The best tennis commentators in the world – 5 legendary voices

The best tennis commentators in the world – 5 legendary voices
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Being a diehard tennis fan, few things get me more hyped than listening to the best tennis commentators call a big match. Those voices become like close friends, bringing all the action and drama to life with classic phrases, interesting metaphors, and much more. But when it comes to the cream of the crop, I’ve got a select group of commentators in mind that keep me glued to the TV for numerous reasons. 

Below, I’ve outlined who I believe to be the best tennis commentators in the business, and I’ve explained exactly why, too. So, let’s get the ball rolling and run through these five legendary commentators right now. 

John McEnroe

You cannot be serious, man! If you want an iconic voice and personality, John McEnroe is the ultimate as one of the best tennis commentators out there. This bad boy of tennis was a seven-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1. However, McEnroe has long retired from the game, yet he excites us all by bringing unreal insights and passion to the commentary box.

Personally, I love his brutally honest and outspoken takes on the game. Whether he’s dissecting a brilliant shotmaking sequence or ripping a player for a boneheaded move, you know ‘Johnny Mac’ will always call it as he sees it. It’s what he did as a player, and it’s definitely what he’s known for as a commentator, for better or worse!

McEnroe best tennis commentators
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Better yet, he’s full of witty one-liners, he has great banter with whoever he is working with, and he’s not afraid to make fun of himself, either. Together, this makes him an endless source of entertainment, and it convinces me that he’s one of the best tennis commentators in the world right now.

Mark Petchey

Although I love McEnroe for his honesty and comedic value, I respect Mark Petchey for totally different reasons. In my opinion, Petchey might just be the most complete and versatile of the best tennis commentators covering the game today. As a former pro himself, Petchey has a deep understanding of the game, and that’s why he is able to give some fantastic technical and tactical insights.

However, it’s not just his knowledge of the game that makes me respect him so much. Petchey is a great talker – highly charismatic in every respect of the word. He’s very good at raising discussions in the booth, too, and he is able to form an instant and magnetic connection with whoever he’s working with. This gives him a likeable quality, but Petchey isn’t just a great commentator for those who are familiar with the game. 

Thanks to such well-rounded commentary, Petchey is able to simplify the complexities of the game so even casual fans can follow along. Lastly, his excitement, passion, and first-rate professionalism shine through on every single match he calls, whether it’s an epic five-setter or a random first round blowout.

Martina Navratilova

You’re simply not going to find many better or more insightful analysts than living legend Martina Navratilova among the best tennis commentators. Her achievements as a professional are truly incredible, and you don’t win 59 Grand Slam titles without serious knowledge of the game. That said, Navratilova offers a different style than McEnroe and Petchey. She keeps it real and candid with her no-nonsense personality, which many tennis fans love!

Navratilova best tennis commentators
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Then again, she’s not a ‘dry’ commentator by any means. In fact, she’ll have you cracking up with her sassy remarks and joyful giggles, and she’s not afraid of challenging the views of other commentators, either. Additionally, Navratilova is a very powerful figure in the booth, and she’s a great advocate for things like gender equality alongside her long-time friend, Billie Jean King.

But overall, her iconic voice and reputation command so much respect and credibility. You can’t help but soak up her perspective on the game, and since she almost has that ‘mother-like’ quality to her commentary, she’s adored all over the world – deservedly so.

Robbie Koenig

Robbie Koenig is your man if you want over-the-top energy, flair, and creative terminology. Personally, I think he has a claim to go down as the best of the best tennis commentators right now, although this is purely my opinion. This longtime Tennis Channel voice makes even the most mundane matches feel like grand events with his charismatic and animated delivery. 

His trademark “OHHH!” exclamations when calling big moments give me goosebumps every time. But what really makes Koenig the complete package is his obvious, contagious passion and unmatched enthusiasm for the game. You can feel his childlike awe and giddiness over spectacular shots whenever he’s covering a match. 

As for his most famous phrases, you’ve just got to love his classics:

  • This is tennis nearer the Gods – no mortal may approach
  • Water covers 60% of the planet, ‘X player’ covers the rest

Nick Kyrgios

I debated including Nick Kyrgios on my list of the best tennis commentators, as he’s still so new at it. In fact, his first day on the job was at the 2024 Australian Open, but he took to the booth like a duck to water. Kyrgios offers a totally unique dynamic, helped by the fact that he’s an active player and he’s covering his peers when in the commentary box.

Kyrgios best tennis commentators
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The most interesting thing about Kyrgios’ commentary is that he comes across as uninterested and a non-lover of the game when competing. But when commentating, he brings surprising levels of admiration and respect for his fellow players. Of course, he’s also a great commentator if you prefer the more comedic approach.

Kyrgios will have you cracking up and shaking your head in the same breath with his brilliant tactical observations one minute, followed by a quick jab at someone the next. Most of all, I love his realness and rawness while commentating. Since he’s new to it, his style feels much less rehearsed than others, and it’s refreshing to listen to a guy who is simply calling it as he sees it.  

That said, while I want Kyrgios to come back to professional tennis as soon as possible, I also hope he sticks with commentary in whatever capacity he can.

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