Like the men, the ladies of tennis have not had it easy,
what with the enormous competition and numerous skilled
players. We bring your five of the best women players of all
time, though each of them is as good as the others, and there are
many more who deserve to be on this list.
Billie Jean King
With 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam women’s
doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles under
her belt, American player Billie Jean King is one of the most
important women in the history of the game. Besides founding
the Tennis Women’s Association, she dominated the late ’60s
and early ’70s, winning six Wimbledon titles, four US Open
titles and one each of the Australian and French Opens. Known
for her aggressive techniques, King is counted among the
greatest women tennis players ever.
She won 18 Grand Slam titles, achieving a Career Grand Slam,
and ranked number one for almost seven years – more than
enough to add her to this list. With three Wimbledon titles, six
US Opens, two Australian Opens and a record seven French
Open titles, Chris Evert was poised to become the best ever,
had it not been for rival Marina Navratilova. Her two-handed
backhand shot, baseline play and passing shots made her a cult
figure in the game of tennis.
Margaret Smith Court
Almost throughout the ’60s, Margaret Smith Court dominated the tennis court, winning 24 Grand Slam single titles. Add 38
doubles titles to that, thereby bringing her tally to a whopping 62
titles, and the Australian’s presence here is more than justified. The
original all-rounder, she won the Australian Open 11 times, the
Wimbledon thrice and the US and French Open five times each.
One of the three to ever win a career ‘boxed set’ of Grand Slam
titles, Court achieved pole position in women’s tennis seven times.
After her breakthrough in the 1987 French Open, German-born
Steffi Graf followed it up by becoming the first ever tennis player
in 1988 to win the Calendar Year Golden Slam. Graf dominated
the sport in the ’90s like no other woman, beating the likes of
Navratilova and Evert and remaining on top longer than anyone
else in the game. Her seven Wimbledon titles, five US Open
titles, four French titles and six Australian Open titles rank her
among the best all-rounders ever. Graf ’s powerful forehand shots
earned her the nickname ‘Fraulein Forehand’.
From 1975 to 2003, with her achievements and longevity in
the sport, Martina Navratilova surpasses everyone on this list.
The breast cancer survivor brought the concept of power game
in women’s tennis. Her 18 Grand Slam singles titles include
nine Wimbledon wins, four US Open, two French and three
Australian Open titles, hence achieving a Career Grand Slam
and a Career Box Set in 1978. Among the best volleyers in court,
Navratilova’s deadly serve helped her to win 74 matches in a row
and 41 doubles titles. One word – dominance!