Top 20 Greatest Female Tennis Players (All-Time Rankings)

Tennis isn’t only for men. Over time, women have made huge structural impacts on tennis; how it’s played, and the basis of being crowned the best. It’s because of women’s brilliant performances that I was compelled to pen down the list of the best female tennis players of all time.

Read on to learn who they were, are, and will remain to be the greatest of all time and why!

Women In Tennis

Ever since the breakthrough of tennis into the major sporting world, a lot of people have worked to better the sport. One significant strive is to use it as a means to empower women. 

Women have made revolutionary developments in raising their voices. Using the court as means to show their true potential, has instigated little girls everywhere to stand up for themselves. 

The concept of females playing sports is still unconventional; however, these women have paved the way for us to at least grasp this concept. So, without further waiting, let’s look at the 20 Best Female Tennis Players (of all time). 

The list is subject to change, and the positions can go up and down this year.

#20 Angelique Kerber

Country: Germany

Key Achievements: 

  • 3 Grand slams.
  • 13 career singles.
  • Silver medal in Olympics.

Former No.1 player of 2016, Angelique (Angie) is a highly qualified left-handed player of her time. The UN Child Ambassador has transcended all bounds and won 3 grand slams in the 2016 US and Australian Open, and the 2018 Wimbledon championships. 

Angie rose to fame in the 2011 US Open, where she was ranked as the 92nd player worldwide. She even won 13 career singles and holds a silver medal during the 2012 Olympics. 

» You can also read my post: What Tennis Racquet Novak Djokovic Uses

#19 Naomi Osaka 

Country: Japan

Key Achievements:

  • 7 Singles titles.
  • No. 1 by Women Tennis Association.
  • 4 Grand slam singles.

24-year-old Japanese-American player, Naomi Osaka has played a major role in reshaping the grounds of tennis by securing 7 Singles Titles to her name and by being ranked No.1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). 

Naomi has worked hard to reach where she is now, she even received immense backlash for backing out in the 2021 Olympics to focus on her mental health.

She had to make an extremely hard decision when she decided to drop out of the Olympics to focus on herself instead. Her actions gave strength to other fellow players – to not undermine their mental health – destigmatizing the discourse around it.

#18 Tracy Austin 

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • Youngest grand slam title winner.
  • 3 Grand slam titles.
  • 35 career titles.
  • Former #1 player.

The youngest player to win a Grand Slam title; at 16, Tracy Austin sent the world into a frenzy by winning the Wimbledon Open in 1979. 

The American player then went on to win numerous titles during her career. These include the Women’s Singles title in 1979 and the 1981 US Open.

She won the WTA tour Championships in 1980 and the Toyota Championships in 1981; both in singles. 

#17 Ana Ivanovic 

Country: Serbia

Key Achievements:

  • 15 WTA singles titles.
  • 1 Grand slam single.
  • Former #1 player.

Siberian former No.1 player Ana Ivanovic was once playmates with the Tennis prodigy Novak Djokovic. Ivanovic has won many WTA tournaments and was ranked as the No.1 player in 2008, which she then upheld for 12 consecutive weeks.

Ana Ivanovic has been mentioned in the “30 Best Legends of Women’s Tennis: past, present, and future.” 

Now a mother to two kids, Ana started her career in 2003 and has since held a total of 15 career titles.

» I have also written this post, about: Best Tennis Ball Machines – (The Ultimate Guide)

#16 Kim Clijsters

Country: Belgium

Key Achievements:

  • 4 grand slams singles.
  • Former #1 in singles and doubles.
  • 41 career titles singles; 11 doubles.

All-time WTA Singles and Doubles title holder, Kim Clijsters holds the position of winning the most Grand Slam titles as a mother.

Upholding the No.1 rank in 2003, the Belgian player has set records in both Singles and Doubles.

Winning a total of 6 grand slam titles, was a huge accomplishment for the Belgian Tennis players, who weren’t doing too well in the World tennis game.

She later established Belgium as a leading country in Tennis, especially in Women’s Tennis. 

#15 Simona Halep

Country: Romania

Key Achievements:

  • 23 WTA singles titles.
  • 2 grand slam singles.
  • Year-end no#1 in 2017 and 2018.
  • One-time French Open Winner.

The music fanatic and tennis player, Simona Halep won her first single in 2007.

Simona’s record shows her reliance that she has slowly made a place for herself in the World Rankings. In 2012, Simona even got the chance to represent Romania at the Olympics.

