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18 Players Who Have Ended Up as ATP Toppers Since 1973

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
 Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during his US Open 2017 first round match at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Rafael Nadal | Shutterstock

Since the inception of the ATP Rankings in 1973, only a select few have managed to reach the pinnacle of men's tennis, finishing the season as the world's No. 1 player.


This exclusive club of 18 athletes represents an illustrious journey through the sport's history, showcasing unparalleled skill, determination, and dominance on the tennis court.


  1. Ilie Nastase (1973)

The inaugural ATP world No. 1, Nastase, set the standard for excellence in men's tennis. His triumph at the French Open solidified his place at the top, marking the beginning of an era that would witness the rise of tennis legends.


  1. Jimmy Connors (1974-1978)

Connors' dominance saw him finish as the year-end No. 1 player five times consecutively. With a total of 268 weeks at the top, Connors' aggressive style and relentless pursuit of victory left an indelible mark on the sport.


  1. Bjorn Borg (1979-1980)

Borg's back-to-back seasons as the world No. 1 highlighted his mastery of both clay and grass. The Swede's French Open and Wimbledon double in 1979 and 1980 showcased his versatility and cemented his status as a tennis icon.


  1. John McEnroe (1981-1984)

McEnroe, known for his fiery on-court demeanor, secured four straight year-end No. 1 finishes. His rivalry with Borg and Connors added an extra layer of intensity to the sport, creating memorable moments for fans worldwide.


  1. Ivan Lendl (1985-1989)

Lendl's strategic play and powerful baseline strokes led to four season-ending No. 1 rankings. His longevity and consistency in the top spot demonstrated his adaptability across various surfaces.


  1. Mats Wilander (1988)

Wilander's lone year-end No. 1 finish in 1988 showcased his exceptional skills. Winning three Grand Slam titles that year, including the Australian, French, and US Opens, marked a pinnacle in his illustrious career.


  1. Stefan Edberg (1990-1991)

Edberg's graceful play earned him two consecutive year-end No. 1 rankings. His triumphs at Wimbledon and the US Open solidified his reputation as one of the era's most elegant and accomplished players.


  1. Jim Courier (1992)

Courier's memorable 1992 season, including victories at the Australian Open and French Open, secured his only year-end No. 1 finish. His aggressive baseline play left an indelible mark on the tennis landscape.


  1. Pete Sampras (1993-1998)

Sampras' six consecutive years as the world No. 1 showcased an era of unparalleled dominance. With 14 Grand Slam titles, Sampras' serve-and-volley style and unyielding focus left an enduring legacy.


  1. Andre Agassi (1999)

Agassi's lone year-end No. 1 finish in 1999 marked a career resurgence. Winning both the French Open and the US Open, Agassi's versatility across different surfaces solidified his status as one of the sport's greats.


  1. Gustavo Kuerten (2000)

Kuerten's magical 2000 season, including a French Open title, secured his only year-end No. 1 finish. The Brazilian's charisma and prowess on clay made him a fan favorite.


  1. Lleyton Hewitt (2001-2002)

Hewitt's back-to-back years at the top in 2001 and 2002 showcased his tenacity. Winning both the US Open and Wimbledon, Hewitt's aggressive baseline play defined an era.


  1. Andy Roddick (2003)

Roddick's stellar 2003 season, culminating in his only year-end No. 1 finish, highlighted his powerful serve and aggressive style. The 2003 US Open winner left an enduring impact on the sport.


  1. Roger Federer (2004-2009)

Federer's five-year-end No. 1 finishes signaled an era of elegance and precision. With a record 310 weeks at the top, Federer's graceful play and 20 Grand Slam titles solidified his place among the tennis elite.


  1. Rafael Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)

Nadal's relentless pursuit of victory on clay and other surfaces earned him five year-end No. 1 finishes. With 22 Grand Slam titles, Nadal's resilience and unmatched work ethic continue to inspire.


  1. Novak Djokovic (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023)

Djokovic's record-extending eighth-year-end No. 1 finish in 2023 types of cemented his status as one of the greatest. His incredible consistency across all surfaces and 24 Grand Slam titles showcase his versatility and determination.


  1. Andy Murray (2016)

Murray's exceptional 2016 season, including nine titles and 78 victories, secured his only year-end No. 1 finish. The Brit's prowess on hard courts and resilient play made him a formidable opponent.


  1. Carlos Alcaraz (2022)

Alcaraz, the youngest-ever ATP world No. 1 at 19, represents the future of men's tennis. His impressive 2022 season, including victory at the US Open, sets the stage for a promising career.


In conclusion, the journey through the 18 ATP year-end No. 1 players since 1973 is a testament to the evolution of men's tennis. From the fiery rivalries of Connors and Borg to the elegance of Federer and the resilience of Djokovic, each player has left an indelible mark, contributing to the rich tapestry of the sport's history. As we celebrate this legacy, the anticipation of witnessing future talents ascend to the summit adds an exciting dimension to the ongoing narrative of men's tennis.