The world of tennis is ever changing, as the strains and rigours of the modern top flight game take their toll on the body.
No longer is it possible to stay on the baseline and hope to beat your opponent through sheer physical strength. Some people say tennis is a young man’s game and although this is strictly not true the pace and relentless pressure means that the modern player does not stay as long at the top than perhaps his predecessors might have done.
Here are the top five world players as of May 2016.
No.1 Novak Djokovic
Born in 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia and plays right handed.
Djokovic is a very versatile player and has won 10 Grand Slam titles, including three in a terrific 2011 season that saw him capture 10 tournament titles overall.
His most recent Slam win came in September 2015 when he defeated Roger Federer in the US Open. In 2012 Nadal played a five hour, fifty three minute epic against Rafael Nadal to capture his third Australian Open and the longest Grand Slam victory in history.
It was Djokovic’s seventh straight win against Nadal after his 5 set semi final victory over Andy Murray. He became the fifth man in the Open era to win three straight majors.
No.2 Andy Murray
Born in 1987 in Dunblane, Scotland, Murray plays right handed.
No British man had won Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 until Andy Murray won it in 2013 beating world no.1 Novak Djokovic. Murray was also a finalist in the 2008 US Open defeating Nadal in the semi’s before losing to Federer.
Murray is also a three time Australian Open finalist, failing to Djokovic in 2011 and 2013 and 2012 to Federer.
He broke into the top 100 in 2005 and in 2008, Murray became the first British player in the history of the ATP rankings to finish the season ranked in the top 4.
No.3 Roger Federer
Born in 1981 in Basel, Switzerland and plays right handed.
Hailed as the greatest player ever by Tennis magazine in September 2009. Roger Federer attained the all-time record for Grand Slam singles titles by winning Wimbledon in 2009, which was his 15th major victory.
Federer began 2010 by beating Murray to win his record extending 16th Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Federer won Wimbledon five consecutive times from 2003-2007 but lost to Nadal in the 2008 final and what was considered to be the best match ever played.
The loss was Federer’s first on grass since 2002 and ended a record 65 match winning streak on the fast surface.
No.4 Stanislas Wawrinka
Born in 1985 in Lausanne, Switzerland and plays right handed.
Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam in 2014 defeating Nadal at the Australian Open. He earned his first win over a world no.1 and broke a streak of 16 straight major titles won by the Big 4 and rose to a career high ranking of no.3 in 2015.
Wawrinka won his second Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2015, beating Federer. He has also reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals.
No.5 Rafael Nadal
Born in 1986 in Spain, left handed player.
The only left handed player in the top five, Nadal is a 14 time major champion and arguably the greatest clay court player of all time. He became the first man to win a Grand Slam tournament eight times when he beat David Ferrer in the 2013 Roland Garros final.
Nadal hold the record for being the first man to win at least one Grand Slam title for nine consecutive years.
From April 2005 to May 2007, Nadal won 81 consecutive matches on clay, a single surface record that stands as an Open era record.