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Since 1884, when Maud Watson brought home the first Grand Slam win at Wimbledon, female tennis players have been bringing the heat. Did you know that at least 48 female tennis players have one a single Grand Slam tournament during their careers? Still, only a select few have been able to win at one (or all) of the four major tournaments. There are five ladies who have made the world watch with eyes peeled to their Grand Slam matches, including one who continues to reign supreme. Who are they? Let’s find out. Here is a look at the top 10 female tennis players who won the most Grand Slams.
Most Tennis Grand Slams – Female Players
Here is a table showing you the top female tennis players and their number of Grand Slam wins:
|Player Name||Country||Total Grand Slams||Australian Open||French Open||US Open||Wimbledon|
|Billie Jean King||USA||12||1||1||4||6|
|Evonne Goolagong Cawley||Australia||7||4||1||0||2|
Keep in mind that Grand Slam can mean two things: a calendar Grand Slam, which is winning each of the 4 major tournaments in a 12-month period, and winning a single Grand Slam tournament. This table shows the players who have won Grand Slam tournaments.
Top 10 Female Tennis Players With the Most Grand Slams
Tennis has seen hundreds of massively talented women on the courts of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open throughout the years. Here are some of the names who have earned a place in tennis history forever:
With an astounding 24 Grand Slams in total, Margaret Court was a force to be reckoned with prior to her retirement. Hailing from Australia, Court was born in 1942. She retired in 1977 but has since been called the “greatest female tennis player of all time.” Furthermore, she has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
But why is Margaret Court so amazing? She was the first player of the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam. She is also the only woman to have completed a mixed doubles Calendar Slam. This feat was achieved twice: in 1963 and 1965. Additionally, Margaret has won 19 women’s doubles and 21 mixed doubles titles. In total, she has 64 Grand Slam titles to her name—24 being singles.
Margaret Court won the Australian Open 11 times, the French Open 5 times, Wimbledon 3 times, and US Open 5 times.
Out of all the players on the list of the most tennis Grand Slams among female players, Serena Williams is the only one not in retirement or deceased. Serena is considered a talent among the likes of Margaret Court, and at the rate she is moving, Williams may just surpass Court in the number of Grand Slams she will obtain. Amazingly, Serena Williams has seized a Grand Slam title at least once in three different decades.
Presently, Serena Williams has 23 Grand Slam wins: 7 from the Australian Open, 3 from the French Open, 6 from the US Open, and 7 from Wimbledon. Additionally, she has won the most Grand Slam singles matches in history—a whopping 331.
Since retirement does not seem likely for Serena any time soon, it is believed that when she does lay down the racquet, she will be the most successful singles tennis player in history.
Hailing from Germany, Steffi Graf was an astounding talent during the 1980s and 1990s. For 377 weeks, Steffi was ranked number 1 in singles for the entire WTA. Although she may not have the same record breaking numbers as Serena or Margaret, Steffi is the only woman to have completed a Golden Slam, which means winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and a gold medal in the Olympics of the same year. That happened in 1988, and no one has been able to pull it off since.
As of 2022, Steffi Graf is the only female tennis player to have won 4 times or more at each of the Grand Slam tournaments. She has 4 wins at the Australian Open, 6 at the French Open, 7 at Wimbledon, and 5 at the US Open. That puts her at 22 Grand Slam titles during her career.
Want to see Serena Williams and Steffi Graf face off? Here is a match from 1999:
Ever wondered who was the first tennis superstar? That would be Helen Wills, who played tennis between the 1920s and 30s. For many years, Helen Wills was the woman that all female tennis players aspired to be. She was charming off the field, but during a match, she was aggressive, fierce, and incredibly powerful. Her strategy was based on power, so much that her opponents were worn down quickly. In fact, she even beat top ranked men during an exhibition match one year.
Wills retired in 1938 with a record of 31 Grand Slam tournaments won, including 19 singles and 12 doubles. Interestingly, none of her wins took place in Australia. She also won gold medals during the Paris Olympics in 1924 for both singles and doubles. After that, tennis was not included in the Olympics again until 1988, the same year Graf aced the Golden Slam.
Czech-American Martina Navratilova is known as the only female tennis professional in history to have held the number 1 spot for both singles and doubles for more than 200 weeks. Widely regarded as one of the best female players in history, Navratilova owns a total of 59 Grand Slam titles and 167 titles in total.
Astoundingly, her total in singles career matches comes to 1,442.
These numbers include 31 doubles Grand Slam wins, 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam wins, and 18 singles Grand Slams. She has won at Wimbledon 9 times, something no one else has accomplished yet. Presently, Navratilova is the only player to have won at least one tour event for over 20 consecutive years.
Martina Navratilova retired from tennis in 2006. After a brief stint in tennis coaching, she has moved on to activism in her personal life.
Born in 1954, Chris Evert became a tennis sensation between the 1970s to 1989, when she retired. During that brief period, Evert won 18 major tournament titles. She is currently tied with Serena Williams for seven French Open titles and six US Open titles. For 260 weeks, she was ranked the number one player in the world. Navratilova was considered her greatest rival.
Evert has done something that no one else has yet to achieve: she reached 34 Grand Slam singles finals and walked away with 18 wins. She never lost a first or second round during a Grand Slam tournament and only lost in the third round twice. Evert continues to hold the most consecutive years for winning a Grand Slam title—13 years, to be exact.
For both men and women, Evert holds the highest percentage of wins for career singles matches, a whopping 89.97%, which comes out to 1309 wins, 146 losses. She also set the bar for the WTA Tour record of clay courts, where her winning percentage is 94.55%.
Currently, Evert works as a tennis coach and analyst on ESPN.
