Top 20 Best Female Tennis Players of All Time

Best Female Tennis Players of All Time: Choosing the top 20 female tennis players of all time can be tough because there have been so many amazing players in the last 50 years. The Open era brought a lot of changes in fitness, nutrition, and racquet technology, making the task even more challenging. These tennis stars, who played a big role in popularizing the sport, have inspired many with their impressive performances.

Best Female Tennis Players of all time

Here’s our list of the top 20 best female tennis players of all time.

20. Naomi Osaka

  • Country: Japan
  • Born: October 16, 1997
  • Turned pro: 2013
  • Grand Slam titles: 4
  • Career titles: 7
  • Prize Money winnings: $21 million

Starting our list at the 20th spot is Naomi Osaka, a tennis player from Japan. She’s part of the new generation of champions and made her mark in 2016. At just 21 years old in 2018, she won the Indian Wells tournament, followed by the US Open, and then the Australian Open in 2019.

Osaka is notable for being the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam tournament and reach the top spot in world rankings, a feat not yet achieved by any Japanese male player.

In addition to her on-court achievements, Naomi Osaka is recognized for her advocacy. In 2020, she supported the Black Lives Matter movement, and in 2021, she made headlines by deciding not to participate in press conferences at Roland-Garros to prioritize her mental health. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw from the tournament due to depression.

19. Simona Halep

  • Country: Romania
  • Born: September 27, 1991
  • Turned pro: 2006
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 25
  • Prize Money winnings: $40.1 million

Simona Halep holds the 18th spot on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time. She is widely recognized as one of the best in the sport. Winning two Grand Slam singles titles—the 2018 French Open and the 2019 Wimbledon Championships—contributed to her impressive career. Halep achieved the world No. 1 singles ranking twice, totaling 64 weeks.

Her accolades extend beyond the court. Halep was named the WTA Most Popular Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015, as well as the WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player of the Year in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She has received honors such as the Patriarchal Cross of Romania and the Order of the Star of Romania, becoming an honorary citizen of Bucharest. Halep is the third Romanian to break into the WTA top 10 and the second Romanian woman to secure a major singles title.

Known for her aggressive baseline play and powerful forehand, Halep is admired for her athleticism and court movement. She excels at returning and is skilled at hitting winners even from defensive positions.

18. Amelie Mauresmo

  • Country: France
  • Born: July 5, 1979
  • Turned pro: 1993
  • Retired: 2009
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 25
  • Prize Money winnings: $15 million

Amélie Mauresmo holds the 18th position on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and many consider her among the greatest in the sport. She secured two Grand Slam singles titles, winning the 2006 Australian Open and the 2008 Wimbledon Championships.

Mauresmo reached the finals of the French Open three times and the US Open once. Her playing style was characterized by an all-court game, a powerful serve, and a strong forehand. Notably, she was known for her strategic intelligence, often outthinking her opponents on the court.

Starting tennis at a young age, the Frenchwoman achieved early victories at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon in the junior section. In 2006, she claimed the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, reaching the pinnacle as the world number one. Mauresmo holds the record as the most successful Frenchwoman in tennis, surpassing Mary Pierce, Marion Bartoli, and Julie Halard. After retiring from professional play in 2009, she transitioned into coaching.

Mauresmo’s achievements include a 49-week stint as world No. 1 in singles, the second-longest for a Frenchwoman after Steffi Graf. She was the first Frenchwoman to win the Australian Open since Margaret Court in 1973.

17. Tracy Austin

  • Country: USA
  • Born: December 12, 1962
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1994
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 30
  • Prize Money winnings: $2 million

Tracy Austin secures the 17th position on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and she’s widely regarded as one of the greatest in the sport. Her impressive career includes winning three Grand Slam singles titles—the 1979 and 1981 US Opens, along with the mixed doubles title at the 1980 Wimbledon Championships. Notably, she held the world No. 1 singles ranking for four consecutive years, from 1980 to 1984.

Austin made a significant impact as a teenager, clinching the US Open title in 1979 at just 16 years old. At that time, she became the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam singles title. Her success continued with another US Open victory in 1981, and she reached the final of the Australian Open in the same year.

