Top 5 Most Exciting ATP Players in the 80s

AP/Ray Stubblebine, file

Top 5 Most Exciting ATP Players in the 80s

Some argue that the 80s is the golden age of men’s tennis. It was full of talented players with big personalities. From John McEnroe to Mats Wilander, players in the 80s had fans on the edge of their seats every time they stepped onto the court. Let’s take a look at which players made it onto our list of the top 5 most exciting men’s tennis players in the 1980s.

1. John McEnroe

John has to be one of my favorite players of all time. His intensity was unmatched and his touch on the ball was incredible. Add to that a fiery temper that gained him as much attention as his tennis, and you had the perfect entertainer. He won seven Grand Slam titles during his career, including four US Open wins and three Wimbledon championships. Even today, he is still remembered fondly by fans around the world for his electrifying style and his incredible announcing skills!

2. Ivan Lendl

The kryptonite to McEnroe’s temper and flair was Lendl. He was stoic, subdued, and all business. The Czech-born Ivan Lendl was one of the most dominant forces in men’s tennis during the 80s and early 90s. He won eight Grand Slam titles over that period, including three French Open titles and three U.S Open titles. Lendl would kill you with consistency and fitness. He was relentless and powerful. He absolutely dominated the ATP tour from 1985 to 1989.

3. Mats Wilander

The quintessential baseliner, Mats Wilander is one of the best Swedish players of all time. He collected seven Grand Slam titles during his career and legions of fans. Mats was very well-liked and respected by both fans and players alike. He had the ability to stay in long rallies and absorb power from the likes of Ivan Lendl, whom he beat at the US Open final in 1988. The excitement he brought to the game was that he was one of the first players to go from defense to offense on a point.

4. Jimmy Connors

Jimmy was pure energy, grit, and bravado. He would put crowds into a frenzy with his determined and exciting style of play. He would never give up and routinely would come back from two sets down at Grand Slams and push opponents to five sets well into his thirties. Jimmy Connors would play in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, entertaining fans along the way with his brand of tennis. He collected eight Grand Slam singles titles, including five at the US Open.

5. Boris Becker

Boris Becker burst onto the scene as a teenage phenom at just 17 years old when he became the youngest-ever winner at Wimbledon in 1985—a title he’d go on to defend in 1985! Becker was a new breed of the player when he came on to the tour, he was taller and stronger than most. He had a booming serve which is the reason he was nicknamed “Boom Boom.” His serve would routinely get him out of trouble. It wasn’t all just a serving exhibition with Boris though, he had a game. His running forehand was one of the best in the business and his net play was always acrobatic and incredible to watch. He would routinely dive for volleys with complete disregard for his body – even on hard courts! Boris would win six Grand Slam titles in his career, but it was his fiery and aggressive game that will be remembered most.

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