The 10 Best German Female Tennis Players of All-Time

Chances are good that interested individuals can name at least one German female tennis player. After all, Steffi Graf is an often-seen name on the lists of the greatest female tennis players produced by the Bleacher Report and other websites.

However, she is far from being the only German female tennis player of note, meaning there are other names interested individuals should know.

Here are ten of the best German female tennis players of all time:

10. Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki turned professional in 2006. Since then, she has won four singles titles and four doubles titles, thus enabling her to climb as high as number 12 for singles and number 35 for doubles. That is enough to declare her one of the best female tennis players of her time.

9. Andrea Petkovic

Andrea Petkovic was born to a Serbian father and a Bosniak mother in what was once Yugoslavia. However, she is a German citizen living in the country since she was six months old.

In any case, Petkovic has reached the number 9 position for singles, which was made possible by her seven career titles plus other wins in other contexts. Her doubles record hasn’t been quite as good, though she has competed in a considerable number of Grand Slam doubles tournaments.

8. Julia Göerges

Amusingly, Julia Göerges came from a family of insurance people. Her parents worked in the field. Similarly, her half-sister went on to work in the field. As such, Göreges stood out by becoming a professional athlete.

Indeed, she was once one of the Top 10 female tennis players in the world because she reached the number 9 position for singles in August 2018. Göerges has won seven singles titles and five doubles titles, though she has never managed to claim a Grand Slam title for either one.

7. Helga Niessen Masthoff

Technically, Helga Niessen Masthoff was a West German tennis player when she played as a professional. Still, she counts for the simple reason that West Germany and East Germany reunited in 1990.

It is interesting to note that Germany isn’t even a successor state to those two countries from a legal perspective. Instead, it is an enlargened version of West Germany, which makes sense because of the way that reunification happened.

Moving on, Masthoff was number 6 in the world in 1970. Career-wise, she boasted a 68 to 33 record.

6. Sylvia Hanika

Sylvia Hanika played in an earlier era. Specifically, her career as a professional tennis player stretched from 1977 to 1990. During that time, Hanika became number 5 in the world through six career titles and other victories.

Unfortunately, she is another individual who never won a Grand Slam title. It is interesting to note that Hanika was famous for bouncing the ball between serves. My Tennis HQ says tennis players do so to get into the right mindset. Still, Hanika was known to bounce the ball as many as 30 times before serving, which might have been overdoing things a bit.

5. Anke Huber

Anke Huber was a professional tennis player from 1989 to 2001. She did quite well by any reasonable standard. After all, not just anyone can win 14 singles titles, which were enough to make her number 4 in the world at one point.

Sadly, Huber was overshadowed to a considerable extent because she played at the same time as Steffi Graf, who was on another level. She did become the best German female tennis player after Graf retired in 1999, which meant very little because she retired in 2001.

4. Cilly Aussem

Cilly Aussem played even earlier in the 1920s and 1930s. Supposedly, she was a shy child. However, Bill Tilden saw potential in her, which is why he became her tennis coach. Eventually, they even won a mixed doubles title at the French Championships in 1930.

That said, Aussem is more notable because she won a singles title at the French Championships and then a second singles title at the German Championships in 1931. It is possible that she could have gone on to see similar success in other tournaments.

The issue is that she came down with a serious case of liver inflammation from which she never fully recovered. Subsequently, Aussem rose as high as the number 9 position but no more than that. Decades later, she died after liver surgery, which says much about the impact that illness had on her life.

3. Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber is the greatest German female tennis player since Steffi Graf. She has won three Grand Slam singles titles. The first two were the Australian Open and the U.S. Open in 2016, while the third was Wimbledon in 2018.

On top of this, Reuters and other news sites reported that she was happy to have won an Olympic silver medal in London in 2012. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kerber was the highest-ranked female tennis player in the world in 2016.

2. Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling

Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling was another German tennis player who competed in the 1930s. She is often considered the second-greatest German female tennis player to play the game, which is founded on several achievements.

For example, Sperling never won Wimbledon, but she did reach the finals on two separate occasions in 1931 and 1936. Meanwhile, Sperling did win the French Championships in 1935, 1936, and 1937, a rare feat only three other women have ever managed.

Besides these things, she reached the finals for two Grand Slam doubles tournaments while outright winning a Grand Slam mixed doubles tournament.

1. Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf is widely acknowledged as one of the best female tennis players ever. For starters, she spent a record-breaking 377 weeks as the number one female tennis player in the world, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that she won numerous singles titles.

Even so, it is mind-boggling that she managed to win 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Graf is particularly remarkable because she was the first to complete a Golden Slam in 1988. That means she didn’t just win all four Grand Slam titles in the same year.

She rounded them off by winning the Olympic gold medal as well. Chances are good that she will have that honor to herself for the foreseeable future because tennis players of her level just don’t come around very often. Never mind having everything line up to even create a shot at a Golden Slam.

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