Top 10 Shortest Men’s Tennis Players [2024 Updated]

There are some professional tennis players who are shorter than average. Tennis courts are not just for tall men. In this blog post, we will take a look at the shortest men’s tennis players who have ever played in a professional tournament.

Professional tennis doesn’t have as much of a height barrier as other professional sports. A number of the shortest tennis players have equaled the record of their taller opponents in terms of career wins. You can also check Shortest Women’s Tennis Players here.

Our list of the shortest men’s tennis players is inspired by their athletic accomplishments. In order to demonstrate that height is not a barrier to success in the world of men’s tennis, here are 10 men’s tennis players who have proven that it is not an issue.

The shortest to the tallest are shown here…

Top 10 Shortest Men’s Tennis Players List of 2023

PlayersCountryUS HeightEU HeightATP Ranking
OLIVIER ROCHUSBelgium5 ft 5 inch1.65m24
YOSHIHITO NISHIOKAJapan5 ft 7 inch1.70m48
DIEGO SCHWARTZMANArgentina5 ft 7 inch1.70m8
Hugo GastonFrance5 ft 9 inch1.75m66
ROD LAVERAustralia5 ft 8 inch1.73m1
DAMIR DŽUMHURBosnia and Herzegovina5 ft 9 inch1.75m23
DAVID FERRERSpain5 ft 9 inch1.75m3
RIČARDAS BERANKISLithuania5 ft 9 inch1.75m50
MICHAEL CHANGUSA5 ft 9 inch1.75m2
MARCELO RÍOSChile5 ft 9 inch1.75m1


Height: 5 ft 5 inch

Turned Pro: 1999

Retired: 2014

Overall Winnings: $4,809,475

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A post shared by Olivier Rochus (@olivier_rochus)

He is the younger brother of another famous player, Christophe Rochus, the shortest pro tennis player to have made it big. The most noteworthy achievement of his career was winning the doubles title with Xavier Malisse at the 2004 French Open.


Height: 5 ft 7 in

Turned Pro: 2014

Retired: Still playing

Overall Winnings: $2,933,128

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A post shared by Yoshihito Nishioka(西岡良仁) (@yoshihito0927)

Nishioka has been successful using a left-handed backhand while playing right-hand throughout his career. As a result of his remarkable work ethic and ATP Tour singles title, he also ranked 48 on the world tennis rankings.

His first ATP title came after a year of rehab following a knee injury in 2017. He hopes to repeat this feat in the near future.

You may enjoy reading How To Hit The Best Serve In Tennis?


Height: 5 ft 7 in

Turned Pro: 2010

Retired: Still playing

Overall Winnings: $9,553,262

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A post shared by Diego Schwartzman (@dieschwartzman)

The Argentinian phenom Diego Schwartzman reached number 8 in the 2020 world rankings despite being one of the shortest male tennis players. The return game he plays on clay courts is one of the best in the world.

“It’s not just for the big guys here,” Schwartzman said after becoming the shortest US Open quarterfinalist in 2017.

4. Hugo Gaston

Height: 5 ft 8 in

Turned Pro: 2018

Retired: Yes

Overall Winnings: $1,595,010

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A post shared by Hugo Gaston (@gastonhugo)

French tennis player Hugo Gaston was born on 30 December 2000 as Hugo Gaston Pérez-Soria.

At the beginning of March 2021, he achieved a career-high ranking of No. 46 in the world for singles and No. 313 for doubles. After receiving a wildcard for the main draw at the 2020 French Open, Gaston made his Grand Slam singles debut.

You may enjoy reading How Much Do Tennis Players Make?


Height: 5 ft 8 in

Turned Pro: 1963

Retired: 1979

Overall Winnings: $1,565,413

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A post shared by Break The Deuce (@breakthedeuce)

Many consider Rod Laver to be the greatest tennis player of all time, despite his old-school style. A top-ranked player in the world for nine different years of his career!

He amassed more than ten singles titles per year in seven consecutive years as he collected 200 singles titles. 


Height: 5 ft 9 in

Turned Pro: 2011

Retired: Still playing

Overall Winnings: $4,384,893

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A post shared by Damir Dzumhur (@damirdzumhur)

A Bosnian-born man from his country became the first from his nation to compete in the Olympics. His home country has turned him into a hero as he rose through the ranks of pro tennis.

In addition, he hopes to finish in the top 10 of the worldwide rankings for men’s tennis players in his remaining career years.


Height: 5 ft 9 in

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2019

Overall Winnings: $31,483,911

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A post shared by David Ferrer (@davidferrer1982)

David Ferrer’s career earnings rank 7th all-time in tennis, proving that height is no barrier to success. Many victories have been secured by his wicked backhand, which he uses primarily on clay courts.

Although he is now retired from playing, he remains active in the sport in a coaching capacity.

You may enjoy reading Tennis Scoring System


Height: 5 ft 9 in

Turned Pro: 2007

Retired: Still playing

Overall Winnings: $3,74,560

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A post shared by Ricardas Berankis (@berankisr)

A Lithuanian hero, Ricerdas Berankis is one of only a handful of players from Eastern Europe to rank among the top 50 in the ATP. While he has achieved success in tennis, his parents still work in the post office and drive taxis.

