Legends of the WTA

The Female Tennis GOATs: Legends of the WTA

In the illustrious history of women’s tennis, there have been exceptional players whose talent, dominance, and impact on the sport have elevated them to the status of GOATs (Greatest of All Time).

These legendary athletes have left an indelible mark on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) Tour, inspiring generations of players and captivating fans around the world with their remarkable achievements. Let’s take a closer look at some of the female tennis GOATs in the history of WTA tennis.

1. Serena Williams: Widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams has rewritten the record books with her unparalleled success on the tennis court. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, including an Open Era record of seven Australian Open titles, seven Wimbledon titles, and six US Open titles, Serena has cemented her legacy as one of the most dominant players in tennis history. Known for her powerful serve, fierce competitiveness, and remarkable athleticism, Serena has spent a total of 319 weeks ranked as the world No. 1 player and has won an impressive 73 WTA singles titles in her career.

2. Steffi Graf: A true tennis icon, Steffi Graf’s achievements place her among the greatest players of all time. The German superstar amassed 22 Grand Slam singles titles during her illustrious career, including a calendar-year Golden Slam in 1988 when she won all four major titles plus an Olympic gold medal. Known for her graceful footwork, devastating forehand, and mental toughness, Graf spent a total of 377 weeks ranked as the world No. 1 player, a record in the Open Era. She also holds the record for the most consecutive weeks ranked No. 1 at 186 weeks.

3. Martina Navratilova: Martina Navratilova is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and versatile players in the history of tennis. The Czech-American star won an astonishing 18 Grand Slam singles titles and a record 31 Grand Slam doubles titles, showcasing her mastery of both singles and doubles play. Navratilova’s attacking style of play, exceptional volleying skills, and unparalleled fitness revolutionized women’s tennis and inspired a generation of players. She spent a total of 332 weeks ranked as the world No. 1 player and won an incredible 167 singles titles and 177 doubles titles throughout her career.

5. Chris Evert: Chris Evert, known as the “Ice Maiden” for her calm demeanor on the court, is one of the most consistent and successful players in tennis history. The American legend won 18 Grand Slam singles titles during her illustrious career, including a record seven French Open titles and six US Open titles. Evert’s exceptional footwork, tactical prowess, and mental fortitude made her a formidable opponent on any surface. She spent a total of 260 weeks ranked as the world No. 1 player and won an impressive 157 singles titles.

6. Billie Jean King:  She is one of the most influential figures in the history of women’s tennis. She is renowned for her exceptional skills on the court and her tireless advocacy for gender equality and social justice. Here’s why Billie Jean King is important for WTA tennis:


  1. Tennis Career: Billie Jean King enjoyed a highly successful tennis career, winning a total of 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. She achieved numerous milestones throughout her career, becoming the first female athlete to earn over $100,000 in prize money in a single season and the first woman to serve as commissioner of a professional sports league (World Team Tennis).
  2. Battle of the Sexes: King is perhaps best known for her iconic “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. At the time, Riggs, a former Wimbledon champion, claimed that he could defeat any female player despite being in his 50s. King accepted his challenge, and their highly publicized match became a symbol of the fight for gender equality in sports. King emerged victorious, defeating Riggs in straight sets and showcasing the skill and athleticism of women’s tennis players.
  3. Founder of the WTA: Billie Jean King played a pivotal role in the creation of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in 1973, the same year as the Battle of the Sexes match. The WTA was established to advocate for the rights and interests of female tennis players, including equal prize money, tournament opportunities, and recognition. King’s leadership and vision were instrumental in advancing the status of women’s tennis and paving the way for future generations of female athletes.
  4. Advocate for Gender Equality: Throughout her career and beyond, Billie Jean King has been a vocal advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. She has fought tirelessly to break down barriers and challenge discrimination in sports and society. King’s advocacy efforts have had a profound impact on the advancement of women’s tennis and the broader movement for gender equity.
  5. Legacy of Empowerment: Billie Jean King’s legacy extends far beyond her achievements on the tennis court. She has inspired countless individuals, both within and outside the world of sports, to stand up for their rights, pursue their dreams, and effect positive change in society. King’s commitment to empowerment, inclusivity, and social justice continues to resonate with people around the world, making her an enduring symbol of courage and resilience.

25. Margaret Court: Margaret Court’s legacy in tennis is defined by her extraordinary record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, a feat that remains unmatched in the history of the sport. The Australian powerhouse dominated women’s tennis in the 1960s and 1970s, winning multiple major titles in both singles and doubles events. Court’s powerful serve, aggressive baseline game, and mental resilience propelled her to the pinnacle of the sport. She also holds the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era with 11 titles.

She has become a controversial figure primarily due to her outspoken views on various social and political issues, particularly those related to LGBTQ+ rights and gender equality. Here are some reasons why Margaret Court has been regarded as controversial:

  1. Opposition to LGBTQ+ Rights: Court has been vocal in expressing her opposition to LGBTQ+ rights, including same-sex marriage. She has made controversial statements comparing LGBTQ+ people to Hitler and referring to transgender children as influenced by “the devil.” These comments have sparked widespread criticism and condemnation from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, fellow tennis players, and the broader public.
  2. Homophobic Remarks: Court’s remarks regarding homosexuality and LGBTQ+ individuals have been widely criticized as homophobic and discriminatory. Her comments have been seen as hurtful and offensive to the LGBTQ+ community, contributing to her controversial reputation.
  3. Refusal to Fly Qantas Airlines: In 2017, Court announced that she would no longer fly with Qantas Airlines due to the company’s support for same-sex marriage. This decision further fueled the controversy surrounding her views on LGBTQ+ rights and led to calls for her name to be removed from the Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open tennis tournament.
  4. Impact on Tennis Legacy: Court’s controversial statements and views have overshadowed her remarkable achievements in tennis, tarnishing her legacy as one of the sport’s greatest players. Many have called for a reconsideration of her contributions to the sport in light of her divisive beliefs and rhetoric.
  5. Divisive Figure: Court’s outspokenness on social and political issues has made her a divisive figure within the tennis community and beyond. While some admire her for speaking her mind and standing by her convictions, others have condemned her views as harmful and discriminatory.

These extraordinary athletes have not only dominated the sport of tennis but have also transcended it, inspiring millions of fans and aspiring players around the world. Their unmatched achievements, enduring legacies, and contributions to the sport make them true icons of women’s tennis and undisputed GOATs in the history of the WTA.

Comments are closed.