Tennis is one of the most loved games in the world. The game has maintained its lead among traditional sports participation growth over the past decade.
On the gender equality scale, tennis ranks the highest among all other sports. In tennis, where men and women compete alongside one another at the same stadiums around the world, female players enjoy the same level of popularity as men. In tennis’ four major tournaments, women now earn the same amount of prize money as men.
Considering the overall titles they won including the Grand Slams, and their popularity, we’ve listed down the 10 greatest female tennis players of all-time, just for you:
Serena Jameka Williams is one of the strongest and most powerful women to ever play the game. She is certainly the most dominant active player. The Williams sisters are one of the most prominent players in tennis history. Williams is currently ranked No. 1 in women’s singles tennis. She holds the most Major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active female players.
Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and several Olympic gold medals. Along with her record-breaking individual success, Williams has teamed with her sister Venus to win a series of doubles titles. In 2017, she won her 23rd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, defeating her older sister Venus in the Australian Open. With her 23rd win, the tennis superstar surpassed Steffi Graf’s record and captured the world number one ranking.
Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova was one of the world’s top tennis players in the 1970s and ’80s. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1956, Martina Navratilova began playing tennis at a young age, and dominated women’s tennis from the late 1970s through a good portion of the 1980s.
Known for her extreme physical conditioning, Martina brought the big serve and volley back to the women’s game. In all, she holds the open era record for career titles with 167 and has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles championships and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles. Her greatest success came at Wimbledon, where she advanced to 12 singles finals, winning nine titles.
Chris Evert has been a household name since the 1970s, thanks to her world record-smashing success as a professional tennis player and her trailblazing style. She is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles. She was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981. Overall Evert won 157 singles championships and 32 doubles titles.
On clay courts, her career winning percentage in singles matches of 94.55% remains a WTA record. Evert is regarded by some to be the greatest female tennis player of all time.
Monica Seles, born on December 2, 1973 is a former Yugoslav world no. 1 professional tennis player and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Seles became the youngest player to take over the world’s No. 1 ranking in 1991. She dominated the sport until 1993. She won nine Grand Slam singles titles, eight of them while a citizen of Yugoslavia and the final as a citizen of United States of America.
She became the youngest winner of the French Open at just 16, beating Steffi Graf in the tournament. The following year, the 17-year-old made history again as the youngest player to take over the world’s No. 1 ranking. From January 1991 through February 1993, she won 33 of the 34 tournaments she entered, including six Grand Slam singles titles.
Born on July 16, 1942 in Albury, New South Wales, Australia, Margaret Court is best known for her successful tennis career, winning 66 Grand Slam Championships. Court dominated women’s tennis in the 1960’s, winning 66 grand slam titles. She went on to win the singles and doubles grand slam championship.
In 1970, Court became the first woman during the open era (and the second woman in history) to win the singles Grand Slam (all four major tournaments in the same calendar year). She won a record 24 of those titles (11 in the Open era), a record that still stands. She also won 19 women’s doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles, giving her a record 64 major titles overall. She is the only woman to win the mixed doubles Grand Slam, which she accomplished twice.
Born on June 14, 1969, in Mannheim, West Germany, Steffi Graf entered pro tennis at 13 and became one of the sport’s top players. In her professional tennis career, Steffi Graf spent 377 weeks as the No. 1 female player and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles.
She won Wimbledon seven times, the U.S Open five times, the Australian Open four times and the French Open six times en route to her 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, she had a “Golden Slam,” winning all four major competitions and Olympic gold in one calendar year. Graf retired from tennis in 1999. Many of her peers consider her the best of all-time.
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. She Won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women’s doubles, and 11 mixed doubles titles. King won the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. Her hard-charging aggressive style of play was in sharp contrast to the stately ground game of Chris Evert who came along in 1972 to challenge King as the queen of women’s tennis. Nevertheless, King owned Wimbledon from 1966 to 1975, when she won the title six times.
Evonne Goolagong is an Australian former World No. 1 female tennis player. Often overlooked because she played during the Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova era, Goolagong was the epitome of grace and beauty on the court. Despite playing during one of the most competitive periods in women’s tennis, she won 14 Grand Slam titles: seven in singles (four at the Australian Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the French Open), six in women’s doubles, and one in mixed doubles.
Venus Ebony Starr Williams is an American professional tennis player who is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. She along with younger sister Serena Williams, is credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour. Her seven Grand Slam singles titles ties her twelfth on the all-time list, more than any other active female player except her sister Serena. She has also won fourteen Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. Her five Wimbledon singles titles ties her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list. Williams is one of four women to have won five or more Wimbledon singles titles in the Open Era.
Justine Henin is a former Belgian tennis player whose strong serve and powerful one-handed backhand elevated her to the top of the women’s game in the mid-2000s. She spent a total of 117 weeks as the world No. 1 and was the year-end No. 1 in 2003, 2006 and 2007. In 2003, she achieved the number one ranking in the world, having won both the French Open and the US Open. In 2004, Henin won the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics to go along with her first Australian Open title. She won seven Grand Slam titles in her career but retired abruptly in 2008 citing burnout from over twenty years of competitive tennis. A brief comeback in 2010 was short lived, and she retired for good in early 2011.