Britain has long been known for its ability to churn out some of the highest quality tennis players of all time. Both male, and female. In fact, Britain has played a key part in the evolution of tennis as we know it today and has long been the host of the longest Grand Slam in existence, Wimbledon. So, if you're looking to reminisce over tennis greats from the past, and also take a look at those still competing, you’re in the right place! Here are our top 5 greatest British tennis players of all time.
1. Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade was born back in 1945 and was a professional tennis player from 1968 to 1986. In total, throughout her career, Wade managed to win 3 Grand Slams for herself and 4 more when playing doubles. At the height of her career, she was ranked number 2 in the world of singles players and number 1 in doubles.
Perhaps her crowning achievement was her 1977 Wimbledon win. It was a special occasion as this coincided with the Silver Jubilee, and the Queen was present to watch and enjoy in her success. In total, she appeared at Wimbledon 26 times! More than any other woman.
2. Fred Perry
Fred Perry, who was born in 1909 and passed away back in 1995, is easily one of Britain's greatest tennis players. In his illustrious 7 year career, he won a total of 8 Grand Slams and 6 doubles Major titles. Most notably, he won Wimbledon 3 years in a row, between 1934 and 1936.
These incredible accomplishments led to him becoming World number 1 at the time. At the 1935 French Open, he also secured another incredible accolade. It was here, after winning the tournament, that he became the first player ever to secure a Career Grand Slam. This is when a tennis player wins each one of the four Grand Slams at least once.
3. Angela Mortimer
Angela Mortimer was certainly one of the greatest British female tennis players alive during the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Throughout her 11 year career, she showed she was a continually great competitor. In total, she won 3 Grand Slams, the 1955 French Open, 1958 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 1961.
The last is perhaps her greatest accomplishment as it marked the end of her career at the age of 29. Not only was she older than many of her fellow competitors, but she also partially deaf by this point. It was also at this point that she became world number 1. However, this accolade was only identified a few years later using backdated ranking calculations.
4. Andy Murray
Andy Murray is not just Britain’s greatest tennis player still competing, he is arguably one of the world's top tennis players. In 2018 he's undergone surgery and has failed to compete in many major tournaments. However, he was world number 1 in both 2016 and 2017, and has been ranked in the top 4 ever since 2008.
In 2012, Andy Murray won the hearts of the nation when he became the first British male tennis player to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry in 1936. He has so far won 3 Grand Slams, two of which are from Wimbledon. He is also the only tennis player to have won 2 Olympic singles titles, having taken home gold in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games.
5. Christine Truman
Christine Truman was a professional tennis player who competed between 1957 and 1974. With regards to Grand Slams, she won just 1, but did so at the age of just 18! She was also successful in helping Great Britain to win the Wightman Cup 3 times, in 1958, 1960 and 1968.
What makes Truman stand out as one of the greatest female British tennis players of all time is that she accomplished many of her feats with any partial sight in her left eye. A condition that was only identified in 1962. Despite this, she continued to compete wonderfully on the world stage for 12 more years before she retired.
With Wimbledon on the very near horizon, Britain is once again placing its hopes and expectations in Andy Murray. He has already taken home the Wimbledon trophy twice and we hope to see him accomplish this feat a third time. Fancy picking up your own trophy and host your own tennis tournament? Then check out our fantastic range here.