Starting her tennis endeavor in 2006, Simona did not bend under any pressure and stood against all odds. She’s even set up a charity organization for sports, health, and education. 

#14 Caroline Wozniaki

Country: Denmark

Key Achievements:

  • 30 singles titles.
  • Former #1 singles title holder.
  • 1 Grand slam.

Former Danish player, Caroline Wozniaki held her No.1 rank for a consecutive 71 weeks. She earned her top rank in 2011 and became the first female player from a Scandinavian country to hold such a position.

A child prodigy winning a junior Grand Slam Title in 2006, Caroline is known for her footwork and defensive play.

She holds 30 WTA Singles titles and a Grand Slam title in the 2018 Australian Open.

The player was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis(RA) in 2018, which slowly led to her retirement.

#13 Lindsay Davenport

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • 55 career titles.
  • Former #1.
  • 3 Grand slams.
  • Olympic Gold medal.

Standing tall at 6’2 ½,  Lindsay Davenport has maintained her No.1 WTA ranking for 98 weeks straight. The humble American player is amongst the top 5 players to have ended the year-end No.1 rank at least 4 times. 

Winning 3 Grand Slams which is what raised her to No.1, Lindsay had to miss most of her year in 2002 due to knee injuries. However, Lindsay rose back to her game and won 55 WTA titles throughout her career.

The American professional also has an Olympic Gold Medal to her name from the 1996 Olympics.

» Read my blog post: Best Hard Court Tennis Shoes – The Best Buyers Guide

#12 Evonne Goolagong Cawley

Country: Australia

Key Achievements:

  • Former #1.
  • Won French and Australian Open at the age of 19.
  • 7 Grand slams.

One of Australia’s most successful tennis players, Evonne Goolagong Cawley has won a striking 7 Grand Slam titles. On top of all this, she was also the first indigenous Australian woman to gain such success worldwide. 

Evonne has empowered other indigenous women around her and lessened the discrimination against indigenous people in sports.

Evonne Goolagong Cawley was the world’s leading woman tennis player in the 1970s and early 1980s. 

Goolagong has a list of achievements that have shaped women’s tennis. From winning her first French Open at age 19 to winning Wimbledon in 1980, she became the first mother to do so in 66 years. 

#11 Martina Hingis

Country: Slovakia

Key Achievements:

  • Former #1 singles and doubles title holder.
  • Olympics silver medal.
  • 43 career titles.

The first Swiss player, male and female, to win a Grand Slam, Martina Hingis spent a total of 209 weeks on the No.1 Singles and 90 weeks on the No.1 Doubles.  

Martina has grabbed an array of titles all stacked atop each other. Winning 5 grand slam titles; 13 women’s Grand Slam titles and 7 Grand slam Doubles titles.

At this point, it just seems as if Hingis decided to win every match she played, ever. 

That’s not even all of her achievements, as she went on to get a Silver Medal in the Olympics and won the season-ending WTA finals twice. Her list of achievements is unending, I tell you.

#10 Justine Henin

Country: Belgium

Key Achievements:

  • Year-end no#1 in 2003.
  • Winner of the Fed Cup Crown.
  • 43 WTA singles titles.

The Belgian pride, Justine Henin spent 117 weeks on the No.1 and spent the year-end No.1 in 2003, 2006, and 2007.

She, along with Clijsters, brought their country, Belgium, amongst the top forces in tennis. She even led Belgium to win the Fed Cup Crown in 2001.

Henin also won Grand Slam titles in 2003, 2006, and 2007 and a Gold Medal at the Women’s Olympics. She retired officially in 2011 due to elbow and finger injuries. Henin won a total of 43 WTA Singles Titles.

This total accumulated after her last Grand Slam win and the Wimbledon Open.

In June 2011, she was included in the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: past, present, and future.” and is widely seen as the best tennis player of all time.

#9 Maria Sharapova

Country: Russia

Key Achievements:

  • 5 Grand slams singles.
  • Former #1.
  • 36 career titles.
  • Olympics silver medalist.

The only Russian to win the career Grand Slam, Maria Sharapova is steadfast and has also won the Silver Medal in women’s Singles at the 2012 Olympics. 

Becoming a Nike endorsee at only 11, Sharapova is an exceptional player and has won 5 major titles in her career.

Despite shortcomings, she still actively worked in bringing pride to her country and her name by using her beyond satisfactory techniques. 

