The Top 10 ATP Players on Grass in the 2010s
The Grass Was Greener on Their Side: Part 2
The Grass Was Greener on Their Side: Part 1 (Top 10 WTA Players on Grass in the 2010s)
- This list was, similar to Part 1, ordered in terms of grass-court singles win percentages in ATP Tour-level main draw matches, and includes the 2012 London Olympics.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 6 (Wimbledons: 5)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 70-9 (89%)
Just as it’s hard to argue against Serena Williams being the best grass-court singles player on the WTA Tour in the 2010s, it’s hard to argue that Novak Djokovic doesn’t head the list of the Top 10 ATP Players on Grass in the 2010s, for the fact that he took home half of the singles titles at The Championships last decade.
Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019. He beat eight-time champion Roger Federer in three of those finals, including in last year’s epic final in which Djokovic saved two match points to defeat Federer in a fifth set tiebreak 7-6(5) 1-6 7-6(4) 4-6 13-12 (3), the first year the tiebreak at 12-12 in the fifth set format was in effect.
Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion and current World No. 1 is the reigning Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, which have been the two majors he’s had his best Grand Slam success at. Three grand slams away from tying Federer for the open era grand slam singles titles record, Djokovic’s future performance at Wimbledon will almost certainly play a part in whether or not he does tie or break that record.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 8 (Wimbledons: 2)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 97-15 (87%)
Roger Federer comes in second on this list of the Top 10 ATP Players on Grass in the 2010s, largely because six of his open-era record eight Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles titles came in the 2000s. Nonetheless, Federer continued his phenomenal play on the grass last decade, winning almost 100 matches on the surface.
Federer added two more Wimbledon titles, in 2012 and 2017, to the six he won in the 2000s. In 2012, he defeated Andy Murray in the final, 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4. In 2017, he beat Marin Cilic in the final, 6-3 6-1 6-4. Federer lost in the final on three other occasions, and reached at least the quarterfinals of The Championships all but one year in the 2010s. His sole loss before the quarterfinal stage came to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round in 2013.
In addition, Federer exhibited dominance at the lead up tournament in Halle. He won the tournament there five times last decade, in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Federer would also win his first Olympic singles medal, a silver, at the 2012 London Olympics.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 6 (Wimbledons: 2)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 70-12 (85%)
Andy Murray, a 3-time Grand Slam champion, became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 when he defeated Novak Djokovic to win The Championships in 2013, 6-4 5-7 6-4.
Murray would go on to win his second Wimbledon title in 2016. He defeated Milos Raonic in the final, 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(2).
The moment though that perhaps facilitated Andy becoming a multiple Grand Slam champion was in 2012, when after being defeated in the final of Wimbledon by Roger Federer, Murray came back to the All England Club about a month later and won his first of two singles gold medals, avenging his loss to Federer in the Olympic gold medal match 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Murray would also win a silver medal in mixed doubles with countrywoman Laura Robson that same Olympic games.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 2 (Wimbledons: 1)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 40-13 (75%)
Rafael Nadal’s performance at Wimbledon in the 2010s can be described as a bit up and down.
Nadal had both some early losses and some deep runs at the tournament. The Spaniard did kick off the decade with his second Wimbledon title in 2010, defeating Tomas Berdych in the final 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
After reaching at least the final in 2010 and 2011, Nadal failed to reach even the third round at Wimbledon in 2012, 2013, and 2015. But the 19-time Grand Slam champion has reached the semifinal stage the last two years at Wimbledon. Being just one slam win away from tying Roger Federer’s open era record of 20 grand slams, The Championships could be the site where Nadal ties or breaks this record in the future.
Juan Martín del Potro
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 0
Grass-Court Singles Record: 31-11 (74%)
Juan Martín del Potro’s career has unfortunately been plagued by injuries, but injuries didn’t prevent him from having some impressive results on grass last decade.
