40 Most Successful Athletes of the 21st Century

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

26. Ray Lewis
> Sport: Football
> Championships: 2x Super Bowl
> Team or country: Baltimore Ravens
> Career length: 1996-2012
> Other accomplishments: 13x Pro Bowl, 7x All-Pro, 2x Defensive Player of the Year

Ray Lewis established himself as one of the most fearsome defensive players in NFL history, winning two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Source: Harry How / Getty Images

27. Richard Seymour
> Sport: Football
> Championships: 3x Super Bowl
> Team or country: New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders
> Career length: 2001-2012
> Other accomplishments: 7x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro

Richard Seymour became a linchpin of the New England Patriots defense as the team won three titles in four years. He was an All-Pro pass rusher during two of those years. He later played for the Oakland Raiders, making two Pro Bowl teams with the team.

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

28. Robert Horry
> Sport: Basketball
> Championships: 7x NBA Champion
> Team or country: Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs
> Career length: 1992-2008
> Other accomplishments: All-Rookie team

Robert Horry is one of just nine players in NBA history with at least seven championships — and the only one who was not a member of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s. Horry won two titles with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995, three straight with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002, and two more with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and 2007. Known as “Big Shot Bob,” Horry made his name by hitting clutch shots late in close playoff games to help his team win.

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29. Roger Federer
> Sport: Tennis
> Championships: 20x Grand Slam, 1x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: Switzerland
> Career length: 1998-present
> Other accomplishments: 310 weeks as #1

Roger Federer is one of the greatest male tennis players of all time. He has won 20 Grand Slam titles, tied with Novak Djokovic  and one behind Rafael Nadal for the most of all time. He has also spent 310 weeks as the world’s top ranked men’s tennis player, second only to Djokovic. Federer teamed up with fellow Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka to win gold at doubles tennis during the 2008 Olympics.

Source: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

30. Serena Williams
> Sport: Tennis
> Championships: 23x Grand Slam, 4x Olympic gold medal
> Team or country: United States
> Career length: 1995-present
> Other accomplishments: 319 weeks as #1

Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles, just one behind Margaret Court for the most singles Grand Slam titles in tennis history, winning all four major tournaments at least three times. She is one of just three women who have been the world’s top ranked tennis player for over 300 weeks. Williams has also won four Olympic gold medals — three for doubles alongside her sister Venus, and one singles gold in 2012.

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