back to top

Men's Tennis Is An Oligarchy

For eight years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have traded the #1 ranking back and forth. In that time, pretty much every other sport has changed far, far more.

Posted on

The last men's tennis #1 who wasn't Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Novak Djokovic was Andy Roddick (remember him?) on February 1, 2004. Since then...

1. There have been ELEVEN women's world #1 tennis players.

Paul Gilham / Getty Images

Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo, and Lindsay Davenport.

2. There have been six NBA champions.

Andrew Innerarity / Reuters

The Miami Heat (2), the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers (2), the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs (2), and the Detroit Pistons.

Remember: tennis rankings can change on a weekly basis. League sports like the NBA give out these awards only once per year, and yet, there's still more changeover than in men's tennis.


4. There have been seven Super Bowl champions.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The New York Giants (2), the Green Bay Packers, the New Orleans Saints, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots.

6. There have been eight Stanley Cup champions, a different one every year.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings, the Boston Bruins, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings, the Anaheim Ducks, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Tampa Bay Lightning.


8. There have been six World Series champions.

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals (2), the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Boston Red Sox (2), and the Chicago White Sox.

9. There have been 26 MLB MVP and Cy Young winners.

Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images

*deep breath*

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, Albert Pujols (3), Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Barry Bonds

AL MVP: Justin Verlander, Josh Hamilton, Joe Mauer, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Rodriguez (2), Justin Morneau, Vladimir Guerrero

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum (2), Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Johan Santana (2), Bartolo Colon

12. There have been six Ballon D'or winners, given to the world's best soccer player.


Lionel Messi (3), Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldinho, and Andriy Shevchenko.

13. And there have been eight Little League World Series champions.

Matt Slocum / AP

Willemstad, Curacao; Ewa Beach, Hawaii; Columbus, Georgia; Warner Robins, Georgia; Waipahu, Hawaii; Chula Vista, California; Edogawa Minami, Japan; and Huntington Beach, California.