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As the decade winds down, Busted Racquet will celebrate the past 10 years of tennis with various top 10 lists. Today, we at look at the 10 best male players of the 2000s:
10. Juan Carlos Ferrero — Grand Slams: 1, Weeks at No. 1: 8
Injuries prevented Ferrero from a lengthy career, but not before he became the 21st man to ever ascend to No. 1 in the rankings in September of 2003.
9. Novak Djokovic — Grand Slams: 1, Weeks at No. 1: None
In one year, Djokovic went from No. 23 to No. 3 in the rankings. He’s stayed there for 92 of the past 112 weeks.
5. Andy Roddick — Grand Slams: 1, Weeks at No. 1: 13
Surprised Roddick is so high? Me too. But the American has one thing going for him that almost every other member of this list doesn’t: longevity. This was the eighth straight year Roddick finished in the year-end top 10. He may only have one Grand Slam (the 2003 U.S. Open), but he’s been consistent enough to be a threat in every non-Paris major since then. Plus, it’s not his fault he happened to be born around the same time as the greatest player ever.
2. Rafael Nadal — Grand Slams: 6, Weeks at No. 1: 46
If he’s not the greatest clay court player of all-time, he’s right behind Bjorn Borg. At the start of the year Nadal looked like he was on his way to supplanting Roger Federer and ending the decade at No. 1. But injuries ruined his year and now the tennis world is left to wonder: Are Rafa’s best days behind him?
1. Roger Federer — Grand Slams: 15, Weeks at No. 1: 259
There are hundreds of ways to describe Federer’s greatness, but consider this: In the decade, he won 15 of 40 Grand Slams (37.5 percent). And since his first (Wimbledon, 2003) he took home the title in 58 percent. Thank goodness Nadal came around, or else men’s tennis would have had as much suspense as a Harlem Globetrotters game.
For the complete list, click here.