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Best left handers of the modern era

The game of tennis has witnessed many great lefties since the beginning of the modern era in 1968. Apart from bringing variety to an otherwise right hand dominated sport, they amaze us with special skills of their own.Ranking the best among some of the most talented players is quite a difficult task. We consider their performance in Grand Slams to start with. The number of titles won and consistency over a period of time are also taken into account.Let us look at six best lefties of the modern era!

#6 John McEnroe

John McEnroe is known for his hook serve, incredible shot-making ability and volleying skills. He made headlines often for his on-court antics which included confronting the umpires and match officials.

When he was on song playing his best tennis, he was very tough to beat. In 1984, he recorded the best single season win-loss record in the Open Era at 96.47% (82/3). He was also named as the ATP player of the year in 1981, 1983 and 1984.

Career stats:

Grand Slams: 3-Wimbledons, 4-U.S Opens.

Total titles: 77

Highest Ranking: No. 1

Career Record: 875-198 (81.55 %)

#5 Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors is arguably the best American tennis player of all time. He is known for his two-handed backhand and was considered one of the best returners of serve in the game. He set several records during an amazing career.

He held the top ranking for a then-record 160 consecutive weeks from July 29, 1974 to August 22, 1977 and an additional eight times during his career for a total of 268 weeks. He was the first male player in the Open Era to rank No. 1 for more than five years in total and more than 200 weeks. He held a year-end top ten ranking for an Open Era record 16 years.

He is also the only person to win US Open singles championships on grass, clay, and hard courts.

Career Stats:

Grand Slams: 1 Australian Open, 2 Wimbledons, 4 U.S Opens.

Total titles: 109 (a record which hasn’t been broken yet).

Highest Ranking: No. 1

Career Record: 1253-279 (81.79 %)

#4 Monica Seles

Monica Seles makes to the list despite hitting with both hands on both sides of the court. She became the youngest French Open champion in 1990 at the age of 16.

She was termed as the next big thing in women’s tennis after winning eight Majors before turning 20. However, on April 30, 1993 she was the victim of an on-court attack, when a man stabbed her in the back during a match against Steffi Graf.

She also holds the record of winning 3 consecutive Australian and the French Opens between 1990 and 1993.

Career Stats:

Grand Slams: 4 Australian Opens, 3 French Opens, 1 U.S Open.

Total titles: 53

Highest Ranking : No. 1

Career Record: 595-122 (82.98 %)

#3 Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is the best clay court champion of all time. However, his record on other surfaces isn’t bad either. He is one of seven players in the history of the game to have completed the Career Grand Slam. He also won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He holds the record for winning a single major on nine occasions and the first to win at least one Grand Slam tournament for ten consecutive years, breaking the record of eight consecutive years previously shared by Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Nadal holds the record for most consecutive titles at a particular tournament after winning his eighth straight Monte-Carlo Masters in 2012.

Career stats:

Grand Slams: 1- Australian Open, 9-French Opens, 2-Wimbledons, 2- U.S Opens.

Total titles: 64

Highest Ranking: No. 1

Career Record: 702-137 (83.71 %)

#2 Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is considered to be the best tennis player of all time. Navratilova was World No. 1 for a total of 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks.

She was year-end singles No. 1 seven times, including a record five consecutive years, as well as year-end doubles No. 1 five times, including three consecutive years during which she held the ranking for the entire year. Her record as No.1 in singles (1982–86) is the most dominant in professional tennis. Over five consecutive seasons, she won 428 of 442 singles matches, averaging fewer than 3 losses per year to 87 wins, for a sustained winning percentage of 96.8%.

She holds the best season win-loss record for the open era, 86-1 (98.9%) in 1983, and four of the top six open era seasons. She recorded the longest winning streak in the open era (74 consecutive matches) and three of the six longest winning streaks. She is the only professional player to have won six major titles without the loss of a set.

Career Stats:

Grand Slams: 3- Australian Opens, 2-French Opens, 9-Wimbledons, 4- U.S Opens.

Total titles: 168

Highest Ranking: No. 1

Career Record: 1442-219 (86.8 %)

#1 Rod Laver

Do not be surprised to see Rod Laver on top of the list. He was not ranked No. 1 during the Open era. However, he is the best lefty and probably the best player of all time due to two simple reasons.

1962: Calendar Year Grand Slam

1969: Calendar Year Grand Slam

No player has managed to achieve this feat and it looks highly improbable that someone will any time soon. He holds the all-time male records of 22 singles titles in a season (1962) and 7 consecutive years (1964–70) winning at least 10 singles titles per season.

Laver used the serve-and-volley game to good effect and backed it up with aggressive groundstrokes.

Career Stats:

Grand Slams: 3- Australian Opens, 2-French Opens, 4-Wimbledons, 2- U.S Opens.

Total titles: 52 (Open era)

Highest Ranking: No. 3 (Open era)

Career Record: 536-136 (79.76 %)

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Edited by Staff Editor
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