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The Most Famous

TENNIS PLAYERS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Tennis Players. The pantheon dataset contains 1,148 Tennis Players, 59 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 6th most number of Tennis Players behind France and Spain.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Tennis Players of all time. This list of famous German Tennis Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Tennis Players.

Photo of Steffi Graf

1. Steffi Graf (1969 - )

With an HPI of 62.10, Steffi Graf is the most famous German Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 78 different languages on wikipedia.

Stefanie Maria Graf ( GRA(H)F, German: [ˈʃtɛfi ˈɡʁaːf] ; born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. She won 22 major singles titles, the second-most in women's singles won since the start of the Open Era in 1968 and the third-most of all-time. In 1988, Graf became the first tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four major singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. She is the only tennis player, male or female, to have won each major singles tournament at least four times. Graf was ranked world No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks. She won 107 singles titles, ranking her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles). She and Margaret Court are the only players, female or male, to win three majors in a calendar year five times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996). Notable features of Graf's game were her versatility across all playing surfaces, footwork and powerful forehand drive. Graf's athletic ability and aggressive game played from the baseline have been credited with developing the modern style of play that has come to dominate today's game. She won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert), seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five US Open singles titles. She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Grand Slam across three surfaces (grass, clay, and hard courts). Graf reached 13 consecutive singles major finals from the 1987 French Open to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won five consecutive singles majors (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and seven out of eight, in two calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 major finals in singles. Graf retired at the age of 30 in 1999 while ranked as the world No. 3. Martina Navratilova placed Graf at the top of her list of the greatest players ever. In the year of Graf's retirement, Billie Jean King said, "Steffi [Graf] is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time." In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. When asked in an interview to name the greatest players of all time, Serena Williams stated Graf and Roger Federer. Graf married former world No. 1 men's tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001. They have two children. Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004. Along with Boris Becker, Graf was considered instrumental in popularizing tennis in Germany, where it remains one of the foremost national sports.

Photo of John McEnroe

2. John McEnroe (1959 - )

With an HPI of 60.58, John McEnroe is the 2nd most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

John Patrick McEnroe Jr. (born February 16, 1959) is an American former professional tennis player. He was known for his shot-making and volleying skills, his rivalries with Björn Borg and Jimmy Connors, and his confrontational on-court behavior, which frequently landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities. McEnroe is the only male player since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973 to simultaneously hold the world No. 1 rankings in both singles and doubles. McEnroe finished his career with 77 singles titles on the ATP Tour and 78 doubles titles; this remains the highest men's combined total of the Open Era. He is the only male player to win more than 70 titles in both singles and doubles. This tally includes seven major singles titles (four at the US Open and three at Wimbledon), nine Grand Slam men's doubles titles (five at Wimbledon and four at the US Open), and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title (at the French Open). His singles match record of 82–3 in 1984 remains the best single-season win rate of the Open Era. McEnroe also excelled at the year-end tournaments, winning eight singles and seven doubles titles, both of which are records. Three of his winning singles year-end championships were at the Masters Grand Prix (the ATP year-end event) and five were at the World Championship Tennis (WCT) Finals, an event that ended in 1989. He was named the ATP Player of the Year and the ITF World Champion three times each: in 1981, 1983 and 1984. McEnroe contributed to five Davis Cup titles for the U.S. and later was team captain. He has stayed active in retirement, often competing in senior events on the ATP Champions Tour, where he has won 25 titles. He also works as a television commentator during the majors.

Photo of Boris Becker

3. Boris Becker (1967 - )

With an HPI of 58.55, Boris Becker is the 3rd most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 68 different languages.

