American Male Tennis Players
From John McEnroe to Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and Arthur Ashe, American men are some of the most recognizable names in tennis.
However, well before any of these players were alive, Bill Tilden and Don Budge were among a strong contingent of American tennis players making a name for themselves.
Keep reading to explore the most influential retired male tennis players from the United States, including their most noteworthy accomplishments.
Photo Credit: @JimmyConnors
American, Jimmy Connors, is one of the best ever to play the game, highlighted by his success at Grand Slams. He claimed eight victories in singles, a number he could have extended further if he wasn’t banned from the French Open from 1974 to 1978 due to his participation in World Team Tennis, which had scheduling conflicts with the ATP.
He also only played the Australian Open twice, which was pretty typical until the mid-1980s for American tennis players because of the distance.
Jimmy had a stellar career record of 1274-283 for an 81.8% winning record. He also was successful in doubles, having claimed titles at Wimbledon and the US Open. In July of 1974, he ascended to world No. 1, which he held for 268 weeks in his career, 84 consecutive.
Jimmy Connors has coached Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, and Eugenie Bouchard, which helped maintain his post-retirement exposure in the tennis world.
Photo Credit: @usopen
As famous for saying, “you cannot be serious” at Wimbledon in 1981 as he is for his success on the court, John McEnroe is one of the game’s best.
McEnroe claimed seven singles and nine doubles titles at Grand Slam events during his career, with all of those titles coming at the US Open and Wimbledon. He also helped lead the American Davis Cup team to five victories from 1978 to 1992.
In 1983, John reached the world’s No. 1 ranking in singles, which he held for 170 total weeks, 58 of which were consecutive.
Looking back on John McEnroe’s career, he stands out from many other top players with nearly equal success in doubles as singles. He also achieved a world No. 1 ranking in doubles in 1983.
John McEnroe has remained an influential and well-known figure in tennis through his regular broadcasting of tennis matches, movie cameos, and participation on the ATP Champions Tour.
Photo Credit: @ITFTennis
In the 1990s, Jim Courier, a prominent American tennis player, enjoyed an excellent career with four Grand Slam titles, two apiece at the Australian Open and Roland Garros.
He reached the world No. 1 ranking in early 1992 on the heels of his first Grand Slam victory at the French Open and a finals appearance at the US Open the year before.
He managed a 506-237 record throughout his career, equating to a 68.1% winning percentage. He was also a regular on the doubles court, logging six titles and a career-high ranking of 20.
Jim Courier retained his prominence in tennis after retiring as an analyst and commentator for various major TV networks.
Photo Credit: @Wimbledon
Easily one of the best American men in the sport’s history, Pete Sampras delivered a dominant performance throughout the 1990s.
He wrapped up his career with 14 Grand Slam singles titles, the most of any player at his retirement in 2002. Despite his success, he could not complete a career Grand Slam because he never won the French Open. His best result at Roland Garros was the semi-finals in 1996.
His most successful surface was grass, where he won seven titles at Wimbledon. Since then, Roger Federer has been the only player to surpass his record at the tournament.
Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi had one of the greatest rivalries during the 1990s, meeting 34 times, 20 of which he won.
In April 1993, Sampras reached the world No. 1 ranking, which he held for 286 total weeks, 102 consecutive. He is third on the all-time leaderboard behind Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
Photo Credit: @AndreAgassi
In 1986, Andre Agassi turned pro, and throughout his 20-year career, he amassed eight Grand Slam titles, including a career Super Slam that saw him win all four Grand Slams at least once, gold a the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, and the year-end championships.
He won 60 singles titles with an 870-274 record throughout his career, which equals a 76% win rate. In 1995, shortly after his second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Andre ascended to world No. 1, a position he held during his career for 101 total weeks, 52 consecutive.
Apart from his success on the court, Agassi is well-known for his marriage to former world No. 1 Steffi Graf of the WTA tour and the Andre Agassi Charitable Association, founded in 1994. Furthermore, his biography, Open, is one of the best-selling tennis books.
Andre Agassi coached Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov for relatively brief periods post-retirement.
Photo Credit: @usopen
American tennis player, Andy Roddick, is well-known for his monster serve and big forehand, which he used effectively to earn his one and only Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2003.
