The Top 10 Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time

Updated on July 15, 2019
bdegiulio profile image

Bill has had a lifelong passion for the game of tennis from his days as a competitive youth player to now following the world's top players.

International Tennis Hall of Fame: Newport, RI

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum | Source

Selecting the top ten of anything can be a difficult and subjective task. There have been so many great women players over the last 50 years of the Open Era, and this doesn't even take into consideration the great players from the early 20th century. Changes in fitness regimes, nutrition, and racket technology over the years have only served to complicate an already difficult task. As difficult as it was to choose the top ten all-time greatest male tennis players, the women's top ten proved no easier.

After pouring through countless statistical records and my own personal memory banks, I have come up with a list of the best female tennis players during the Open Era of tennis—from 1968 to the present. I have actually included eleven players here, with two greats tied for the tenth position. Here they are.

Martina Hingis
Martina Hingis | Source

10. Martina Hingis

  • Born September 30, 1980
  • Born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia
  • Resides in Fuesisberg, Switzerland
  • Turned Pro: 1994
  • Retired: 2017
  • Career prize money: $24,749,074
  • 45 career titles
  • 5 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Australian Open, 1 Wimbledon, 1 US Open

With 5 Grand Slam singles titles and 209 weeks ranked number one in the world Martina Hingis makes a strong argument to be ranked in the top 10 all-time. Factor in her 13 Grand Slam Doubles titles, 7 Mixed Doubles titles, and her 2 Tour Finals titles and it’s hard to exclude the Swiss star. Her singles career was relatively short due to injuries and her first retirement came in 2003 at just 22 years of age. Certainly had she remained healthy she would have contended for many more Grand Slam singles titles. Martina was able to extend her tennis career by playing mostly doubles and had great sucess with 3 Grand Slam Doubles titles in 2017, her final year in competitive tennis.

Evonne Goolagong
Evonne Goolagong | Source

10. Evonne Goolagong

  • Born: July 31, 1951
  • Born in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia
  • Resides: Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia
  • Turned pro: 1968
  • Retired: 1983
  • Career prize money: $1,399,431
  • 68 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 1 French, 2 Wimbledon
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1988

Often overlooked because she played during the Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova era, Goolagong was the epitome of grace and beauty on the court. Despite playing during one of the most competitive periods in women’s tennis, Goolagong was still able to win seven Grand Slam titles and in 1976 was ranked number one in the world.

She has the distinction of being the only mother since before World War I to have won Wimbledon, having won the title in 1980 after giving birth to her daughter in 1977.

The only Grand Slam title to elude her was the US Open, where she reached the finals in four consecutive years, 1973-1976.

Justin Henin
Justin Henin | Source

9. Justine Henin

  • Born: June 1, 1982
  • Born in Liege, Belgium
  • Resides: Brussels, Belgium
  • Turned pro: 1999
  • Retired: 2008, 2011
  • Career prize money: $20,863,335
  • 50 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 4 French, 2 US Open

Known for her mental and physical toughness, Justine Henin was one of the most athletic women to ever play the game. Despite her small stature, she packed a powerful punch and played a complete game that included a powerful serve and a forehand shot that she hit with both power and accuracy. Known as one of the best volleyers in the game, Henin was as comfortable at the net as from the baseline.

In 2003, she achieved the number one ranking in the world, having won both the French Open and the US Open. In 2004, Henin won the Gold Medal at the Athens Olympics to go along with her first Australian Open title. She won seven Grand Slam titles in her career but retired abruptly in 2008 citing burnout from over twenty years of competitive tennis. A brief comeback in 2010 was short lived, and she retired for good in early 2011.

Venus Williams
Venus Williams | Source

8. Venus Williams

  • Born: June 17, 1980
  • Born in Lynwood, California
  • Resides: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Turned pro: 1994
  • Career prize money: $40,931,048
  • 49 career titles
  • 7 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 5 Wimbledon, 2 US Open
  • Current active player

If not for having to compete against her sister Serena, Venus Williams may very well have had many more Grand Slam titles to her name. The sisters have gone head-to-head in a Grand Slam final nine times with Serena winning seven of those matches.

While Venus’s career has been fraught with injuries, there is no doubt that in the early 2000s she was the woman to beat on tour. Between 2000 and 2001, Venus captured four of her seven Grand Slam victories. In 2002, she finally attained the number one ranking in the world, a spot she would capture on three separate occasions. Wimbledon has been Venus’s favorite court as she has won five titles there, the last coming in 2008.

Venus is back to playing at a high level after suffering through years of knee and hip problems. She started the 2014 season ranked number 47 in the world, but has climbed back into the top ten, and is currently ranked number 5 in the world following her run to the 2017 Australian Open and Wimbledon final. A win at either of those Grand Slam events would have made for a fitting cap to a long and very successful career.

Billie Jean King's Tennis Gear
Billie Jean King's Tennis Gear | Source

7. Billie Jean King

  • Born: November 22, 1943
  • Born in Long Beach, California
  • Resides: Chicago and New York
  • Turned pro: 1968
  • Retired: 1983
  • Career prize money: $1,966,487
  • 129 career titles
  • 12 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 Australian, 1 French, 6 Wimbledon, 4 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1987

Who can forget the weird and wacky battle of the sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973? Not only did King dispose of Mr. Riggs in short order but she also dominated women’s tennis from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.

Her hard-charging aggressive style of play was in sharp contrast to the stately ground game of Chris Evert who came along in 1972 to challenge King as the queen of women’s tennis. Nevertheless, King owned Wimbledon from 1966 to 1975, when she won the title six times.

