Top 10 Best Women's Tennis Players of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Serena Williams Serena Jameka Williams is an American former professional tennis player. The Women's Tennis Association ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002.

Serena's power serve and overall game would overwhelm any of the other top 10 candidates for the number one spot. The only debate is Steffi Graf. I think if they played 10 games head-to-head, Serena would win six or seven out of 10.

Steffi and Margaret Court look a bit better on paper and statistically, but many of Margaret's wins were before the Open Era. And Steffi was helped by Monica Seles being stabbed during her prime and removed as competition. Serena deserves the top spot. Serena is very likely to reach at least 22 Grand Slams and tie Steffi. Serena, Steffi, Martina, Chris, and Margaret are the all-time top five.

2 Steffi Graf

Graf is the greatest player of any generation, period. As far as Serena fans stating Serena beat Steffi when she was 16, that is false. Serena was older than 16, and Graf beat her twice anyway.

Given that Steffi was nowhere near her best from 1997-1999, she beat the top players anyway. Graf beat Serena in Hong Kong and Sydney and narrowly lost to Serena in Indian Wells despite playing poorly due to recurring injuries. Graf also beat Venus in Sydney after taking out Serena beforehand and then beat Venus in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, too. She defeated Davenport, Hingis, Seles, and Clijsters during her final year.

Just goes to show that even the younger, top-ranked players back then couldn't stop an injury-plagued, subpar Graf. Imagine if Steffi was injury-free during her final two years... She would have more than a few more Slams, and none of those she lost a match or two against would have come close. Graf is simply the best ever... And Serena, well, not so much.

3 Martina Navratilova

Martina won more tournaments than any other player, including more Wimbledon titles. Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament. She has the longest winning streak and battled Chris Evert, another all-time great, constantly during her career. Other players such as Graf and Williams did not face such competition.

Martina also played doubles and mixed doubles, while the others concentrated on singles. In fact, Williams concentrates almost solely on the slams. In assessing players, you have to look at who they played for the titles and their overall career, not just singles and slams.

4 Monica Seles

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. In the process, her dreams of becoming the best ever were suddenly derailed, forever, and thus, she never recovered from that traumatizing and shocking experience, and sadly, we were all robbed from watching her blossom into greatness.

Indeed, she had so much potential, so much potential that she was the youngest ever to win the French Open at only 16 years of age, defeating Steffi Graf. She then went on to win it again and again, three times over, in a three-peat fashion. Back-to-back-to-back, defeating legends such as Steffi Graf multiple times over, not just at the Roland Garros, but also at the Australian Open. She then went on to dominate throughout her teenage years, and between the ages of 16 and 18 she won most of her 9 major Grand Slams. But sadly, her reign of dominance ended while she was still a little teenager.

Now imagine this, imagine if she had never been stabbed. If she had never been stabbed, Monica Seles would've rewritten the history books, all of the tennis history books, and she would've broken all of them records. She would've done the unthinkable, and in her roaring 20s, she would've won 22, 25, 30, or maybe even more than 30 Grand Slams. As a... more

5 Chris 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 the court also rattled many opponents. She was the bagel queen, specializing in dishing out 6-0 sets!

She instilled fear in opponents, especially in the 1970s - even among the top players. The second tier of players felt they had absolutely no chance of defeating her. She rarely suffered "upset" defeats. Some of the top players tried to avoid the clay circuit just to stay away from Chris on her favorite clay surface where she was an absolute terror.

6 Margaret 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?

7 Maria Sharapova Maria Sharapova is a Russian former professional tennis player of Belarusian descent. Sharapova has competed on the WTA tour since 2001. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the... read more

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

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

Terrific, powerful player. Very tough to beat. Great service, great forehand, great backhand. The second-best player of the 2000s after Serena. Career Grand Slam holder. Third-youngest Wimbledon Champion in history.

Owner of the greatest upset in memory when she demolished Serena at 2004 Wimbledon. The most marketable tennis player (male or female) of all time. A true icon and legend. Definitely, she belongs to the echelon of all-time greats (number 6 or number 7). Hope for her comeback in 2021! Love you, Maria.

