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Five Greatest Women's Tennis Players Of All Time

In this blog, we will dig deep into the women's circuit and bring out the top five female tennis players of all-time.

Last updated: 30.07.2020
Five Greatest Women Tennis Players Of All Time | Sports Social Blog

Selecting the top five of anything can be a difficult and a hectic task. There have been a number of great women tennis players over the last 52 years of the Open Era. Changes in nutrition, fitness regimes and racquet technology has made the task all the more difficult. 

Although the Men's category has been predominantly popular in the audiences, several women's tennis stars have built a fanbase of their own. A fanbase which doesn't see any international border.

After pouring through great statistical records and studying the opinions of notable writers of that time, I have come up with a list of the best female tennis players during the Open Era of Tennis-- from 1968 to the present.

5. Chris Evert:

  • Born: December 11, 1954

  • Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Resides: Boca Raton, Florida

  • Turned Pro: 1972

  • Retired: 1989

  • Career Prize Money: $8,895,195

  • Career Titles: 157

  • Grand Slam Titles: 18 (2 Australian, 7 French, 3 Wimbledon and 6 US Open)

  • Inducted into Tennis Hall Of Fame: 1995

With a career win-loss ratio of 1309-145 (90.05%), Chris Evert was the undisputed female player of the 1970s. A powerful baseline player, Evert's two-handed backhand was legendary and opponents soon knew not to attempt to come to the net for fear of being passed time and time again.

For 13 consecutive seasons (1974-86), she set a record that may never be broken by winning at least one major title every year. Evert still holds the record for reaching the most Grand Slam Singles finals with 34. Late 1970s saw the emergence of Martina Navratilova, and provided fans with a great on-court rivalry. 

4. Margaret Court:

  • Born: July 16, 1942

  • Born in Albury, New South Wales, Australia

  • Resides: Perth, Western Australia

  • Turned Pro: 1960

  • Retired: 1977

  • Career Prize Money: $500,000

  • Career Titles: 193

  • Grand Slam Titles: 24 (11 Australian, 5 French, 3 Wimbledon, and 5 US Open)

  • Inducted into Tennis Hall Of Fame: 1979

With a winning percentage of 91.74%, Margaret Court is one of the Greatest Female Tennis Players of All Time. Nicknamed the 'Aussie Amazon', her weight, circuit and cardio training gave her a physical advantage and ensured that her serves and strokes were the most powerful of the time. 

She won an astonishing 193 titles, which include 92 in the Open Era. All this despite giving birth to three of her four children during her playing career. Part of the reasons behind her success is her ability to bounce back after childbirth breaks. It was her commitment to fitness training, something that wasn't viewed to be of much importance in the 1960s.

3. Martina Navratilova:

  • Born: October 18, 1956

  • Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia

  • Resides: Sarasota, Florida

  • Turned Pro: 1975

  • Retired: 1994

  • Career Prize Money: $21,626,089

  • Career Titles: 167

  • Grand Slam Titles: 18 (3 Australian, 2 French, 9 Wimbledon and 4 US Open)

  • Inducted into Tennis Hall Of Fame: 2000

With a career win-loss ratio of 1,442-219 (86.4%), Martina Navratilova was one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. No women player has had a more complete game. A magnificent athlete, she was virtually unbeatable for five years in her prime (1982-86), she lost only fourteen matches in the meanwhile. 

She secured a record 9 Wimbledon Championships, 1442 wins, 167 titles, a 74 match win streak, playing in 23 consecutive singles finals, 59 total titles at the Slams (31 in doubles and 10 in mixed). A true champion, she has a case for the no. 2 spot in the all-time list.

2. Serena Williams:

  • Born: September 26, 1981

  • Born in Saginaw, Michigan

  • Resides: Palm Beach, Gardens, Florida

  • Turned Pro: 1995

  • Career Prize Money: $92,715,122

  • Career Titles:73

  • Grand Slam Titles: 23 (7 Australian, 3 French, 7 Wimbledon and 6 US Open)

  • Currently Playing

With a career win-loss ratio of 834-144 (85.3%), Serena Williams is a modern day legend of tennis. Williams holds the most Major singles, doubles and mixed doubles combined among active players, male or female. A prodigious athlete with an unshakable drive and immense, mental strength, and continued longevity, Williams has been a torchbearer of women's tennis for the past two decades

All she has lacked is consistency. As of now, she doesn't have the resume to compare with the other four on this list. But Serena at her peak may have been the greatest who ever stepped onto the court. But this exercise is about the greatest careers, not who has the most talent.

1. Steffi Graf:

  • Born: June 14, 1969

  • Born in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, West Germany

  • Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Turned Pro: 1982

  • Retired: 1999

  • Career Prize Money: $21,891,306

  • Career Titles: 107

  • Grand Slam Titles: 22 (4 Australian, 6 French, 7 Wimbledon, and 5 US Open)

  • Inducted into Tennis Hall Of Fame: 2004

With a career win-loss ratio of 900-115 (88.67%), Steffi Graf is the Greatest Female Tennis Player Of All Time, nobody can deny this universal truth. In fact, Graf is the only player (male or female) to win every grand slam event at least four times. Her incomparable backhand, and an unmatched zest for competition lifted Graf to a legendary status in the game. 

She has been adjourned as the Greatest Tennis Player of all time by numerous publications and polls. It was her ability to triumph on all surfaces, whereas all other top names had their favourite surfaces. Margaret Court was a hard court specialist while Martina Navratilova always flourished on the grass court. Steffi Graf was a true all-rounder of all time, regardless of surface. She edges Serena on the consistency front as the latter has been shaky on multiple occasions in her career.

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