The Women’s Tennis Association introduced the year-end World Number 1 in 1975. America’s Chris Evert was the 1st female player to receive this honor. Since then many players have managed to perform well throughout the year and secure for themselves this honorable achievement. We look at 4 such players who finished the World Number 1 most of the times in the Open Era.
4. Chris Evert
This great player fondly known as Little Miss America is the holder of 18 Grand Slams. Evert is regarded as the greatest female Clay Court player of all time with 7 French Open titles to her name as well as winning the US Open on Clay at 3 occasions in her illustrious career.
The gritty American was the 1st WTA player to be crowned yearend World Number 1 in 1975. She finished with this honor 5 times in her career, which puts her at the 4th place in the all time list.
This younger Williams sibling remains in hunt for most female Grand Slam titles. Currently, Serena at 23 Slams is just 1 shy on Margaret Court’s record of 24. Serena has so far finished the year-end World Number 1 five times in her career.
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The American star finished year-end Number 1 for the 1st time in 2002 and then for 5th time in 2015, a record gap between the two accomplishments. Serena still is a top 10 player and has a chance to extent her record to a 6th time before she calls it a day and hangs her racquet.
The Czech born American turned player was the winner of 18 Singles Grand Slam titles in her career. During this period she finished as the year-end World Number 1 for 7 times. Navratilova’s 7th year-end finish came in 1986 and her record lasted for a decade before being broken by Steffi Graf in 1996.
Martina was not only a great singles player but also a renowned doubles and mixed doubles player. Her total titles still remain a record in Women’s tennis and so do her 9 titles at Wimbledon. Navratilova in regarded as the greatest female Grass Court player ever to play tennis.
1. Steffi Graf
Graf is regarded as one of the Greatest Athletes Germany ever produced and certainly as the Greatest German tennis player of all time. Steffi has 22 Slams to her name before she retired from tennis. She still remains the only player to have won at least 4 titles at every slam. Steffi’s 1988 Golden Slam also remains an achievement never again repeated in tennis.
Graf holds a record of 8 year-end World Number 1 finishes. This is the maximum by any tennis player, male or female. Graf’s record is unlikely to be broke soon by any male or female tennis player looking at the current statistics.