Known for her all-court game, powerful serve, and forehand, Austin was recognized for her strategic intelligence on the court. Unfortunately, her career was cut short by injuries, leading to her retirement from tennis in 1986 at the age of 23.

Despite her relatively brief time in the sport, Tracy Austin left an enduring impact on tennis. Her exciting and dominant play marked a new era in women’s tennis.

16. Jennifer Capriati

  • Country: USA
  • Born: March 29, 1976
  • Turned pro: 1990
  • Retired: 2004
  • Grand Slam titles: 3
  • Career titles: 14
  • Prize Money winnings: $10.2 million

Jennifer Capriati holds the 16th position on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, recognized by many as one of the greatest in the sport. She achieved remarkable success, winning three Grand Slam singles titles—the 1990 French Open, the 1992 Australian Open, and the 1993 Australian Open. Additionally, she earned a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Capriati’s career had a distinctive trajectory. After a challenging period, including personal struggles like drug abuse and depression, she made a comeback in the late 1990s. In 2001, at the Australian Open, she became the lowest seed ever to win the championship, defeating Martina Hingis in straight sets for her first Grand Slam title.

A child prodigy, Capriati burst onto the scene at 14, winning her first WTA title in 1990. Regarded as the heir apparent to Steffi Graf, she quickly became one of the tour’s most popular players.

Although personal problems temporarily derailed her career, Capriati managed to reclaim the top of the rankings in 2001. Despite retiring from tennis in 2004, she remained engaged with the sport as a coach and commentator and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

15. Kim Clijsters

  • Country: Belgium
  • Born: June 8, 1983
  • Turned pro: 1997
  • Retired: 2012 (Returning 2020)
  • Grand Slam titles: 4
  • Career titles: 44
  • Prize Money winnings: $24.4 million

Kim Clijsters holds the 15th spot on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, recognized by many as one of the greatest in the sport. Her remarkable career includes winning four Grand Slam singles titles—the US Open in 2005, 2009, and 2010, and the Australian Open in 2011. Additionally, she reached the final of the French Open once and the Wimbledon Championships twice.

Facing injuries and a waning desire to compete, Clijsters initially retired from tennis in 2007 at the age of 23 to start a family. However, she made a surprising return two years later, winning her second US Open title as an unranked player in just her third tournament back. The following year, she defended her title and then won the Australian Open in 2011, becoming the first mother to achieve the world No. 1 ranking.

Clijsters burst onto the tennis scene as a teenager, winning the US Open in 2005 at the age of 22. After taking a break to start a family, she returned in 2009 and secured another US Open title that year. Two more Grand Slam titles followed, solidifying her status as one of the greats in the game.

14. Lindsay Davenport

  • Country: USA
  • Born: June 8, 1976
  • Turned pro: 1993
  • Retired: 2010
  • Grand Slam titles: 3
  • Career titles: 55
  • Prize Money winnings: $22.2 million

Lindsay Davenport holds the 14th position on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and she’s widely recognized as one of the greatest in the sport. Her impressive career boasts 55 career singles titles, including three Grand Slam singles titles: the US Open in 1998 and 2000, and the Australian Open in 2000. She also secured 38 doubles titles, including three Grand Slam doubles titles.

Davenport reached the pinnacle of the singles rankings, holding the world No. 1 spot for a total of 98 weeks. She claimed the year-end singles world No. 1 ranking four times (1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005) and also held the doubles world No. 1 ranking for 32 weeks.

Known for her powerful serve and forehand, as well as her all-court game, Davenport was a highly athletic player with excellent court movement.

Retiring from tennis in 2010, Davenport has continued to contribute to the sport as a coach and commentator. Her achievements led to her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.

13. Maureen Connolly

  • Country: USA
  • Born: September 17, 1934
  • Turned pro: Amateur
  • Retired: 1955
  • Grand Slam titles: 9
  • Career titles: 23
  • Prize Money winnings: N/A

Maureen Connolly is ranked 13th on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time and is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the sport. In 1953, at the age of 18, she achieved a historic feat known as the Grand Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year. Notably, she is the only woman to accomplish this in the Open Era.