Monica Seles
Monica Seles | Source

6. Monica Seles

  • Born: December 2, 1973
  • Born in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
  • Resides: Sarasota, Florida
  • Turned pro: 1989
  • Retired: 2008
  • Career prize money: $14,891,762
  • 53 career titles
  • 9 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 3 French, 2 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2009

Were it not for the unfortunate on-court attack and stabbing by a deranged fan in 1993, Monica Seles would certainly have gone on to win more Grand Slam titles. Her epic battles with Steffi Graf were classics, and we the fans were deprived of some great matches because of one fan's sick obsession.

While Monica did return to tennis two years after the incident, she was never quite the same. To her credit, she did go on to win the 1996 Australian Open, her only post-attack Grand Slam victory. Monica continued to play until 2003 and officially retired in 2008.

There is no doubt that Monica Seles was the most dominant player from 1990 to 1992. During this time, she won seven of her nine Grand Slam Titles and in 1991 was the top-ranked woman in the world.

Chris Evert
Chris Evert | Source

5. Chris Evert

  • Born: December 21, 1954
  • Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Resides: Boca Raton, Florida
  • Turned pro: 1972
  • Retired: 1989
  • Career prize money: $8,895,195
  • 157 career titles
  • 18 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 2 Australian, 7 French, 3 Wimbledon, 6 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1995

Was there ever a player more graceful on the court than Chris Evert? She was a machine from the baseline, and with that two-handed backhand shot, she dominated women’s tennis from the mid-1970s into the early 1980s. Evert still holds the record for reaching the most Grand Slam singles finals with 34, and she managed to win 18 of them including every major at least twice. When Martina Navratilova came along in the late 1970s, it provided fans with a great on-court rivalry. Evert was the year-ending number one player in the world for seven years and had a career winning percentage in singles matches of over 90 percent.

Margaret Court
Margaret Court | Source

4. Margaret Court

  • Born: July 16, 1942
  • Born in Albury, New South Wales, Australia
  • Resides: Perth, Western Australia
  • Turned pro: 1960
  • Retired: 1977
  • Career prize money approximately: $500,000
  • 192 career titles
  • 24 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 11 Australian, 5 French, 3 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 1979

There are many experts out there who feel that Margaret Court is the best player of all time. With a record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, it’s hard to argue. Add in her 19 doubles and 19 mixed doubles titles and Court has a record 62 Major titles to her credit.

She was the first woman in the open era to win the singles Grand Slam in 1970, and she is one of only two women (Daniela Hantuchova being the other) to have won a Grand Slam in mixed doubles, which she did twice. Undoubtedly the best player in the 1960s to early 1970s, Court was the first woman to incorporate weights and fitness training into her routine. The result was a long and injury-free career.

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova | Source

3. Martina Navratilova

  • Born: October 18, 1956
  • Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Resides: Sarasota, Florida
  • Turned pro: 1975
  • Retired: 1994
  • Career prize money: $21,626,089
  • 167 career titles
  • 18 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 Australian, 2 French, 9 Wimbledon, 4 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2000

One of the toughest competitors to ever grace the court, Martina Navratilova dominated women’s tennis from the late 1970s through a good portion of the 1980s. Known for her extreme physical conditioning, Martina brought the big serve and volley back to the women’s game.

She holds the open era record for career titles with 167 and has 59 total Grand Slam titles including singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Martina also holds the record for career Wimbledon titles with an amazing nine championships. She will be remembered as one of the greatest doubles players ever, having won 31 Grand Slam Doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam Mixed Doubles titles.

Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf | Source

2. Steffi Graf

  • Born: June 14, 1969
  • Born in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, West Germany
  • Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Turned pro: 1982
  • Retired: 1999
  • Career prize money: $21,891,306
  • 107 career titles
  • 22 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 4 Australian, 6 French, 7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open
  • Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame: 2004

Able to win on all surfaces, Graff was a model of consistency throughout her 17-year career. Her record 377 weeks ranked as number one in the world is a record for any player, male or female. In 1988, Graff became the first player to achieve what is regarded as the calendar year Golden Slam by winning all four majors plus the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year, a remarkable feat.

From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, there was no one better than Graf, and when she retired in 1999, she was still ranked number three in the world. Were it not for the long and storied career of Serena Williams the case would be made for Graf as the greatest of all-time. While many will continue to debate Steffi versus Serena as the greatest female player of all-time they were both incredible players who dominated their era and advanced women's tennis.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams | Source

1. Serena Williams

  • Born: September 26, 1981
  • Born in Saginaw, Michigan
  • Resides: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Turned pro: 1995
  • Career prize money: $90,382,096
  • 72 career titles
  • 23 Grand Slam Singles Titles: 7 Australian, 3 French, 7 Wimbledon, 6 US Open
  • Current active player

One of the strongest and most powerful women to ever play the game, Serena Williams has certainly left her mark on tennis. Together, Serena and her sister, Venus, have been a dominant force in women’s tennis since the late 1990s. Together, they have won 14 Grand Slam Doubles titles. With 23 Grand Slam Singles titles including the 2017 Australian Open, Serena now owns the open era record for Grand Slam singles titles by a tennis player, male or female.

