Evonne Goolagong of Australia may have been the most graceful of all women's players. She seemed to float across the court and get surprising power into her shots. She played during the Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert era, and held her own with seven Grand Slam titles. She won Wimbledon in 1980 after giving birth to her daughter in 1977. She never won the U.S. Open but she reached the final from 1973 through 1976.
t's unlikely that any women's tennis player ever got more out of a small body than the Belgian Justine Henin. She was only 5-6, but she played a commanding game that included a powerful one-handed backhand. She won seven Grand Slams titles, but never could quite grasp the Wimbledon trophy. There was never a doubt that Henin would give anyone a tough time.
Serena Williams' older sister, Venus, certainly set a championship example and remarkably made the Australian Open final this year where she lost to sister Serena. She won seven Grand Slam titles with a big serve and swooping groundstrokes, and if not for the success of her younger sister, she doubtless would have won more. Venus, at 36, has battled through injuries and has to deal with an energy-sapping condition known as Sjogren's syndrome. She won five Wimbledon titles and when healthy might have been the best grass court player of all time. She also won two U.S. Opens.
BILLIE JEAN KING
There is no question that Billie Jean King was a great player, with 12 Grand Slam titles to her credit, including six at Wimbledon from 1966 to 1975. She was a charging player who wasn't afraid to serve and volley. Just as important, she wasn't afraid to stand up for women's rights in the sports world, where she became highly influential in the fight to get women paid as well as men and to have their game respected.
and unrelenting determination, and you have the most dominant women's player ever. With her victory over sister Venus in the Australian Open final early Saturday, she now has 23 Grand Slam titles in the Open era, breaking a tie with Steffi Graf for the most of all time. She also accomplished the Serena Slam of 2002-2003 when she won, in order, the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open. Williams also has battled through illness and injuries that looked to derail her career. But at age 35 she's still going strong.