25 Best 80s Tennis Players. The Golden Age of Tennis

The 80s were a wild time. It was the decade of MTV, the Cold War, and Ronald Reagan’s presidency. It was also the decade of some of the best tennis players to ever hit the court.

If you’re a fan of tennis and the 80s, this article is for you!

We’ve put together a list of the 25 best tennis players from the 1980s.

Let’s get started!

Best Tennis Players of the 80s

The 1980s was a decade of innovation and progress for tennis. 

New players were coming in from all over the world, bringing with them new styles, strategies, and ways of thinking about how to play the game. 

It was an exciting time to be a tennis player – and an exciting time to watch tennis being played!

Here are the 25 Best 80s Tennis Players:

1. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg is the best tennis player of all time. He’s also a legend and one of the most recognizable names in sports history. 

If you’re old enough to remember him, you probably know that he won Grand Slam singles titles six times at the French Open and five times at Wimbledon in a row and that he was unbeatable on the clay courts at Roland Garros.

But there’s so much more to his story than just this! 

His career started when he was just 12 years old, but it didn’t end until he was 31 years old-and during those 19 years, he dominated the sport like no one else has ever done before or since.

Borg’s playing style was characterized by his incredible footwork and ability to easily move around the court.

His career was marked by dominance that has never been seen before or since, and he’s widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes in history.

Borg’s achievements include being won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1979, being elected as Sweden’s top sportsperson of all time by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter in 2014, and getting a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006.

He ranked world No. 1 in the ATP rankings for a total of 109 weeks.

Brog was also inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 at the age of 31 years old, one of the youngest players ever to be inducted into this prestigious club! years 

Borg retired from professional tennis in 1981 at the age of 25. Though he made a comeback in 1991, this time, it was brief and unsuccessful. 

2. Stefan Edberg

In the 1980s, Stefan Edberg was one of the best tennis players in the world.

He won six Grand Slam singles titles and three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles.

He also won the Australian Open and U.S. Open men’s doubles titles in 1987.

Edberg’s playing style was based on his quick footwork and powerful serve. His signature shots were the backhand slice and forehand topspin. 

He was known for being able to play both offense and defense, which made him an extremely versatile player.

Stefan Edberg was one of the most dominant players in tennis history. He retired from professional tennis in 1996 after reaching the final of the Australian Open both in 1992 and 1993.

Edberg’s achievements include:

  • Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991
  • Being the world no. 1 tennis player in singles for a total of 72 weeks
  • five-time recipient of the ATP Sportsmanship Award
  • Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1990.
  • Philippe Chatrier Award in 1996

Edberg was known for his excellent groundstrokes and defensive skills, which made him a very tough opponent on clay courts.

He is also remembered for his incredible serve, which helped him win many matches throughout his career.

Edberg is best known for his aggressive style of play and his ability to win matches against tough competition.

3. Andrea Jaeger

Andrea Jaeger was one of the best 80s female tennis players.

She is known for her hard-hitting and aggressive style of play that helped her win several Grand Slam titles.

Andrea was born on 4 June 1965 in Chicago, Illinois.

She became a pro tennis player in 1980 and had an impressive career. Andrea won ten singles titles and two Wightman Cup singles matches.

Andrea Jaeger played with an aggressive style that focused on speed and power.

She was known for being able to hit powerful groundstrokes off both wings and in crosscourt angles.

Due to serious shoulder injuries, her incredibly successful tennis career came to an early end in 1985.

4. Boris Becker

Born in Leimen, Germany, on 22 November 1967, Boris Becker is considered one of the greatest tennis players of the 80s.

His fast serve and well-placed ground strokes made him a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Becker won the gentlemen’s singles Wimbledon Championships at the age of 17 in 1985, making him the youngest-ever winner.

He is also one of the Top 10 players in ATP history with the highest win percentages.

Becker’s playing style was very aggressive and powerful but also very precise. He could hit both forehand and backhand shots extremely well, and he was known for his ability to play serve-and-volley tennis-which is when a player serves short and then rushes forward to volley the return shot.

Becker won three Wimbledon titles, two Australian Opens, and one U.S. Open title. He was named one of Tennis magazine’s 40 greatest players on the magazine’s 40th anniversary in 2006.

He had an exceptional serve and volley game which earned him the nickname “Boom Boom” for his powerful groundstrokes from both wings.

Becker became a tennis commentator and media figure after his playing career ended.

5. Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl is a retired Czech-American professional tennis player who competed during the 1980s and 90s.

He was an extremely talented player who had a very powerful serve and a strong forehand, which made him one of the most intimidating players on tour.

In 1980, he won seven singles titles, including three tournament wins in three weeks.

In the first half of the 1980s, Lendl was the driving force behind the country’s team, and he was also a member of the Czechoslovak team that won the World Team Cup in 1981 and finished second in 1984 and 1985.

