Why rank tennis players by reaction face? Why NOT is the better question.
Sorting today’s top ATP players into the 10 best based on reaction face is exactly as fun as it sounds. These pictures are worth so much more than a thousand words. Enjoy.
1. Andy Murray: The GOAT
One man, one million faces.
Whether Andy Murray is berating himself loudly, muttering sarcastically, confusing his coaches or celebrating victory, the world No. 3 is No. 1 in incredible reactions. You want to win a point against the Muzz? You better prepare to beat him AND his faces.
Can only guess what Murray thinks of this most honourable distinction…
2. Gael Monfils: Living legend
Everyone knows Gael is a one-man highlight reel. The former junior world No. 1 and current No. 17 might never reach this high on the current tour, but with a Reactions Ranking of No. 2, he’s clearly ensured he’ll be a sight to see no matter where he goes, and forever how long he chooses to play.
Gael, we salute you.
3. Novak Djokovic: Master of ceremonies
We love a laugh with Novak, but his slow Godfather-esque nods, stretched-out arms of anger and stare down/glare downs all help give the world No. 1 an edge when it comes to ranking best tennis faces. Novak can make you laugh, but he might make you cry as well.
Enjoy the full range of emotions here, as Djoker doesn’t realize he won the set. All the faces.
4. Fabio Fognini: Jack of all faces, master of one
Fabio gets mad a lot.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Fognini when it comes to his actual tennis, but you can pretty much bet on entertaining expressions at least. He’s usually angry about something, often comically so, even getting the chair ump to laugh at his displays.
5. Rafael Nadal: Brow king
Rafa’s eyebrows are what I personally use as the barometer for how his matches are going. Tell me I’m wrong.
These I would call “Happy Brows.”
6. Nick Kyrgios: Loose cannon
The Australian’s time on the ATP tour hasn’t been long, but his impact has been made. Drawing more and more controversy as time goes, Kyrgios has certainly attracted a lot of attention for his on-court antics, wearing emotion on his sleeve and feelings all over his face.
He’s often veering semi-wildly between being too cool for school or in full-blown rage mode, which keeps things… interesting, to say the least. We like the emotions, the silliness will hopefully calm down with time. But not too much… it’s fun!
7. Roger Federer: Humble Highness
Roger Federer is practically a tennis deity and his super cool expressions can definitely be described as ‘less is more.’ His withering glare basically types the words, “How dare you try to beat me” across his face anytime things aren’t going his way.
Apart from that and the very occasional impeRFect moment, Federer usually displays a serenity so unshakeable it’s hard to tell if he’s winning or losing… and actually, sometimes I’m not even sure he realizes when he’s losing.
This effect is not lost on the man himself, like when he somehow missed that he actually beat Kei Nishikori for the Halle title last year.
There was also, of course, this.
When Roger cries, we cry.
8. Tomas Berdych: Mr. Freeze
Tomas has had on-court flare-ups over the years, but his ice-cold glares, looks of disbelief and dry disdain are some less flashy grade A reaction material, imo.
Berdych goes through the whole gamut in this tiebreak against Federer, missing a shot by a hairline and going full statue-mode in response.
Actually – all parties involved have pretty epic reactions in this clip, from the linesman to Feds to Berdy’s coach. Impressive stuff!
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Je ne sais quoi
Tsonga, or “Jo-Willy” as Federer even especially likes to call him, is known for having a big, beautiful smile.
But, that’s not all he’s got going on. The Frenchman is incredibly French when it comes to his reaction faces, in that what they lack in expressiveness they make up for with style.
The man practically makes an epic fail look good.
10. Vasek Pospisil & Jack Sock: Grin to win
Entertaining and heart-warming on their own, the guys become lethal when partnered as Pospisock. The fun the pair has on court is palpable, written all over their (often smiley) faces.
Their bond seems to be based on being both super competitive and super into Chipotle, and the delightful result is that you can pretty much follow the score by watching their faces alone.
Also, their smiling-against-wills response to this close challenge (midway point) is amazing.