Serena’s game has certainly withstood the test of time and competition. Her Grand Slam titles have come over an 18-year period starting in 1999, with her latest victory coming at the 2017 Australian Open. Out of competitive tennis for most of 2017 while pregnant, it will be interesting to see if Serena can return to the top of the tennis world in 2018. Certainly making it to the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open finals was a step in the right direction and everything points to Serena returning to the top of her game in short order.

I believe the case can now be made to elevate Serena to the greatest female tennis player of all-time. Her high level of play over a very long career combined with her 23-9 record in Grand Slam finals certainly makes the case convincing. No disrespect to Steffi Graf, but Serena now deserves the distinction as greatest of all-time.

After 6 years and over 35,000 votes it’s time to refresh our list of players.

Who is the greatest women’s tennis player of the Open Era?

See results

Thank you to everyone for voting over the last 6 years (2013-2018). We are closing this poll in lieu of the newly expanded list of players.

Who do you think is the greatest women's tennis player of all-time?

  • 3% Venus Williams
  • 1% Justine Henin
  • 0% Evonne Goolagong
  • 3% Monica Seles
  • 1% Billie Jean King
  • 52% Serena Williams
  • 5% Margaret Court
  • 2% Chris Evert
  • 7% Martina Navratilova
  • 27% Steffi Graf
35,898 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Questions & Answers

  • Who is the only woman tennis player to win 20 titles before the age of 18?

    I believe that would be Martina Hingis.

  • Why isn't Margaret Court number one on your list? She still has the best record with 24 Grand Slams and 194 titles.

    Margaret Court was a great player, dominant in her era, but I don't feel that she is the greatest of all-time. Even though she was one of the first players to incorporate fitness training into her regimen, I just feel that there are a few players who should be ranked higher. It's always difficult to compare players from different eras, and certainly, Court is one of the greatest of all-time, but I think the likes of Serena Williams, Steffi Graf and even Martina Navratilova were just as athletic and skilled. I will say that after reviewing her career, I do plan to bump Court up to the number four position ahead of Chris Evert.

  • Who to date is the youngest grand slam winner?

    The youngest Grand Slam winner to date is Martina Hingis, who was 15 years and nine months old when she won the 1996 Wimbledon Doubles Championship playing with Helena Sukova. She then became the youngest Grand Slam singles champ at 16 years and 117 days old when she won the 1997 Australian Open.

  • Why isn't Kim Clijsters on the list of greatest women's tennis players?

    I think Kim Clijsters is more of a top 20 all-time player. No disrespect to her wonderful tennis career, she was a great player, but the top 10 might be a reach.

  • Which female tennis players won Grand Slam titles from behind the baseline?

    Most of the women's Grand Slam titles have been won from behind the baseline. The exceptions might be Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, and Martina Navratilova who all had more of an attacking game. Chris Evert to Steffi Graff and even the Williams sisters have all played predominately from behind the baseline. Even Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Evonne Goolagong, Maria Sharapova, and Justine Henin have all, for the most part, won Grand Slam titles with a ground game from behind the baseline. I think the better question might be who have won Grand Slams with an attacking game as there are certainly fewer of them.

© 2013 Bill De Giulio

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    • profile image

      Keith Lancaster. 

      2 weeks ago

      All you tennis know-alls, ever heard of Maria Bueno?

    • profile image

      John 

      5 weeks ago

      Margaret Court is easily the greatest women's tennis player of all time. 192 career titles including a grand slam. Serena Williams - 72 (no Grand Slam). In fact Williams is far down the the list of major title winners with Navratilova (167), Evert (157), King (129), Graf (107), Goolagong (86), and Lenglen (81) all having better records than Serena Williams. Graf retired at 32. Williams is 38. At the rate that Williams wins - assuming that she kept winning at the same rate - she would pass Margaret Court's record some time after her 100th birthday!

    • profile image

      serve104 

      5 weeks ago

      Hey edgar i do agree with you lenghlin deserves to be high on any list of goat. But if were going to talk about extrodinary accomplishments. Graf made 13 consecutive grand slam finals in a row 14 if you consider the olympics and ammassed a 10 and 4 record in that run i dont believe anyone will ever match this. And as for serena she only was able to make 4 slams in a row

    • profile image

      Edgar 

      5 weeks ago

      For your information the MOST DOMINANT woman on the courts in History, was Suzanne Lenglen. actually won 9 major tournaments withuut droppoing a single game all through the rounds. never done before nor since.

    • profile image

      GOATSteffi 

      5 weeks ago

      Hey Watchmen, tell me who gave the competition to Serena? No one. She won that much slams only because she had no competition. Only Hingis and Henin can control her, but those 2 players exit from the singles game so earlier.

      In Serena's era, nobody is stable except Henin. That's why she could win 10 slams after 30.

      Steffi had the competition from Evert, Navratilova, Sabatini, Arantxa, Seles, Pierce, Davenport, Hingis. She also could defeat healthy Serena and Venus when she was out of the form in 1999. Steffi's backhand slice can beat all the current players. And imagine Steffi with the current era's developed equipment. She could rule the current era with no hesitation.

      Nobody had the aura as Steffi had when playing. Nobody could touch Steffi.

    • profile image

      Mango baaz 

      6 weeks ago

      Hingis for me...... Perhaps she being physically fragile amongst all greats had achieved Big.... Clap for that

    • profile image

      LoveMinusZero 

      6 weeks ago

      Margaret Court was by far the greatest women's tennis player.

      Court played against 7 Hall of Famer's - Williams 4

      Court has 192 single titles - Williams 73.

      Court 24 majors in just 47 tries - Williams 24 in 72 tries.

      Court played for 15 years - Williams playing for 19 years.

