Tennis is one of the most popular sports around the world. Large tournaments like Wimbledon or the US Open, in particular, are steeped in history and have helped launch tennis to the top of sports streaming trends with fans watching from home.
With so many notable names in the world of tennis, it is a difficult task to single out only a few.
Graf is a former German tennis player currently residing in Nevada, US. Her father was an aspiring coach who introduced her to tennis at an early age. Very soon, Graf started winning junior tournaments. During her 17-year professional career, she won 107 carer titles and 22 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1988, Graf won all four Grand Slam singles and an Olympic gold medal, a feat that became known as the “Golden slam.” She was known for her speed, elegance, and powerful forehand on the Court. Since her retirement in 1999, Graf has strived to remain out of the public spotlight. In 2001, she married Andre Agassi, and the couple has engaged in humanitarian work.
Famous for her physical prowess and competitiveness, Navratilova is a former Czech-American player. She dominated women’s tennis from the second half of the 1970s up to her retirement in 1995 with her attacking serve and volley. With nine titles, Navratilova holds the record for the most Wimbledon tournaments won. Apart from that, she won 59 Grand Slam titles in total, 18 of which were major singles. The pro player advanced her game by adhering to a cross-training regimen, improving her speed and skill. Besides her impressive athleticism, Navratilova also wrote an autobiography, a tennis instruction guide, health and fitness book, and a thriller trilogy.
Margaret Smith Court
The Australian former professional player holds 24 Grand Slam singles titles, an all-time record. Additionally, she collected 19 doubles and 19 mixed doubles titles. She also acquired a record 192 career titles. Court turned pro in 1960 and retired in 1977. Due to her remarkable strength and height advantage, Court was a formidable opponent to any player. Court obtained theological qualifications and was ordained as a Pentecostal minister. She founded a Pentecostal church and still serves there as a senior pastor.
One of the biggest names in the world of tennis, the American tennis professional is known for her incredibly powerful style of play. Ever since childhood, their parents encouraged both Serena and her sister Venus to play tennis. Serena turned pro in 1995, a year after her sister. The pair won 14 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles together. Serena also acquired 73 career titles in her illustrious career and won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any other player in the Open Era. She holds four Olympic gold medals, three of them in doubles. After a nearly three-decades-long career, Williams announced her retirement ahead of the 2022 US Open championship. She bid her farewell to tennis after the final match of her career. Outside of tennis, Serena is a philanthropist and has her own clothing line.
Tennis has produced many icons. Remarkable players not only influence viewership and overall popularity of the sport but have the power to inspire others to pick up a tennis racquet. With new rising stars appearing every year, we are bound to witness many more exceptional players in the future.