He competed on the World Championship Tennis (WCT) tour, winning all ten tournaments he entered, including his first WCT Finals.

In the 1980s, Ivan Lendl was one of the most dominant players in tennis history. Lendl’s strong serve, powerful forehand and backhand, and aggressive style made him a formidable opponent on any surface.

With his title victories, Lendl quickly became the highest-paid tennis player of all time.

From 1985 to 1987, Lendl had a match-winning percentage of more than 90%.

6. Hana Mandlíková

The Czechoslovakian tennis player Hana Mandlíková was the best player in the world during the 1980s.

She was born on 19 February 1962 in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Mandlková first captured the attention of the tennis world as a junior. She became the first female world No. 1 junior when the International Tennis Federation launched world junior rankings in 1978.

Mandlokva was ranked No. 3 in 1984.

She won four Grand Slam singles titles during her career before retiring in 1990.

In 1994, Mandlková was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and she received the Hall of Fame ring in 2017.

7. John McEnroe

John McEnroe is probably one of the most famous American tennis players of all time, and he made his mark in the 1980s.

McEnroe was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, on 16 February 1959. 

He first started playing tennis at the age of 8 at the nearby Douglaston Club. He turned pro in 1978.

In a career that spanned more than two decades, John McEnroe won seven Grand Slam titles, including three Wimbledon titles.

On 3 March 1980, McEnroe reached a career-high ranking of World No.1.

McEnroe was an extremely talented player with a fierce competitive spirit, and he had a number of classic matches with Bjorn Borg that were played at a very high level of intensity.

He was also known for his bad temper on the court and his fiery personality that made him one of the sport’s most famous figures.

His on-court antics and temper earned him the nickname “Superbrat,” but his ability to play at an elite level made him one of the top players of his time.

McEnroe’s achievements include being named ATP player of the year in 1981, 1983, and 1984, ATP most improved player in 1978, and ITF World Champion in 1981, 1983, and 1984.

8. Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors was one of the most famous tennis players of the 1980s. He is known for his powerful serve, but also for his aggressive playing style.

Connors won a total of eight major singles championships.

He turned pro in 1972 and retired in 1996 when he was 44 years old. During this time, he won two Wimbledon titles and one U.S. Open title, making him one of the most successful players ever.

Jimmy Connors was among the most exciting players ever to grace the tennis court. He was known for his powerful serve, which made him a perennial contender in Grand Slam tournaments.

Connors is known for his aggressive playing style, which made him popular among fans but also led to criticism by some players and experts. He was nicknamed ““Brash Basher of Belleville” because of his brash behavior and aggressive style of play.

Connors’s achievements include being named ATP Player of the Year in 1974 and 1982, ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 1991, and ITF World Champion in 1982. 

9. Chris Evert

Known as “Ice Maiden,” Chris Evert was one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the game.

She was born on 21 December 1954 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Evert has reached the most major singles finals in history, which is 34 times.

Her career winning percentage in singles matches on clay courts is 94.55% which is also a WTA Tour record.

She won 18 major singles titles and was named the world No. 1 singles player seven times from 1974 to 78 and in 1980 and 1981.

Evert ranks second among men or women in the Open Era for career-winning percentage in singles matches with an impressive 89.97%.

Evert is a multiple winner of the Wimbledon Championships and has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

After retirement, Event became a coach and is now an ESPN analyst.

10. Mats Wilander

Mats Wilander was one of the greatest tennis players in the world during the 1980s.

He was born on 22 August 1964 in Växjö, Sweden.

Wilander was known for his one-handed backhand shot and powerful serve.

He won seven Grand Slam titles, including three French Opens, three at the Australian Open, and one U.S. Opens.

He had a powerful serve and forehand; his backhand was also strong but not as reliable as his other shots. Wilander was also known for his speed around the court and his ability to play from the back of the court.

His volleying skills were also excellent; he was able to hit hard volleys off both wings with great accuracy.

Wilander’s playing style was known for its consistency. This consistency helped him become one of the most successful players of his generation, and he is still considered by many fans to be one of the best male tennis players ever.

11. Pat Cash

Pat Cash was another great player in the 80s. He won the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship in 1987.

Cash was known for his aggressive playing style, which included a lot of topspin and slice shots.

He was considered to be one of the best volleyers ever, as well as one of the best at serving and returning serves.

He became a pro in 1982 and retired from professional tennis in 1997.

In May 1988, he achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 4.

Cash was known for his powerful serve, which he used to win many matches. He also had a strong backhand stroke and was adept at handling pace on the court, which allowed him to play aggressive tennis against both smaller and larger opponents.

12. Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin was a tennis player that was considered at the top to ever play the game of tennis.

