The Best Tennis Stars You've Never Heard Of

Everyone knows names like Venus and Serena Williams, but what are the names of some of the up-and-coming tennis stars? It is hard to keep up with all the new talent on the court, much less some of the past greats that did not get their fair share of recognition. Here are a few tennis stars you might not be familiar with but who accomplished great things—or will!

1) Alice Marble. Born in 1913, Marble was one of the first women “stars” in tennis, winning a total of 18 Grand Slam championships between 1936 and 1940. Marble acted as a spy for U.S. Intelligence during World War II and later coached Billie Jean King.

2) Pablo Carreno-Busta. In 2011, this Spanish player advanced over 160 ranking spots. He is currently 183 in the world and should soon make the top 100. He resides in Barcelona and is looked to be one of next year’s greats.

3) Tony Trabert. Anthony Trabert was born in 1930 in Cincinnati and won a total of 5 Grand Slams during his career. He was listed as one of the 21 best players of all time by tennis great Jack Kramer.

4) Cedric-Marcel Stebe. Stebe has shown his versatility since defeating Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the toughest match of his career to date. He is currently 197 in the world, but is expected to make the top 100 soon.

5) Althea Gibson. Gibson is not exactly an unknown, but she never received the recognition she deserved in her lifetime. One of the first African-American female players, Gibson was not allowed to play in many famous tennis matches. She still managed to become the first African-American to be invited to Wimbledon.

6) Kenny De Schepper. Watch for this French player to advance quickly in the men’s ranks. At 6 feet 6 inches, his size should limit his game, but he seems to meet every challenge including playing at Wimbledon in 2011.

7) Suzanne Lenglen. Lenglen was the world’s first female tennis star and a bit of a maverick for her time. Competing between 1914 and 1926, she won 31 championships during that time and blazed the trail for other female players.

8) Lukas Rosol. This Czech player ranked 65 in the world in August of 2011. He is best known for his amazing upset of world champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012.

9) Heather Watson. In a sport where Eastern European and American females seem to dominate, it is nice to see a proper British girl sweep her country’s most famous tennis match. Heather Watson did just that at Wimbledon in 2012, leading the pack of a British re-invasion of the sport.

10) Samuel Groth. Groth, an Australian tennis player, set the world record for the fastest serve at 163 miles per hour. His immense strength promises great success in the future.

This list is not exhaustive by any means. The leading lights from past and present as well as future could be categorized in a number of different ways. However, these names represent some of the most interesting tennis players from all ages and countries, and show how versatile this game is when it comes to making legends!


Norman Wakefield is an expert on sports, health and fitness, sports clothing and attire, exercise science and other related topics; for great tennis gear check out the selection at Lupo Clothing.

Image credit goes to mawie.