5 of the Greatest Women’s Tennis Rivalries of the Last Decade

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova’s rivalry is considered the mother of all women’s tennis rivalries of all time. But their time has ended, and one of these modern rivalries are worth every spectator’s pondering.

Although women’s tennis is awaiting the next age of rivalries, time and again, rivalries (of epic proportions) happen on and off-court.

Below are the greatest women’s tennis rivalries of the last ten years.

Kim Clijsters vs Justine Henin

Both Belgians, Clijsters and Henin had 25 overall meetings with the former winning 13 of them. However, Henin won three out of three of their Grand Slam matches–French Open, US Open, and Australian Open.

Clijsters, on the other hand, prevailed at their last three matches – at the Brisbane International, Miami Open, and at Wimbledon – to end their rivalry in 2010. Clijsters won these matches in just three sets. Henin has 7 Grand Slam titles while Clijsters has 4.

Serena Williams vs Martina Sharapova

Williams and Sharapova are each other’s archnemesis. They met 21 times, but Williams prevailed over and over, winning 19 of these games. On the other hand, Sharapova defeated Williams twice in 2004 including her phenomenal Grand Slam finals win when she was only 17 years old. She became the third-youngest Wimbledon champion. 

Since 2007, Sharapova has not defeated Williams. Of all the sets they’ve played, Williams won 34 out of 36. Williams leads the rivalry with 19 against Sharapova’s two wins.

Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka

Williams may have the advantage over Azarenka, a Belarussian, with a 17 to 3 advantage. Nevertheless, Azarenka is one of the few tennis players who can push Williams to the edge.

Since 2008, they met up to 23 times with Williams prevailing in 19 of these games. Their 2012 US Open game was considered a classic. Although Williams dominated the match with a three-sets straight win, their style is competitive and compelling. In 2016 Indian Wells Masters, Azarenka won over Williams with a two-sets straight win.

Serena Williams vs Venus Williams

A sibling rivalry in tennis is rare, but Serena and Venus proved that one has won out over the other. The younger Williams met with her sister for a total of 29 head-to-head games throughout their career. Serena dominates the stats, cupping 23 Grand Slam singles titles compared with Venus’s 7.

At the start, Venus was ahead of Serena wherein she won their first three head-to-head and 2001 US Open Grand Slam final meetings. Venus won again against Serena in 2008 Wimbledon, and that’s it. The rest was Serena’s wins onward an impressive 23 titles, although both were ranked #1 in different times.

Simona Halep vs Serena Williams

Although criticised for targeting three sets when they should be playing five, Halep chose to end the match with just two sets against Williams. In 2015, it was a predicted rivalry, when Williams was already #1 and Halep, #3, that only happened in 2019.

Since 2011, they met 11 times head-to-head, but Halep won over just three of these matches. The 2015 Miami Open semifinals, where Williams prevailed over Halep in three sets, fueled the rivalry while earning the top seed’s respect of how she plays her game.

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