25 Greatest Female Tennis Players Of All Time

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Since childhood, I have been a die-hard fan of the beautiful game that is tennis. This inspired me to develop a career as a coach, which has been my profession for years.

With my expertise and knowledge, I have concluded the top 25 best female tennis players of all time.

Making a list like this and not being subjective is difficult.

However, because I love the sport and respect the fanbase, I have done in-depth research, ensuring this list is authentic, genuine, and, most of all, gets the athletes below the recognition they deserve for their hard work. Let’s dive in.

25. Naomi Osaka

This placement might be a shock, with Naomi Osaka still very early in her career. However, with my best judgment, I believe she has the biggest potential and is the greatest threat to female tennis in the past 10-15 years. 

Being the first Asian player to rank n.1 in the world, you can’t deny her potential at just 24 years of age. More notably, defeating Serena Williams in the final of the US Open in 2018. 

To this day, she holds 4 single Grand Slam titles, and I cannot wait to see this number grow within the next 5 years. The future is bright for Naomi.

24. Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka is another athlete who represents their country to the fullest. Becoming the first and only Belarusian player to get a Grand Slam Single title.

Victoria was also ranked n.1 in the world in 2012, proving her talent and solidifying her spot on this list.

Victoria is still playing today and has recently returned to form after getting her first title since 2016 in 2021. The future is still bright for Victoria.

23. Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki represented her country to the fullest, becoming the first Danish woman to hold rank n.1 in the world for 71 weeks. 

In 2018 she became the first Dane to win a Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open, giving her country the recognition and attention it deserved for its athletes.

Known for her excellent defensive abilities, she was a force not to be taken lightly. She retired in 2020, leaving her mark in the sport and her legacy intact.

22. Dinara Safina

Dinara Safina, like many on our list, was a talented player but was cut short due to injuries. Unfortunately, she was never fit enough to grasp a Grand Slam title, but she was still one of the best female tennis players Russia has ever seen, even being ranked n.1 in 2009. 

Standing almost 6 feet tall, her leverages were excellent, and she could effectively maneuver her body on the court.

Back injuries prevented her from pushing for that Grand Slam title in which she retired in 2014.

21. Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic was excellent, and it came all together for her in 2008 when she won the French Open and was the n.1 ranked female tennis player in the world in the same year. 

Her career is more highlighted for her looks, as she has been handed the title of best-looking female tennis player of all time. However, it shouldn’t be confused. She was a real talent and great for the sport of tennis.

20. Amelie Mauresmo

Amelie Mauresmo was an excellent talent, starting tennis at the age of 4: it’s no surprise she accomplished all that she did. With two Grand slam titles to her record, she was a very viable threat to many others on this list. 

After retiring in 2009, she became a very accredited and successful tennis coach.

19. Simona Halep

Simona Halep still has much to offer the sport of tennis. Her potential is massive, she has been n.1 in the world for 64 weeks, and with her versatile style/arsenal, many speculate she could be a contender for the n.1 spot again soon.

With two Grand Slam titles, she can easily add to this number before she retires.

18. Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin was undoubtedly a talented female tennis player, defeating 35-year-old Bille Jean King in 1979. In the same year, winning the US Open while being only 16, she was a powerful force not to be undermined.

Due to injuries, her prime was short-lived, only managing to win two Grand Slam titles in her career.

17. Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova had an extremely powerful strike. With 5 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, she was undoubtedly one of the greatest in her era.

Overall she was technically sound. Her downfall was speed, she never moved with enough agility to contend with the top 5 on this list.

However, Maria still solidified her mark on this list as she brought more publicity to the sport than any other female tennis player on this list.

16. Jennifer Capriati

Jennifer Capriati was a genetic freak, ranked N.7 in the world at just 15 years old with 3 Grand Slam titles. She was the future of female tennis, making headlines and earning millions before she had even turned 18 years old. 

However, her age was also her biggest downfall. 

Between 1992 and 1993, the public saw a massive decline in her performance, despite it being only 2-3 years since she had become a professional. Jennifer had lost her love for the sport but managed to make a comeback in the 2000s to win multiple titles, including the Australian Open and French Open.

15. Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters and her fellow Belgian Henin led their country to victory in 2001 at the Fed Cup. By herself, she was ranked n.1 in the world in 2003, and with four grand slam titles to her name, it’s safe to say she was an accomplished tennis player. 

Not to mention the inspiration and motivation she gave to women worldwide when she decided to continue her career after having children. She has earned her way onto this list.

14. Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay peaked in tennis much later than the majority of the others on this list. Turning pro at 17, she didn’t quite have her heart set on the sport until her mid-twenties, when she won three Grand Slam titles.

Her tactics were immaculate when she committed herself. Perfecting groundstrokes and managing her distance from the baseline were her strong points.

13. Maureen Connolly

Maureen Connolly was a freak of nature, coming out of nowhere to win six Grand Slam singles titles between 1951-1952.

The talent she possessed was immense. She was strong, confident, and had a massive arsenal. Unfortunately, her career came to a halt when she injured her right leg ending her tennis career.

However, do not get it confused her career packed a punch. She is perhaps the most talented female tennis player the world has ever seen.

12. Helen Wills Moody

The dominant force in the 1920s belonged to Helen Wills Moody. She was the Serina Williams of the era. 19 singles titles at Grand Slam championships, which was unheard of in that time period.

