The Women’s Tennis Association, the WTA, is the governing body of women’s professional tennis.
The WTA history begins in 1970 with Billie Jean King and 8 more female tennis players, who signed $1 contracts with Gladys Heldman, the World Tennis publisher, to compete in a new women’s tennis tour. They were called the Original 9: Billie Jean King, Judy Dalton, Julie Heldman, Rosie Casals, Kristy Pigeon, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kerry Melville and Nancy Richey.
2,500 players stand for the WTA, the leader in women’s tennis professional sport. They compete for $137 million in prize money and represent 92 nations. The 2016 WTA showcases the best female athletes competing in the world’s most breathtaking venues (57 tournaments, four Grand Slams and the Olympic Games) in 33 countries. In 2015, The WTA was watched by 395 million fans on TV around the globe.
To get more interesting info about each player – click on their names!
Women’s professional tennis
The WTA Singles Rankings classify the top women’s professional tennis players worldwide. Players are adjudged points depending on that how successful they are at the pro tour tournaments. They earn their own number of points and then they are assorted according to these numbers. Every week this ranking is updated and the last-52-weeks results are factored in.
Over the past 10 years, Serena Williams can be considered the best-ranked player. She has an enormous success with her total 8,330 points and is steady ranks in the top-10 for the past few years.
From the 17th of August 1987 to the 10th of March 1991 Steffi Graf spent 186 weeks in a row ranking at the top, so she is a player with the most consistent weeks at the top. Steffi Graf holds the No. 1 record for the most weeks (377) and was also ranked No.1 eight times in general at the end of the year.
Greatest female players
As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is the greatest female singles player of all time with Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams being the three players most often nominated.
In March 2012 the TennisChannel published a combined list of the 100 greatest men and women tennis players of all time. It ranked Steffi Graf as the greatest female player (in 3rd place overall), followed by Martina Navratilova (4th place) and Margaret Court (8th place). The rankings were determined by an international panel.
Sportwriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an article in July 2010 that Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that “Head-to-head, on a neutral surface (i.e. hard courts), everyone at their best, I can’t help feeling that she crushes the other legends”. In a reaction to this article Yahoo sports blog Busted Racket published a list of the top-10 women’s tennis players of all time placing Martina Navratilova in first spot. This top-10 list was similar to the one published in June 2008 by the Bleacher Report who also ranked Martina Navratilova as the top female player of all time.
Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player. Billie Jean King said in 1999, “Steffi is definitely the greatest women’s tennis player of all time.” Martina Navratilova has included Graf on her list of great players. In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press.
Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book “The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century“, named her as the best female player of the 20th century, directly followed by Martina Navratilova.
Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova “arguably, the greatest player of all time.” Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, “She’s the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”