Women are the embodiment of strength, dedication, and power. This is why they have defied all societal norms and limitations to excel radically at sports. Among women’s sports, tennis has a long history of accomplishments. and we will now look at some of the greatest female players in the history of tennis.
German tennis legend Steffi Graf (with 107 WTA titles) is widely considered the greatest female players in tennis history. Checz-American legend Martina Navratilova (with 167 WTA titles) and the current dominant force, Serena Williams (having 73 WTA titles) are also considered amongst the greats.
Despite its long history, it is difficult to find top female players who have played this game. Nevertheless, few among them are the greats. These female tennis stars are the face of the sport and have inspired many with their performances.
Greatest Female Tennis Players | All-Time Ranking
Tennis is not just one of the richest sports in the world but also among the most popular sports. However, this sport has already witnessed the performance of the greatest male tennis stars and female stars. So, here are the greatest female players ever to grace the court.
NOTE: We have primarily taken two things while selecting the WTA legends; the total number of weeks in the World’s No.1 spot and total WTA career wins. Some legendary players like Maria Sharapova and Margaret Court definitely deserve their mention here. But sadly, we only had 10 places at the tops.
10. Lindsay Davenport (United States of America)
Career Record (Singles): 753–194 (79.5% Win)
Total Prize Money: $22,166,338
Career Titles: 55 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 98 (Consecutive – 44)
In more ways than one, Lindsay Davenport outclassed her competition on the court. She entered the top ten for the first time in October of 1990, just before starting her twelfth grade, shortly after turning professional in 1993. Davenport’s career highlight came in 1996 when she won a gold medal in the Olympic Games for singles.
She won a slew of titles during the next few years, but the 1996 Olympic gold medal was the highlight of her career. Later in 1998, she won the U.S. Open in September and dethroned Margaret Court, ranked number one for 80 weeks.
As a result of winning the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon, Davenport became the first American woman to win a Grand Slam event.
She is also the most winningest tennis star the world has ever seen. The composition of the leading groups and players on the planet was released the following year.
After leaving the first line by the end of October, Hinges’ progress slowed significantly. Martin was generally ranked fourth by the end of the year. Lindsay also nobly faced her rivals, never yielding to them in the quarterfinals.
However, the athlete was forced to withdraw from the final competition due to injuries. Lindsay gained massive popularity among tennis fans and is known as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time.
9. Ashleigh Barty (Australia)
Career Record (Singles): 305–102 (74.9% Win)
Total Prize Money: $23,829,071
Career Titles: 15 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 121 (Consecutive – 74)
Former cricketer and professional tennis player Ash Barty are from Australia. Barty won 10 singles titles and ten doubles titles on the WTA Tour, including the French Open singles title and the United States Open doubles title in 2018. She is also the reigning singles champion at the WTA Finals.
According to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), one of the greatest WTA players, Barty, ranked World No. 1, according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She achieved her career-high ranking of World No. 5 in the WTA doubles rankings and was a constant presence in the top 10 doubles rankings.
The tennis player has taken an indefinite break from the sport at the end of 2014. However, Barty is one of Australia’s greatest female tennis players with a remarkable career.
After joining the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural season of the Big Bash Women’s League, even though she had no formal training in the sport, she picked it up as an amateur sport.
Having taken a break from tennis for two years, Barty returned in early 2016. She reached the world No. 2 rankings as a junior in 2011 after winning the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon.
And now, she became one of the highest-paid tennis players this year. The Australian Open runner-up finished 2013 as one of Barty’s most significant years.
8. Justine Henin (Belgium)
Career Record (Singles): 525–115 (82.0% Win)
Total Prize Money: $20,863,335
Career Titles: 43 WTA & 7 ITF (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 117 (Consecutive – 61)
In 1982, Justine Henin, then ranked No. 1 globally, was born in Liège, Belgium. Among her seven Grand Slam singles titles, Henin won four of them at the French Open (and three in a row). A two-time Wimbledon runner-up, she never won the tournament. She is also among the most successful tennis stars in French Open history.
Billie Jean King has regarded Justine as the best player of her generation, who is arguably one of the greatest female tennis players there has ever been. In 2008, the former world number one retired but announced her comeback on 22 September after watching her countrywoman Kim Clijsters’ success.