Shortly after his success in New York, he rose to world No. 1 in November 2003. In 2004, 2005, and 2009, he also came close to winning Wimbledon, but Roger Federer defeated him all three times in the finals.
Andy Roddick claimed 32 singles titles and ended his career with a 612-213 record, winning 74.2% of the time. In 2007, Andy played a crucial role in helping the United States win the Davis Cup.
Off the court, Roddick also hosted a radio show on Fox, was a co-host on Fox Sports Live, and has commentated for tournaments, including Wimbledon in 2015.
Photo Credit: @mikecbryan
Along with his brother Bob, Mike Bryan goes down as one of the most successful doubles pairs in history. He turned pro in 1998 and retired 22 years later in 2020.
During his career, he claimed 18 major doubles titles, 124 men’s doubles titles, and spent 506 weeks at No. 1, all of which are the most of any male player. His record in doubles is 1,150-373, winning 75.5% of his matches.
Mike and Bob also found success at the Olympics, winning bronze in 2008 and gold in 2012. Together, they also helped lead the United States to a Davis Cup victory in 2007.
Photo Credit: @bryanbros
Bob Bryan partnered up with his brother Mike throughout his career as the most successful men’s pair in history.
However, Bob also found more success in singles than his brother, Mike. In 2000, he logged his highest-ever ranking at No. 116. During that year, he competed at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Due to injury, Bob’s titles fall slightly short of his brothers. In 2018, he underwent hip surgery, which took a few months to recover. During that time, Mike continued to compete, thus eclipsing Bob.
Photo Credit: @Wimbledon
American Stan Smith turned pro in 1969 after a brief stint as an amateur starting in 1964. Stan won two Grand Slam titles throughout his career, one at the US Open and another at Wimbledon.
In total, he claimed 64 titles, 48 of which fell in the Open Era, and ended his career with a 950-383 record or 71.3% win rate. Stan reached the world No. 1 ranking fairly early in his career in 1971.
Stan was also highly accomplished in doubles, having earned a world No. 1 ranking in 1981 and owning 54 titles, including five at Grand Slam events.
Off the court, Stan Smith remains well-known for the Adidas Stan Smith, an iconic tennis shoe named after him in 1978. To this day, the shoes remain popular, although no longer for competitive play.
Stan Smith serves as the President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame alongside CEO Todd Martin, another former professional tennis player.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Beyond his accomplishments, Arthur Ashe is a prominent figure in tennis history for his many accomplishments as a black tennis player.
Notably, he was the first black man selected to play for the Davis Cup, which helped America win in 1963, 1968, 1969, and 1970. He’s also the only black man to have won three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
In 1975, he attained the world’s No. 1 ranking, and he closed out his career with 76 titles and a 1,188-371 record.
Arthur Ashe’s legacy lives on with center court at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY, named after him. Furthermore, the ATP hands out the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian and ESPN the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award every year to recognize his contributions.
Photo Credit: @usopen
Bill Tilden was a successful American tennis player from the 1920s and 1930s who won ten Grand Slam singles titles, including seven at the US Open. He also found success in doubles, winning six Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles and five in mixed doubles.
Starting in 1912, Bill was an amateur and remained that way until 1946, when he turned professional as he needed the money.
Overall, he claimed 138 titles and a world No. 1 ranking in 1920, and he goes down in history as one of the greatest before the Open Era.
Unfortunately, Bill’s image was tarnished in the 1940s when he was arrested and jailed for sexual misconduct with younger boys. Despite that, the International Tennis Hall of Fame eventually inducted him in 1959, seven years after his death.
Photo Credit: @TennisHalloFame
American Don Budge started as an amateur in 1932, but he eventually turned pro in 1938. Notably, he won six Grand Slam titles, including all four of them in 1938, the first player ever to accomplish the feat.
In 1937 and 1938, he managed to win singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles at Wimbledon and the US Open, dubbed the triple crown. He remains the only man to have accomplished the feat on three occasions.
In 1937, Don Budge earned a career-high No. 1 ranking, and he closed out his career with 43 titles and a 649-297 record, winning 68.6% of his matches. In 1964, the Tennis Hall of Fame inducted him as a member.