Over time we’ve had some pretty good looking tennis players to watch on our screen, both male and female. Sure in the 80′s there were some good looking players we may not have noticed because they had the fluffy hair, scary eyebrows and strange fashion sense but some things get better with age (think George Clooney).
So here’s my top ten men and women of all time .
To all those out there like my mum who harbour a deep unending love for Stefan Edberg… I’m sorry.
Marat Safin was, and always will be, the ultimate bad boy in tennis. He’s smashed more rackets than anyone else. He showed up at the beginning of his final season on tour with a black eye. Safin has traveled with models who watched court side, unaware their wardrobe malfunctions were leaving them on display for the world to see.
Safin is the epitome of the hard core sexy Russian. No one pulls of anger and a smashed racket like he does while having fans go wild. It was Marat’s violent mood swings and mysterious personality that had, and still has, people fascinated.
No tennis hot list is complete without the girl who isn’t known particularly well for her tennis (except for her lack of a serve) but more for her beauty. She used to fill stadiums with eager spectators who cheered for her and loved her despite of her lack of game.
Kournikova has spent her years off the circuit making headlines for her relationship with singer Enrique Iglesias and for her modeling efforts around the globe.
Anna’s long blonde hair and bikini body is so famous that she recently appeared on an episode of the Biggest Loser in America as well as gracing covers of endless magazines. Kournikova is one of the most (if not the most) photographed women in tennis.
The man who brought Federer to tears owns one of the most impressive biceps I have ever seen. There may be a significant difference in size between the right and left bicep of the current world number one but his muscle and power based game never fails to turn heads as he generates phenomenal angles and spin and wears even the fittest men into states of fatigue.
The well muscles, tanned body of Nadal has become so well known that even Armani couldn’t pass up an opportunity to wax his chest and throw some water on him while he stood around in his Jeans or a paid of undies looking pretty.
Everywhere the quiet Spaniard goes flocks of screaming girls follow, yelling out marriage proposals during his games.
Rafa had a brilliant 2010 season and his run of two titles and four finals has been overshadowed by the brilliance of Novak Djokovic in 2011. Despite this, a recent black and white shot of a shirtless Rafa in Barcelona had anyone who had forgotten about Nadal’s Armani campaign captivated again.
Nadal was recently ranked at number 46 on Forbes list of 100 most powerful celebrities.
When Anna Kournikova retired a different Ana quickly filled her shoes and has more than kept men interested in women’s tennis.
Ana has graced many a magazine but has also dated some of sports most eligible bachelors. She recently split with golfer Adam Scott, and also dated Fernando Verdasco for a few months.
Ivanovic is a former world number one who has one Grand Slam, Roland Garros, to her name. Since peaking in 2008 Ivanovic has struggled to regain her form and has had difficulty, not only with her serve, but also the mental side of the game.
Ana has worked her way back up the rankings to number 21 but has maintained her media interest and always manages to put her best foot forward in the fashion stakes.
In 2009 Ivanovic was voted number 11 on FHM’s 100 sexiest women in the world poll. She was also named the best looking player of all time but The Age newspaper, and the best looking female tennis player by The Globe & Mail newspaper in 2008.
There is no arguing the truth of a picture. The saying goes ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ and you don’t need many pictures of this hot Spaniard to see what I’m talking about.
Early in 2010 Verdasco, after producing a career best performance against compatriot Nadal at the Australian Open in 2009, was part of the Calvin Klein X Marks The Spot campaign. The well muscled Spaniard was on billboards across the world long before Rafael was signed to strip down to his ‘tighty whitieys’ for Armani.
While Verdasco has struggled with his form this season he has shown how strong tennis players can be, knowingly playing the Australian Open on a fractured ankle while producing some great tennis.
Since 2009 Fernando has secured his place as a firm fan favourite who now fills stadiums and has plenty of female fans screaming his name.
Verdasco has dated such beauties as Gisela Dulko, Ana Ivanovic and Dafne Fern.
Daniella is a well established WTA beauty with her long thin legs that seem to go for miles. The Slovakian, who was once ranked number 5 in the world, is also involved with numerous charities and included a visit to Brisbane’s children’s hospital earlier this year.
Hantuchova cemented herself as a beauty icon with the release of a 2011 calender with proceeds going to charity. The photos show Daniella posing in some high fashion outfits and looking quite simply stunning.
Daniella, who speaks Slovak, English and German, posed for Sports Illustrated in 2009.
F-Lo is without doubt one of the more manicured, well dressed, primped and primed men on the tour. He is one of the ‘prettier’ womanizers with a body, speaking from a close encounter, that is beautifully defined and tanned. Feli may not be the nicest man you’ll ever meet, if he even acknowledges your presence, but he certainly isn’t hard to look at.
Lopez occasionally makes headlines for his tennis game, a game that if he were more consistent would catapult him up the rankings, but he generally spends time in the Spanish papers for his bro-mance with best friend Fernando Verdasco. His scandalous relationships with women, most notably Maria Jose Suarez cemented him as a gossip column regular in Spain.
The drama of was she or wasn’t she pregnant and questions about how the pregnancy ended and his apparently lack of support circulated for much of last year. It was Suarez herself that confirmed that she was in the early stages of pregnancy despite breaking up with Lopez. She announced her pregnancy before completing her first trimester.