Not only did she conquer the tennis world, but she was the first American female to be known globally. Exclusively for her unique outfits on the court. An icon of the sport who was much more than just a great tennis player.

Unfortunately, this tennis mammoth passed away in 1998, with her legacy still being discussed and remembered today.

11. Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis will go down as a technical genius. Having played tennis since she was a child, it was no surprise that her technique was immaculate, to the point she won 25 Grand Slam total titles. 

Even in her adolescence, she was achieving so much. To this day, she is still the youngest ever female to win Wimbledon at just 15. 

You won’t find a more solid player than Martina Hingis. She wasn’t spectacular at anything in particular but great as a whole, well-rounded tennis player.

10. Justine Henin

Justine Hein, the master of the backhand. She is notoriously known for winning games and scoring points with her crushing backhand from every angle, height, and position. 

Like most on our list, she was an Olympic gold medalist, along with winning seven Grand Slam singles titles. More notably, she was known for pushing female tennis in Europe, inspiring generations and generations of female athletes to come, especially in her home country Belgium. 

Due to elbow injuries, she couldn’t rival the females above; however, still made/left her mark in tennis forever.

9. Evonne Goolagong

Evonne Goolagong was the most notable female tennis player at the launch of the open era, as she was consistently winning single double and mixed double Grand Slam titles. 

Evonne often bullied her opposition, dominating early on and consistently throughout matches. This style won her 14 total Grand Slam titles, and more notably, in 1980 became the first mum to win Wimbledon since 1914. 

Evonne, in complete confidence, moved to Sydney to pursue tennis in her adolescence, which later led her to become one of the best females ever to grace the court.

8. Venus Williams

Venus Williams, the sister of Serena Williams, is an excellent female tennis player in her own right, having held the world rank N.1 spot for both singles and doubles and being the first female to win five Wimbledon titles. 

More notably, with 4 Olympic gold medals to her name, she has most definitely broken out of her sister’s massive shadow, which is a tremendous task in itself.

7. Monica Seles

Monica Seles is a true role model of female tennis. At 18, she was well on her way to being the best female tennis player of all time, rivaling Steffi, who was considered n.1 at the time.

An unfortunate stabbing incident set her back immensely. However, just two years after the incident, she came back to win the Grand Slam singles title, topping up her total to 9 single titles, a truly admirable and inspirational story. 

An athlete who was considered “ahead of her time.” In 2009 she was welcomed into the international tennis hall of fame.

6. Billie Jean King

Bille Jean King is the poster woman for self-belief, leaving school against her parent’s wishes to focus on tennis, which later she would discover was the best decision. Winning 39 total Grand Slam titles, she was undoubtedly one of the best of her era. 

King also paved the way for many other future female tennis athletes. In 1973 she played in the battles of the sexes against Bobby Riggs. Once she won, female tennis began getting a lot of attention from the public.

5. Chris Evert

Chris Evert mastered the skills of determination and consistency, showcasing these skills with 18 Grand Slam titles to her name and a winning percentage of almost 95% on her preferred surface (Clay). 

Chris showed exceptional talent. At the age of 9, she was the No.1 player in the under-15 league in the united states, and she would later hold the world N.1 spot in her adulthood. 

 Chris is a real hall of famer of tennis, with her record of winning 7 titles at the French Open still standing today.

4. Margaret Court

Margaret Court is one of the oldest female tennis players on our list. She was born in 1942 and debuted as a pro in 1960 at just 18 years old. Her speed for her height and weight was exceptional, holding the most single Grand Slam titles won by a female with 24. 

A number Serena Williams, our n.1 on this list, has chased for years but has been unsuccessful, stuck at 23, making Margaret Court one of the best tennis players of all time.

3. Martina Navratilova

Martina retired as a professional in 2006 with outstanding achievements to her name, such as being the first women’s tennis player to hold the N.1 spot for over 200 weeks. She also has the most Grand Slam titles won by a female, with a staggering 49 (31 double titles and 18 single titles) titles on her record over her 31-year career as a professional.

It’s safe to say she has solidified herself as one of the all-time greats without a shadow of a doubt.

2. Steffi Graf

Although many consider Serena the greatest, Steffi is right up there with her: she held the ranked N.1 spot for 377 weeks, the longest reign across both men’s and women’s tennis. Olympic gold medalist and 22 single Grand Slam titles to her name, she was arguably the best female tennis player between the 80s and late 90s.

The Serena and Steffi rivalry will go down in history: both of them are iconic in their own right, true legends of the sport.

1. Serena Williams

The most notorious female tennis player to ever live. Serena has dominated women’s tennis for over 3 decades, with her wrath starting in the 1990s. Her resume speaks for itself, 14 doubles Grand Slam titles & 23 single Grand Slam titles: she currently holds the most titles across both men’s and women’s tennis, solidifying her name as the best of all time.

40 years old, and her prime seems to be behind her, with the announcement of her retirement this summer. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to this tennis giant, but what a beautiful legacy she has left behind.

Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker
Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute. He has held Managerial and Head Coaching roles with Australia's National Governing Body, Tennis Australia, and served on the Dunlop International Sports Advisory Board for eight years. Brenton currently consults with several professional athletes and clients in the areas of Self-Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.