaces on offer at Wimbledon, The Australian, French, and US Opens mean it’s rare for one player to dominate at all four Slams.

However, several elite names have dominated on the biggest stage throughout their careers and are in the conversation to be the greatest of all time.

10. Pete Sampras – 14 titles

The American, affectionately known as ‘Pistol Pete’, utterly dominated the men’s games during the 1990s.

He claimed his first Grand Slam at just 19 years old after beating compatriot Andre Agassi in New York to lift the US Open.

Sampras, whose 14 titles was an all-time record at the time of his retirement in 2003, was notorious for his fast serve.

His style favoured the fast-playing grass courts over clay and he was 7–0 in Wimbledon finals.

Sampras is also the only male player to win three or more consecutive titles at SW19 twice in his career.

Pete Sampras Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 2 (1994, 1997)

French Open: 0

Wimbledon: 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)

US Open: 5 (1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2002)

Agassi and Sampras produced one of tennis' best rivalries

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Agassi and Sampras produced one of tennis’ best rivalriesCredit: Getty

8. Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova – 18 titles

The two female tennis icons are locked in joint eighth for Slams, with both winning 18 majors apiece.

They were each at the top of their games in the 1970s and 80s and played a whopping 60 finals against one another.

Their rivarly was among the best in tennis with Navratilova leading the overall head-to-head in finals 36–24.

Evert would have the upper hand on clay with Czech-American Navratilova was at her most dominant at Wimbledon.

Evert/ Navratilova Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: Evert 2 (1982, 1984) / Navratilova 3 (1981, 1983, 1985)

French Open: Evert 7 (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986) / Navratilova 2 (1982, 1984)

Wimbledon: Evert 3 (1974, 1976, 1981) / Navratilova 9 (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990)

US Open: 6 (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982) / Navratilova 4 (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)

Evert and Navratilova are a lot closer now since retiring from the court

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Evert and Navratilova are a lot closer now since retiring from the courtCredit: Getty

7. Helen Wills – 19 titles

The achievements of the late American still stand today, with Wills dubbed the most dominant tennis player of the 20th century.

Becoming a global icon in the 1920s and 30s, Wills racked up 31 Grand Slams, including 19 tournament titles in singles as well.

She won 16 of the 17 majors she entered between 1927 and hanging up her racket, which included a legendary 180 match win streak in the first six years where she barely even dropped a set.

Her stats are even more impressive considering ‘Little Miss Poker Face’ never once competed at the Australia Open due to travel issues.

Renowned for her powerful forehand that was harder than any other woman, Wills memorably used to practice with men to hone her craft.

Wills also revolutionised tennis fashion with her knee-length skirts and white visors becoming a fad

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Wills also revolutionised tennis fashion with her knee-length skirts and white visors becoming a fadCredit: AFP

Helen Wills Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 0

French Open: 4 (1928, 1929, 1930, 1932)

Wimbledon: 8 (1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938)

US Open: 7 (1923, 1924, 19225, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1931)

6. Roger Federer – 20 titles

King Roger only retired in 2022 due to injury after bossing the Grand Slam scene for over 15 years.

The Swiss superstar, who turned professional in 1998, is a 20-time Grand Slam winner and men’s record eight-time Wimbledon champion.

Five of those titles at the All England Club came in consecutive years, before that streak was ended during the iconic 2008 final against career rival Rafael Nadal.

Federer, who was also a junior Wimbledon champion, was universally liked for his gracious sportman demenaour as he was respected for his elegant backhand-slices.

Federer was close to claiming a sixth title in as many years at the 2008 tournament

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Federer was close to claiming a sixth title in as many years at the 2008 tournamentCredit: Getty

Roger Federer Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 6 (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018)

French Open: 1 (2009)

Wimbledon: 8 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017)

US Open: 5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

4. Rafael Nadal and Steffi Graf – 22 titles

Federer’s rival Nadal ranks two Grand Slams and one spot above him – largely in part to his unrivalled performances on clay.