The Argentine reached the second week of The Championships three consecutive years from 2011-2013. This included his best run to date at Wimbledon when he made the semifinals in 2013. He would lose to Djokovic in five sets, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-3. del Potro would make another deep run in 2018, reaching the quarterfinals before again losing in five sets, this time to Nadal, 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The 2009 U.S. Open champion did however take home some hardware at the All England Club. del Potro won the bronze medal in singles at the 2012 London Olympics. He lost an epic there 19-17 in the third and deciding set to Federer in the semis, before this time defeating Djokovic, in the bronze medal match, 7-5, 6-4.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 2 (Wimbledons: 0)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 52-21 (71%)
The 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic displayed his grass-court prowess with a string of impressive results at Wimbledon and a couple of grass court titles.
From 2014-2017, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at The Championships every year. This included a run to the final in 2017, where he defeated two players who made it to at least the quarterfinals stage last year, Roberto Bautista Agut and Sam Querrey, before losing in the final to Federer.
In addition, the Croat won the lead-up tournament at the Queen’s Club in 2012 and 2018. He won against David Nalbandian and Novak Djokovic in those finals, respectively.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 0
Grass-Court Singles Record: 44-18 (71%)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a finalist at the 2008 Australian Open, was a consistent contender at the year’s third slam.
Tsonga reached at least the quarterfinals in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016. Notably, Tsonga came back from two sets to love down to defeat Federer in the quarterfinals in 2011. In addition to 2011, Tsonga also reached the semifinals in 2012, where he lost to Murray.
Tsonga also took home some hardware at the 2012 London Olympics. Whilst he lost in the quarterfinals of the singles tournament to Djokovic, Tsonga paired with Michael Llodra to take home the silver medal in Men’s Doubles.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 0
Grass-Court Singles Record: 48-21 (70%)
Milos Raonic, the big-serving 6’5” Canadian, was a force to be reckoned with on the grass last decade.
Raonic made his breakthrough on the grand-slam stage by reaching the semifinals of The Championships in 2014. He beat Kei Nishikori and Nick Kyrgios en route, before losing to Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Raonic would make the final at Wimbledon two years later, losing to Andy Murray. He would also make it to the quarterfinals stage the next two years, losing to Federer and John Isner, respectively.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 0
Grass-Court Singles Record: 42-20 (68%)
Tomas Berdych retired from professional tennis at the end of last year, but not before having a handful of deep runs at The Championships.
Berdych defeated Federer and Djokovic in succession to reach his first and only career grand slam final at Wimbledon in 2010. He would lose in straight sets to Nadal.
The Czech would also reach a pair of semifinals in 2016 and 2017. Berdych beat former Top 10 player Lucas Pouille and current World No. 7 Alexander Zverev, before losing to eventual champion Murray in 2016. In 2017, he beat former World No. 3 David Ferrer, current World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, and five-time champ Djokovic via a second set retirement, before losing to eventual champion Federer in straight sets.
Grass-Court Singles Titles: 1 (Wimbledons: 0)
Grass-Court Singles Record: 58-28 (67%)
Rounding out the list of the Top 10 ATP Players on Grass in the 2010s is American Sam Querrey. Querrey’s best Grand Slam in his career has been Wimbledon, and he’s been particularly impressive there as of late.
Even though Querrey’s lone grass-court singles title last decade came at the Aegon Championships in 2010, defeating fellow American Mardy Fish in the final, he’s strung together some deep Wimbledon runs in the latter half of the decade.
In 2016, Querrey made the quarterfinals, and ended Novak Djokovic’s 30 match grand slam win streak when he beat the Serb in the third round, 7-6(6) 6-1 3-6 7-6(5). In 2017, Querrey did one better and made the semifinals, his best grand slam showing to date, and again beat the current World No.1, Andy Murray, en route, 3-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1. And again in 2019 Querrey made it deep, this time to the quarterfinals (lost to Nadal). Before losing to Nadal though, Querrey beat four players who had made it to at least the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam before (Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, John Millman, and Tennys Sandgren).
Main Photo from Getty.