8 Billie Jean King

Did a lot for women's tennis, including equal pay. A great in that regard. As a player, she was a "thinking" player who knew how to tailor her game to each opponent. And that enabled her to "punch above her weight."

If it weren't for Billie Jean King, no one would have ever heard of the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, or anyone else in women's tennis.

The Battle of the Sexes is enough to put her above all the rest.

9 Venus Williams

Longevity, class, power, agility. I have always admired Venus's game, and how she has adapted and added to her repertoire as her career advances. Her perseverance is very inspiring, especially her 2017 season, which was phenomenal. Also, her doubles and Olympic record are commendable.

What she has done for women's tennis, from equal pay to the representation of Black women, and her fashion icon status is amazing. She is still playing quite well today at 39, beating players half her age or ranked higher. Her record on grass is also noteworthy.

When she wins a match, her smile and happiness are magnetic, and she is always respectful. Her love for Serena is obvious. A mentally weak person may feel threatened by Serena's success, but Venus is able to celebrate her and also remain focused on her own success. She is an entrepreneur with her own pursuits outside of tennis. Arguably, it's a distraction from what she can achieve in tennis. However, it is nice to see tennis players focus on other revenue streams other than endorsements. Overall, I love everyone on this list, but Vee is a personal gem.

10 Evonne Goolagong

Her competitive fire was dimmed by Chris Evert's overwhelming presence. She would have achieved more in any other era not overlapping so much with Evert.

For me, Evonne stands out as one of the most graceful and sporting players. With her graceful, natural game, she made tennis look easy. For this, she deserves an honorable mention.

But she just did not have the competitive fire needed to be number one, which was the kiss of death for her against someone like Chris Evert who exuded competitive fire!

The Contenders
11 Martina Hingis

Hingis was the grandmaster 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.

When I saw Graf and Seles come along in the 1990s, I thought that they were at another level from earlier players like Evert & Navratilova, but then along came Hingis, and the level was raised again. The only other player that may prove to be as great is Andreescu from Canada. Honourable mention to Kim Clijsters.

12 Justine Henin

She has the best backhand in the women's 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 of every Grand Slam, including reaching the final in all of them 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 Wimbledon. She was considered one of the best volleyers on tour and won three consecutive French Open titles. She retired with four French Open titles, one Australian Open title, and two US Open titles and is still known as one of the greatest tennis players ever.

13 Simona Halep

Simona is definitely better than #13. I would put her further up. Better than Davenport by a mile! Strong, focused, athletic, great backhand...

Very nice breakthrough season. She is the current queen of clay. Based on past seasons, she has back pains, sadly.

14 Gabriela 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.

15 Kim 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!

16 Lindsay Davenport
17 Jennifer Capriati

A solid tennis player throughout her career! She was punished for things that all of us did when we were young. We love you, Jennifer!

18 Caroline Wozniacki

A role model for tennis players and one of the best this decade.

19 Li Na

She encourages more Asians to play tennis.

Best two-handed backhand of all time!

Definitely the most underrated and overlooked player on this list.

20 Agnieszka Radwańska

Agnieszka Radwańska is an amazing player. She plays really well near the net and is known for shooting the most amazing and hard shots. As a little girl, I always looked up to her. Her attitude always inspired me; no matter if she was losing or winning, she had respect for her opponent and she always stayed calm. As a teenager that plays tennis, I hope that in the future I will be able to play like her and make our country proud.

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

21 Ana Ivanovic

So beautiful, kind, and sympathetic.

22 Victoria Azarenka
23 Angelique Kerber Angelique Kerber is a German professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No.1 in women's singles tennis by the Women's Tennis Association.

Such a great player to watch! She is perhaps not technically the best, but she used her weapons to overpower taller, stronger, better players. She has incredible levels of fitness, toughness, and the ability to outlast any player while utilizing her highly unorthodox style.

Her method of playing the squat shot is quite remarkable. She squats so deep and returns to position quickly, even against huge power shots. Her thigh muscles are incredible, and she is incredibly strong. She is the only player capable of carrying this out in such a rugged way. She is the best at maximizing her talents!

24 Maureen Connolly
25 Helen Wills Moody
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