Over the last couple of decades, the tennis court has turned into a home for some very tall players. While there are certain advantages to being tall, these players have not exactly dominated the game as some would think. With height comes a tougher time moving around the court, staying healthy, and other physical limitations.
Who are the tallest tennis players on the ATP Tour right now? These 10 certainly intimidate many opponents standing on the other side of the net simply by showing up. In almost every case, the opponent also knows that it will be a challenging time returning serves all match long.
10. Sam Querrey – 6’6” / 198 cm
The first player on the list is the big server Sam Querrey. The American has never had that truly remarkable performance as a pro, but he has been pretty consistent for the last several years. He has 10 titles as a professional, and he reached the semifinals of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
The serve is big as a weapon, but he has also been able to have success as a player who can move to the net fairly easily. Now at age 33, it seems unlikely that he is ever going to make a legitimate Grand Slam championship run, but he has been one of the most consistent American players of the last decade.
9. Daniil Medvedev – 6’6” / 198 cm
The 24-year-old Russian certainly appears to be on the road to stardom if he can stay healthy throughout his prime. At 6‘6“ tall, he is one of the more complete players the game has seen at this height. When everything is working, he definitely can’t look like the best player in the world at times.
It looked like he was on the verge of winning the 2019 U.S. Open, but Rafael Nadal took care of business and won in five sets. He seems to play his best tennis at the U.S. Open, as he returned to the semifinals in 2020, but he is still looking for his first Grand Slam victory.
At the end of 2020, he showed what he is capable of by winning the ATP Year End Championships. Heading into 2021, he is in the discussion as the number one player in the world if things start to fall his way. The future is certainly bright for Medvedev, given that his body will hold up to the rigors of playing year after year.
8. Marin Cilic – 6’6” / 198 cm
One of the more under-appreciated players in recent memory, Marin Cilic has made three Grand Slam finals in his career, winning the 2014 U.S. Open. At 6‘6“ tall, he has never had a particularly exciting game for people to follow, which is one of the reasons why he is overlooked. That does not mean that his game is not effective, as he has been able to have success on all surfaces with well-rounded play.
The serve of Cilic might not be as dominant as other taller players, but it can turn into a major weapon when he is hitting his spots. Inconsistent play plagued him at times throughout his career, but he started to put it all together in the middle of the 2010s. He has struggled recently, but even if he never regains form, many would love to have the career he put together.
7. Juan Martin Del Potro – 6’6” / 198 cm
While there are many players put at 6‘6“ tall on the ATP Tour, Del Potro may be the most talented one. Many thought that Juan Martin del Potro would become a truly dominant force on tour when he won the 2009 U.S. Open.
Unfortunately, injuries have held him back, and now being in his 30s, it will be very difficult for him to ever fully compete for a Grand Slam title once again.
He reached as high as number three in the world in 2018, as he did make a pretty successful comeback after some injuries. He is still considered by many to be one of the toughest opponents one can go up against at any tournament.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of his career plays out. He does have an outstanding serve like many tall players, but his game is much more well-rounded than most of the other tall players. As long as movement is decent, he will hang around the top of the rankings for a few more years.
6. Chris Guccione – 6’7” / 201 cm
A journeyman Australian tennis player, Chris Guccione has made most of his noise as a doubles player. His career-high singles ranking of 67 has only allowed him to win a handful of matches at Grand Slam events. He does have five double titles to his name, and his size allows him to excel when covering half the court.
He is also the only left-handed player to make this list. The combination of having a lot of height and being left-handed makes his serve extremely difficult for players to handle. It usually takes a little bit of time during the match for players to fully get used to everything he is doing with pace and spin.
5. Kevin Anderson – 6’8” / 203 cm
Like a lot of tall players, it took a while for Kevin Anderson to reach the peak of his tennis-playing career. The South African went to college and played at Illinois, and he was a pretty average player on tour for the first few years. That all started to change after the age of 30, as he made the finals of the U.S. Open in 2017, as well as the 2018 Wimbledon final.
His body might be slowing him down a bit at this stage, but he did reach as high as number five in the world during his peak. Not bad for a player who many thought would just be a solid college player and nothing more.
4. Jerzy Janowicz – 6’8” / 203 cm
A lot of tennis fans were excited to see what Jerzy Janowicz could put together as a professional tennis player when he emerged on the scene in 2013. He made the semifinals at Wimbledon, and it put him inside the top 20 in rankings.
Since then, it has been a rocky road for the Polish tennis player. Injury issues have kept him out of play quite a bit, and there is a chance that he never recovers fully to compete at a high-level. He will always have a big serve and groundstrokes to fall back on, but the knees will have to hold up for him to make any major runs. His court cover was never great, and with injuries, it might prevent a full legitimate comeback.
3. John Isner – 6’10” / 208 cm
It is a pretty remarkable story for John Isner as a professional tennis player. Unlike many, he went to school first and had a great career at Georgia. Considered a late bloomer, he has played his best tennis in the last few years now that he is over the age of 30.
Isner holds the record for the official fastest serve in ATP history, reaching 157.2 mph in 2016. He is almost always one of the toughest guys to break from a serve perspective, and he has evolved into a pretty solid doubles player as well. At his current rate, he could follow Karlovic as a player competing past the age of 40. His consistency is admirable on tour for someone so big.
2. Reilly Opelka – 6’11” / 211 cm
Reilly Opelka made a lot of news when he won the Junior Wimbledon Championship as a youngster. He has not put it all together just yet at the professional level, but his big serve is always a wildcard when he is playing anyone. His first serve routinely reaches over 140 mph, which puts him near the top of serving lists every single year.
Some mild injury issues have limited him at certain points in his career, but he is showing consistency as a guy ranked inside the top 40 right now. At 23 years old, he still has a chance to play his best tennis later on. A lot of taller players take time to develop and reach their peak. With smarter point construction, he might be able to put a run together at a major.
1. Ivo Karlovic – 6’11” / 211 cm
It has been a very long, outstanding career for Ivo Karlovic. The Croatian has played on tour for a very long time, and while he has never put together a truly remarkable run at a major, he does have eight titles in his career.
What is even more impressive is that he holds various serve records such as most aces in a career, most aces in a three-set match, and others. Even over the age of 40, he is still nearly impossible to break when his serve is on. There is a reason why he has given the top players trouble in the past, and at this rate, he could play for a few more years and still prove to be competitive.