She was born in California on 12 December 1962.

Austin won three Grand Slam titles, WTA Tour Championships in 1980 and Toyota Championships in 1981.

On 7 April 1980, she was ranked the number 1 tennis player.

Austie was known for her powerful serves and groundstrokes, as well as her powerful forehand and backhand strokes.

Her strong serving style allowed her to win many more points than other players of her time, which helped her win many more matches than other top players.

Austin became a pro in 1978 and retired from professional tennis in 1994. 

She won thirty singles titles during her professional tennis career, and she is also the youngest inductee in the International Tennis Hall of Fame at age 29.

13. Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi was the best player of the 80s, winning the most Grand Slam titles and being ranked number one for an astonishing 30 weeks.

Agassi was born in Las Vegas on 29 April 1970. He started playing tennis at age three. 

He began his professional career when he was just 16 years old and quickly became a star player.

Agassi is widely considered one of the best players of all time.

He won 8 Grand Slam singles titles, including a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

His career spanned from 1986 to 2006, during which he won four Australian Open titles and one Wimbledon championship.

Agassi’s style of play was characterized by his ability to hit hard shots off both sides with excellent footwork and balance, making him a difficult player to beat.

14. Guillermo Vilas

Another number-one player of the 80s was Guillermo Vilas, who was known for his quick play, powerful serve, and strong mental game.

He won four Grand Slam titles during his career, including one French Open, one U.S. Open, and two Australian Open.

Vilas was ranked at No. 2 in April 1975 for a total of 83 weeks and number one in the world at one point in 1977.

Vilas is known for his powerful serves and volleys, which made him an exceptional player on both grass and clay courts.

In short, Guillermo Vilas was a legend of the 1980s, and his career stats are quite impressive.

15. Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf is another greatest female tennis player of all time.

She was born on 14 June 1969 in Mannheim, West Germany.

She began playing tennis at age five and first competed on the professional tour when she was just 13 years old.

Graf was ranked number one for most of her career and won Grand Slam across three surfaces, which is more than any other woman has accomplished.

She was also known for her sweet serve, her competitive nature, and her ability to stay on top of the game.

She went on to win almost every major tournament during her career, winning Wimbledon seven times, the Australian Open four times, the U.S. Open five times, and six French Open singles titles.

Her career spanned from 1982 until 1999.

Graf’s career achievements include being named to the:

  • WTA Player of the Year from 1987 to 1990 and 1993 to 1996.
  • ITF World Champion in 1987 to 1990 and 1993, 1995 and 1996
  • German Sportsperson of the Year from 1986 till 1999.

16. Yannick Noah

Yannick Noah was a professional tennis player who played from 1977 to 1996. 

Noah was born on 18 May 1960 in Sedan, Ardennes, France.

He began playing tennis at the age of 11 and turned pro in 1977.

Noah was known for his engaging, happy-go-lucky presence on the court and his dynamic style of play. He is also known for being the captain of France’s Davis Cup team.

During his career, he won the French Open singles title in 1983 and the French Open men’s doubles title in 1984.

Noah is also famous for his love of music and charity.

17. Vitas Gerulaitis

Vitas Gerulaitis is one of the most colorful characters in tennis history.

He was known for his long hair, his flashy outfits, and his outrageous style on the court.

Vitas was born on 17 September 1994 in Southampton, New York, U.S.

He won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon in 1975 and the men’s singles title at one of two Australian Open tournaments in 1977.

Vitas became a pro in 1971 and retired from professional tennis in 1986. Vitas was a player with a game that was as flashy as his hair.

He won the Italian Open in 1977 and 1979, as well as the WCT Finals in Dallas in 1978.

He had a fast serve and volley playing style that made him a formidable opponent on the court.

18. Wojciech Fibak

Polish tennis player Wojciech Fibak was one of the best in his sport during the 1980s, and he reached the top 10 in the world rankings. He is still ranked as one of the best Polish players ever today.

He was born in Poland on 30 August 1952.

Fibak had an aggressive style on the court that was known for its powerful serves and groundstrokes that were difficult for opponents to return with consistency, making him an effective competitor against almost any opponent who faced him.

Wojciech Fibak is one of the greatest tennis players to ever play the game.

Fibak’s best year was arguably 1980, when he reached the quarter-finals at the French Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon.

19. Pam Shriver

Pam Shriver was a tennis player who was born on 4 July 1962 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.

She was one of the best 80s players. She was ranked number 3 in the world in 1984.

Pam won the French Open singles title twice, as well as six other Grand Slam titles during her career.

She won a total of 21 singles titles between 1978 and 1997 and also won an Olympic gold medal in women’s doubles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Pam also had a good forehand, which allowed her to hit winners from any distance on both sides of the court.

