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The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 29, 2020 24k votes 3.2k voters 22.3k views 60 items

List Rules Female tennis players beginning in 1968 only

Who are the greatest female tennis players of the open era? For our purposes, this list includes some of the best female singles tennis players since the Open Era officially began in 1968. Some of these brilliant female tennis players have long since retired since winning countless major tournaments, but some continue to make headlines with their awesome skill on the court. Vote for the tennis playing women you believe are truly the best since the Open Era began, and vote down any that you don't think qualify. Also, feel free to rerank this list in any order you want. Debate about who is the greatest female tennis player of all time (Open Era or not) continues to this day, with some arguing that the honor goes to Steffi Graf, and others saying the title belongs to the incomparable Martina Navratilova. In their day, these two female tennis players were feared and revered by opponents, and with good reason. And certainly, no list of the best and greatest female tennis players of the Open Era would be complete without Serena Williams: She is arguably one of the, if not the absolute top current female tennis players in the world. Serena's sister, Venus Williams, also makes this list. If you're a tennis fan, you might also want to cast your vote (or rerank your own list of) the greatest male tennis players of the Open Era. Is Roger Federer the best, or should the honor go to Bjorn Borg? You decide, with your votes.
list ordered by
1
Steffi Graf is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
West Germany, Germany

Age: 50

Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany

Year Turned Pro: 1982

Australian Open: Winner 1988, 1989, 1990, 1994; Finalist 1993
French Open: Winner 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999; Finalist 1989, 1990, 1992
Wimbledon: Winner 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996; Finalist 1987, 1999
US Open: Winner 1988, 1999, 1993, 1995, 1996; Finalist 1987, 1990, 1994

More Steffi Graf 

#70 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #143 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time

2
Chris Evert is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America

Age: 65

Birthplace: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1972

Australian Open: Winner 1982, 1984; Finalist 1974, 1981, 1985, 1988
French Open: Winner 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986; Finalist 1973, 1984
Wimbledon: Winner 1974, 1976, 1981; Finalist 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985
US Open: Winner 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982; Finalist 1979, 1983, 1984

More Chris Evert 

#22 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #105 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

3
Monica Seles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America, Germany

Age: 46

Birthplace: Novi Sad, Serbia

Year Turned Pro: 1989

Australian Open: Winner 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996
French Open: Winner 1990, 1991, 1992; Finalist 1998
Wimbledon: Finalist 1992
US Open: Winner 1991, 1992; Finalist 1995, 1996

More Monica Seles 

#25 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #25 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time #479 of 771 American Public Figures Who Are National Treasures

4
Kim Clijsters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Belgium

Age: 36

Birthplace: Bilzen, Belgium

Year Turned Pro: 1997-08-17

Australian Open: Winner 2011; Finalist 2004
French Open: Finalist 2001, 2003
US Open: Winner 2005, 2009, 2010; Finalist 2003

More Kim Clijsters 

#649 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #14 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #4 of 15 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 2000s

5
Martina Navratilova is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America, Czechoslovakia

Age: 63

Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic

Year Turned Pro: 1975

Australian Open: Winner 1981, 1983, 1985; Finalist 1975, 1982, 1987
French Open: Winner 1982, 1984; Finalist 1975, 1985, 1986, 1987
Wimbledon: Winner 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990; Finalist 1988, 1989, 1994
US Open: Winner: 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987; Finalist 1981, 1985, 1989, 1991

More Martina Navratilova 

#39 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #24 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time

6
Martina Hingis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Slovakia, Switzerland

Age: 39

Birthplace: Košice, Slovakia

Year Turned Pro: 1994

Australian Open: Winner 1997, 1998, 1999; Finalist 2000, 2001, 2002
French Open: Finalist 1997, 1999
Wimbledon: Winner 1997
US Open: Winner 1997; Finalist 1998, 1999

More Martina Hingis 

#293 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #40 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time #174 of 677 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes

7
Kimiko Date-Krumm is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Kasir Radojica added Japan

Age: 49

Birthplace: Kyoto, Keihanshin, Japan

Year Turned Pro: 1989-03

More Kimiko Date-Krumm 

#7 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #16 of 30 The Shortest Women's Tennis Players Of All Time, Ranked #2 of 20 The Best Tennis Players from Japan

8
Francoise Durr is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Leroy Madison added Francoise Durr French

Birthplace: Algeria

Year Turned Pro: 1959

French Open: Winner 1967

9
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America

Age: 38

Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1995

Australian Open: Winner 2003, 2005, 2007 2009, 2010 2015, 2017; Finalist 2016
French Open: Winner 2002, 2013, 2015; Finalist 2016
Wimbledon: Winner 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016; Finalist 2004, 2008, 2018, 2019
US Open: Winner 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014; Finalist 2001, 2011, 2018, 2019

More Serena Williams 

#109 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #8 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #94 of 165 If You Fought To The Death, Who Would You Want By Your Side?