Boris Franz Becker (German pronunciation: [ˈboːʁɪs ˈbɛkɐ] ; born 22 November 1967) is a German former world No. 1 tennis player. Becker is the youngest-ever winner of the gentlemen's singles Wimbledon Championships title, a feat he accomplished aged 17 in 1985. Becker is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time and was featured in the list of Tennis magazine's 40 greatest players on its 40th anniversary in 2006. He won 64 titles overall, including an Olympic gold medal in doubles in 1992. Becker won 49 singles and 15 doubles titles including six Grand Slam singles titles: three Wimbledon Championships, two Australian Opens and one US Open, 13 Masters titles, three year-end championships and leading Germany to back-to-back championship wins in Davis Cup 1988 and 1989. Becker is often credited as a pioneer of power tennis with his fast serve and all-court game. He is also among the top ten players with the best win percentages in the history of the ATP Tour. In 1989, he was voted the Player of the Year by both the ATP and the ITF. Becker is arguably the greatest Davis Cup singles player with a win percentage of 92.70%, a win loss record of 38–3 and two championship wins for Germany. In his autobiography, Andre Agassi described Becker as the world's most popular tennis star in the late 1980s. After his playing career ended, Becker became a tennis commentator and media personality, and his personal relationships were discussed in news outlets. He has engaged in numerous ventures, including coaching Novak Djokovic for three years, playing poker professionally and working for an online poker company. In October 2002, the Munich District Court gave Becker a suspended two-year prison sentence for tax evasion. He declared bankruptcy in the UK in 2017. In April 2022, he was sentenced by UK courts to two and a half years in prison for hiding assets and loans that the court required him to disclose to creditors and the bankruptcy trustee. On 15 December 2022, he was released from prison early, having served eight months, and was deported to Germany by UK authorities.

Photo of Gottfried von Cramm

4. Gottfried von Cramm (1909 - 1976)

With an HPI of 54.10, Gottfried von Cramm is the 4th most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Gottfried Alexander Maximilian Walter Kurt Freiherr von Cramm (German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt fɔn ˈkʁam] ; 7 July 1909 – 8 November 1976) was a German tennis player who won the French Championships twice and reached the final of a Grand Slam singles tournament on five other occasions. He was ranked number 2 in the world in 1934 and 1936, and number 1 in the world in 1937. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977, which states that he is "most remembered for a gallant effort in defeat against Don Budge in the 1937 Interzone Final at Wimbledon".Von Cramm had difficulties with the Nazi regime, which attempted to exploit his appearance and skill as a symbol of Aryan supremacy, but he refused to identify with Nazism. Subsequently he was persecuted as a homosexual by the German government and was jailed briefly in 1938. Von Cramm figured briefly in the gossip columns as the sixth husband of Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress.

Photo of Alexander Zverev

5. Alexander Zverev (1997 - )

With an HPI of 48.79, Alexander Zverev is the 5th most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.

Alexander Zverev (German pronunciation: [alɛkˈsandɐ ˈtsfeːʁɛf]; born 20 April 1997) is a German professional tennis player. He has been ranked by the ATP as high as world No. 2. Zverev's singles career highlights include a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and titles at the 2018 and the 2021 ATP Finals. He has won 21 ATP Tour titles in singles and two in doubles, and contested a major final at the 2020 US Open. Zverev is a former junior world No. 1, and won a junior major singles title at the 2014 Australian Open. He had an early breakthrough on the professional tour as well, becoming one of the youngest Challenger Tour title winners in history at the age of 17. As a teenager, Zverev won two ATP titles and upset then-world No. 3 Roger Federer on grass. At 20 years old, he became the youngest player to debut in the top 20 since Novak Djokovic. At the Laver Cup, Zverev has played an instrumental role in Team Europe's early success in the competition, winning the clinching matches in 2018 and 2019. After reaching his career-best results in 2021 and 2022, he suffered an ankle injury at the French Open, from which he recovered to re-enter the top 10 the following year. Zverev is the subject of assault allegations from two former partners, including the mother of his daughter. A German court issued a penalty order against Zverev, to which he objected, and he is scheduled to face trial in a Berlin Criminal Court starting in May 2024.