A child prodigy, Connolly made her mark at 16, winning her first Grand Slam title at the 1951 US Open. Her aggressive style, powerful serve and volley, and all-court game contributed to her success. She went on to secure the other three Grand Slam titles in 1953, becoming the first woman to achieve the Grand Slam in the Open Era.

Unfortunately, her promising career was cut short by a knee injury in 1954. Despite the setback, Connolly remains one of the most decorated female tennis players of all time and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.

12. Maria Sharapova

  • Country: Russia
  • Born: April 19, 1987
  • Turned pro: 2001
  • Grand Slam titles: 5
  • Career titles: 40
  • Prize Money winnings: $38.7 million

Maria Sharapova is ranked 12th on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time. Hailing from Russia, she is widely regarded not only for her tennis prowess but also for her global appeal, being considered one of the sexiest and most beautiful athletes in the sports world.

In 2004, Sharapova made history by becoming the first Russian woman to win Wimbledon. She further solidified her status as a tennis icon by reaching the world number one ranking in the WTA. Her numerous victories have established her as the best Russian player in the history of tennis.

Known for her athleticism, Sharapova has garnered millions of fans worldwide, and she made headlines by being the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam. One of her most notable achievements was winning Wimbledon at the age of just 17, defeating Serena Williams.

Beyond her on-court success, Sharapova is recognized as one of the most marketable athletes, receiving thousands of endorsements each year. However, her career faced a setback in 2016 when she was suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for meldonium during the Australian Open. On appeal, her suspension was reduced to fifteen months, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport acknowledging that she had not consumed the doping product voluntarily.

Despite the controversy, Maria Sharapova’s impact on tennis and her global appeal has left a lasting mark on the sport’s history.

12. Evonne Goolagong Cawley

  • Country: Australia
  • Born: July 31, 1951
  • Turned pro: 1970
  • Retired: 1983
  • Grand Slam titles: 7
  • Career titles: 86
  • Prize Money winnings: $1.4 million

Evonne Goolagong Cawley is ranked 12th on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time and is widely recognized as one of the greatest in the sport. Her impressive career includes winning seven Grand Slam singles titles, with four Australian Open victories, one French Open, and two Wimbledon championships. Notably, she holds the distinction of being the first Indigenous Australian to secure a Grand Slam singles title.

Known for her graceful style of play and versatile all-court game, Goolagong Cawley was admired for her ability to adapt to different opponents and playing surfaces. Her retirement from tennis in 1983 didn’t mark the end of her involvement in the sport; she continued as a coach and ambassador. Her contributions led to her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

During the rise of women’s tennis Opens, Goolagong Cawley emerged as a consistent winner, clinching Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Her notable records at the Australian Open further emphasize her impact on the game.

While the tennis landscape has evolved since her playing days, making direct comparisons challenging, Goolagong Cawley’s dominance in the early 1970s is a testament to her exceptional skill and achievements on the court. Her legacy endures as a trailblazer and one of the all-time greats in tennis.

11. Helen Wills Moody

  • Country: USA
  • Born: October 6, 1905
  • Retired: 1938
  • Grand Slam titles: 19
  • Career titles: 55

Helen Wills Moody is regarded as the 11th-best female tennis player of all time, having won an impressive total of 31 Grand Slam tournament titles, which includes singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events. Among these, she secured 19 singles titles.

Wills was a trailblazer in the world of tennis, becoming the first American woman athlete to achieve global celebrity status. Despite her preference for a more private life, she formed connections with royalty and film stars. Known for her graceful physique and fluid motion on the court, she introduced a new tennis fashion by playing in knee-length pleated skirts, departing from the longer styles of her predecessors. Her distinctive white visor became a hallmark of her appearance.

In her training approach, Wills stood out by practicing against men to sharpen her skills. She employed a relentless predominantly baseline game, wearing down her female opponents with a combination of power and accuracy. One of the notable moments in her career was the highly publicized Match of the Century against Suzanne Lenglen in February 1926.

