Computer rankings, which dramatically changed the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), started on November 3, 1975. Here are the women who have held the most coveted ranking as WTA’s No. 1.
1) Steffi Graf
Graf holds the record for holding the No. 1 position for 377 weeks. She has been a top player for 186 consecutive weeks. Graf first appeared in the ranking on August 17, 1987.
2) Martina Navratilova
Navratilova came in second place with 332 weeks at No. 1 position with 156 consecutive weeks on it. She first appeared as the No. 1 singles tennis player on July 10, 1978.
3) Serena Williams
Williams holds the position for 319 weeks, tying with Graf for the number of consecutive weeks at No. 1 – 186. She appeared on the ranking on July 8, 2002. Five months earlier, on February 25, 2002, her older sister, Venus, also held the No. 1 position. Since Williams is still active, there’s a high chance she would beat both Navratilova and Graf’s records.
4) Chris Evert
Evert spent 260 weeks at the No. 1 position with 113 consecutive weeks at it. She was the first woman to receive the ranking. She and Navratilova dominated the No. 1 position in the next ten years (until 1985) simultaneously. The only two other names to appear as No. 1 players were Evonne Goolagong (1976) and Tracy Austin (1980).
5) Martina Hingis
Hingis held the No. 1 ranking for 260 weeks. She had it under her belt for 80 consecutive weeks, appearing on the list for the first time on March 31, 1997.
6) Monica Seles
Seles is another legend who was ranked No. 1 for a total of 178 weeks. Debuting on the list on March 11, 1991, she appeared at No. 1 for 91 consecutive weeks.
7) Justine Henin
Henin has her name on the No. 1 ranking for 117 weeks starting October 26, 2003 up to May 18, 2008. She ranked No. 1 for 61 consecutive weeks.
8) Lindsay Davenport
Davenport is the eighth with 98 weeks on No. 1 position. She first held the position on October 12, 1998, and sporadically appeared until January 13, 2002. The next two years have been bleak. She appeared three times again as the No. 1 player on October 18, 2004, August 29 and October 24, 2005.
9) Caroline Wozniacki
Wozniacki was ranked No. 1 for 71 weeks. She appeared at least three times since October 11, 2010. The longest she was on the top was 49 consecutive weeks from February 21, 2011 to January 29, 2012. She held the No. 1 position once more on January 29, 2018, for four weeks.
10) Simona Halep
Halep first appeared as the No. 1 woman tennis player on October 9, 2017. She appeared on the ranking for a total of 64 weeks. The longest was 48 consecutive weeks from February 26, 2018 to January 27, 2019, when Naomi Osaka took over the No. 1 position. After her first Wimbledon championship in 2019, Halep’s rankings and records would definitely increase in the coming seasons.