20 Greatest Female Tennis Players Of All Time

Making a list of the greatest tennis players of all time is certainly a challenging task. The game has changed so much, and the racquets, in particular, have turned the modern game into something vastly different from the past.

With that being said, one of the best ways to compare players is to look at grand slam totals. It is a huge indicator of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time, as the greats find a way to win the most important tournaments.

The top players also dominated their peers, and most of them had games that could translate into success in other eras.

Below is a look at the 20 best tennis players of all time. Things can change in a hurry, as some current players could move up the list, or into the list. As we get ready for the 2020 season, here’s how things look.


20. Amelie Mauresmo 

  • Country: France
  • Born: July 5, 1979
  • Turned pro: 1993
  • Retired: 2009
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 25
  • Prize Money winnings: $15 million

One of the most underrated women’s tennis players of all time is Amelie Mauresmo. She was never truly dominant like many on this list, but she had a short run in her career where she was a Grand Slam threat every single time.

2006 was the year she put it all together, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon for her only two Grand Slam singles titles. She was never particularly great on clay, despite growing up on it and being a native of France.

She was physically fit throughout her career, capable of giving any player a scare, even when she was past her prime. She has translated into being a very successful coach post-career, showing the cerebral side of her game.


19. Simona Halep

  • Country: Romania
  • Born: September 27, 1991
  • Turned pro: 2006
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 25
  • Prize Money winnings: $35.1 million

it’s been a great career so far for Romanian Simona Halep. Ones labeled as a player who couldn’t perform well in the Grand Slams, her 2018 French Open championship and 2019 Wimbledon championship changed that perception. She’s been number one in the world for 64 weeks so far in her career, and she may add to that number in the end.

At just 5‘6“ tall, she has a very well-rounded game compared to other modern players. She still prefers to stay near the baseline, but she can play many different styles depending on who she is facing. If she can add a few more Grand Slam titles to her list, she could creep up fast.


18. Tracy Austin

  • Country: USA
  • Born: December 12, 1962
  • Turned pro: 1978
  • Retired: 1994
  • Grand Slam titles: 2
  • Career titles: 30
  • Prize Money winnings: $2 million

When looking back at Tracy Austin’s career, it’s pretty remarkable what she was able to accomplish at such a young age. She was just 16 years old when she won the U.S. Open in 1979, and she would follow up that seat was a win in 1981.

Unfortunately, those were her only two Grand Slam titles, and she was already retired and in the Hall of Fame before she turned 30 years old.

Injuries piled up for her early on in her career, and an automobile accident, in particular, put a damper on making any serious come back. She was a very well-rounded player who could excel on any surface, and, unfortunately, she was not able to stay long at the top of the game.


17. Maria Sharapova

  • Country: Russia
  • Born: April 19, 1987
  • Turned pro: 2001
  • Grand Slam titles: 5
  • Career titles: 40
  • Prize Money winnings: $38.7 million

Once known as a media darling, Maria Sharapova has fallen on hard times in the last few years. She faced a lengthy ban for failing a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, and that tarnished her legacy bit. Still, it’s hard to overlook her career Grand Slam and a total of five titles in her career.

If there is a definition of the modern baseline player, Sharapova is exactly that. She has never been able to move particularly well, but she has powerful strokes and a serve that is hard to beat when it is on. Other than the Williams sisters, she is the defining player of her generation.


16. Jennifer Capriati

  • Country: USA
  • Born: March 29, 1976
  • Turned pro: 1990
  • Retired: 2004
  • Grand Slam titles: 3
  • Career titles: 14
  • Prize Money winnings: $10.2 million

Many people view Jennifer Capriati as the child star who had too much gone her way early in her career. She was in the top 10 of the rankings before she even turned 15 years old, and it was clear that success, fame, and money was getting the best of her.

By the end of 1993, she was burned out of tennis, taking over a year off and dealing with arrest, drug use, and more.

If not for her come back in the early 2000s, she would not make a list like this. However, in 2001, she went on an absolute tear, making the semifinals of all four grand slams. She was able to win the Australian Open and the French Open, and she backed it up with a 2002 championship at the Australian Open as well.


15. Kim Clijsters

  • Country: Belgium
  • Born: June 8, 1983
  • Turned pro: 1997
  • Retired: 2012 (Returning 2020)
  • Grand Slam titles: 4
  • Career titles: 44
  • Prize Money winnings: $24.4 million

Kim Clijsters was often overshadowed by her fellow Belgian Justine Henin, but they both deserve a spot on this list. Just as Justine Henin excelled on the clay, the best surface for Clijsters was hard court. She won all four of her Grand Slam titles on hard courts, with three coming at the U.S. Open.

She also became a huge inspiration for a lot of mothers when she came back after giving birth. Many believed that she retired way too early in 2007, but she was back on tour in two years. She was able to win the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Open after giving birth, and that cemented her legacy on a list like this.


14. Lindsay Davenport

  • Country: USA
  • Born: June 8, 1976
  • Turned pro: 1993
  • Retired: 2010
  • Grand Slam titles: 3
  • Career titles: 55
  • Prize Money winnings: $22.2 million

Often overshadowed by some of the other great players of her era, Lindsay Davenport put together a very solid career of her own. She finished with 98 total weeks at world number one, and three Grand Slam titles.

