Sports
3.5k voters

The Greatest Female Tennis Players Of The Open Era

Updated February 29, 2020 24.9k votes 3.5k voters 23.3k views59 items

List RulesFemale 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.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Steffi Graf
    897
    720

    Steffi Graf

    Germany, West Germany

    Age50

    BirthplaceMannheim, Germany

    Year Turned Pro1982

    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 

    #523 of 670 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes#58 of 143 Athletes Whose Careers Ended Too Soon

  • 2
    Chris Evert
    557
    525

    Chris Evert

    United States of America

    Age65

    BirthplaceFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

    Year Turned Pro1972

    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

  • 3
    Serena Williams
    704
    1,064

    Serena Williams

    United States of America

    Age38

    BirthplaceSaginaw, Michigan, United States of America

    Year Turned Pro1995

    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

  • 4
    Martina Navratilova
    422
    649

    Martina Navratilova

    United States of America, Czechoslovakia

    Age63

    BirthplacePrague, Czech Republic

    Year Turned Pro1975

    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 

    #7 of 319 The Most Inspiring (Non-Hollywood) Female Role Models#28 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 5
    Francoise Durr
    1,338
    187

    Francoise Durr

    French

    BirthplaceAlgeria

    Year Turned Pro1959

    French Open: Winner 1967

  • 6
    Kimiko Date-Krumm
    1,309
    331

    Age49

    BirthplaceKyoto, Keihanshin, Japan

    Year Turned Pro1989-03

  • 7
    Kim Clijsters
    376
    584

    Age36

    BirthplaceBilzen, Belgium

    Year Turned Pro1997-08-17

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

    More Kim Clijsters 

    #16 of 72 The Greatest Women's Tennis Players of All Time#4 of 15 The Best Women's Tennis Players of the 2000s

  • 8
    Martina Hingis
    397
    636

    Martina Hingis

    Switzerland, Slovakia

    Age39

    BirthplaceKošice, Slovakia

    Year Turned Pro1994

    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

  • 9
    Maria Sharapova
    443
    728

    Age32

    BirthplaceNyagan, Russia

    Year Turned Pro2001-04-19

    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 

    #103 of 409 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2020, Ranked#9 of 77 The Best Athletes Who Have Used Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • 10
    Monica Seles
    507
    852

    Monica Seles

    United States of America, Germany

    Age46

    BirthplaceNovi Sad, Serbia

    Year Turned Pro1989

    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

  • 11
    Garbiñe Muguruza

    Age26

    BirthplaceCaracas, Venezuela

    French Open: Winner 2016
    Wimbledon: Winner 2017; Finalist 2015

  • 12
    Justine Henin
    223
    401

    Age37

    BirthplaceLiège, Belgium

    Year Turned Pro1999-01-01

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

  • 13
    Naomi Osaka

    Australian Open: Winner 2019
    US Open: Winner 2018

  • 14
    Caroline Wozniacki
    101
    179

    Age29

    BirthplaceOdense, Denmark

    Year Turned Pro2005-07-18

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

  • 15
    Ashleigh Barty
    7
    12

    Age23

    BirthplaceIpswich, Australia

  • 16
    Evonne Goolagong Cawley

    Age68

    BirthplaceGriffith, Australia

    Year Turned Pro1971

    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

  • 17
    Magdalena Maleeva
  • 18
    Manuela Maleeva
    8
    22

    Age52

    BirthplaceSofia, Bulgaria

    Year Turned Pro1982

  • 19
    Angelique Kerber
    88
    147

    Angelique Kerber

    Germany, Poland

    Age31

    BirthplaceBremen, Germany

    Year Turned Pro2003

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

  • 20
    Billie Jean King
    176
    387

    Billie Jean King

    United States of America

    Age76

    BirthplaceLong Beach, California, United States of America

    Year Turned Pro1968

    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

  • 21
    Simona Halep
    141
    271

    Age28

    BirthplaceConstanța, Sud-Est, Romania

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

  • 22
    Mary Pierce
    116
    258

    Mary Pierce

    Canada, France

    Age44

    BirthplaceMontreal, Canada

    Year Turned Pro1989-03

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

  • 23
    Victoria Azarenka
    121
    267

    Age30

    BirthplaceMinsk, Belarus

    Year Turned Pro2003

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

  • 24
    Li Na
    65
    159

    Li Na

    China

    Age37

    BirthplaceWuhan, China

    Year Turned Pro1999

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

  • 25
    Olga Morozova
    16
    38

    Olga Morozova

    Russia, Soviet Union

    Age70

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia