Wimbledon began as a Men's Single tennis tournament in the year 1877, with mere 22 players, at the All England Club. The introduction of women tennis in the championship came seven years later, in 1884. Now, out of the five major events of Wimbledon, three championships, namely Ladies' Singles, Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles, involve women. Hundreds of women players have participated in the Wimbledon championships till date. Amongst these women tennis players, some have been forgotten long ago, while some came to be regarded as champions. Even amongst the champions, most of the Wimbledon women players became few matches wonder, while a few emerged as the golden girls of the game and wrote a new history. Here is a brief account of these Wimbledon women legends.
Great Women Players In Wimbledon Championship
Helen Wills Moody
Helen Wills Moody is one of the few pre-war era women players who represented USA in Wimbledon. Helen was a magic on courts and was simply invincible. During her golden phase of 1927 and 1932, forget about losing a match, she did not even lose a set. She has a record of winning five Wimbledon, four US and four French titles. After her retirement from international tennis, she emerged as a popular writer and painter.
Singles Champion: 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938
Doubles Champion: 1924, 1927, 1930
Mixed Doubles Champion: 1929
Suzanne Lenglen is one of the earliest women to participate in the tennis championships. She is referred to by many tennis lovers as the Goddess of Tennis. Though Lenglen started playing tennis to develop endurance to over come her ill heath, she emerged as a sports goddess in terms of game play as well as style. Finally, she emerged as a tennis player who won 31 Grand Slam titles, between 1914 and 1926. Out of her 31 Grand Slam titles, she won six Wimbledon and remained invincible on the court.
Singles Champion: 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925
Doubles Champion: 1919, 1920. 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925
Mixed Doubles Champion: 1920, 1922, 1925
One of the very first legendary names in the Women championship would be of Margaret Court of Australia. Her kind of play and the number of trophies gathered by her remain unequalled till now, even after her retirement from international tennis in 1975. This beautiful lady was the winner of 62 Grand Slam titles in all, including 24 singles, 19 doubles, and 19 mixed doubles titles. She was almost unconquerable on the grass courts.
Singles Champion: 1963, 1965, 1970
Singles Runner-up: 1964, 1971
Doubles Champion: 1964, 1969
Doubles Runner-up: 1961, 1963, 1966, 1971
Mixed Doubles Champion: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1975
Mixed Double Runner-up: 1964, 1971
Chris Evert is another name that you can't ignore when you are discussing Wimbledon women legends. Chris Evert made her debut in the Wimbledon in 1972, representing USA. She played ten Wimbledon finals in her career of about 17 years and won three of them. Within three years of her debut, this beautiful lady claimed a Wimbledon trophy.
Singles Champion: 1974, 1976, 1981
Singles Runner-up: 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985,
Doubles Champion: 1976
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King, another marvelous player from USA, debuted in the international tennis world in 1959, at the US Open. She is recognized as the most dynamic and inexhaustible player of the women tennis world. She is known for her aggressive, hard-hitting net-rusher style with excellent speed. King created a dynamic revolution in the tennis world, when she stood against sexism in sports. In order to prove her mettle, she defeated Bobby Riggs, a former men Wimbledon champion in three straight sets, at the Houston Astrodome, in September 1973. She is the winner of 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.
Singles Champion: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975
Singles Runner-up: 1963, 1969, 1970
Doubles Champion: 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1979
Doubles Runner-up: 1964, 1976
Mixed Doubles Champion: 1967, 1971, 1973, 1974
Mixed Doubles Runner-up: 1966, 1978, 1983
Martina Navaratilova was the finest woman player of the women tennis ever. She was a Czech by birth, but settled in USA. She started her professional tennis career in 1975, at the age of 16, and ruled the women tennis arena for almost three decades. She was on a winning spree throughout her career, gathering 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women's doubles titles and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She reached the final of the women singles in Wimbledon for 9 consecutive years, from 1982 to 1990. She shares the record of winning 20 Wimbledon titles, an all-time record, with Billie Jean King.
Singles Champion: 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990
Singles Runner-up: 1988, 1989, 1994
Doubles Champion: 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
Doubles Runner-up:1977, 1985
Mixed Doubles Champion: 1985, 1993, 1995, 2003
Mixed Doubles Runner-up: 1986
Stefanie Maria Graf, popularly known as Steffi Graff, was an exceptional tennis player from Germany, who enjoyed an excellent career as a tennis player, for about 17 years. She debuted in professional tennis in 1982 and till her retirement, in 1999, secured herself Wimbledon Singles crown 7 times and even won a Golden Grand Slam in 1988. Graf won herself 22 Grand Slam singles titles, only to be a step less than Margaret Court, who won 24. She is also the only tennis player to win all the four Grand Slam singles tournaments at least four times each. She remained world No. 1 for a record 377 weeks and formed an iconic record for herself.
Singles Champion: 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996
Singles Runner-up: 1987, 1999
Doubles Champion: 1988
Some golden girls of tennis have turned up as Wimbledon women legends of today. Explore the great women players of Wimbledon Championship.