10. Martina Hingis

  • Born September 30, 1980 in Kosice, Czechoslovakia
  • Pro in 1994
  • Retired in 2017
  • Career prize money: $24,749,074.
  • 45 career titles
  • 5 Grand Slam singles titles: 3 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open

Martina Hingis is ranked 10th on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and her impressive achievements certainly support her claim to this position. With five Grand Slam singles titles and a remarkable 209 weeks as the world number one, Hingis has left an indelible mark on the tennis world.

Her career includes not only success in singles but also an impressive tally of 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and seven mixed doubles titles. Despite her singles career being relatively short due to injuries, Hingis retired for the first time in 2003 at the age of just 22. Her early retirement left fans wondering what more she could have achieved if not for the challenges she faced.

Hingis set numerous records as the youngest player in the 1990s, becoming the youngest-ever Grand Slam champion and world champion. By the age of 22, she had amassed an impressive collection of titles and was the highest-paid female athlete globally for five years from 1997 to 2001.

After a period of surgeries and recovery, Hingis made a remarkable comeback in 2006, reaching world No. 6 in the rankings and winning two major tournaments. However, her career faced another setback with a provisional retirement in 2007 due to a hip injury and a two-year ban following a positive test for a cocaine metabolite during Wimbledon.

In 2013, Hingis came out of retirement for doubles play and achieved tremendous success, winning multiple Grand Slam titles and reaching the world No. 1 ranking before her final retirement after the 2017 WTA Finals. Her enduring impact on the sport solidifies her place among the greatest female tennis players of all time.

9. Justine Henin

  • Born June 1, 1982 in Liège, Belgium
  • Pro in 1999
  • Retired in 2008 and 2011
  • Career prize money: $20,863,335.
  • 50 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam singles titles: 1 Australian Open, 4 Roland Garros, 2 US Open

Justine Henin is ranked 9th on our list of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and her reputation as one of the most athletic and mentally tough players in tennis history is well-deserved. Despite her small stature, Henin possessed a powerful and precise game, featuring a strong serve and a forehand shot that combined power and accuracy. Renowned as one of the best one-handed backhands in both women’s and men’s tennis, Henin was equally adept at the net and on the baseline.

Henin’s illustrious career includes seven Grand Slam singles titles, with victories at the French Open in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007, the US Open in 2003 and 2007, and the Australian Open in 2004. She reached the Wimbledon final in 2001 and 2006, showcasing her versatility on various surfaces.

Her mental toughness, all-around game, speed, footwork, and exceptional one-handed backhand were key factors in her success. Henin’s achievements also extend to winning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and securing the 2006 and 2007 WTA Tour Championships. In total, she claimed 43 WTA singles titles.

Henin retired from professional tennis in 2011 due to a chronic elbow injury. She is widely recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016 marked her lasting legacy in the sport. Despite a short-lived comeback in 2010, Henin’s contributions to tennis continue to be remembered and celebrated.

8. Venus Williams

  • Born June 17, 1980 in Lynwood, California
  • Pro in 1994
  • Career prize money: $42,288,213.
  • 49 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam titles in singles: 5 Wimbledon, 2 US Open

Venus Williams holds the 8th spot in our ranking of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time. Her exceptional career has been marked by remarkable achievements and records, and her impact on the sport is undeniable.

Throughout her career, Venus faced her sister Serena in nine Grand Slam tournament finals, with Serena winning seven of those matches. Despite the tough competition within the family, Venus managed to attain the world No. 1 ranking three times, totaling 11 weeks. Notably, on February 25, 2002, she became the first African American woman to achieve this ranking in the Open era since Althea Gibson.

Venus boasts an impressive seven Grand Slam singles titles, ranking her 12th in tennis history and 8th in Open-era history. Her 16 appearances in Grand Slam finals, the most recent being at Wimbledon in 2017, underline her consistency at the highest level of the game.

In women’s doubles, Venus has been a dominant force alongside her sister Serena, winning an incredible 14 Grand Slam titles. Their partnership is undefeated in Grand Slam doubles finals. Additionally, Venus secured two mixed doubles titles.

