#1 Players

Since its inception in 1973, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has awarded 20 World No. 1 superstars. A summary is shown below outlining their names along with the number of weeks a player has stayed as the world’s best in the female tennis arena.

Player’s Name

Number of Weeks at no. 1

Steffi Graf

377

Martina Navratilova

332

Chris Evert

260

Martina Hingis

209

Monica Seles

178

Serena Williams

169

Justine Henin

117

Lindsay Davenport

98

Caroline Wozniacki

67

Victoria Azarenka

51

Amelie Mauresmo

39

Dinara Safina

27

Tracy Austin

21

Maria Sharapova

21

Kim Clijsters

20

Jelena Jankovic

18

Jennifer Capriati

17

Ana Ivanovic

12

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario

12

Venus Williams

11

Now let’s take a look at some highlights.

Steffi Graf comes out as all time World No. 1 with a whooping 377 weeks at top spot. She also grabs the same rank in terms of the number of consecutive weeks as World No. 1. Imagine staying at top without being dethroned for a total of 186 successive weeks. Graf hails from Germany and was the face of women’s tennis around 1987 to 1996. She started her professional tennis career in 1982 and retired in 1999.

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Not too far behind is Martina Navratilova. Bagging 332 total weeks at No. 1, she has safely secured the number 2 spot before retiring sometime between 1994 and 1999. She started her career in 1975 and started hitting no. 1 in 1978. This went on and off up through 1985. Navratilova was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and is a left-handed player.

The first ever World No.1 under the WTA was Chris Evert. Although her 260 weeks at no. 1 only puts her on the 3rd spot (all-time). After turning pro in 1975, she pretty much stayed WTA’s no. 1 until 1985. 4 years later, in 1989, she retired. Evert was born in Fort Lauderdale and was the proud image of tennis in the United States for that 13-year period.

The other 17 players also showed remarkable accomplishment including the current World No. 1 – Serena Williams. She has stayed at number from ranking week Feb 18, 2013 up to present (as of December 9, 2013) and currently ranks all-time 6th with 169 total weeks at no. 1.

The WTA was created in 1973 by Billie Jean King. Its operations revolve around the WTA Tour – a professional tennis tour for women across the globe. It was made to replace the Virginia Tour Circuit, founded by Gladys Heldman in 1970.

© 2013 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Information and Statistics