10 Tennis Women’s Singles Players Ranked No. 1 in WTA History

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.


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Power to the Player: Tennis Players Who Challenged Calls More

Challenging a call is often a tough path to tackle. Good thing, there’s Hawk-Eye, the on-court computer replay system, to guide the umpire and linespeople to revert the call in their favour.

In an article published in the New York Times, a study suggests that tennis players should challenge “out” calls more than “in” calls because the probability of the officials erring an out than an in is high. 

Nonetheless, this should not count as bad refereeing. Instead, it has to do with the inherent bias of human perception of moving objects like the tennis balls.

Power to the tennis players

Based on statistics also, the lower-ranked tennis players who challenged a call are more often right compared with top players. 

This is empowering in the sense that the challenge rule gives the tennis players a voice and a chance to overturn the rule without resorting to violent reactions.

Before we proceed with the names of tennis players who challenged calls more, these are the things you need to know about challenging calls in tennis.

FAQs about the challenge system

What is a challenge in tennis?

Tennis has a challenge system wherein the player can disagree or question the call that the line judge made. 

How many challenges can a tennis player make?

Tennis players can use one challenge for each set. However, they are allowed up to three challenges per set regardless of the tournament especially when the challenges are unsuccessful. If the set had a tie-break, another challenge is provided to the players.

What happens when a tennis player challenged a call?

The player retains the same number of challenges if he or she is right. If the player is wrong, he or she will lose one challenge.

Best and worst challengers in tennis

In a 2009 study of the US Open, here are some of the best and worst challengers in tennis.

Men’s tennis

1) James Blake, 6 out of 11 right (55%)

2) Rafael Nadal, 4 out of 11 right (36%)

3) Novak Djokovic, 3 out of 10 right (30%)

4) Andy Murray, 5 out of 21 right (24%)

5) Roger Federer, 5 out of 28 right (18%)

Blake is the best challenger among the men’s tennis players who go 55% of his challenges right.

Federer is the worst challenger with only 18% of his challenges right and overturned to his side. On the side note, Federer never liked the challenge system especially the Hawk-Eye who he called “a menace” once.

Women’s tennis

1) Caroline Wozniacki, 4 out of 7 right (60%)

2) Elena Dementieva, 3 out of 5 right (60%)

3) Serena Williams, 2 out of 7 right (29%)

4) Jelena Jankovic, 6 out of 22 right (27%)

5) Sybille Bammer, 3 out of 12 right (25%)

Wozniacki and Dementieva are the best challengers in women’s tennis, who got their 60% of their challenges right.

Bammer is the worst challenger with only 25%.

Williams is not a good challenger but not a bad one either, with 29% of the calls she challenged was right.

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Have you seen a tennis play that warrants a challenge but the player did not call for it? Please let us know in the comment.

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3 Tennis Players to Retire in 2020

Is Roger Federer planning to retire from playing tennis in 2020?

The answer is indefinite. There are no reports or claims on whether Federer will retire in 2020. 

In lieu of that, tennis fans should be asking who will retire in 2020.

Here are the prominent names.

1) Carla Suarez Navarro

Navarro announced on December 3, 2019 that she will be retiring in 2020 after playing a full season. She shared the news during a press conference at the Barcino Tennis Club.

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player ranked career-high No. 6 in February 2016. Navarro played at the quarterfinals of the Australian thrice and French, and the US Opens twice.

Navarro said, “The sport has been a fundamental part of my life—it has given me immense joy and I cannot be more grateful for all the experiences that it has allowed me to live. … Tennis will always be in me.”

She has already won $11.58 million in career prize money.

2) Bryan brothers

The phenomenal doubles players are set to retire in 2020 as well. Bob and Mike announced their retirement last November following their US Open bid.

Dubbed as the most successful doubles partnership in the history of Open era, the Bryan brothers have a total of 118 trophies they won over 25 seasons of playing tennis. They have four Grand Slam titles and one Olympic gold medal.

From 2005 to 2017, the Bryan brothers were also awarded the fans’ Favourite Team at the ATP Tour. 

The twins turned 41 years old this year. They had a 1,102-358 record.

Moving forward

Federer faced serious challenges this 2019, two of which are Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic reclaimed the No. 1 spot and Nadal is closely trailing behind him.

Tennis analysts say that he would announce his retirement while or after playing at Roland Garros. Federer has been deliberately skipping the French Open despite being stronger at clay courts. 

His last match in Roland Garros was in 2015, against his perennial partner, Stan Wawrinka. This year, he sparked an interest in appearing in the clay courts once more.

Unfortunately, Federer was already feeling it as evident by big upsets on the initial rounds in the latter parts of 2019. He was finding difficulties maintaining the expected level of intensity from these rounds to the finals.

Unless he would win Grand Slam titles this year, the assumptions that 2020 is Federer’s last year of playing tennis won’t subside.

What about Serena Williams?

Or it should be Venus? She hasn’t won a Grand Slam, but she managed to win three matches on a major tournament. She lost four matches, though. She hasn’t appeared in the 50 since 2013.

Serena is, of course, a different story. In September, Serena claimed that she would retire from tennis in 20 years. 

Serena was having a hard time going back on track since she gave birth. But still, she has no plans of putting down her tennis racket—at least not anytime soon.

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We need your best guess. When do you think Roger Federer will retire from playing tennis? Let us know.