Her achievements at Wimbledon are particularly noteworthy, with five singles titles, sharing eighth place in the all-time winners list and occupying fourth place in the Open era, surpassed only by Martina Navratilova, Serena, and Steffi Graf.

Venus Williams has also made history at the Olympics, winning four gold medals—one in singles and three in women’s doubles. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she became only the second player, after Helen Wills Moody in 1924, to claim gold in both singles and doubles at the same Olympics.

With 49 singles titles, Venus trails only Serena among active players on the WTA Tour. Her impressive 35-match winning streak from Wimbledon 2000 to the 2000 Generali Ladies Open final in Linz stands as the longest by a female tennis player since January 1, 2000.

7. Billie Jean King

  • Born November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California
  • Pro in 1968
  • Retired in 1983
  • Career prize money: $1,966,487.
  • 129 career titles
  • 12 Grand Slam singles titles: 1 Australian Open, 1 Roland Garros, 6 Wimbledon, 4 US Open

Billie Jean King holds the 7th position in our ranking of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and her impact on the sport extends far beyond her impressive on-court achievements. Her historic “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs in 1973 remains etched in tennis history, showcasing her dominance on the court and her advocacy for gender equality.

King’s victory in the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ was a momentous occasion, as she defeated 55-year-old Riggs at the age of 29. Beyond her playing career, she played a pivotal role in promoting gender equality in tennis. King was instrumental in founding both the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Women’s Sports Foundation, furthering the cause of women in sports.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Billie Jean King’s contributions earned her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. She received numerous awards for her advocacy, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year.

In recognition of her impact on the sport, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2006. Her energetic and aggressive style of play set her apart, and she dominated Wimbledon from 1966 to 1975, winning the title six times.

Beyond her 12 Grand Slam singles titles, including six Wimbledon championships, Billie Jean King’s legacy as a true icon of women’s tennis is cemented by her tireless efforts for gender equality both on and off the court. She remains an influential figure, not just in tennis but in the broader context of women’s sports.

6. Monica Seles

  • Born December 2, 1973 in Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Pro in 1989
  • Retired in 2008
  • Career prize money: $14,891,762.
  • 53 career titles
  • 9 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian Open, 3 Roland Garros, 2 US Open

Monica Seles is positioned at the 6th spot in our ranking of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and her career is marked by both extraordinary achievements and an unfortunate incident that altered its trajectory.

In 1990, at the age of 16, Seles made history by becoming the youngest-ever French Open winner. Before turning 20, she had already secured eight Grand Slam singles titles and held the year-end world No. 1 ranking. Tragically, in 1993, Seles fell victim to a disturbing on-court stabbing by a deranged fan, which kept her away from tennis for over two years.

Upon returning to the tour in 1995, Seles experienced some success, including winning her fourth Australian Open title in 1996. However, she was unable to fully regain her previous form. Despite playing her last professional game at the 2003 French Open, Seles remained in the rankings until February 2008.

Monica Seles is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and her potential to achieve even more was evident before the tragic incident. Her induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009 is a testament to her impact on the sport.

The attack in 1993 disrupted what could have been an even more illustrious career. Monica Seles, with her unique style that kept opponents guessing whether she was hitting a forehand or backhand, dominated the tennis world from 1990 to 1992. During this period, she claimed seven of her nine Grand Slam titles and held the top spot in the rankings in 1991.

Her nine Grand Slam singles titles, eight as a citizen of Yugoslavia and one as a citizen of the United States, showcase her mastery on the court. Monica Seles remains a remarkable figure in tennis history, not just for her accomplishments but also for the resilience she demonstrated in the face of adversity.

5. Chris Evert

  • Born December 21, 1954 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Pro in 1972
  • Retired in 1989
  • Career prize money: $8,895,195.
  • 157 career titles
  • 18 Grand Slam singles titles: 2 Australian Open, 7 Roland Garros, 3 Wimbledon, 6 US Open

Chris Evert is rightfully placed at the 5th position in our ranking of the Best Female Tennis Players of all time, and her achievements on the court are truly remarkable.

