5 Tennis Stars Among GQ’s 50 Greatest Living Athletes
GQ magazine has just released their list of the world’s 50 greatest living athletes. LeBron James of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers is listed as number one, with the other 49 in no particular order.
As they state, “When you’re narrowing the list down to just 50, the names you’re tossing overboard are staggering.” But they seem to have gotten the tennis names right with the exception of Novak Djokovic- he needs to be on this list. (Sports Illustrated did a “Fashionable 50” last year. This list is based strictly on sheer athletic dominance, but since it’s GQ, the fashion angle fits here too.)
When you think of style in men’s tennis, what’s the first thing you think of? The player’s style- the way he moves about the court, executes the shots, and comports themselves? Björn Borg would have to be at the top of many lists. Effortless shot-making and court movement, the long hair, the Fila headband and pinstriped tennis attire, the icy calm demeanor- they all added up to create a legendary image: the strong, silent Swede. For sure, the eleven Grand Slam titles helped, too.
This generation’s Borg. If Borg isn’t at the top of a men’s tennis style list, chances are Roger Federer is. When was the last time you saw Fed blow up on the court? Always calm, cool, and collected- James Bond with 19 Slam titles and a license to kill- with his
Walther PPK 7.65mm RF97 Wilson racquet. Just like Borg, he’s got an elegant style on-court, smoothly gliding to shots before applying a wickedly powerful stroke- and elegant cool off the court endorsing luxury brands like Rolex and Mercedes. As he once said in a Mercedes spot- “The best is always worth it.” We agree.
The sheer numbers of Martina’s tennis career are staggering. Check it out: 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles championships and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles. Fifty-nine Slam titles of one sort or another. She was a dominant force on the tennis court, and her opponents knew it. Ask Chris Evert.
If Federer glides to the ball and then deceptively, subtlety blasts it by you, Nadal does exactly the opposite. He charges to the ball like a bull (hence his Nike logo) and takes a furious swing at the ball. On every single point. Of every match. That’s his style. He is one fierce dude on the court and will never give in. This is why the injuries started catching up with him. However, he’s back at full strength winning two of the four Slams this year. He tells the time with his utterly cool Richard Mille watch and has done modeling for Giorgio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger. For sure a guy has to have hobbies, no?
We spoke of numbers with Martina, and here are some more for Serena. You want Slam titles? She has (so far) 23 for singles, 14 for women’s doubles, and 2 for mixed dubs. Insane. She won her latest Slam this past January at the AO- while she was pregnant. More insanity. When you imagine her on court, you imagine grit, determination, and sheer unyielding power. Serena has changed the face of modern women’s tennis, and it’s been a wonder to watch. The plan is for her to return to Melbourne in January, so that “23” could very well turn to “24.” As is always the case whenever she steps on court, bet against her at your own peril.
Photo Credits: Borg/Rolex Youtube – Federer/Rolex – Navratilova/IBTimes UK – Nadal/Lesfacons.com – S. Williams/Nike – Feature photo/GQ