Who are the five greatest female tennis players of all time?
Being described as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time is something every young female taking up tennis surely dreams of.
Below is a list of arguably the five greatest female tennis players in the history of tennis. Any of the players in the list could be described as the greatest in their own way and some of these players have faced each other on numerous occasions in the past. However the list is not just based on their victories and trophies…
The list takes all their victories and trophies into account but it focuses more on the incredible legacy they left or still continue to leave behind.
5th greatest female tennis player – Margaret Court
Margaret is an Australian tennis player and is regarded as one of the greats. She turned pro in 1960 and retired in 1977.
In her 13 year career she won 192 career titles which remains the record today. This included 24 Grand Slam singles titles. In fact she won her native Australian Open 11 times, The French Open 5 times, The US Open 5 times and 3 Wimbledon titles.
Court was the first woman in the open era to win the singles Grand Slam in 1970. She was also the first female tennis player to incorporate weights and fitness training into her routine. Due to this she had a long, successful and injury-free career.
Just 2 years after her retirement, in 1979 Margaret was inducted into the tennis hall of fame as one of the greatest female players ever.
Margaret Court amassed more major titles than any other player in history and is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Congratulations Margaret on your #50th Anniversary of winning the 1970 #GrandSlam pic.twitter.com/ThvGAz4SqX
— 𝙿𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚑 𝚃𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢™ (@Perth_Today) January 27, 2020
4th Greatest female tennis player – Martina Navratilova
Martina is from Czechoslovakia, she became a professional female tennis player in 1975 and retired in 1994.
During her 19 year career she dominated women’s tennis in particular the late 1970’s to the 80’s. She achieved a total of 167 titles. This included 18 Grand Slam singles titles. She won the Australian Open 3 times, French Open 2 times, US Open 4 times and won a total of 9 Wimbledon titles.
She was known for her big serve in matches, as well as being known as one of the toughest female competitors to ever grace the court.
Martina makes the list of the best female tennis players as she holds the most Wimbledon titles for women and not only that, when she retired in 1994 six years later (2000) she was inducted into the tennis hall of fame.
Deservedly so Martina will always be remembered as one of the greatest players in female tennis history.
🎾🗓️ #OnThisDay in 1991: Martina Navratilova wins her record 100th singles match at Wimbledon, beating Elna Reinach of South Africa 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the 1st round.
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) June 25, 2020
3rd greatest female tennis player – Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf hails from Germany and is regarded as one of the greatest players ever, as she could play on any surface whether it be grass, clay or hard court. She turned pro in 1982 and retired in 1999. The legacy she left behind is incredible.
Across her brilliant career she won a total of 107 career titles. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. She won the Australian Open 4 times, the French Open 6 times, the US Open 5 times and Wimbledon 7 times.
Not only did she win all these titles, at one point of her career she spent a remarkable 377 weeks as the number one ranked female player in the world. Also in 1988 she became the first female player to achieve a calendar year golden Grand Slam. She achieved this as she won all four major titles as well as an Olympic Gold medal in the same year.
Upon her retirement, just five years later (2004) she was inducted into the tennis hall of fame. Steffi Graf will always be one of the greatest female tennis players to ever grace the world of tennis.
2nd greatest female tennis player – Serena Williams
Finally, we reach arguably the greatest ever player in terms of her triumphs and trophies, Serena Williams. She is of course American. She turned pro in 1995 and is still currently playing tennis at 39 years of age.
So far in her 26 year career she has won 73 titles, including the record high of 23 Grand Slam titles. She has won the Australian Open 7 times, the French Open 3 times, her native US Open 6 times and 7 Wimbledon titles.
She’s been described by many as a strong and powerful woman who has certainly left and will continue to leave her mark on women’s tennis. Most certainly she has been a dominant force and despite having a prolonged break from the sport in 2017 due to pregnancy, just one year later she made it to two finals. Currently, she shows no sign of retiring any time soon despite becoming 40 in a few days.
Not only does she hold the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles, she also has an outstanding 23-10 record in Grand Slam finals, meaning in over 20 years she has only ever lost in 10 finals which is extraordinary.
She is yet to be inducted into the tennis hall of fame but surely when she retires there is no debate that she will be in there.
Is she the G.O.A.T?
Serena Williams is arguably the greatest American athlete ever, winning 23 Grand Slam single titles which is the most by anyone in the Open era and the 2nd most of all time.
She continues to be an icon for many! pic.twitter.com/f991nHeEH1
— Future Professionals in College Athletics (@FPCANetwork) March 30, 2021
The greatest female tennis player ever? – Billie Jean King
Now we have arguably, in terms of both her legacy and her achievements, the greatest female tennis player of all time. American Billie Jean King. King turned pro in 1968 and retired in 1983.
During her remarkable career she won a total of 129 titles. She won a total of 12 Grand Slam singles titles. 1 Australian Open, 1 French Open, 4 US Open titles and 6 Wimbledon titles.
After retiring in 1983 she was inducted into the tennis hall of fame shortly after in 1987. She was known to have an aggressive and hard style of play on court. King was the woman who was known as the queen of tennis from the mid-1960’s to mid-70’s.
Now she may not have won the most titles in her career compared to those mentioned above however, King was the icon who changed women’s tennis forever.
She is best known for her ‘Battle of the sexes’ match against 55-year-old Bobby Riggs which was televised in America and internationally in 1973. King beat Riggs in straight sets. This iconic victory was considered the milestone in the worldwide public’s acceptance of women’s tennis.
On estimate around 50 million people in the US and around 90 million people worldwide watched the game and instantly fell in love with the tennis icon that is Billie Jean King.
Thanks to Billie Jean King we can now admire all the successful female tennis players mentioned above and many more who didn’t quite make the list. But also hopefully we can admire many more female champions to come in the future.
So who is the ‘G.O.A.T’ in female tennis history?
Well Serena Williams is definitely the greatest female tennis player of all time in terms of her victories and trophies, but without Billie Jean King and her remarkable victory in the ‘Battle of the sexes’ in 1973 women’s tennis may have been completely different.
Imagine a world where we wouldn’t have had the greats like Williams, Court, Navratilova, Graf and the other outstanding players who didn’t make this list.
Emma Raducanu was handed the #USOpen trophy by the legendary and feminist trailblazer Billie Jean King, who was one of the so-called 'Original 9' – female players who paved the way for players like Emma. Sports journalist Rebecca Myers joins us https://t.co/RDHfafG7pf pic.twitter.com/9l2OCseN3R
— BBC Woman's Hour (@BBCWomansHour) September 13, 2021
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘The Greatest Female Tennis Players’. Who do you think is the greatest female tennis player ever? Have we missed someone you think deserves to be there? Let us know!
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