Evert’s dominance in women’s tennis from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s is encapsulated by her extraordinary career. Holding the record for the most Grand Slam singles finals appearances at 34, she emerged victorious in 18 of them, triumphing at each major tournament at least twice. Her two-handed backhand and graceful style made her a force to be reckoned with on the baseline.

Throughout her illustrious career, Evert reached at least the semifinals in 52 of the 56 Grand Slams she played, an astonishing feat that includes 34 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals from the 1971 US Open to the 1983 French Open. She never lost in the first or second round of a Grand Slam and only suffered two third-round defeats.

Evert’s career singles win rate of 89.97% (1309–146) is the highest in the Open Era for both men and women, standing behind only Margaret Court. On clay courts, her win rate remains an impressive 94.55% (382–22) in singles matches, setting a WTA record.

Beyond her on-court accomplishments, Evert also contributed significantly to the administration of tennis. She served as the President of the Women’s Tennis Association from 1975 to 1976 and again from 1983 to 1991. Her impact on the sport was recognized with the Philippe Chatrier Award, and she was rightfully inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.

Chris Evert’s legacy extends beyond her playing days. In her later years, she took on roles as a coach and sports pundit for ESPN, continuing to influence and contribute to the world of tennis. Her enduring record of excellence on the court solidifies her place among the greatest tennis players in history.

4. Martina Navratilova

  • Born October 18, 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Pro in 1975
  • Retired in 1994
  • Career prize money: $21,626,089.
  • 167 career titles
  • 18 Grand Slam singles titles: 3 Australian Open, 2 Roland Garros, 9 Wimbledon, 4 US Open

Martina Navratilova was an amazing tennis player in the late 70s and 80s. She was fit and brought a specific style of play, called serve and volley, back to women’s tennis.

She was ranked as the best player in the world for a total of 332 weeks in singles and 237 weeks in doubles. This is a unique achievement, being the only player to hold the top position in both categories for over 200 weeks. She was also the year-end No. 1 in singles seven times and No. 1 in doubles five times.

Martina won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles (the most in the Open era), and 10 mixed doubles titles in major tournaments. This makes her the player with the most Grand Slam titles in the Open era. She excelled at Wimbledon, winning the women’s title nine times, including six consecutive titles. This is considered a remarkable achievement, similar to Nadal’s dominance at the French Open.

Martina and Billie Jean King both won 20 Wimbledon titles (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles), setting another record. She is one of only three women to complete a career Grand Slam in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, a feat she shares with Margaret Court and Doris Hart.

In the Open era, Martina holds records for the most singles (167) and doubles titles (177). She had an incredible winning streak, winning 428 out of 442 singles games in five straight seasons. Her best season record was in 1983, with 86 wins and only one loss.

Martina also had a successful doubles partnership with Pam Shriver, winning 109 straight games in 1984, including all four major titles and the doubles Grand Slam. Together, they won a record 79 titles, tying another record set by Louise Brough Clapp and Margaret Osborne duPont.

She was ranked in the top 10 in the world individually for 20 consecutive years (1975-1994), including 19 years in the top 5, 15 years in the top 3, and 7 years at No. 1. Many consider Martina Navratilova to be the greatest tennis player of all time.

3. Serena Williams

  • Born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan
  • Pro in 1995
  • Retire in 2022
  • Career prize money: $94,588,910.
  • 73 career titles
  • 23 Grand Slam singles titles: 7 Australian Open, 3 Roland Garros, 7 Wimbledon, 6 US Open

Serena Williams is considered one of the best female tennis players ever. She and her sister, Venus, have been a powerful force in tennis since the late 1990s, winning 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together. Serena holds the Open Era record with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, making her the player with the most such titles in tennis history.

As an American tennis player, Serena was ranked No. 1 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) eight times between 2002 and 2017. She held the top ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, equaling the record set by Steffi Graf, and was No. 1 for a total of 319 weeks, ranking third in the Open era.

Serena has the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles among all active players. Her 39 major titles (23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles) rank her third on the all-time leaderboard and second in the Open era. She’s the youngest player to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and the third player, male or female, to achieve this twice.

