Serena Williams and the most successful female tennis players of the modern era

The sporting world has largely been dominated by men over the years. However, in recent times, more and more eyes are on women’s sport.

In basketball, Caitlin Clark has recently shot to prominence for her exploits first for the Iowa Hawkeyes and now for the Indiana Fever. In football, last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup was the most attended in history, with hundreds of thousands of supporters flocking to the finest stadiums in Australia and New Zealand, ultimately witnessing Spain walk away as champions for the first time in history.

In recent times, there are plenty of women who have been responsible for garnering more eyes on their respective products. Ronda Rousey in the UFC is a name that immediately springs to mind. Throughout a dominant stretch between 2013 and 2015, the Rowdy One became the highest-paid star of either sex inside the Octagon.

Perhaps no woman has been a bigger trailblazer in recent times than Rousey’s American compatriot Serena Williams, who has claimed the most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. But who joins her on the list? Let’s find out.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ dominance in women’s tennis is unparalleled. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, she holds the Open Era record for the most major wins, a testament to her longevity and sheer talent. The younger Wlliams’ sister’s journey began early, coached by her father Richard alongside her sister Venus. Serena’s first Grand Slam victory came at the 1999 US Open. However, she would have to take a backseat initially to her older sister.

Venus became the dominant force on the court in 2000 and 2001, winning back-to-back Wimbledon titles as well as back-to-back US Opens, famously defeating her sister Serena in her successful title defense at Flushing Meadows. But that lit a fire in the younger Williams, unlike anything we had ever seen before. The two sisters met in three of the four Grand Slam finals in 2002, and Serena came out on top on each occasion. The tide had officially turned.

As the years passed, it became clear that, not only was Serena the best tennis player in the Williams family, but she was the best payer in the history of the women’s game. She racked up an almighty 23 slam titles between that maiden victory at the turn of the millennium right up until her final success in 2017 at the Australian Open.

Nine months after that triumph, she staged a comeback, reaching the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 but, unfortunately, both those matchups ended in defeat. Serena first lost to Angelique Kerber at the All England Club and then Naomi Osaka in the Big Apple.

Serena has since retired, while her two former opponents are still playing. Oddschecker makes Osaka a 14/1 contender for Wimbledon later this summer. The odds comparison site has plenty of offers on all the best tennis action, such as up to $200 in bonus money with DraftKings, and you can claim yours here. Serena may have passed on the crown, but she will always be the queen of women’s tennis.

Steffi Graf

With 22 Grand Slam singles titles, Steffi Graf’s career achievements are monumental. The German star is the only player, male or female, to achieve the “Golden Slam” – winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year, which she accomplished back in 1998.

She was nicknamed “Fraulein Forehand” thanks to her signature stroke that led her to the summit of the world rankings. Graf has spent a record 377 weeks as the world No. 1. As well as that, her rivalry with Monica Seles and later with Martina Hingis created some of the most memorable moments in women’s sports history.

Chris Evert

With 18 Grand Slam singles titles, Chris Evert was a dominant force in women’s tennis during the 1970s and 1980s. Known for her calm demeanor and precision, she earned the nickname “The Ice Maiden.” Her consistency and mental toughness set her apart. She holds the record for reaching the most Grand Slam finals with 34 and achieving the best winning percentage in singles matches with an eye-watering 89.97%.

Evert’s two-handed backhand became one of the most iconic shots in the game and her domestic rivalry with Martina Navratilova is considered one of the greatest of all time. They faced each other 80 times over the years, with their head-to-head record remarkably close. After retiring, Evert transitioned into a successful career as a television commentator and coach, and now, her insights continue to influence new generations of players.