The Spaniard has won a record 14 titles at the French Open, which includes a mind-boggling 81 successive win streak on clay – the longest single-surface win streak in the Open Era.

Nadal has struggled with injuries during the backend of his career but is one of only two active players on this list who can increase their Slam records.

Nadal is unstoppable at Roland-Garros, losing just three matches out of 115 total

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Nadal is unstoppable at Roland-Garros, losing just three matches out of 115 totalCredit: AFP

Rafael Nadal Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 2 (1982, 1984)

French Open: 14 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)

Wimbledon: 2 (2008, 2010)

US Open: 4 (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Nadal currently shares fourth spot with German Graf, whose aggressive style revolutionised women’s tennis in the 1980s and 90s.

In 1988 at just 19, she became the first female to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four majors alongside Olympic Gold in the same year.

Graf also remains the only player male or female to have won at least four titles in each of the four Grand Slams.

However, her surprisingly early retirement aged 30 compared to the rest of this list prevented her being even higher in the rankings.

Graf is a 22-time Grand Slam champion

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Graf is a 22-time Grand Slam championCredit: Getty

Steffi Graf Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 4 (1988, 1989, 1990, 1994)

French Open: 6 (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)

Wimbledon: 7 (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)

US Open: 5 (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)

3. Serena Williams – 23 titles

Lauded by many as the greatest of all time, Williams may not have the Slam record but is undoubtedly the biggest trailblazer ever.

The American put down her racket in 2022 with 39 Grand Slam titles in total, including 14 doubles titles with sister Venus.

Williams spent an incredible 319 weeks as world No.1, was the highest earning female athlete in history, and garnered as much acclaim off-court for her charity work and activism.

She claimed her first Slam in 1999 as a teenager and went onto to seal the women’s record in the Open Era.

Williams, whose powerful forehand and fierce serve made her unstoppable at her peak, is the only player to accomplish a career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.

‘The Queen of the Court’ came within one of joining the all-time list but lost her last four grand slam finals before retiring.

Williams is one of the most iconic tennis players ever

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Williams is one of the most iconic tennis players everCredit: Getty

Serena Williams Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 7 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)

French Open: 3 (2002, 2013, 2015)

Wimbledon: 7 (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)

US Open: 6 (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

1. Novak Djokovic and Margaret Court – 24 titles

And here we are – the two greats of men and women’s tennis are both level on 24 Grand Slams apiece.

Court, whose achievements largely came before the Open Era, enjoyed phenomenal success on home turf with 11 wins in Australia.

Her dominantion also extends to doubles with her total number of Slams being 64 – the most of any female player ever.

Court's total of 64 major titles are the most in women's tennis history

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Court’s total of 64 major titles are the most in women’s tennis historyCredit: Getty

Margaret Court Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 11 (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973)

French Open: 5 (1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973)

Wimbledon: 3 (1963, 1965, 1970)

US Open: 5 (1962, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1973)

In contrast, Djokovic does not have any doubles titles but his singles success has come in a golden era of men’s tennis which arguably stands him in more impressive stead.

The fabled Big Three of the Serbian, Federer and Nadal dominated men’s singles tennis for two decades, collectively winning 66 major singles tournaments.

To put that in perspective, one of the three finished the season as the year-end No. 1 player every year from 2004 to 2021, with Andy Murray‘s peak also coming during Djokovic’s run.

The 36-year-old beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at Flushing Meadows in September to bring up his 24th Grand Slam singles title.

In addition to his Slam record, he is the only tennis player to claim a Career Golden Masters – winning all of the nine active ATP Masters tournaments in a single year – which he has done twice.

Djokovic's Grand Slam record may never be broken

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Djokovic’s Grand Slam record may never be brokenCredit: Getty

Novak Djokovic Grand Slam titles

Australian Open: 10 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023)

French Open: 3 (2016, 2021, 2023)

Wimbledon: 7 (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)

US Open: 4 (2011, 2015, 2018, 2023)


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