British female tennis players have significantly impacted the sport of tennis over the years. From winning Grand Slam titles to representing their country in international competitions, these players have inspired many to pursue their passion for tennis. In this article, Pro Tennis News will look at the top 10 female British tennis players.
Top list 10 British Female Tennis Players
Over several decades, the roster of renowned British tennis athletes has witnessed a continuous and remarkable growth. As you embark on your journey to explore the realm of English female tennis players, it becomes essential to acquaint yourself with the notable figures who have left an indelible mark in the sport.
1. Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade is a British tennis legend who achieved numerous feats throughout her career. Born on July 10, 1945, in Bournemouth, England, she was a trailblazer for female tennis players in the United Kingdom. Wade turned professional in 1968 and had a successful career that spanned over two decades.
Wade’s biggest achievement was winning the Wimbledon singles title in 1977, also the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. Wade also won three Grand Slam doubles titles and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Wade achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 in singles and No. 1 in doubles.
2 Ann Haydon-Jones
Ann Haydon-Jones is a retired British tennis player who played during the 1960s and 1970s. Born on October 7, 1938, in Birmingham, England, she was known for her all-court game and versatility. Haydon-Jones won three Grand Slam singles titles, including the French Open in 1961 and Wimbledon in 1969 and 1970.
In addition to her singles success, Haydon-Jones also won three Grand Slam doubles titles and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She achieved a career-high ranking of No. 3 in singles and No. 1 in doubles.
3. Sue Barker
Sue Barker is a former British tennis player who had a successful career in the 1970s and 1980s. Born on April 19, 1956, in Paignton, England, Barker won 15 singles and 16 doubles titles. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 in singles and No. 2 in doubles.
After retiring from tennis, Barker became a successful broadcaster, working as a commentator and presenter for the BBC. She has covered numerous Wimbledon tournaments and regularly presented on the BBC’s event coverage.
4. Jo Durie
Jo Durie is a former British tennis player who played during the 1980s and 1990s. Born on July 27, 1960, in Bristol, England, Durie was known for her versatility and ability to play on all surfaces. She reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1983 and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 5 in singles and No. 7 in doubles.
Durie, one of the English female tennis players, won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles and reached the quarterfinals of the US Open and Australian Open in singles. She retired from professional tennis in 1995 and now works as a commentator and coach.
5. Virginia Ruzici
Virginia Ruzici is a retired British tennis player who was born in Romania. Ruzici turned professional in 1975 and had a successful career that spanned over a decade. Ruzici won the French Open singles title 1978, defeating Mima Jaušovec in the final.
In addition to her Grand Slam success, Ruzici won three WTA singles and six doubles titles. She achieved a career-high ranking of No. 8 in singles and No. 11 in doubles.
6. Samantha Smith
Samantha Smith, born on November 2, 1969, in Keighley, West Yorkshire, is a former British tennis player. She turned professional in 1988, at the age of 18. However, Smith didn’t have a breakthrough year until 1996, when she reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, beating high-ranked players such as Conchita Martinez and Barbara Paulus.
Smith’s success at Wimbledon was not a fluke, as she reached the fourth round of the US Open later that year. Her success continued in 1997, when she reached her career-high singles ranking of World No. 68. In 1998, Smith won her first WTA singles title in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Throughout her career, Smith had a reputation for being a tough and determined player, known for her powerful forehand and net play. She retired from professional tennis in 2001, at the age of 31.
7. Laura Robson
Laura Robson was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1994, but moved to the UK with her family when she was six years old. She began playing tennis at a young age, and by the time she was 14, she had already won the Junior Wimbledon Championships. In 2008, Robson won the Junior Wimbledon Championships, becoming the first British girl to win the title in 22 years.
Robson turned professional in 2008, quickly making a name for herself on the WTA Tour. In 2012, she reached a career-high ranking of world No. 27, and became the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1990 to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon. Despite her early success, Robson has struggled with injuries throughout her career, and has not played on the WTA Tour since 2019.
8. Heather Watson
Heather Watson was born in Guernsey in 1992, and began playing tennis at the age of seven. In 2009, she turned professional, and quickly rose through the ranks of the WTA Tour. Watson has had an impressive career, winning four singles titles and 23 doubles titles.
One of Watson’s most memorable moments came at the 2015 Fed Cup, where she led Great Britain to their first Fed Cup victory in 26 years. Watson won all four singles rubbers, including a crucial victory over Agnieszka Radwanska in the final against Poland.
Watson has also succeeded in doubles, winning the mixed doubles title at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro alongside Andy Murray.
9. Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta was born in Sydney, Australia in 1991, but became a British citizen in 2012. She began playing tennis at a young age and became professional in 2008. Konta had a slow start to her career, but began to make her mark on the WTA Tour in 2015.
In 2016, Konta had a breakthrough year, reaching the Australian Open semifinals and Wimbledon quarterfinals. Konta also won her first WTA title at Stanford’s Bank of the West Classic. In 2017, Konta reached a career-high ranking of world No. 4, becoming the first British woman to reach the top 10 since Jo Durie in 1984.
Despite her early success, Konta has struggled with consistency in recent years, and has not reached the same heights as in 2016 and 2017.
10. Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu was born in Toronto, Canada in 2002, and raised in London, England. She began playing tennis at age five, and quickly showed a talent for the sport. In 2018, Raducanu won the girls’ singles title at the ITF World Tennis Tour W25 in Pune, India.
Raducanu burst onto the scene in 2021, when she entered the US Open as a wild card and won the tournament without dropping a single set. Raducanu became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam tournament, and the first British woman to win a singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Raducanu’s win at the US Open propelled her to stardom, and she is now considered one of the most promising young talents in tennis.
Related: Famous French Female Tennis Players
Other British Female Tennis Players
- Harriet Dart
- Francesca Jones
- Anne Keothavong
- Dorothea Douglass
- Lambert Chambers
- Katie Boulter
- Annabel Croft
- Ann Jones
- Elena Baltacha
British female tennis players have a rich history of success, from early pioneers like Dorothea Lambert Chambers and Virginia Wade to modern-day stars like Emma Raducanu. These women have overcome obstacles and broken down barriers to achieve their dreams, inspiring a new generation of players. Whether winning Grand Slam titles or representing their country in international competitions, these players have impacted tennis.