Best Female Tennis Players of All Time

MatrixGuy

The Top TenXW

1Serena Williams

Unlike the greats before her, Serena Williams is accomplishing two very unique achievements in the singles game. First, she's collecting her hardware hall during an era where this kind of dominance is uncommon.

Chrissy, Martina and Steffi basically passed the baton one to another, but they also had contemporaries, rivals legitimately for supremacy with which they were forced to share the stage. Neither Chrissy nor Martina eclipse the other and given the HUGE asterisk surrounding Steffi's career, a very credible argument can be made that not only was Monica Seles better, but Steffi wouldn't have distinguished herself from Chrissy and Marti, had Seles been around to contest for a few more of those grand slam trophies. Does anyone doubt Seles would have won at least four more?

Next, Serena may be in the twilight of her career and as an elder states person, she is showing the field how to get her done! The other greats were waning in their late 20's and wrapping up their ...more

Serena is the best female tennis player that ever wielded a racquet. Her serve - best ever (first and second), her back hand - awesome, Her forearm - powerful, Movement athletic, her mental fortitude untouchable. Serena is dominating in an era when tennis is really open to a lot more people round the world the top 100 to day can easily compete in the early era of tennis. Graf supporters will say she held the number 1 ranking for so long but Seles who had taken the number 1 rank from her and was dominating for a long while even as a teen as subsequent stabbed and taken out of the game which allowed Graf hold on for another 87 weeks. My second best ever will have to be Navratilova for her achievements in tennis.

I've watched every player since the early 1960's and if you had a tournament containing the best women players through the ages, Serena's power and serve would come out on top. She also has a steely nerve which some very great players lacked. Navratilova was brilliant but her serve and volley game wouldn't stand the test today.

Best tennis player ever

V63 Comments
2Steffi Graf

Graf is the greatest player of any generation period. As far as the Serena fan stating Serena beat Steffi when she was 16 that is false. Serena was older than 16 and Graf beat her twice anyhow. Given that Steffi was nowhere near her best from 97-99 she beat the top players anyway. Graf beat Serena in Hong Kong, Sydney, and narrowly lost to Serena in Indian Wells despite playing poorly due to reoccurring injuries. Graf also beat Venus in Sydney after taking out Serena beforehand. Then beat Venus in the QF's at Wimbledon too. She defeated Davenport, Hingis, Seles, and Clijsters during her final year. Just goes to show that even the younger top ranked player's back then couldn't stop an injury plagued sub par Graf. Imagine if Steffi was injury free during her final 2 years... She would have more than a few more Slams and none of those she lost a match, or two against would've came close. Graf is simply the best ever... And Serena well, not so much.

Steffi is the best ever. She won the Golden Slam in 1988. She has won three of the majors in one year in three different occasions. She has won each of the Grand Slams four times or more. She spent 377 weeks at number one, which is still a record. Steffi had 22 slams under her belt by the age of 30 when she retired. Serena captured her 22nd slam at age 34. It took Serena 4 more years to match the great Steffi Graf. Steffi at her best could beat any female tennis player on any surface. Steffi is the best period.

In tennis since Graf retired there has been a massive evolution with racquet technology, I believe with the same racquets as Williams, in her prime Graf would win, Williams would really struggle against the slice on Graf's backhand, and her foreman would be even more awesome than it already was, her speed around the court would mean she would retrieve balls others could not and her serve, while not as good as Williams was not bad at all.

She is the best...Serena simply don't have any competition..You prove your greatness when tested..

V44 Comments
3Martina Navratilova

In a few years my vote might be for Serena but at the time of this post I have to go with Martina. I believe that Steffi stats are inflated so I could not go with Steffi.

Martina is the greatest female tennis player who ever lived but also the greatest tennis player who ever lived. Bille Jean King in (2006) said about Martina "She is the greatest single, doubles, and mixed doubles player who ever lived".

Martina is just amazing - her career spans decades and she won wimbledon 9 times. What an ethic she has and a great personality.

Evert was the greater role model and her records greater it took martina 10 years to get to her near her I mean come on

V13 Comments
4Chris Evert

Loved the way she ran her opponents ragged while looking fresh as a daisy herself! She is responsible for the modern women's game. Superb anticipation and disguised shots that were difficult to read. Serve and volley players in particular were scared of her and ended up staying back and playing Evert's game for fear of being passed and lobbed. Her emotionless display on court also rattled many opponents. She was the bagel queen specializing in dishing out 6-0 sets!

Thiis is joke Chris is the greatest ever look at her records her clay court record is beyond recognition no one dominated a surface like she did records at the US open and French and she won wimbeldon more than Martina won the French best win loss record in history and the one single shot that is the most imitated her classic two handed backhand perfection and the most mentally tough player ever female or male chrissie was unique had she played more Australian opens and not missed three years at the French she would be ahead of court whom she dominated and graf for mine the ice queen is the greatest ever and one last point chrissie was loved by any crowd anywhere in the world a true legend greatest ever

18 grand slams, 125 consecutive matches on clay, rank number one seven times. Won the French open a record 7 times. Rivarly with Martina Navratilova even surpass her accomplishment, it made women's tennis what it is today.....

