Historically speaking, doubles and mixed doubles draw far fewer crowds and offer much lower prize money compared to the singles competitions. With that being said, by no means does it mean that Doubles is a sport played by only those who couldn't succeed in Singles at first and view Doubles as a fail safe.
Neither is the widely held notion that Doubles is played by only those players who are past their prime or who are in their 30's true. US Open was the first Grand Slam to hold the Men's Doubles event in 1881 and Wimbledon followed in 1884.
Over the years, the competition and level of interest in Doubles has been on the ascendancy just like the Singles game albeit at a slower pace. Today, we have players in their early to mid-twenties make the switch over to Doubles trying to establish themselves as successful players in this format.
This was far and few in between in the older days especially when prize money across all formats including Singles were nowhere close to what players earn today. This may have been one of the factors for low interest in Doubles matches in olden days especially the Amateur Era.
Our topic of discussion revolves around 5 players who have won most Doubles titles of all-time and incidentally all the players have plied their trade in the Open Era.
#5 Tom Okker
Nicknamed, 'The Flying Dutchman', Tom Okker was the first Dutch tennis superstar who established a successful tennis career spanning 13 years from 1968 to 1981. Okker was one among a select group of elite tennis players who thrived in both the Singles and Doubles format. Ranked inside the top-10 of the Singles rankings for 7 years unbroken between 1968 to 1974, Okker made at least the semi-finals of all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in Singles.
In Doubles, he tasted more success especially at the Grand Slam level winning 2 Grand Slam Doubles titles at the 1973 French Open and 1976 US Open. He was the first Dutchman to top the Doubles rankings in 1969. Okker won 78 Doubles titles - a record which stood for 24 years until it was broken in 2005.