She is one of only six female Open-era players to have won more than 100 career titles, and she also won the French Open mixed doubles in 1987.

Pam retired from professional tennis in 1997.

20. Henri Leconte

If you’re looking for an 80s tennis player who doesn’t need a lot of introduction, then look no further than Henri Leconte!

He was born on 4 July 1963 in Lillers, France.

Loconte won two Grand Slams in his career and was one of the best players of his generation.

He was known for his excellent service, court coverage, and net play. He was also known for his long-range baseline hits and smooth backhand.

Leconte first gained prominence in the tennis world as an outstanding junior player, winning the French Open junior title in 1981.

In 1985, he achieved his career-high doubles ranking of world No. 6.

In 1993, Leconte won his final top-level singles title in Halle. That year, he also won his final doubles title at Indian Wells.

Leconte was known as one of the greatest all-rounders of his generation; he had a powerful serve, great court coverage, and an intuitive game style. 

The main strength of his game was his consistency: he could play well against any opponent regardless of their strengths or weaknesses.

He retired from the professional tour in 1996, having won nine singles titles and ten doubles titles in his career.

21. Miloslav Mečíř

Miloslav Mečíř was one of the best players of the 1980s.

He was born on 19 May 1964 in Bojnice, Czechoslovakia.

In 1984, he reached two ATP finals before winning his first ATP singles title in Rotterdam later that year.

In 1987, Mecir improved his game by winning six singles and six doubles titles, including the WCT Finals in Dallas.

Mečíř’s playing style was very impressive, with his main weapon being his powerful serve that he hit with great accuracy. His net game was also strong, and he was known for his running forehand shots.

Mečíř’s career culminated in 1988 when he was chosen to represent Czechoslovakia in the Seoul Olympics.

His career high in both singles and doubles was world No. 4.

Mečíř was a great player with a lot of skill, but he was also one of the most charismatic players in tennis history. 

He had a unique style that made him stand out from his contemporaries.

Mecir retired in July 1990 at the age of 26, having struggled with a worsening back injury.

22. Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova was one of the best female tennis players of the 1980s. She was known for her powerful groundstrokes and impeccable athleticism.

She was born on 18 October 1956 in Prague, Czechia.

Navratilova won 18 major singles titles: four at the U.S. Open, nine at Wimbledon, three at the Australian Open, and two at the French Open.

Navratilova was known for her incredible ability to hit winners and unreturnable serves, which made her extremely tough to beat. She won 90 of 93 matches during the 1982-1987 period, including 41 consecutive matches and 15 tournaments.

She is also widely recognized as being one of the greatest female tennis players ever. Navratilova won 18 major singles titles and 10 major mixed doubles titles in her career.

Not only was she an incredible player, but she was also known for her grace and charm on and off the court. Navratilova retired from tennis in 1994 after winning 167 titles.

23. Peter McNamara

Peter McNamara, whose career reached its peak in the 1980s, was also a great player in the history of tennis.

He was known as one of the best tennis players of all time

McNamara was born in Melbourne, Australia, on 5 July 1955.

In his career, McNamara won five singles titles and nineteen doubles titles.

He reached his highest singles ATP ranking of No. 7 on 14 March 1983 and retired from tennis in 1987.

24. Kevin Curren

Kevin Curren during the 80’s was at the top of the sport. He was born on 2 March 1958 in Durban, Natal, South Africa.

He’s been a professional since he was 17 years old, and he’s been ranked as high as #5 on 22 July 1985.

Curren was known for his powerful groundstrokes and a great eye for the net. Curren won four Grand Slam doubles titles.

He won 5 singles and 16 doubles titles during his career.

In addition to his ATP Tour success, Curren has also won several other tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1981 and 1982, as well as the Grand Slam mixed doubles in 1982.

Kevin Curren is one of the most beloved tennis players of all time. He is known for his quick feet, powerful shots, and smooth gameplay. 

He retired from professional tennis in 1993.

25. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was one of the most popular tennis players in history. She was born in Barcelona, Spain, on 18 December 1971.

She was a dominant force on the court, winning 14 Grand Slam Titles, five Fed Cup titles, and four Olympic medals.

Sanchez Vicario is known for her powerful groundstrokes and accurate volleys that helped her win over 80% of her matches.

Her style of play is considered to be one of the most aggressive styles in tennis history.

She rarely struggled at any point during a match, but when she did, she usually made up for it by winning points quickly or via her amazing serve.

Sanchez Vicario won six women’s doubles Grand Slam titles, and our Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

She was considered one of the greatest players of her Era and a pioneer for other female players around the world.

Her victory over World No. 1 Steffi Graf in the 1989 French Open final made her the youngest woman to win the women’s singles title at the age of 17.

Sanchez Vicario became a pro in 1985 and retired from professional tennis in 2002.

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