With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena holds the record for the most in the Open era, second only to Margaret Court’s 24. She also holds records for winning 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hard court and the most Australian Open titles won (7). Serena and Venus, as a doubles team, have 14 Grand Slam titles and remain undefeated in Grand Slam doubles finals.

In addition to her tennis achievements, Serena has won four Olympic gold medals. She’s known for ushering in a new era of strength and athleticism in women’s professional tennis. As of the latest information, she is ranked 11th in the world.

Off the court, Serena was the highest-paid female athlete in 2016 and 2017, earning substantial prize money and sponsorships. She has also been recognized with awards such as Sportswoman of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2015. In 2019, she was ranked 63rd on Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes.

2. Steffi Graf

  • Born June 14, 1969 in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg
  • Pro in 1982
  • Retired in 1999
  • Career prize money: $21,891,306.
  • 107 career titles
  • 22 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian Open, 6 Roland Garros, 7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open

Steffi Graf is considered the second-best female tennis player of all time. She’s won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, ranking her second in the Open era and third all-time behind Margaret Court and Serena Williams. Graf was ranked world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 weeks, the longest ever in WTA or ATP rankings.

Known for her versatility on all playing surfaces, agile footwork, and powerful forehand, Graf’s aggressive play helped shape modern tennis. She secured a Grand Slam on grass, clay, and hard court, a feat unmatched by previous players who only played on grass and clay. Graf won six French Open, seven Wimbledon, four Australian Open, and five US Open singles titles.

Her notable achievements include winning three Grand Slam tournaments five times in a single calendar year and reaching thirteen consecutive major singles finals. Graf is often considered the greatest tennis player ever. In 1999, Billie Jean King declared her the greatest, and an Associated Press panel named her the greatest of the 20th century.

Graf, along with Boris Becker, played a crucial role in making tennis popular in Germany. She retired in 1999 as world No. 3 and married fellow tennis player Andre Agassi in 2001. They have two children.

Throughout her 17-year career, Graf displayed consistency and set a record with 377 weeks at No. 1. In 1988, she achieved the Golden Slam, winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal in the same year—an extraordinary accomplishment. Graf dominated tennis from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s and left a lasting legacy.

1. Margaret Court

  • Born July 16, 1942 in Albury, New South Wales, Australia
  • Pro in 1960
  • Retired in 1977
  • Career prize money: approximately $500,000
  • 192 career titles
  • 24 Grand Slam singles titles: 11 Australian Open, 5 Roland Garros, 3 Wimbledon, 5 US Open

Margaret Court is widely regarded as the greatest female tennis player of all time, holding an impressive record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in tennis history. Her overall tally of major titles, including doubles and mixed doubles, is a staggering 64.

Court achieved the Calendar Grand Slam in mixed doubles twice, a feat unmatched by any other player. Her incredible win rate of 91.74% on all playing surfaces—Hard, Clay, Grass, and Carpet—is the highest in tennis history. In the Open Era, she boasts an exceptional career win rate of 91.37% (593–56) in singles matches and an impressive 91.7% (11–1) in Grand Slam finals.

Notably, in 1973, Margaret set a record by winning 11 Australian Open titles in a single Grand Slam event. This achievement was later surpassed by Rafael Nadal in 2019 when he won his 12th French Open title.

Court made history as the first woman in the Open Era to secure a Grand Slam in singles in 1970. She is one of only two women, along with Daniela Hantuchova, to achieve a Grand Slam in mixed doubles, a feat she accomplished twice. Dominating the 1960s and early 1970s, Court was a pioneer in incorporating weights and fitness exercises into her training, contributing to her long and injury-free career.

Court stands among the select few to achieve the ‘Grand Slam Boxed Set,’ winning every Grand Slam title in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Notably, she is the only player in tennis history to complete a Grand Slam set in all three disciplines—singles, doubles, and mixed doubles—twice: first as an amateur and later as a professional. Margaret Court’s legacy as a tennis legend is marked by her unparalleled achievements and contributions to the sport.

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