Photo of Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling

6. Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling (1908 - 1981)

With an HPI of 48.21, Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling is the 6th most famous German Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Hildegard Krahwinkel Sperling (née Krahwinkel; 26 March 1908 – 7 March 1981) was a German-Danish tennis player. She won three consecutive singles titles at the French Championships from 1935 to 1937. Krahwinkel Sperling is generally regarded as the second-greatest female German tennis player in history, behind Steffi Graf. Sperling played a counterpunching game, predicated on speed, and wore down opponents. Helen Jacobs once wrote that Sperling was the third-best player she ever played, behind Helen Wills Moody and Suzanne Lenglen. She became a dual-citizen after marrying a Dane, Svend Sperling, in December 1933.

Photo of Michael Stich

7. Michael Stich (1968 - )

With an HPI of 47.93, Michael Stich is the 7th most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Michael Detlef Stich (German pronunciation: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl ˈʃtɪç] ; born 18 October 1968) is a German former professional tennis player. He won the men's singles title at Wimbledon in 1991, the men's doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in 1992, and was a singles runner-up at the 1994 US Open and the 1996 French Open. Stich won 18 singles titles and ten doubles titles. His career-high singles ranking was world No. 2, achieved in 1993.

Photo of Cilly Aussem

8. Cilly Aussem (1909 - 1963)

With an HPI of 47.16, Cilly Aussem is the 8th most famous German Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Cilly Aussem (German pronunciation: [ˈʦiːli̯ə ˈaʊ̯sm]; 4 January 1909 – 22 March 1963) was a German tennis player. She was the first German, male or female, to win the singles title at Wimbledon, which she did in 1931. She also won the women's single titles at the French Championships and German Championships in 1931. Aussem's coach and mixed doubles partner was Bill Tilden. They won the mixed doubles at the 1930 French Championships. According to A. Wallis Myers of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, Aussem was ranked in the world top 10 in 1928, 1930, 1931, and 1934, reaching a career high of world no. 2 in these rankings in 1930 and 1931 behind Helen Wills Moody.

Photo of Angelique Kerber

9. Angelique Kerber (1988 - )

With an HPI of 46.16, Angelique Kerber is the 9th most famous German Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 64 different languages.

Angelique Kerber (German: [ʔan.d͡ʒɛˈliːk ˈkɛɐ̯bɐ] ; born 18 January 1988) is a German professional tennis player. She has been ranked as high as world No. 1 in singles, for a total of 34 weeks, and won three Major titles at the 2016 Australian Open, the 2016 US Open, and the 2018 Wimbledon Championships. She is also an Olympic silver medalist and was the year-end world number one in 2016. Kerber made her professional debut in 2003 and began her rise to prominence upon reaching the semifinals of the 2011 US Open as the world No. 92. An accomplished left-handed player, Kerber's ranking cracked the top 5 in 2012, and she would eventually reach the world No. 1 ranking on 12 September 2016, becoming the 22nd and oldest player to achieve the top ranking. She has won 14 career singles titles, across all surfaces, including three major titles. She has also won a silver medal in women's singles representing Germany at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Photo of Wilhelm Bungert

10. Wilhelm Bungert (1939 - )

With an HPI of 42.57, Wilhelm Bungert is the 10th most famous German Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Wilhelm Paul Bungert (born 1 April 1939) is a former German tennis player best known for reaching the 1967 Wimbledon final. He participated in the 1970 Davis Cup final as a player and in the 1985 Davis Cup final as team captain.

Pantheon has 59 people classified as tennis players born between 1885 and 1997. Of these 59, 55 (93.22%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living tennis players include Steffi Graf, John McEnroe, and Boris Becker. The most famous deceased tennis players include Gottfried von Cramm, Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling, and Cilly Aussem. As of April 2022, 3 new tennis players have been added to Pantheon including Tim Pütz, Kevin Krawietz, and Andreas Mies.

Living Tennis Players

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Deceased Tennis Players

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Newly Added Tennis Players (2022)

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Which Tennis Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Tennis Players since 1700.