      Court 64 major titles - Williams less than 40.

      Court won all for majors in 1970 (Grand Slam) - Williams 0

    • profile image

      Watchmen 

      6 weeks ago

      For those who picked Steffi Graf over Serena forget that Steffi have poor memories. During her peak years, there was no opposition (barring the short lived Monica Seles who, after her stabbing incident retired, of note is that if Seles continues, she would have dominated the French Opens). After Seles, Steffi's only opponent of note was Sanchez-Vicario who besides being a fighter can never claim to be a top level opponent. Pitched against Martina Norvatilova or a Serena, Steffi would have been destroyed.

    • profile image

      Echo 

      6 weeks ago

      Before you start placing Margaret as a great player, please find out that most of her titles were won in Australia where she is from. Having class do not ever make you a great player. Then check all records. Olympic, Grand slams singles, Grand slams doubles, time spent at the #1 position etc. Serena would have beaten Graf easily. No one had the power to match the Williams sisters. I am 70 tyars old and saw many many players.

    • profile image

      Jag petes 

      8 weeks ago

      Both Martinas Hingis n Navratilova were legends..... Loved their game.... N yes Monica Seles you beauty in motion....

    • profile image

      Speky james 

      2 months ago

      Marteena Hingis. Loved her on court

    • profile image

      Viper shawn 

      3 months ago

      Martina Hingis must be high on list.

    • profile image

      Lalita winget 

      3 months ago

      Hey Soumen Roy.... I think Indians should love Martina Hingis More than Steffi as most of Indian tennis wins had Martina's partnership in it..... Be it Sania, Be it Paes..... They all won many a times when partnered with Hingis...

    • profile image

      Soumen Roy 

      3 months ago

      To me as far i understand tennis i find Steffi Graf as the No 1 tennis player who played with style ,technique, moreover she played single handed without any kind of screaming. Thats makes her very unique, moreover her court presense was absolutely mindblowing and elegant. She achieved a lot which perhaps no has done yet.I have lots of respect for Steffi Graf and my regards to her all the way from India (nameste).We Indians love and respect her a lot and hope to see her one day if she comes to my land

    • profile image

      Baazy strob 

      3 months ago

      Has yet to see any player playing with assured win composure as would Martina Navratilova do..... She was phenomenal....

    • profile image

      Pria jain 

      4 months ago

      Hingis VS Venus...... I loved this rivalry and used to watch every match of theirs....

    • profile image

      Zeenaas 

      4 months ago

      I agree with all who say Martina Hingis

    • profile image

      Richard J. Garfunkel 

      4 months ago

      Lets not forget Helen Wills Moody!

    • profile image

      Mohnish 

      4 months ago

      Lobe shots master Martina Hingis

    • profile image

      Eliza 

      4 months ago

      Monica Seles has a birthday exactly the same as mum’s!

    • profile image

      Nippa lom 

      4 months ago

      Hingis vs Devenport..... Epic matches

    • profile image

      Timya banks 

      4 months ago

      Steffi

      Martina Nav

      Chrissi

      Seles

      Hingis

    • profile image

      Kartik 

      5 months ago

      Martina Hingis outperformed Williams, Seles, Henin etc in her brief tenure.

    • profile image

      Deborah Napper 

      5 months ago

      How can we go past Margaret Court-she has the numbers and the numbers speak objectively for themselves. A player placed in any era will perform to that era. Put them in another era they will rise to a new occasion. So far she has not been beaten. Lets see if she ever will be.

    • profile image

      Ali Gulfam 

      5 months ago

      I will second cloc Fride here.... Always wished Hingis should have won 2002 AO and 1999 Rolland Garros.... Which mainly she lost due lacking power sustainability in a 3set game.... She was spectacular... But had to lose!!

    • profile image

      Clok Curtis 

      5 months ago

      Martina Hingissss

    • profile image

      Salim Saphy 

      5 months ago

      Here I am at airport and a random women tennis match (it says AO Melbourne) is playing on Tele in front of me. I having NO knowledge of Tennis felt inquisitive to probe as to who has been the best ladies tennis player. In search of the answer I Google the same and there I find this link. After going through the provided list, Q&A, voting polls and then the public opinion in shape of comments I just concluded the following

      Serena Williams is widely considered greatest due to her Power mainly and with having no strong compitition around and a large playing tenure.

      Steffi Graff is Soundly considered Great with Numerous wins and crystal clear Stats.

      Martina Hingis is quite Favorite too for title with achieving sound success all at a very Young age and in face of Serena and other William.

      Monica Seles had met misfortune before she got to top still she managed to be given status of Greatest by some

      But to say so looking at number of wins and being an onlooker I will vote for two names here which are real GREAT for me.

      Margaret Court and Martina Navratilova

      Case closed.

    • profile image

      Salah ud din 

      5 months ago

      Graff always No. 1, Then Martina Navratilova, 3.Chrisi&Serena, 4. Seles, 5. Hingis

    • profile image

      Piam laye 

      5 months ago

      You can put Martina Hingis on top 5.... Let's credit her for being one great player

    • profile image

      Warren wety 

      5 months ago

      Martina Hingis was a great player.

    • profile image

      Seto veer 

      6 months ago

      I Agree with you Dan Stortini . Perhaps it's more appropriate to request the Author Mr Bill DE Guilio to have all Honorable mentions as well apart from his top 10 list. As it is a never ending debate as to who is greatest of All. Some wd go for Graff, some Hingis, some Serena, Seles, Navratilova and so on...