Maria Sharapova is one of the most photographed women in tennis who secured highly paid sponsorship deals to, for example, wear a pair of Tiffany’s earring while she lost her round one match at the Australian Open one year.
Sharapova signed a deal with Nike in 2010 for 8 years that was worth $70 million. She has also won numerous ESPY awards including hottest female athlete in 2007. At 17 years of age Maria was the youngest Wimbledon final since Martina Hingis in 1997.
Sharapova is well known for her modeling and on court fashion and prides herself on always looking her best.
Jan Michael is the owner of a rippling six pack and was formerly ranked number 14 in the world. Since disappearing from the tennis scene Jan Michael has appeared on a TV show called ‘Tough Love’ were match makers attempted to fix him up in front of the world.
The still active 33 year old is currently ranked 1296 in the world and still plays for the Boston Lobsters in the World Team Tennis league.
‘The Divine Argentine’ Gabriela achieved a career high ranking of number 3 and before retiring in 1996 was one of my favourite players. Sabatini is a perfect example of a player who has escaped the 80′s and who has improved with age.
The silver medalist won her lone Grand Slam title in 1990 and a doubles title 1988 at Wimbledon.
There is no one on the tour who lights up when the smile quite like Jo Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga first blasted to our attention in 2008 when he steam rolled everyone on route to the finals of the Australian Open where he was beaten by Novak Djokovic.
Tsonga’s well muscled body has won hearts around the world – but not as many as his infectious personality has won.
Russian Maria, yes another gorgeous blonde Russian, has achieved a career high ranking of 18 in 2008 and posed for Sports Illustrated the following year. Kirilenko has also dated ATP player Igor Andreev.
Her best singles result so far came in 2010 where she made the Australian Open quarterfinals. This yeah in doubles she made the finals, also at the Australian Open.
Kirilenko may be one of the lesser known beautiful Russians but she is definitely a fashionable beauty.
From time to time I see Patty down at the shops and I can tell you not only does the man have a good looking family but he has gotten better with age.
Australian Rafter makes Bonds wife beaters look damn good and always has. As an active player he was always hot, frequently sweaty and brought some great serve and volley play to the tour. The sometimes long haired shooter modeled during his career and has continued extensive modeling since he retired.
Rafter, a former world number one and two time US Open champ, comes from a family of nine children, and with two of his own now, works hard to promot e the plight of sick kids. The lovable Patty donated half of his prize money from each of US Open wins to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Pat is now the Davis Cup captain for Australia.
The recently retired Elena was one of the most well mannered and popular women on the WTA, not to mention one of the most beautiful. Dementieva has gold and silver Olympic medals and despite her best efforts she never managed to claim a Grand Slam. In 2004 she was a runner up at the US Open and French Open.
When she retired the Russian beauty stated she was looking forward to having a family.
Well the man has got game and attitude to back it up. The former funny man who spent more time doing imitations, modeling and chasing Federer and Nadal from a distance has really hit his stride. So far the good looking Serbian is undefeated in 2011.
Recently Djokovic hit the cat walk in Cannes to help raise money for earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan. Nole also organised fund raising for Japan in Miami – so not only is he good looking and funny but he’s also generous and talented – what more could a girl ask for!
Former Austrian player Barbara is well known for her curvaceous body and golden blonde hair. Schett, who is married to an Australian former tennis player, has made headlines around the world more for her modeling than her tennis playing.
Interestingly some of her greatest success in tennis has come from pairing another beauty, Anna Kournikova.
The silver haired fox has been hot all his life. The very first King of Clay annihilated opponents in his day and is still actively involved in the tennis season. Despite an early retirement Borg tried to make a comeback with the old wooden rackets in the 90′s, also growing his hair out to resemble to Borg of old and unsurprisingly failed to win a match against today’s power athletes with superior racket technology.
With 11 Grand Slams to his name Borg is one of the greatest tennis players of the Open era. He is frequently invited to return to events such as Roland Garros, sometimes contributing with some commentary, but it is the Swede’s still good looking face and sometimes controversial personal life that keeps him interesting.
Another gorgeous Argentinian who has previously dated Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco and Fernando Gonzalez is hilariously engaged to her third Fernando – Fernando Gago who plays for Real Madrid. Can’t blame a girl for having a type.
Gisela is a frequent player on both the singles and doubles circuit but struggles to play with consistency in singles.
The Scud had one of the biggest serves on the circuit at his time. The tall Australian, who almost barked when he ripped winners, was a runner up at the US Open and Wimbledon reaching a career high ranking of number 8.
The big problem with Mark was his knees never seemed to want to let him play. The Scud had multiple surgeries before retiring to a life of dating gorgeous women like Delta Goodrem, Paris Hilton and most recently Jennifer Esposito. Philippoussis also was the focus of the series ‘Age of Love’ where he dated a series of younger women and cougars and, surprise surprise, he chose a young woman.
Mark has been engaged twice, once briefly to Esposito and also to the much younger Alexis Barbara.
He recently made a failed attempt to return to the ATP circuit.
Retired South African Amanda is married to a Hollywood film producer and, as have most attractive tennis player, tried modeling once or twice in her career.
The pint sized star made it to number three in the rankings only retired recently in 2004 after an extensive career on the circuit.