She won the women’s singles title at Roland Garros, Paris, France, in 2003. At the 2003 U.S. Open in New York City, Henin won the women’s singles event. Henin won the 2004 Australian Open, held in Melbourne, Australia, at the Grand Slam of Tennis.
As part of the Summer Olympics held in Athens, Greece, in 2004, she received a gold medal in the women’s singles event. Henin won the women’s singles event at the French Open held at Roland Garros in Paris in 2006 as well. Moreover, her win at the U.S. Open in New York City in 2007 was the highlight of her tennis career.
7. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
Career Record (Singles): 635–264 (70.6% Win)
Total Prize Money: $35,233,415
Career Titles: 30 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 71 (Consecutive – 49)
Despite playing in the same era as the Williams sisters, Caroline Wozniacki has established a career of tremendous success for herself and has established an excellent reputation for herself.
Among Wozniacki’s many accomplishments, she is a Grand Slam champion and holds multiple world rankings. A young athlete with a high level of fitness could still win numerous awards in the future.
The speed and consistency of Stephens’ feet are her biggest strengths which helped her to achieve the title of one of the greatest female tennis players. Besides, she is also among the most beautiful female tennis stars of all time. In almost any match, she will neutralize her opponent’s power and play percentage tennis like no one else.
During the Wimbledon girls’ singles tournament of 2006, Caroline won the highly-rated title. Awarded the prestigious title of “WTA Newcomer of the Year,” she began playing tennis in 2008. Caroline finished as runner-up both times at the US Opens in Doha in 2009 and 2014.
Her outstanding performance on the court resulted in her being designated as the Danish Sportsperson of the Year in 2010. No player has earned as many titles as she has in WTA singles. Her promotion of tennis and encouragement of young players resulted in her winning the “Diamond Aces” in 2011 and 2015.
6. Monica Seles (USA / Yugoslavia)
Career Record (Singles): 595–122 (82.98% Win)
Total Prize Money: $14,891,762
Career Titles: 53 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 178 (Consecutive – 91)
Monica Seles is a retired American who became one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She has nine Grand Slam titles to her credit and was once the nation’s No. 1 women’s tennis player. Additionally, she has been an author, a speaker, and a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2008.
Besides, she now also runs one of the best tennis academies in the world right now. In the early ’90s, Selena dominated the women’s tour, and few other women have done the same. It is a fantastic testament to her incredible mental strength and abilities that she still managed to win nine Grand Slams despite the stabbing.
Selens is the youngest French Open champion in history, winning the tournament at 16 years, and six months (1990). Her victory at the Australian Open on her first attempt made her only one of two players to do so (along with Virginia Wade). In the Australian Open, Selens boasts a record 33 consecutive match wins.
Additionally, she is the only player to win three consecutive Australian Opens and French Opens. She is also the only player who has won the French Open three times in a row (along with Justine Henin). At 16 years and 11 months, she is the youngest winner of the WTA year-end championships (1990).
5. Martina Hingis (Switzerland)
Career Record (Singles): 548–135 (80.2% Win)
Total Prize Money: $24,749,074
Career Titles: 43 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 209 (Consecutive – 80)
Her incredible success in the late 90s at a very young age made her one of the greatest female tennis players in the world. The world’s top female tennis player was a child prodigy when she was still a teenager, dominating the women’s tour and creating many records. She is among the youngest sports champions the world has ever seen.
Her success in her 30s was also remarkable since she returned to tennis years after she retired and won numerous doubles Grand Slams.
Despite her innovative point-constructing style, Hingis maintained a consistent baseline throughout the entire game. Her game of thoughtful touches and mesmerizing disguise delighted connoisseurs and terrified opponents alike.
At the 1997 Australian Open, Hingis won the singles event for women. She is a 1997 Wimbledon champion as a woman in the singles event. In 1997, Hingis won the women’s singles race at the US Open in New York. She attended the Australian Open in 1998, where she won the women’s single event.
Hingis participated in the 1999 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, as a singles champion. Her name appeared in Time’s 2011 edition of the “30 Legends of Tennis: Past, Present, and Future”.
