Tennis was earlier known as lawn tennis, and played exclusively on grasscourts. Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam held on grass today, continues to be the most important and prestigious of all tennis tournaments.
However, not too many tournaments are held on grass these days, and there are very few grasscourt specialists remaining in the circuit. Apart from Wimbledon, the Queen’s Club tournament and the Halle Open are the only other reputed tennis tournaments played on grass these days.
Grasscourts are a lot faster than hardcourts or claycourts, and also produce a bit of variable bounce. Rallies are usually much faster on grasscourts, and players with big serves and good volleying skills tend to do well on this surface.
There have been some great grasscourt players over the decades. Here, we take a look at the 5 of the greatest grasscourters in the Open Era:
5. Boris Becker
Boris Becker was the pin-up boy of tennis and one of the most popular global sportspersons in the 1980s. With his blonde hair, thighs like tree-trunks and a thunderous serve, Becker won Wimbledon in 1985 at the tender age of 17.
The German became an instant crowd favorite with his diving volleys and great athleticism on the court. He again won the Big W in 1986, and managed to reach the Wimbledon final seven times in his career.
Becker won his third Wimbledon crown in 1989 and reached the final five times in six years from 1985 to 1990. He could not win Wimbledon even once in the 1990s though, as Pete Sampras was in his absolute prime throughout that decade.
Becker also formed a great rivalry with Swede Stefan Edberg during the 1980s and 1990s. Becker dominated Edberg in the head-to-head statistics, but things were a lot closer in the Grand Slams.
Becker had a very potent single-handed backhand, but his forehand was inconsistent. His return of serve was also not as good as his serve.
Becker had a winning ratio of 82.3% on grass, and won seven career titles on the surface. He played in a very competitive era of tennis and remains the greatest male tennis player Germany has produced.