10
Simona Halep is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
aguy2000 added Romania

Age: 28

Birthplace: Constanța, Sud-Est, Romania

Australian Open: Finalist 2018
French Open: Winner 2018; Finalist 2014, 2017
Wimbledon: Winner 2019

11
Maria Sharapova is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Russia

Age: 32

Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia

Year Turned Pro: 2001-04-19

Australian Open: Winner 2008; Finalist 2007, 2012, 2015
French Open: Winner 2012, 2014; Finalist 2013
Wimbledon: Winner 2004; Finalist 2011
US Open: Winner 2006

More Maria Sharapova 

#107 of 364 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2020, Ranked #161 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #41 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time

12
Caroline Wozniacki is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
TomSchaumann added Denmark

Age: 29

Birthplace: Odense, Denmark

Year Turned Pro: 2005-07-18

Australian Open: Winner 2018
US Open: Finalist 2009, 2014

More Caroline Wozniacki 

#376 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #62 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time #1 of 677 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes

13
Naomi Osaka is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era

Birthplace: Osaka, Japan

Year Turned Pro: 2

Australian Open: Winner 2019
US Open: Winner 2018

14
Justine Henin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Belgium

Age: 37

Birthplace: Liège, Belgium

Year Turned Pro: 1999-01-01

Australian Open: Winner 2004; Finalist 2006, 2010
French Open: Winner 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
Wimbledon: Finalist 2001
US Open: Winner 2003, 2007; Finalist 2006

More Justine Henin 

#699 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #11 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #17 of 30 The Best Women's Tennis Serves of All Time

15
Mary Pierce is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
AdmiralCrunch added Canada, France, United States of America

Age: 44

Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Year Turned Pro: 1989-03

Australian Open: Winner 1995; Finalist 1997
French Open: Winner 2000; Finalist 1994, 2005
US Open: Finalist 2005

More Mary Pierce 

#147 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #18 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #11 of 15 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 1990s

16
Evonne Goolagong Cawley ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Australia

Age: 68

Birthplace: Griffith, Australia

Year Turned Pro: 1971

Australian Open: Winner 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978; Finalist 1971, 1972 1973
French Open: Winner 1971; Finalist 1972
Wimbledon: Winner 1971, 1980; Finalist 1972, 1975, 1976
US Open: Finalist 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976

More Evonne Goolagong Cawley 

#16 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #5 of 13 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 1970s

17
Elena Dementieva is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Kasir Radojica added Russia

Age: 38

Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Year Turned Pro: 1998-08-25

French Open: Finalist 2004
US Open: Finalist 2004

More Elena Dementieva 

#387 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #187 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time #28 of 677 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes

18
Li Na is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
China

Age: 37

Birthplace: Wuhan, China

Year Turned Pro: 1999

Australian Open: Winner 2014; Finalist 2011, 2013
French Open: Winner 2011

More Li Na 

#14 of 15 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 2000s #1 of 14 The Best Tennis Players from China

19
Ashleigh Barty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
moezelpg added Australia

Age: 23

Birthplace: Ipswich, Australia

20
Angelique Kerber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Germany, Poland

Age: 31

Birthplace: Bremen, Germany

Year Turned Pro: 2003

Australian Open: Winner 2016
Wimbledon: Winner 2018; Finalist 2016
US Open: Winner 2016

More Angelique Kerber 

#145 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #63 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time #508 of 677 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes

21
Ann Jones is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Fredfred2 added United Kingdom

Age: 81

Birthplace: Birmingham, United Kingdom

22
Billie Jean King is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America

Age: 76

Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1968

Australian Open: Winner 1968; Finalist 1969
French Open: Winner 1972
Wimbledon: Winner 1968, 1972 1973, 1975; Finalist 1969, 1970
US Open: Winner 1971, 1972, 1974; Finalist 1968

More Billie Jean King 

#139 of 316 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models #805 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #56 of 229 The Best Female Athletes of All Time

23
Nancy Richey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Fredfred2 added United States of America

Age: 77

Birthplace: San Angelo, Texas

24
Tracy Austin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
United States of America, Australia

Age: 57

Birthplace: Palos Verdes, California, United States of America

Year Turned Pro: 1978-10-23

US Open: Winner 1979, 1981

More Tracy Austin 

#165 of 174 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon #34 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time #9 of 10 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 1980s

25
Victoria Azarenka is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era
Belarus

Age: 30

Birthplace: Minsk, Belarus

Year Turned Pro: 2003

Australian Open: Winner 2012, 2013
US Open: Finalist 2012, 2013

More Victoria Azarenka 

#682 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #20 of 677 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes #22 of 77 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time