    • profile image

      Dan stortini 

      6 months ago

      Seto veer i understand your point people are going to be far more familiar with modern tennis players then the pre open era and i dont wish disrespect if older players are not mentioned. The point im trying to make is there are at least 3 legitimate cases of pre open era tennis players to be considered for any greatest of all time connolly is one of them the other 2 are lenghlin and wills moody

    • profile image

      Seto veer 

      6 months ago

      Dear Dan stortini it's not like that Maureen Connolly's being forgotten perhaps it's that people, who have witnessed competitive tennis after it being watched more globally and reaching out to more entourages, courtesy to flourishing Electronic media, that people have Seen practically Graff, Seles and Hingis stamping their excellence more vividly as compared to PRE open Era tennis legends. Otherwise be it Hingis or Maureen Or Court, they all achieved GREAT GREAT respect to be named by Any1.

    • profile image

      Dan stortini 

      6 months ago

      People are talking about hingis and seles being ranked higher on this list because they achieved so much success at such a young age and in such a short time span. Not to disagree but if you want to use that criteria then why is Maureen Conolly not on this list she won 9 grand slam titles and the calender year grand slam all before the age of 19 thats better then graf, seles and hingis

    • profile image

      Cloc fride 

      6 months ago

      I always been longing had Hingis had power to sustain in Any of her numerous 3 game losses she would definitely been No 1 for many more years. So despite being physically weak she gained enough respect to believe her as Greatest.

    • profile image

      Bastian Schweinsteiger 

      6 months ago

      Ana Ivanoviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic

    • profile image

      Coin penn 

      6 months ago

      Justin Henin was a classy player

    • profile image

      AD Harrison 

      6 months ago

      Martina Hingis a great player was she. So much career titles in such a short span of time.... And Davenport also an underrated player.... Her career was also marvelous one

    • profile image

      Fahae shek 

      6 months ago

      Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert are Greatest of All.... Rest are children in front of them

    • profile image

      Adil Jackson 

      6 months ago

      I would second to the suggestion of leveling up Martina Hingis on list. She is my favorite

    • profile image

      Coasta Revs 

      6 months ago

      Dear author please put Martina Hingis up on list. She can be very easily put ahead of Justine and Venus

    • profile image

      Denti Lee 

      6 months ago

      Monica Seles had a great run before her stabbing. Regardless of the fact that People think Steffi had dominance but My vote is for Seles.. First she was a very young new Comer who took on rather thwarted Established Giants like Evert,Navratilova and Graff. Second her win percentage viz a viz her pre stabbing tenure give enough reason to consider her GREATEST of all.

    • profile image

      Baba jani 

      6 months ago

      I liked Lindsay davenport. But yes her matches with Martina Hingis and Venus Williams made me believe that these two were great champions besides Davenport.

    • profile image

      Guardey roma 

      6 months ago

      Steffi Grafffff all the way..... Have watched her playing Live.... Oh my God nothing can be compared to that. G.O.A.T

    • profile image

      Ahsan Khan 

      6 months ago

      For Most part of the list I agree with Admin however I feel tu put Serena ahead of Graff is not justified. Even not ahead of Martina Navratilova Is fathomable. Graff and Navratilova had concise dominance during their reign periods respectively. On the other hand Serena's graph had been dwindling in the presence of other Greats like Venus, Henin and the ofcourse Hingis.

      Ps. No hard feelings Serena Fans please.

    • profile image

      Phook bha 

      6 months ago

      As far as i remember Martina Hingis was not on this list the last time i checked it.but i strongly felt that she SHOULD be on this list. happy that the author has some vigilance to put her on list. Good.

    • profile image

      Banda bindass 

      6 months ago

      Hingis dominated her realm just like Navratilova, Graff n Serena. For me 5 Greats would be

      Navratilova

      Graff

      Evert

      Hingis

      Serena/Seles tie

    • profile image

      Oksana Rami 

      6 months ago

      I also loved Martina Hingis. And now she is going to be a mother. Just wish she brings her legacy into her daughter. Hingis is a great player.

    • bdegiulio profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 months ago from Massachusetts

      Yes, I agree. Very impressive.

    • profile image

      Ali Gulfam 

      7 months ago

      I can see another name soon to be added in this list that is NAOMI OSAKA. Much like MARTINA HINGIS she is on fire and soon going to be considered a great.

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      Butt Gyrese 

      7 months ago

      I also wish Hingis had played consistently for long period. And also wish Seles would not have been stabbed. The world remained unfortunate as it saw the real magic of these two Greats for shorter durations.

      Sigh.

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      Watura ching 

      7 months ago

      Martina Hingis. Looked like a real woman was playing. Subtle, feminine and naive. Others are too built up to have that feminism intact while watching. Hingis has been a GREAT player. Love her

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      Muntu Bantu 

      7 months ago

      Serena Williams is the Greatest Of All Times

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      Lampus 

      7 months ago

      Always a Hingis Fan.

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      Dadduu 

      7 months ago

      I like the inclusion of martina Hingis in this list. Apart from Serena the player with variety of shots was Martina Hingis. Her name could be as up as no. 6 on this list. Loved her game

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      Miss p 

      7 months ago

      Serena Williams is the greatest then Venus Williams,tennis than was not like now,if those players was to play now they would not have a chance against many of these players now,ball would be flying pass them like crazy .These players have more endurance and much more fit .Serena and Venus change the game player had to start exercising much harder to beat them even players had to change the way they serve,the other players little dikitaki serve just could not hold up the players had to improve on the speed of the ball,so that makes the Williams sisters the greatest for now.