Thanks Chris and Martina

Chris defines the word legend and champion!

V38 Comments
5Monica Seles

It's You who should read Your Tennis History before posting comments that aren't true! Get your facts right! Graf leads Seles 10-5 in head to head matches, and BEFORE! The stabbing it was 6-4 in Graf's favour. In slams the score was 3-3.

So if Graf was leading 6-4 before the stabbing and 10-5 overall how the hell do you come up with comments like "Seles beating Graf time and time again! It's just not true and these are real! Facts.

Also when Seles was winning most of Her slams before She was stabbed it wasn't always Graf She beat to win them. At this time Graf lost to quite a few other players in slams so the injuries and the trouble with Her Father obviously didn't help.

Seles was a brilliant player and no doubt would of won more Slams only for that dreadful sickening incident. She was the better player on Clay but overall Graf is the best all round female tennis player ever in my opinion.

MONICA SELES was like the "Michael Jordan" of Tennis, during her prime, in her TEENAGE years... she was unbeatable -- UNSTOPPABLE! Yes! She was 'just' a TEEN, at the time... and thus, she would always find herself winning many, many GRAND SLAMS against the best players in the world... players such as Steffi Graf (in her prime)... indeed, she played against the BEST and she 'beat' the best! That is prior to that sad and tragic day, that forever changed the sport of tennis... when she was brutally and violently attacked by a deranged "Steffi Graf OBSESSED" lunatic... on April 30, 1993... Indeed, this girl was on a path... on a mission to become the GREATEST tennis player that ever walked the Earth... but then tragedy happened in 1993... and her DESTINY of becoming the greatest player ever dramatically came to a sudden halt... and in the process, her dreams of becoming the best ever were suddenly derailed... forever... and thus, she NEVER recovered from that ...more

People, PLEASE read tennis history. Realize how, BEFORE BEING STABBED BY A PSYCHO, Seles was beating Graff time and time again, even easily. She was breaking all kinds of records even in her teens, until the stabbing occurred, and her tennis career went down the drain, while Graff's took off, without any opposition. Seles HAD A POWERFUL BACKHAND, capable of shooting winners, something Graff never had by the way. Overall, Seles was more powerful, more effective, but she was stabbed and that was the end of it. This is about who is the best female tennis player of all time, not who got the most Grand Slam titles because of pure dumb luck --her superior opponent being stabbed--. Guys who think Steffi is the best ever, please inform yourselves, read and find out the truth!

She is up there for her achievements youngest every to win a slam. has a winning record in slams against Graf and had over shadowed already even before turning 20. Seles is a great player. Only Serena and Martina can be put ahead of her.

V3 Comments
6Margaret Court

In 1970, Margaret Court became the first woman during the open era and the second woman in history to win all four Grand Slam tournament singles titles in the same calendar year. Court won a record 24 of those titles during her career. She also won 19 women's doubles and 19 mixed doubles titles, giving her a record 62 Major titles overall. Her all surfaces career match winning percentage of 91.74 (1177/106) is an all-time record. The International Tennis Hall of Fame states, "For sheer strength of performance and accomplishment there has never been a tennis player to match her". She is clearly the greatest female tennis player of all time, so why is she not number 1 on this list?

Great player no doubt. I saw her struggling against a young Chris Evert in the early '70's though which always makes me hesitate in ranking her very high.

The record across singles and doubles titles says it all - hype that puts one era above another is just that - "hype". An athlete that dominates their competition shouldn't be relegated to anuls of neo-era revisionism which be-littles their dominance in play to a mere lack of competition.

No tennis player man or woman comes close to the record of Margaret Court. 24 majors and four grand slams.

V9 Comments
7Billie Jean King

If you don't know who she is you don't know women's tennis.

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8Maria Sharapova

One of the greatest female tennis player ever and there is no doubt about it. Jumping forward in the highest level isn't that easy and she didn't just prove it but showed it when she was only 17.

And believe or not, I believe she has what it takes to be the best ever and she completely, undoubtedly deserves a lot more higher ranking in this list!

She is a world class tennis player you know that when someone wins wimbledon at the age of just 17 and to bounce back from injury lately and to have got back in the big time is pretty inspirational she is still in her mid 20's so more success is sure to come but to anyone she is one inspirational tennis player

She is a really inspiring character that brings so much to tennis both on and off the court... Her glamour quotient is one of the highest in tennis and she is really one of the best players on the current tour

She's the best in the world. Nothing to say about her. Her play shows her skill

V13 Comments
9Justine Henin

She has the best backhand in the womens game. She had a very good all around game and her slice was considered one of the best of all time. She won 7 grand slams and reached the final ov every grand slams including reaching the final in all of the grand slams in 2006. She also won the gold medal in 2004 at the olympics defeating Mauresmo in the final. The only grand slam she didn't win was Wimbeldon. She was considered one of the best volleyers on tour and won 3 consecutive French open titles. She retired with 4 french open titles, 1 australian open title, and 2 us open titles and is still known as one of the greatest tennis players ever

The best, most attractive tennis without screaming!