She had a very modern power game, relying on groundstrokes from both wings to pound opponents from the baseline. If she was a little more dedicated to fitness early in her career, she might be higher on the list.


13. Maureen Connolly

  • Country: USA
  • Born: September 17, 1934
  • Turned pro: Amateur
  • Retired: 1955
  • Grand Slam titles: 9
  • Career titles: 23
  • Prize Money winnings: N/A

There are a few “what if” scenarios on this list, but Maureen Connolly might be the biggest of them all. In the early 1950s, she took the tennis world by storm, winning six straight Grand Slam singles titles between 1952 and 1953.

She was poised to be a dominant tennis player for years to come, but when she was 19 years old, a horseback riding accident damaged her right leg and ended her career.

In her short time as a top-level player, she had seemingly no weaknesses in her game. She preferred to play from the baseline, using her power and accuracy to blow opponents away. She also had enough movement that no one could exploit her in that regard.


12. Helen Wills Moody

  • Country: USA
  • Born: October 6, 1905
  • Retired: 1938
  • Grand Slam titles: 19
  • Career titles: 55

Going way back to the 1920s and 1930s, the game of tennis was dominated by one woman in particular. Helen Wills Moody was the number one player in the world from 1927 to 1933, and she regained that position in 1935 and 1938.

With 19 singles titles at Grand Slam championships, her well-rounded game made her a celebrity. She was a trendsetter in tennis as well, being the first to wear knee-length pleated skirts instead of the longer ones that were in style before she began playing.

She never won the Australian Open, but that tournament was not the same level back then, so it should not be held against her. Winning four French Open, eight Wimbledons and seven U.S. Open titles is truly remarkable, regardless of era.


11. Martina Hingis

  • Country: Switzerland
  • Born: September 30, 1980
  • Turned pro: 1994
  • Retired: 2017
  • Grand Slam titles: 5
  • Career titles: 45
  • Prize Money winnings: $24.7 million

Martina Hingis isn’t the most physically imposing player, especially in today’s modern game. With that said, she had a ton of success as a child prodigy, and she hung around enough to have considerable success in doubles as well.

When looking across her career resume, it’s hard to find a more well-rounded player. She has five Grand Slam singles titles, 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and seven Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She was able to excel as someone who could counterpunch her way to titles at times, and although she didn’t hit with a ton of power, she could dial it in once in a while.


10. Justine Henin

  • Country: Belgium
  • Born: June 1, 1982
  • Turned pro: 1999
  • Retired: 2011
  • Grand Slam titles: 7
  • Career titles: 50
  • Prize Money winnings: $20.9 million

It’s been said that no backhand in the history of women’s tennis has been as great as Justine Henin. The Belgium one-hander could win points at any time by ripping backhands from all angles.

Despite barely being 5‘5“ tall, she could hang in with just about any player on tour. That lead to seven Grand Slam singles titles, and a dominant run at the French Open.

If it was not for elbow injury issues that simply wouldn’t go away, Henin likely would’ve played a few more years. She was slowing down before she even turned 30 years old, and had to step away from the game.


9. Evonne Goolagong Cawley

  • Country: Australia
  • Born: July 31, 1951
  • Turned pro: 1970
  • Retired: 1983
  • Grand Slam titles: 7
  • Career titles: 86
  • Prize Money winnings: $1.4 million

When the open era first started taking off in women’s tennis, Evonne Goolagong Cawley was one of the first to start winning consistently. She has grand slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and she’s most remembered for her runs at the Australian Open.

The game is changed quite a bit since she was playing, so it’s hard to compare her directly to some contemporaries. However, her ability to dominate in the first half of the 1970s is hard to overlook.


8. Venus Williams

  • Country: USA
  • Born: June 17, 1980
  • Turned pro: 1994
  • Grand Slam titles: 7
  • Career titles: 49
  • Prize Money winnings: $41.7 million

When Venus Williams first started winning at the WTA level in 1997, many thought that she was well on her way to being the next dominant star. However, there was one person who would be in her way and never really allowed her to dominate the game. It just so happens that it was her sister Serena, who largely overshadowed her throughout her career.

That’s not to say that Venus Williams did not have a great career of her own. She was particularly great on grass courts, winning five Wimbledon championships. She also won to U.S. Open and became a great doubles partner with her sister when they felt like it.

Remarkably, Venus is just a few months away from playing professional tennis after the age of 40 years old. She isn’t considered a huge threat to win at the majors in this part of her career, but it was just 2017 when she made a run to the finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.


7. Billie Jean King

  • Country: USA
  • Born: November 22, 1943
  • Turned pro: 1959
  • Retired: 1983
  • Grand Slam titles: 12
  • Career titles: 129
  • Prize Money winnings: $1.9 million

Billie Jean King was already a very accomplished tennis player before she became a worldwide celebrity in 1973. When she was 29 years old, she participated in the Battle of the Sexes against a 55-year-old Bobby Riggs. When she was able to win, many people saw this as a monumental moment in women’s sports.