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      GRAFbest all time 

      8 months ago

      RickWo said it all....and he gave you facts. Best percentages, more titles, calendar grand slam and olympics, tougher competition. Sorry to Serena lovers, but not that close. Graf is not only best women’s tennis player of all time, but is in the conversation of best athlete of all time. Side note: Bo Jackson wins that one.

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      Serve104 

      9 months ago

      I dont necessarily disagree with his ranking its certainly reflects the open era of tennis but it completely ignores the pre open era. 3 names that he should of considered for this list are wills moody suzanne lenglen and mof done iaureen connely. If it were my list this is how i would of done it

      1. Graf

      2 serena

      3 martina

      4 lenglen

      5 wills miody

      6 billie jean king

      7 chris evert

      8 margaret court

      9 maureen connolly

      10 monica selea

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      Kaleem 

      9 months ago

      When I opened my eyes towards sports (1998 my early teens) I just saw Four Tennis greats at that time. One was Sampras in men and other was Hingis in Women. Followed by Agassi and Graff

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      Graham Hutchison 

      9 months ago

      Mo Connolly was the greatest female ever - 9 grand slam titles including calendar year slam in 1953. Robbed of her career in 1954 by a horseriding incident and retired at age 19. It is likely she would have gone on to win loads of slams - possibly putting well out of reach of Maggie Court and Serena Williams.

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      Arshad Rangila 

      10 months ago

      Greatest are Court, Navratilova, Evert, Graff, Serena

      Greats are Seles, Hingis, Henin, Venus

      Good are All old players with bunch of new like Davenport, Clijsters etc

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      Genevieve Garbutt 

      10 months ago

      I don’t believe we can really compare to whom was the best over all and honestly why is that important. All the players deserve the respect of giving us the pleasure of enjoying the gift God blessed them with. In my opinion they are all the greatest

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      Shaking bee 

      10 months ago

      Well my list would be

      1 Steffi Graff

      2 Martina Navratilova

      3 Chris evert

      4 Serena williams

      5 Martina Hingis

      6 Monica Seles

      7 Margaret Court & Billie King

      8 Justin Henin & Venus williams

      9 Goolagong & Aranxta Sanches

      10 Lindsay Davenport & Jennifer Capriati

      11 Kim Clijsters & Maria sharapova

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      Javed 

      10 months ago

      I love Hingis Marteena

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      Ashfaq 

      11 months ago

      Venus is a great player. Hardluck to her Grand slam score that in most of her finals she was against SERENA. Yes her matches and rivalary with Both HINGIS and SERENA were a sight to behold.

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      Maira 

      11 months ago

      I Loved Martina Hingis's game. Another player i enjoyed watching was Arantxa Sanchez.

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      Viraat 

      11 months ago

      Yes I still remember the 2000 US OPEN Semi b/w Hingis and Venus where the female commentator was just praising Venus and her game all the time,, there Hingis played such spectacular shots that the male commentator had to admit the HINGIS's dominance, when he himself had to shout out at an unbelievable point "ANY DOUBTS??.. THE WORLD No 1!!!"

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      Basharat 

      11 months ago

      Martina Navratilova is greatest of ALL.

      And i think Justin Henin should be put ahead of Venus Williams. Infact even Hingis is ahead of Venus.

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      Vixy lang 

      11 months ago

      Venus-Hingis rivalary... The best to watch. Really enjoyed that. I wish it lasted long. Two Great Champions.

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      Juamar 

      11 months ago

      Martina Hingis can be up in the list like on spot 7. Her achievements viz a viz active career span needs applaud. And yes the G.O.A.T is Steffi undoubtedly.

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      Nehal 

      11 months ago

      Wow. Very happy to see Martina Hingis on the list. She was depite being short and physically weak, a great player who made game more enjoyable to watch with statistical placements and then ofcourse her drop shots n lobes. O.M.G.

      I just wish she had not retired so early in 2003 but continued as she was so young so very young just 22. She could have gained strength as well if she had continued with the game. Yes she is definitely ONE OF THE GREATS.

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      RickWo 

      11 months ago

      Nor do I agree with the argument that Graf's career must somehow be discounted because of the horrific attack on Seles; Graf's opposition was still at least comparable to Serena's even without Seles. As for the idea that Seles was "dominating" Graf until the attack, I do not buy it. Yes, Seles was 3-1 in GS finals against Graf at that point, but that includes two titles on clay, which is Graf's weakest surface, and the overall record was 6-4 in favour of Graf.

      Graf would probably have won fewer slams in an alternate universe where Seles was never attacked, but it is hard to predict. Seles was definitely on an incredible run when she was stabbed, but this was not because of a marked "dominance" over Graf, who was indeed in a slump at the time. In 1990, a young Seles had won her first GS, defeating Graf in the FO final 7-6(6), 6-4, but she went out in the QF of Wimbledon and 3rd round of the USO (both of which Graf won). In 1991, Seles went on a tear and Graf’s play declined slightly—but those are not related! Graf was struggling with injuries and personal issues. Graf still defeated Seles both times they played in 1991; Seles won the AO, but did not face Graf, who had been playing poorly and was upset by Novotna in the QF. Seles won the FO again that year, but Graf had lost in the SF to Aranxta. Even an erratic Graf was good enough to win Wimbledon again (which Seles did not play because of shin splints). Seles then won the USO, but Graf had lost in the SF to Navratilova.