Henin in my opinion stay into the best four

V1 Comment
10Martina Hingis

Hingis was the grand master of chess playing tennis. She could dismantle any power hitting opponent with placement, stroke and uncanny angles. An absolute favorite to watch.

Great finesse and gamesmanship. Would have had a longer time at number one were it not for the arrival of the Williams sisters who have dominated based on brute force.

Beautiful to watch. She was a genius. Too bad she had to retire young, WTA lost the most talented player of the generation.

She was the cutest player ever played

V1 Comment

The Contenders

11Venus Williams

I'd put Venus higher on this list, after Serena I think. I mean..her groundstrokes are the best I've ever seen. She is great at the net and is the greatest athlete on the courts. Venus' problem is that she wasn't consistent. At the absolute best she was good on every surface. I've seen her hit the best forehands and backhands, get back balls no other player except for maybe Serena could get back and at her best playing very smart. Most certainly the best game to watch. The only reason why she isn't the number one on this list is because she wasn't consistent and Serena is mentally stronger. I mean, she won - only - 7 Slams and made a high spot on every greatest player of all time list, that says a lot. Talent wise I just think the Williams sisters are the best. Don't forget Venus had a lot of injuries and at her best, she always had Serena as an opponent, who was playing her best at that time too. After her 2003 injury Venus just wasn't the same. So, don't always look at titles but ...more

The best groundstrokes I've ever seen. Best forehand and backhand, so much power. Great volleys, she is very strong at the net. If she plays her best she is great on every surface. Massive first serve, fastest ever on the women's side. Second serve can be good, but sometimes is a weakness. The best athlete on the courst ever. Mentally strong, but just not as much as Serena and she is very inconsistent. She can bring back balls no other player except for Serena could bring back. That's why I didn't put Venus on the top spot. A lot of you are wondering why I put the Williams sisters ahead of everybody else. Well..Venus was only been consistent between 2000 and 2003. If she is consistent, I think she has the greatest game ever. She is the one player who really changed the game. I don't think it's all about titles but about what players are capable of when they are at their best. As it comes to tennis I think the Williams sisters are just simply the best ever. After 2003 she was never ...more - Svenfcg

Impeccable, beautiful to watch and winner of one of the best women's Wimbledon finals ever. Serena may be the better technical player but it was Venus who changed women's tennis and ooh things to a whole new level.

One of the greatest

V5 Comments
12Kim Clijsters

She is the best player ever. She made many players to go on break, biggest example was willam sisters, sharapova and players like davenport and others. She was the true spirit of tennis. And I am sure if there are no health issues, She can beat any player on the tour. She should be back to let this world realized who is the real champion... Kim you are truly Great.

Being able to win 3 gs after childbirth says enough! She is the best!

13Lindsay Davenport
14Evonne Goolagong

Unfortunate to have played when Chris Evert was at her best.

Chris Evert got in her way big time in the '70's.

Had a terrible record against King and Cour too. Nevertheless graceful player.

15Agnieszka Radwanska

She's an amazing person and excellent tennis player. As far as I know she is on the fifth place in worlds ranking now.

"Magican" player! One of the best technique in tennis and the most clever game style!

16Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Best serve-returner of all time. Not to mention her great personality, great presence and passion in the courts, a legend

Number 1 in Individuals and in doubles

Come on¡ Vamooos¡ Arantxa Sanchez Vicario has to be up in the list. Four grand slam titles individual, four in doubles and four in mixt. 5 fed cup titles. Come on¡ 98 titles 29 individuals 69 doubles. 48 finals in individuals. Come on¡ FOUR olympic medals. Two Hoffman cups. Finalist in 8 grand slam. COme on¡ indicted in the hall of Fame. Let's be fair. She deserves to be high in the list. Best player ever in clay¡

17Gabriela Sabatini

Gabriela had it all. She deserves to be much higher on this list. She had a great serve, a powerful return game, a cerebral ability to mix-up her types and placement of shots well and a charming personality that made her the media darling of women's tennis. A top-10 great player for sure,but more important--a quality person.

18Li NaV1 Comment
19Ana Ivanovic

Ok it's because she's my pretend girlfriend, Which I mean I pretend she is my girlfriend. I saw her in person at the open last year and she is even more stunning than I could have imagined. I know some might say that my criterion for the best female tennis player might be sexist, but nigil tufnail once said" what's wrong with being sexy? "

20Victoria Azarenka

Vika has to grand slams she is the only one that could defeat serena at her best in this days she is young so she has a lot of time to add more slams to her collection and I'm sure that she will be one of the best of this sport

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List StatsUpdated 6 Dec 2016

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Top Remixes (13)

1. Martina Navratilova
2. Steffi Graf
3. Margaret Court
jimmy29
1. Steffi Graf
2. Margaret Court
3. Martina Navratilova
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1. Serena Williams
2. Steffi Graf
3. Martina Navratilova
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