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Top 5 greatest hard court players of all time

Hardcourt is said to be the most neutral surface in tennis, which means that it is the surface where a player true quality can be gauged. Here we take a look at the top 5 hardcourt players of all time.

Last updated: 03.06.2021
greatest hard court players of all time

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Hardcourt is said to be the most neutral surface in tennis, which means that it is the surface where a player’s true quality can be gauged. A genuine great will always perform well on hardcourts. They tend to balance out the extreme characteristics of grass and clay courts. They are not as fast as the grass courts, neither are they as slow and tiresome as clay. Therefore, a player has to have a well-rounded game to excel on hardcourts. Two of the four Grand Slams in tennis, the Australian Open and the US Open, are played on hardcourts.

Here, we take a look at the top 5 hardcourt players of all time:


Jimmy Connors :

The flamboyant Jimmy Connors was a brilliant all-round player and therefore, had no problem excelling on hardcourts. He was quite possibly the greatest hard-court player of his generation. Connors had a great return of serve and very potent groundstrokes. He also had great court-coverage, which enabled him to stay in rallies for a longer duration. He had a very strong forehand and a decent double-handed backhand, which allowed him to hit passing shots from the baseline. He was a strict baseliner, but quite capable of winning points with his volleys too. Connors won 5 US Open titles on hardcourts. He also won 17 Grand Prix Super Series titles in his career, most of which were held on hardcourts. Overall, he had a winning ratio of 83% on hardcourts.

Rafael Nadal :

Rafael Nadal’s achievements on clay are so staggering that they tend to overshadow his enviable feats on hardcourts. He has the best pair of legs in the history of tennis and therefore, faces no problem in extending rallies and thereby tiring his opponents on hardcourts too. Nadal's legendary court-coverage and outstanding forehand have won him four Grand Slams on hardcourts. He has also won a number of Masters titles on the surface. He has won 6 Grand Slams on hardcourts.

Pete Sampras :

Pete Sampras remains the greatest grass courter of all time and his serve quite possibly is the best shot ever seen in tennis. However, he was a superb hardcourt player too and won five US Opens and two Australian Opens in his career. He also won 11 ATP Masters titles, most of which were played on hardcourts. Sampras was the greatest exponent of the serve-and-volley game in his time, but could hit breath-taking winners from the baseline too. His running crosscourt forehand was a visual delight, and he also had a very strong single-handed backhand. Sampras was a deceptively quick mover on the surface and managed to have an 80% winning ratio on hardcourts in his career.

Novak Djokovic :

Djokovic is clearly the best player in the world at the moment and has the potential to win many more Grand Slam titles. With 18 Grand Slam titles already under his belt, he certainly has the potential to surpass Nadal’s and Federer’s total of 20. At his best, Novak Djokovic is almost like a machine playing tennis, and his relentless accuracy and seemingly tireless court-coverage have made him the greatest hardcourt player of all time. Djokovic also possesses the finest groundstrokes of all time and is almost invincible in a baseline slugfest on this surface. Djokovic has a great return of serve and a wonderful backhand, but can also be effective while going to the net. He is supremely fast and can dismantle his opponents with his fierce stroke play and great slides. He has won 12 grand slams on hard courts.

Roger Federer :

Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time with 20 Grand Slams and 103 career titles, and quite understandably, he is also one of the best hardcourt players of all time. Roger Federer has a complete game and is equally comfortable dictating terms from the baseline and winning points at the net. He also remains a viewer’s delight with his incredible groundstrokes and sumptuous volleys. Rarely has anyone ever caressed a tennis ball like Federer, and his artistic strokes usually separate him from the lesser mortals. However, one has to remember that he is clinically effective too and destroyed a great opposition on hardcourts.

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