British female tennis players have made a significant impact in 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, we will be looking at the top 10 British female tennis players of all time.
Top list 10 British Female Tennis Players
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 went on to have a successful career that spanned over two decades.
Wade’s biggest achievement was winning the Wimbledon singles title in 1977, which was also the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee. She 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 titles and 16 doubles titles during her career. 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 for the BBC as a commentator and presenter. She has covered numerous Wimbledon tournaments and is a regular presenter on the BBC’s coverage of the event.
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 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. She turned professional in 1975 and went on to have a successful career that spanned over a decade. Ruzici won the French Open singles title in 1978, defeating Mima Jaušovec in the final.
In addition to her Grand Slam success, Ruzici also won three WTA singles titles 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, at the age of 27, 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, at the age of 14, Robson won the Junior Wimbledon Championships, becoming the first British girl to win the title in 22 years.
Robson turned professional in 2008, and quickly made 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 of her singles rubbers, including a crucial victory over Agnieszka Radwanska in the final against Poland.
Watson has also had success 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 turned 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 semifinals of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. She also won her first WTA title at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. 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 she did 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 the age of 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. She became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam tournament, and the first British woman to win a Grand Slam 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 women 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 in the sport, 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 along the way. Whether it’s winning Grand Slam titles or representing their country in international competitions, these players have left a lasting impact on the sport of tennis.