      In 1992, Seles won the AU but Graf missed the AU due to illness. Graf’s uneven play (by her standards!) continued, prompting her to start working with Heinz Gunthardt, who remained her coach for the rest of her career. Graf’s results began to improve. Seles again defeated Graf in the FO final, but in a competitive match, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8. Graf then destroyed Seles in the Wimbledon final (on Graf’s best surface and Seles’s weakest), 6-2, 6-1. Seles then won the USO, but Graf had been upset in the QF by Aranxta. In 1993, Seles defeated Graf in the AO final in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The rivalry was interrupted at that point by the disgusting attack on Seles. Seles had indeed taken over the #1 ranking at that point, but the idea that she was “dominating” Graf at any point is simply inaccurate. Graf regained her form and won 65 of her next 67 matches.

      But for the attack, Seles would undoubtedly have had an even more impressive career. Seles still managed to win the 1996 AO, although Graf did not play. How many of the 10 GS titles Graf won after the stabbing would have gone to Seles? Impossible to say. When Seles was attacked, Graf was ahead 2-0 on grass, 1-0 on carpet, 1-1 on hardcourt, and behind 2-3 on clay, but Seles was not yet 20. It would certainly have been a great rivalry.

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      RickWo 

      11 months ago

      I have watched both Graf and Serena for their entire careers, and although they belong to different eras, my vote is for Graf as GOAT.

      I consider Graf's GS performance to be better than Serena's: Graf played in 54, with 22 wins (41%), 31 finals (57%), 34 semis (63%) and 46 quarters (85%); Serena played in 69, with 23 wins (33%), 31 finals (45%), 36 semis (52%) and 48 quarters (70%). Serena was 7-2 in GS finals against Venus, who did not always rise to the occasion against her sister; Serena has a 1-2 record in GS finals vs Kerber, and 0-1 vs Stosur and now Osaka, and 1-1 vs Muguruza. Graf was 0-1 in GS finals vs Davenport, and 3-3 vs Seles.

      Graf also has more titles overall, more weeks at #1, higher career winning percentage, and played against tougher opposition relative to her era (as Elo ratings have confirmed).

      As for their playing styles, Serena's is impressive, but Graf's was far more attractive, combining power and finesse, whereas Serena has only power. Serena is obviously more physically powerful than Graf was, with a faster serve (117 mph avg) but Graf could serve 108 mph in an era with heavier graphite rackets without today's lively strings, with excellent placement. Serena's backhand is obviously far more powerful, but Graf's backhand was always about finesse and tactics; she could effectively employ either topspin or slice to eventually receive a return she could rip for a forehand winner. Graf's forehand is a match for Serena's in terms of placement, and would probably be almost as powerful using modern equipment. Graf had a better drop shot than Serena does, and better hands at the net. Graf also had better footwork and foot speed. Aside from sheer strength, I consider Graf to be a superior athlete.

      Finally, Graf was also a better sportswoman. No grunting, no tantrums, no threats, no prima donna behaviour. So I put Graf first and Serena second, followed by Evert and Navratilova (although admittedly I did not follow either of them in their primes).

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      John west 

      11 months ago

      Margaret Court won 62 major titles, 24 singles, 19 doubles 21 mixed. No one will ever get close to that man or woman. Today most just play singles because they want to save themselves for singles. Margaret Court played in all.

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      BjornBorgRetiredTooSoon 

      12 months ago

      I would also like to add that Seles shoulda, coulda, woulda been number 1 if not for the stabbing.

    • profile image

      BjornBorgRetiredTooSoon 

      12 months ago

      Graf wins hands down. She had way tougher competition. She had a better tennis arsenal in her skill set. She achieved greater in shorter period of time. She presented herself in a more proper manner when playing. She let her game do the talking. She was never admist the whole "steroid" conversation, and advocated there be more stringent testing.

      Serena fails in all of these comparisons. Serena simply overpowers her opponent. Serena will have her supporters, and rightfully so. She has a lot of wins and has dominated the sport in her era, but she is not the greatest player. It takes more than winning to be a "great".

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      Mawande 

      12 months ago

      Serena is definitely the greatest her and sister Venus transformed the womens game completely and have brought the power game into the womens game. Had Monica Seles not met her unfortunate demise or incident how many grandslams would she have taken off Graf. The Margaret Court era is good for history lessons but the standards were below par. Serena would definitely destroy Court.

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      WalzBizak 

      12 months ago

      There's no possible way that anyone could seriously believe that S. Williams is a better tennis player than S. Graf unless they've forgotten just how truly awesome and stunningly superb that Graf played the game of tennis.

      If both Graf and Williams were to face off aganst one another in a best out of 10 match series while performing at their peak level of play and both equipped with the very best tennis equipment and technology then Graf would most likely win (7-3) going away.

      (1) Graf moves around the court a lot quicker than Williams.

      (2) Graf has a greater variety and number of offensive weapons than Williams.

      (3) Graf has a greater variety and number of defensive weapons than Williams.

      (4) Graf has an advantage in mental strength and willpower.

      (5) Graf has an excellent service game and great placement although Williams has a slight edge there.

      (6) Graf possesses a distinct advantage in physical fitness including her stamina and speed which is second to none.

      Overall it's not that difficult to tell that Graf is a better tennis player than Williams regardless of these poll results.

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      Tsunami 

      13 months ago

      Serena Williams G.O.A.T......!!