In 2013, the International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted her name. At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics of 2016, Hingis won a silver medal with partner Timea Bacsinszky.
4. Chris Evert (United States of America)
Career Record (Singles): 1309–146 (90.0% Win)
Total Prize Money: $8,895,195
Career Titles: 157 WTA & ITF (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 260 (Consecutive – 113)
During her career as a tennis player, Chris Evert quickly ranked among the greatest female tennis players. Her dominance of women’s tennis in the late 1970s was so thorough that she was nearly unbeatable at one time. A clay-court specialist, Evert captured 7 French Open titles and 3 US Open crowns (on clay) during her career.
In her impressive career, she took part in several remarkable French Open matches of all time. A noted rivalry also formed between her and Martina Navratilova: The rivalry between her and Martina Navratilova endured years of scrutiny and debate during their playing days, as well as today.
In an era when one-handed play was the norm, her two-handed backhand shot was a breakthrough move.
Thus, having experienced the wing, she was able to defend against it to such an extent that very few others of her generation could do so effectively, which was her advantage in long rallies. Sports Illustrated awarded her the title of “Sportsperson of the Year” in 1976.
In 1974, 1975, 1977, and 1980, Evert was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. She served as the champion of the Wimbledon tournament in the years 1974, 1976, & 1981. Over a period of four consecutive years, 1975-1978, and 1980-1982, Evert won the U.S. Open Championship four times.
3. Serena Williams (United States of America)
Career Record (Singles): 858–156 (84.6% Win)
Total Prize Money: $94,816,730
Career Titles: 73 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 319 (Consecutive – 186)
Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time because of her impressive career achievements. It is a first for a tennis player to rewrite their record books in this way.
Even after becoming a mother, she has accomplished everything there is to achieve in the sport. She has dominated the competition to the point of dominating the rest of the field.
It is unlikely that any athlete has ever dominated their sport like Williams; for more than 20 years, it has been unachievable to catch up. Her best moments allow no other player to gain even a quarter-inch advantage over her. And due to that, she still remains the most important athlete right now.
Serena is also among the very few female players in any discipline to consistently rank among the highest-paid athletes this year since the last decade.
Having won 23 women’s singles Grand Slam titles, Serena Williams is the leading women’s player. She has won the Australian Open five times. The French Open has been won by her three times so far. 2003, 2013, and 2015 are her victories.
Besides that, she has won the Wimbledon championship seven times. Steffi Graf shares the record for most consecutive weeks in number 1 with 186 weeks. She has been the only player to hold all four Slams simultaneously on two different occasions (along with Steffi Graf).
Career Record (Singles): 1,442–219 (86.8% Win)
Total Prize Money: $21,626,089
Career Titles: 167 WTA & 1 ITF (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 332 (Consecutive – 156)
The retired American tennis player Martina Navratilova has had one of the most successful tennis careers in history. Martina Navratilova reached previously uncharted heights as a singles player, doubles player, and mixed doubles player. With her off-court training and nutrition regimen, she also ushered in a fitness revolution in tennis.
Currently, she is regarded as the perfect role model for aspiring players and also among the fittest female athletes. In the year-end WTA tournaments, Martina won eight victories. She has earned 59 Grand Slam titles (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined). In Open Era, Martina won 167 singles titles.
With 177 titles won in the Open Era, she is one of the greatest female tennis players in the sport. Besides that, her 18 Grand Slam titles are the 4th most titles won by a singles player. She is also the most successful female star in Wimbledon history.
There have been 19 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals won by Martina. Only she has won at least eight different tournaments seven or more times out of all male and female players.
1. Steffi Graf (Germany)
Career Record (Singles): 900–115 (88.7% Win)
Total Prize Money: $21,895,277
Career Titles: 107 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 377 (Consecutive – 186)
Her resume is one of the best in history, and she is easily one of the greatest female tennis players ever to achieve more grand slams than Serena Williams in the Open Era era.
As well as having many outstanding records to her name, Graf is the only male or female to have won the Calendar Golden Slam (all 4 Slam titles plus gold at the Olympics in a single calendar year).
And she is also known for consistently ranking among the most marketable female sports stars during her heydays. In fact, even decades after she retired, Graf continues to inspire millions around the world as an example of what great play can be.
