Tipping the scales to be the best tennis pros in the world, are a number of American male players. In this special 3-part series, we’ll continue looking at the top 50 male American players on the ATP and learn what it takes to make it to the top of the leaderboard.
Besides sheer determination and some God-given talent, it takes a lot of sacrifices to play at the pro level. Athletes have to stay motivated, be persistent in training, and never surrender their self-confidence. Especially since tennis is such a discouraging sport with far more tournament losers than winners.
Coaches, families, and friends play an instrumental role in supporting the pros. So do fans. For that reason, we should applaud the red, white, and blue players who are rising to the occasion, one tournament at a time.
Top 50 ATP Tennis Pros
Sebastian Korda is ranked No. 26. Influenced by his parents, both retired tennis pros, he joined the tour in 2018 after winning the Australian Open boys’ singles title. It was a mere 20 years after his father, Petr Korda, won the Australian Open men’s singles title. Korda has a powerful backhand and plays with a Wilson racquet.
John Isner is ranked 37. During his 16-year career, he’s earned 16 titles. Dubbed a history-maker, Isner’s served a record 14,039 aces on the ATP Tour and played the longest match in history. He beat Nicolas Mahut in the first round at 2010 Wimbledon. The match lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, but he lost in the next round to Thiemo de Bakker.
J.J. Wolf is ranked No. 39. Nicknamed ‘Wolfie’, he comes from a long line of athletes. In fact, his grandfather, Charles Wolf, played basketball, baseball, and American football at Notre Dame before pursuing a career as an MLB player for the Cincinnati Reds.
More ATP Pros
Maxime Cressy joined the tour in 2019. Ranked at No. 40, the French-born American broke into the top 50 last June and has been advancing ever since. Cressy is a serve and volleyer, which is pretty uncommon these days. Devoted to meditation, he claims his best quality is his persistence and endorses Babalot for his racquet strung with Solinco strings.
Newcomer, Ben Shelton ranked 42. He posted a 65-10 singles record during two seasons playing for the University of Florida where he clinched the NCAA team title in 2021 and the NCAA singles title in 2022. Recently, he made it to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open, losing to fellow countryman, Tommy Paul.
Jenson Brooksby is making his way to the top of the leaderboard at No. 43. With a unique playing style, he joined the tour in 2021 and was voted 2021 ATP Newcomer of the Year by fellow players. Describing himself as a physical player, with an aggressive approach, off the court he plays piano.
Brandon Nakashima recently won player of the year in his native city, San Diego, Ca. Sitting at 46, the 21-year-old idolizes Roger Federer but says he plays more like Novak Djokovic. If he could steal any shot from another player, it would be Pete Sampras’ serve or Nick Kyrgios’ drop shots. He endorses Babolat equipment.
Other American pros having success on the tour include Marcos Giron, Mackenzie McDonald, Rilley Opelka, and Michael Mmoh. Still, more are coming up the ranks. You can watch these pros and more at Indian Wells, BNP beginning Monday, March 6.
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*World rankings based on tour stats as of 2/13/2023.