A funny twist of fate is that the middle name “Bernakis” is a translation of “armless” – something that Ri”ardas does not belong!


Height: 5 ft 9 in

Turned Pro: 1988

Retired: 2003

Overall Winnings: $19,145,632

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A post shared by Dayton’s Gallery (@daytonsgallery)

He is known for his agility and powerful defense as the youngest winner of a Grand Slam tournament. Due to his short stature, he is able to play a unique type of game that taller competitors cannot.

As one of the greatest players of all time, he is now inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.


Height: 5 ft 9 in

Turned Pro: 1994

Retired: 2004

Overall Winnings: $9,713,771

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A post shared by Forty-Love (@fortylovetennis)

First Latin American men’s tennis player, El Zurdo de Vitacura hails from Chile and is ranked number one on the ATP singles rankings. He was on track to win upwards of five Masters titles if not for a back injury that forced him to retire.

Despite his constant involvement in controversies, he was respected by his professional tennis peers for his aggressive playing style.

You may enjoy reading Tallest Female Tennis Players

Shortest Men’s Tennis Players: Benefits

Shortest Men’s Tennis Players

Many people think tennis players must be tall because of stereotypes. With their huge serves, insane reach, and heavy groundstrokes, some absolute giants of the sport dominate the tennis court.

Many of the players who have had a lot of success on the court stand over 2 meters tall, including Reilly Opelka, Ivo Karlovic, John Isner, and Jerzu Janowicz.

Because taller players can serve the ball from a higher trajectory, they often have much bigger serves, which often results in a lot of free points.

In addition to helping cover the net, their long limbs make it difficult to pass or lob them, since they can volley the ball down the court.

Besides being taller and stronger, taller players are often able to hit powerful groundstrokes to accompany their big serves.

While this sounds great, taller tennis players may have a few areas they lack, which gives shorter players an edge.

Tennis players who are shorter may have a few advantages on the court, so don’t fret!


Players who are shorter tend to excel at quickness around the court more than those who are taller. Since shorter players have a lower center of gravity and often have faster footspeed, they can change directions more quickly.

As a tennis player, this skill is crucial if you want to turn defense into attack.

Despite lacking massive height, many players are great counterpunchers. By doing this, you are allowing your opponent to play aggressively while waiting for their mistakes or actively provoking them to make one.

Big hitters are often intimidated by counterpunching because counterpunching is also great at hitting defensive lob shots and passing shots.

Ability to defend

In addition to having great hand skills, many short tennis players are excellent defensively as well. As a result, they are more likely to win points through methods other than simply blasting their opponents off the court with their serves and groundstrokes.

With a flick of the wrist, shorter players can escape trouble and attack with one shot, immediately turning defense into attack.


Tennis players who are shorter can often gain an advantage over their larger counterparts by improving their technique.

Players who are taller usually hit the ball harder, so they get away with imperfect technique because of their additional height, trajectory, longer limbs, and more leverage.

They can develop bad habits over time, which can limit their shot potential or possibly cause injuries.

As a consequence of their lack of height, shorter players don’t face this issue.

To get the most out of their stature and biomechanics, shorter players tend to focus on their consistency and technique.


Tennis players who are shorter tend to possess more skill and craftiness around the court, which we have discussed previously.

Compared with taller players who are more reliant on big serves, forehands, and backhands, this is their bread and butter, along with long rallies, consistency, and fitness.

Despite missing those huge weapons, a few of the players we highlight below have displayed some of the most impressive hand skills and court awareness that tennis has ever seen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered the shortest men’s tennis player of all time?

The shortest men’s tennis player of all time is Olivier Rochus, who stands at 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall.

Can shorter players compete effectively against taller opponents in tennis?

Yes, shorter players can compete effectively against taller opponents in tennis. While height can provide certain advantages, shorter players often compensate with speed, agility, and exceptional skills.

How important is technique in the success of shorter tennis players?

Technique plays a crucial role in the success of shorter tennis players. Precise shots, exceptional footwork, and strategic gameplay are essential for overcoming physical limitations and competing at the highest level.

Have any shorter men’s tennis players won Grand Slam titles?

Yes, shorter men’s tennis players have won Grand Slam titles. David Ferrer reached the final of the French Open in 2013, and Diego Schwartzman reached the semifinals of the French Open in 2020, showcasing the ability of shorter players to achieve remarkable feats.

Are there any advantages that shorter tennis players possess over taller players?

While taller players may have advantages in terms of reach and power, shorter tennis players often excel in speed, agility, and the ability to retrieve difficult shots. Their lower center of gravity can provide them with better balance and quick directional changes.

Final Thoughts

So tennis isn’t just for tall guys. There are several successful men’s tennis players who were considered short in stature in this article.

To be a great tennis player, you don’t need significant height like in basketball or American football. You may find inspiration to keep your own sporting journey going after reading about these achievements by tennis’s shortest players. 

David Harris

David is the founder and chief writer at Tennis Pursuits. A tennis fanatic, David has extensive experience of the game and has reviewed 100s of products to date. He is passionate about helping others on their tennis journey.

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