#8 Monica Seles

Country: Serbia

Key Achievements:

  • 9 Grand slam singles.
  • 53 singles titles.
  • 6 doubles titles.

Representing Yugoslavia and the USA, Monica Seles has won 8 Grand Slam titles as a teenager and one in her adult career.

She became the youngest-ever French Open champion at 16. Seles won all her Grand Slam titles before the age of 20. 

» Read my blog post about: Best Babolat Tennis Racquets – The Best Guide

#7 Margaret Court

Country: Australia

Key Achievements:

  • 64 WTA majors.
  • 24 grand slams.
  • Former world #1.

With a phenomenal track of 64 WTA majors, winning 24 Grand Slam titles for singles and 19 Grand Slams for mixed doubles, Margaret Court is a legend, in my opinion.

Margaret Court was the first and also the second woman to win the title during the era of Opens.

Her outstanding play gave her a 90% win ratio in all single performances. This was what led to her being titled one of the best players ever!

#6 Venus Williams

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • 7 singles majors titles.
  • 14 women’s doubles.
  • 7 Grand slams.
  • 49 career titles.

Being siblings with Serena Williams, Venus Williams has also had her share of professional accomplishments.

She has won 49 career titles as well as 7 Grand Slams, making her a known All-time Greats of Tennis. 

Coached by her parents, along with Serena, she secured a Gold Medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Conquering Wimbledon and the US Open titles, she became the first African American woman to reach such heights. 

#5 Billie Jean King

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • 39 grand slams.
  • Former #1 tennis player.
  • 4 French and 2 Australian Open titles.

A vocalist of gender equality, Billie Jean King has shown her perseverance by standing for her cause. King aims to promote equality in sports and is also the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

She is known for winning the “battle of the sexes” tennis match where she triumphed against Bobby Riggs. Later, she was also given her place in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

#4 Steffi Graf

Country: Germany

Key Achievements:

  • 107 career titles.
  • 4 grand slams.
  • Olympic gold medalist.
  • 22 major singles titles.

German player, Steffi Graf has won 22 major Singles titles; the third most of all time after Margaret Court.

In 1988, she became the first woman to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all 4 Grand Slam titles along with an Olympic Gold Medal; all in the same year. 

» Read my blog post: Best Tennis Strings For Spin – The No.1 Guide

#3 Chris Evert

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • 34 grand slams.
  • 157 singles titles.
  • 32 doubles titles.

With an overall win of 157 Singles and 32 Doubles titles, Chris Evert is looked upon by many as an aspiration and tennis gold.

Chris Evert has even secured 34 Grand Slam titles, the most anyone has ever had in the history of tennis. 

Aside from this, she also holds the record for 13 consecutive years of winning a Major title.

Evert was known to never lose the first round of any match and only ever lost thrice in the third round. This makes her the epitome of tennis. 

#2 Martina Navratilova

Country: Czechia

Key Achievements:

  • 59 grand slams.
  • #1 in singles for 332 weeks

Winning a combined total of 59 Major titles Martina Navratilova is regarded as one of the most timeless, legendary players.

With this, she’s also the only player to maintain her No.1 in both Singles and Doubles for over 200 weeks. 

She, along with two other fellow players, is the only woman to have attained a career in Grand Slam in Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. This is known as the “Grand Slam Boxed Set.” 

#1 Serena Williams

Country: USA

Key Achievements:

  • 73 career titles.
  • 4 major singles titles.
  • 4 Olympic gold medals.

Finally, at number 1, I have listed Serena Williams — Sister to Venus, Serena was ranked No.1 by WTA for an epic 319 weeks. The most anyone’s ever been No.1!!

She’s won 23 Grand Slam titles which outnumber everyone as the most titles ever in the Open era. 

Nicknamed “Serena Slam,” Williams has won all 4 major Singles titles. Despite her injuries, she continues to be in form; bagging her titles. 

Williams is collectively considered the Best Female Tennis Player of all time. Her arrival sparked an uproar and led to major conversions in the structure of professional tennis.

Ending Word 

Finally, I’m done with going through the list of top 20 female players of all time. These women are the instigators of women’s tennis, being taken seriously; showing the light in the dark tunnels.

The 20 best women players all have a lot in common and one of those is giving their pedestal to raise voices for equality amongst all. They have surpassed their male colleagues, and have held their ground no matter what in the world of tennis.

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