      23 Grand Slams.....most of any common era female.....enough said.

      Graf had weaker competition.....Serena beat more #1 players......Graf only one doubles win.

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      Jake 

      13 months ago

      why is hingis not there on list?

    • profile image

      Sébastien 

      13 months ago

      Graf is the best and the greatest ever. Easily. How come she’s not in the first place?

    • profile image

      Neha 

      13 months ago

      Martina Hingis should be there on list

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      Johnno 50 

      14 months ago

      Seles had a more powerful forehand than Graf or Serena, best forehand ever...

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      Basil 

      14 months ago

      Your're totally wrong, because omly the best play in tournaments; that is why "Serena" is the best.

      Steffi Graf is the "greatest"; but not the "Best"

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      Joel 

      14 months ago

      Stefi Graf is the greatest woman tennis player of all time. Becuase during her time she defeated all great players. Grand slams alone should not be a bases to be the greatest it is how you play tennis. No offense to Serena, Stefi play far better than her, Stefi moves weell in the court like foot work, nice forehand and all. Serena won more grand slams because, no offense to her competitors, they are not good during the time of Stefi.

    • profile image

      Johnno 50 

      14 months ago

      Hingis should defiantly be in top 10. Her singles and doubles record is outstanding.. Graf, never had much of a good doubles record... And what about Helen Wills, she is a pre Open era player but has a great record...

    • profile image

      Johnno 50 

      14 months ago

      Hingis must be top 10... Is this all based on open era or all time this writer is basing on, Coz if it’s all time Helen Wills should be top 5 or top 8... I”d actually put Hingis in top 5 of all time.. Some staggering stats on her! She was World no 1 in singles and doubles at “17, YES 17 not even an adult and she was Queen of the castle in both.. She never won the singles French but not did Pete. She made a final though, and won all grand slam doubles titles in both forms of doubles.. Got an Olympic silver medal to.. Graf, doesn’t remotely have the same doubles record as Hingis... And she came back later and dominated in doubles... So maybe the writer isn’t valuing doubles form enough... Margaret court has a great record in all forms, but like many she won all her OZ open titles before the mid 80”s when all the best players would come out.. Bjorg skipped a lot of OZ opens as well... But Hingis won her titles in both formats and when tennis was very global... Graf, great singles record but she didn’t dominate it play enough doubles... Williams sista”s, still playing doubles at 2018 French such amazing longevity like Evert and Navrotilova...

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      Edy 

      14 months ago

      Looking at the numbers, no dought it is Margaret Court.

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      Jimmy 

      14 months ago

      Its an easy list through 7 players. Perhapos the order the only doubt. The claim that the comp. was weak during Serena's career is hogwash. There are four players from her era that could easily make a claim for spot 8-11(Henin, Hingis, Sharapova and Venus) which at worst means that 5 of the 12 or 13 best players in womens tennis history overlapped with Serena's time. Margaret Court played in the fallowest era and there is no argument(there is no sport where the athletes are not bigger,faster, stronger and all around better than they were in the past). For my money I have it, Graf, Serena, Martina, Court, Evert and Seles and BJK. There is a big drop tot he next group of players that is probably not worth trying to parse.

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      Layla 

      15 months ago

      Martina Hingis! The fragile player just survived purely on her game. It is indeed an achievement on her behalf and when we talk about a player its on the basis of how he/she plays. So for that reason she definitely deserves to be among top 10.

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      Faryaan 

      16 months ago

      I agree with the inclusion of martina Hingis's name here. And sm1 down here said Hingis was a transitional champion? How could you say when she played against all mighty forceful players and WON most of the time. We are talking about game here not physical strength, in which perhaps even most male players can't surpass William sisters.

      So Hingis's name should be added and do agree with one who mentioned Davenport.

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      Welch Golder 

      17 months ago

      Billie Jing king should definitely be higher

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      Peter 

      17 months ago

      Serena is over rated as most of her career did not coincide with other greats other than her sister, and Venus was always the older of the two when they met on the court.

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      ivana 

      18 months ago

      I think that Maria Sharapova deserves to be on this list

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      Laur 

      18 months ago

      You are missing 2 names here Hingins & Davenport.

      Venus Williams doesn't deserve to be in this list(despite the fact that she played for a long time, she never was as good as the others).

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      MB 

      18 months ago

      It’s Graf she won against better competition than Serena and she did it with far more class and a much shorter period of time. Also at her best, no one was as dominant except maybe RF on the men’s side. Plus she holds one helluva tie breaker against her nearest competition. She achieved the Golden Slam.

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      Eric ma 

      19 months ago

      in my opinion accurate and also a very strong opinion and i think it should be number one tennis list in the world!

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      guy weyburne 

      19 months ago

      I actually think the lists for the men and the woman are very accurate. As for those who advocate Margaret Court: I watched a couple of matches of hers in black and white from that era, I was surprised just how poor the standard was.

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      Renee Jones 

      19 months ago

      In my opinion Serena Williams is the G.O.A.T. who ever played the game of tennis her and Venus bought power into the game she Dominates the tennis game she has staying power, she can run down a ball her serve is Awesome she has Dominates her opponents I Love to watch her play she brings Excitement to the game whether she's #1 or unseeded the fans Never rules her out because Serena comes with her A game

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      Vin 

      19 months ago

      Placing Margaret Court at 5th all time with 24 singles majors and 62 total to her credit is just a bad joke. Just more open era bias that sweeps greats like Rod Laver and Don Budge under the proverbial carpet year after year.

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