There has only been one other player in history who has won at least four Slams. With 13 consecutive Grand Slam final appearances, she is the most successful player ever. A double bagel, used only by Graf, won a Grand Slam final (1988 French Open).
With 89.67%, Graf achieved the highest percentage of wins at Grand Slams (278-32 record) ever. Besides that, she is also the only woman who has won Wimbledon nine times in a row (74-7 record).
11. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus)
Career Record (Singles): 583–229 (71.8% Win)
Total Prize Money: $35,574,500
Career Titles: 21 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 51
Tennis player Victoria Azarenka is from Belarus and has been one of the few women in the last ten years to challenge Serena Williams consistently. Azarenka has lost both titles in the past two years due to injury and pregnancy and has not competed at the Australian Open.
In addition to her work ethic and intense spirit during matches, she has won widespread praise. As one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, Azarenka is one of the sharpest baseliners on the court. Besides, she is also among the tallest female tennis players ever to grace the court.
At the 2012 Olympics, she won the gold medal in mixed doubles with Bob Bryan and won the US Open (with Max Mirnyi in 2007) and the French Open (with Bob Bryan in 2008). At the end of 2012, Azarenka became the world’s no. 1 singles player after dominating singles for years.
The legendary American lost to her in consecutive US Open finals in 2012 and 2013, but she pushed herself to the limit each time. At the same time, Azarenka has only won four matches against Williams in the last decade. She was the only player who consistently challenged the 23-time Slam champion during the previous decade.
12. Simona Halep (Romania)
Career Record (Singles): 525–220 (70.5% Win)
Total Prize Money: $37,549,118
Career Titles: 22 WTA (Singles)
Total Weeks At World No.1: 64 (Consecutive – 48)
A Romanian tennis player of comparable stature and ability, Simona Halep is often compared to Justine Henin. As a player with a height of 5’6″, Halep has stood toe-to-toe with the biggest names of her era and has developed into one of the greatest female tennis players of this decade.
Wherever Halep goes, she is surrounded by a legion of fans. Romania, a country that isn’t known for producing many tennis champions, has come to view her as an icon worldwide. Besides, she is still one of the most-followed female athletes on social media.
For the past 64 weeks, she has been ranked No. 1 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking, making her 10th in history. In 1986, Steffi Graf was the first WTA player to win six titles in a season.
Halep won WTA Player of the Year trophies in 2014 and 2015, including the year she was recognized as the most improved. For three years in a row, she was nominated as the WTA Player of the Year for singles.
We hope you liked the list of our greatest female tennis players. But, don’t forget to check out our recent ranking of the highly-controversial tennis stars. And feel free to tell us in the comment box about the list. We appreciate your valuable feedback.
Greatest Female Tennis Players – All-Time Infographics
FAQs Regarding Greatest Female Tennis Stars
Q. Who is the greatest female tennis player ever?
Among all female tennis players, Steffi Graf is the best. It is a Universal Truth that no one can deny. Despite winning more majors than any other player (male or female), Graf is the only person to have won all Grand Slam singles events at least four times.
Q. Who are the top 10 women’s tennis players?
Here are the top 10 women tennis players who achieved to be at the top level with their remarkable careers; Lindsay Davenport, Ashleigh Barty, Justine Henin, Caroline Wozniacki, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Chris Evert, Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, and Steffi Graf.
Q. Who has won the most tennis grand slams female?
Margaret Court has won the most tennis grand slams female with the number of 24. She is also the one to achieve the highest grand slam in the Open era.
Q. Who is the No. 1 female tennis player?
Serena Williams is ranked as the number one player in the WTA Singles Ranking, a ranking of women’s tennis professionals.
Q. Who is the oldest female tennis player still playing?
Gail Falkenberg, who is still playing tennis at the age of 71 despite only playing at the lower levels of the pro circuit, is the oldest tennis player in the world.
Q. Who is the GOAT in women’s tennis?
Serena Williams would have been the greatest female tennis player ever if she had retired after the 22nd Grand Slam at Wimbledon with 21 Grand Slam titles. Through his victory of 23, Williams effectively ends the argument.
Last Updated On: September 2023