Billie Jean King
Next on the list is Billie Jean King, a name that most people will recognize as the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She turned pro in 1968 and played until 1990. Formerly a number 1 ranked tennis player, King has brought home a total of 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in single matches, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles.
In 1972, her win at the French Open marked her as the fifth woman in history to win a career Grand Slam. 1973, she proved that women players were just as competitive as men when she won a “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match against Bobby Riggs. Between 1959 and 1983, King played 51 major singles events and reached the semi-finals in 27 of those attempts. She also has 129 singles titles, 78 of which came from WTA events.
Aside from being a star player on the court, Billie Jean King has been an outspoken advocate for gender equality and equal pay. In 1987, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and has received many awards since then, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Seles may not have the same number of wins as Margaret Court or Billie Jean King, but she has been ranked number 1 and had a very impressive career. Having turned pro in 1989, her last match was in 2003. She retired in 2008. From the point Seles became a professional tennis player, she dominated the courts. As a teenager, she represented Yugoslavia (between 1988 and 1994) and won a total of eight Grand Slam titles. From 1994 to 2008, she was a player for the United States. During that time, she won her final Grand Slam match, resulting in 9 Grand Slams in total.
Seles made history when she won the French Open in 1990 at sixteen years old, making her the youngest. Before her 20th birthday, she won 8 more titles. Unfortunately, her career met resistance when she was stabbed during an on-court attack on April 30, 1993. She did not return for two years. When she returned in 1995, she had much success and won the Australian Open in 1996. Her last match was during the 2003 French Open.
While she may not have the same number of wins as her sister Serena, Venus Williams has made history more than once. Currently, Venus has a record of 7 singles Grand Slam titles, including two at the US Open and five from Wimbledon. When she turned professional in 1994, she started taking the courts by storm. She reached her first major final in 1997 during the US Open, but her first wins were between 2000 and 2001 at Wimbledon and the US Open. During 2000, she also earned gold at the Sydney Olympics.
When she obtained the ranking of number 1 in February 2002, Venus was the first African American woman to claim the spot after Althea Gibson. Along with her 7 Grand Slam titles, Venus has obtained 14 women’s doubles titles (all partnered to her younger sister). Together, they completed a non-calendar Grand Slam on June 7, 2010 at the French Open.
Evonne Goolagong Cawley
Between the 1970s and 1980s, Goolagong Cawley was a leading female player in tennis and ranked number 1 for a time. At 19 years old, Evonne Goolagong won the French Open in singles and then joined with Margaret Court to win the Australian Open doubles the same year. In 1971, she won at Wimbledon. After taking some time off, Goolagong won Wimbledon again in 1980 and became the first mother to win the title in 66 years. Gaining momentum, she won another 14 Grand Slam titles, including 7 in singles, 6 in doubles, and 1 in mixed doubles.
For her wins in both Grand Slam tournaments and Fed Cup competitions, she was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1972. Later, in 1988, six years after she retired, she was added to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. To this day, Evonne leads the Goolagong National Development Camp for indigenous children in Australia.
Former Belgian tennis professional Justine Henin spent 117 weeks as number 1 in the world through 2003, 2006, and 2007. Being that Henin came from Belgium, a country with few tennis players, made her stand out all the more. Known for being one of the few female players who could play a single-handed backhand as well as an all-court style, Justine Henin showed impressive talent.
She went on to win 7 major tournament titles. In 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007, she won the French Open. In 2003 and 2007, she snagged the US Open, and Henin also won the Australian Open in 2004. In 2001 and 2006, Henin got to the finals but ended up losing. That did not stop her from winning the gold medal in the 2004 Olympics for women’s singles, though. She also went on to achieve 43 WTA singles titles, including winning the WTA Tour Championships in 2006 and 2007.
Sadly, Henin retired in 2011 due to a chronic elbow injury. She became the first Belgian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016.
Here is a name that most people will recognize, whether for her tennis grunting or modeling. Recently retired on February 26, 2020, Maria Sharapova has had a long and successful tennis career. While she may not have brought home as many Grand Slam titles as her rivals, she was consistently at the top. Sharapova is one of 10 women to ever accomplish a career Grand Slam, as well as the only Russian to do so. Furthermore, she is an Olympic medalist, as she won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Sharapova first became number 1 in the world in August 2005, when she was only 18 years old. From then on, she was the first Russian woman to achieve such a high ranking. Sharapova has 5 Grand Slam titles, including 1 win from Australian Open, US Open, and Wimbledon. She has two wins at the French Open. Collectively, she has 36 titles in total, including 3 doubles titles.
Check out this highlight reel from a match between Sharapova and Henin in 2006:
Becoming the first Swiss—male or female—to attain a worldwide number 1 ranking and a major tennis tournament title put Martina Hingis on the map. From that point, she spent a total of 209 weeks in first place for singles and 90 weeks for doubles. Simultaneously, she maintained both rankings for 29 weeks. Additionally, Martina Hingis set a couple of “youngest-ever” records throughout the 1990s, when she became the youngest ever female player to become a Grand Slam champion and No. 1.
Although she had to withdraw from tennis for a few years due to a ligament injury, Martina Hingis had won 36 doubles titles and 40 singles titles by the time she was 22 years old. In total, she has accomplished 5 Grand Slam titles—3 from the Australian Open, 1 from the US Open, and 1 from Wimbledon. She retired in October 2017 but not before being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.
Come On And Slam
Who had the most tennis Grand Slams of female players? Currently, that distinction belongs to Margaret Court, but Serena Williams is closing the gap every single year. Until then, the top 5 list of female players with the most Grand Slams includes Margaret Court, Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Helen Wills, and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who are tied. This proves that female players have some serious talent! Who among these greats is your favorite?