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History of Tennis: Top Ten Women Tennis Players

November 13th, 2014 by Do It Tennis

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History of Tennis: Top Ten Women Tennis Players

The history of tennis boasts some of the greatest tennis players to ever pick up a tennis racquet. In the past years there have been many number one ranked women’s tennis players. But who were the best of all time? Do it Tennis is proud to present our top ten women tennis players to ever grace the tennis courts. From the very beginning to present-day, these players have broken records, won over critics, and transformed women’s tennis into the highly watched sport it is today.

1) Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf is debatably the greatest female tennis player of all time. She ruled tennis for 377 weeks in the span of her career from 1982-1999. Graf has 22 Grand Slams total. The German won on all surfaces and dominated in singles with 107 titles. She has left her mark as number 1 in the history of female tennis and even holds her own in rankings with the men.

2) Martina Navratilova


Martina Navratilova takes the number 2 spot on the countdown because of her amazing Serve and volley game. She is a killer net player. She holds 18 Grand Slams and Spent 332 weeks at #1. Navratilova has a versatile playing style was also a top doubles player with 31 major doubles titles.

3) Serena Williams


There is no doubt that Serena Williams is the current best female tennis player in the world.  She hands down dominates everyone and is unbeatable. She knows how to play tennis against any opponent on any surface. The American is current world #1 with 18 Grand Slam singles titles, and 13 doubles Grand Slam titles. Serena has a strong tennis game, powerful serve and is a baseline player. She is holding all the singles Grand Slam titles as well as the doubles and she isn’t finished yet. Her reign is far from over and she is very close to being the best in history.

4) Margaret Court


Margaret Court was the first women to win all 4 Grand Slams in the same year. Court has more Grand Slam titles than anyone else male or female. Her grand slams include 24 titles for singles,19 for doubles, 19 for mixed doubles. She was an all court player but the hard courts of the Australian open suited her playing style. The Aussie was a great net player and had a smashing over head. She also had the advantage of a long reach which worked in her favor when volleying. Court retired in 1977 and is now a minister.

5) Chris Evert


Chris Evert was on the scene from 1972- 1989.  Evert obtained 18 Grand Slam titles but reached the finals more than any other players at 34 finals.  She won 94% of the time on clay. Clay was her forte as it is slower. She had very precise ground strokes and a solid two handed backhand.  Evert had a whirlwind romance with fellow tennis champ Jimmy Connors. She also had a famous rivalry with Martina Navratilova but couldn’t quite get the edge over her on this top ten countdown.

6) Billie Jean King


Billie Jean King is a rare find even today. She made woman’s tennis what it is today and into the best sport for women to go into. In her noteworthy career King won 12 singles Grand Slams 11 mixed doubles and 16 doubles Grand Slam titles. She completed a career Grand Slam in singles and mixed doubles.  She was all about equal pay for women and boosting tennis as a sport for women.  She played a battle of the sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs and won proving that women can hold their own in the tennis world and for this she makes the list.

7) Monica Seles


Monica Seles turned pro at the young age of 15. She won most of her titles before the age of 20. She used two hands on both her forehand and backhand side, which is still not very common. Seles could have done more with her tennis but her unfortunate run in with a crazy fan in 1993 left her with a stab wound between her shoulder blades. She had won 9 Grand Slams with 8 of them before the stabbing. Despite her break from tennis she still is among the great.

8) Venus Williams


Older sister to Serena Williams, Venus has had just as impressive of a career so far.  Venus was the first African American woman tennis player to be ranked number 1 in the Open Era of tennis. She is a very impressive grass court player. Of her 7 Grand Slam titles under her belt, 5 of them were won at the grass courts of Wimbledon.  Besides being a powerful singles player Venus also ruled the doubles scene and has 13 doubles Grand Slam titles. She has a fast serve and a killer backhand. Turned pro in 1994 and is still competing alongside and against her high ranked sister.

9) Justine Henin


Justine Henin’s pro career was between 1999-2011. In her career she won 7 Grand Slam titles 4 of which are clay from the French open. Henin had impressive footwork and a flawless one handed backhand. She can cover the court and was a defensive player.  She made a short comeback in 2010 after a brief hiatus but ultimately left the game in 2011 and left small legacy.

10) Martina Hingis


Martina Hingis was the youngest to ever win a Grand Slam title. She did so at the age of 15 in the 1996 Wimbledon. She turned pro in 1994 and is still currently competing in doubles. Hingis was world #1 for 203 weeks and had 5 Grand Slam titles.  She holds multiple “youngest to” awards. In her playing style she never overpowered anyone and wasn’t super aggressive but she was a strategic and consistent player.  This puts her on the bottom of my top ten list.

The history of tennis is rich with tradition, amazing sportsmanship, and incredible talent. These women defined what it took to be an excellent athlete and person on and off the court. Due to the upcoming interest in tennis, more and more females have been dominating the game, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see some great upsets in the future from the younger players. Whatever happens in the future, the girls are giving tennis a new name and popularity.

If you know someone that could one day be a tennis great, get her started with the right tennis gear from Do It Tennis, and get on the court. See you on the clay!