When playing against women, King won a Grand slam Championship at all four majors. She had most of her success at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, winning a total of 10 titles between the two. She was also a very good doubles and mixed doubles player, taking home 27 Grand Slam titles with different partners.


6. Monica Seles

  • Country: SFR Yugoslavia 
  • Born: December 2, 1973
  • Turned pro: 1989
  • Retired: 2008
  • Grand Slam titles: 9
  • Career titles: 53
  • Prize Money winnings: $14.9 million

Monica Seles is one of the biggest “what ifs” in tennis history. She was well on her way to being a legitimate rival to Steffi Graf, but a stabbing incident in 1993 stopped her career temporarily just as she was ascending to the top of the game.

At 20 years old, it robbed her of over two years in her prime. When she returned, she was able to win one more grand slam singles title, but she was not the same caliber of player.

Still, winning a total of nine grand slam singles titles is pretty impressive. The left-hander had nearly every shot in the game, and in many ways, she had a style of play that was well ahead of her time.


5. Margaret Court

  • Country: Australia
  • Born: July 16, 1942
  • Turned pro: 1960
  • Retired: 1977
  • Grand Slam titles: 24
  • Career titles: 192

Margaret Court is considered one of the best tennis players of all time, winning at least three grand slam singles championships at all for tournaments.

The only knock against her is that most of her domination came in the 1960s, before the open era of tennis. She was able to have a lot of success with her volley at the net, and her speed was tough for opponents to overcome when combining with her height.

Going off of numbers, she still has the most Grand Slam singles titles at 24. Serena Williams continues to try to tie that record, but she has been unsuccessful so far in her attempts.


4. Chris Evert

  • Country: USA
  • Born: December 21, 1954
  • Turned pro: 1972
  • Retired: 1989
  • Grand Slam titles: 18
  • Career titles: 157
  • Prize Money winnings: $8.9 million

Chris Evert, on film, doesn’t look like anyone too intimidating. She didn’t hit hard, she was relatively small for a tennis player and she had a pretty laid-back demeanor. However, in her time, she was a dominant player who could win on any surface.

Evert relied on great placement, movement, and spin to have success in tennis. This made her nearly unbeatable on clay, finishing with a 382-22 record on that surface. With modern technology, her game would need to change some, but her precision on every type of shot would still be there.


3. Martina Navratilova

  • Country: Czechoslovakia
  • Born: October 18, 1956
  • Turned pro: 1975
  • Retired: 2006
  • Grand Slam titles: 18
  • Career titles: 168
  • Prize Money winnings: $21.6 million

When considering singles and doubles, Martina Navratilova has had a ton of success in her career. She is known as one of the top competitors in the sport, and she played for a long time as well. 

She is the only player in women’s tennis history to be number one at singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. She also holds the record for five consecutive years ending the season number one in singles. It’s not impossible, but her record of 49 total grand slam titles will be very tough to beat.


2. Steffi Graf

  • Country: Germany
  • Born: June 14, 1969
  • Turned pro: 1982
  • Retired: 1999
  • Grand Slam titles: 22
  • Career titles: 107
  • Prize Money winnings: $21.9 million

For those who aren’t quite convinced Serena Williams is number one all-time just yet, the most mentioned name is Steffi Graf. She was able to have a ton of success in the 1990s in particular, but it was 1988 where she first made a huge splash.

She was able to win the Golden Grand Slam, taking home all four major titles, as well as the Olympic gold in the Seoul Olympics. Now married to Andre Agassi, she has formed perhaps the most powerful tennis partnership in the history of the sport.


1. Serena Williams

  • Country: USA
  • Born: September 26, 1981
  • Turned pro: 1995
  • Grand Slam titles: 23
  • Career titles: 72
  • Prize Money winnings: $92 million

There is no arguing that Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player of all time. With the record-holding 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, it’s hard to not put her at the No.1 spot. Serena has solely dominated women’s tennis for over a decade and is still competing at the very highest level at the age of 38.

Some people believe that Serena Williams still has work to do to become the greatest tennis player of all time. Others believe she’s already reached that pinnacle.

Now 39 years old, she hasn’t called it quits just yet. She’s still looking for that first Grand Slam title since giving berth, and maybe some Olympic success in Tokyo as well.


Here is the full list of the greatest female tennis players of all time

  1. Serena Williams
  2. Steffi Graf
  3. Martina Navritolova
  4. Chris Evert
  5. Margaret Court
  6. Monica Seles
  7. Billie Jean King
  8. Venus Williams
  9. Evonne Goolagong Cawley
  10. Justine Henin
  11. Martina Hingis
  12. Helen Wills Moody
  13. Maureen Connolly
  14. Lindsay Davenport
  15. Kim Clijsters
  16. Jennifer Capriati
  17. Maria Sharapova
  18. Tracy Austin
  19. Simona Halep
  20. Amelie Mauresmo

Fred Simonsson

I'm Fred, the guy behind TennisPredict. Apart from writing here, I play tennis on a semi-professional level and coach upcoming talents.

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