Tennis is a widely known sport all over the world, and the USA has many great women who showcase their skills on the global stage in professional tennis. Some of these professional players have achieved numerous titles in many different tournaments, both singles and doubles, establishing themselves as greats in the sport.
Some are still in the earlier years of their careers and are finding their stars rising year after year. Let’s look at 10 great female tennis athletes who are the pride of the United States.
- Serena Williams
- Venus Williams
- Sloane Stephens
- Madison Keys
- Danielle Collins
- Sofia Kenin
- Alison Riske
- Bernarda Pera
- Madison Brengle
- Taylor Townsend
Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player, born on September 26, 1981, in Los Angeles. At an early age, Serena was coached by her father Richard, who aimed to make her and her older sister Venus successful in tennis.
Serena is widely considered to be one of the best tennis players of all time, with her career taking off after her 1999 US Open win at the age of 18.
In singles tennis to date, she has won 73 career titles and 23 Grand Slam titles. In doubles and mixed doubles tennis, she has earned 23 career titles and 19 Grand Slam titles. She has won seven Australian Open championships, seven Wimbledon championships, and six US Open championships in her career.
She has also won four Olympic gold medals. Her gold medal win in 2012 completed her Golden Slam, (winning four championship titles and an Olympic gold medal), making her the fourth player to do so.
Venus Williams is a professional tennis player who was born in California on June 17, 1980, the elder sister of Serena Williams. As the two sisters advanced through the age groups, they won several US tennis tournaments.
When she was just 14, Venus turned professional. In 1997, she became the first quarterfinals player to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era, at the US Open. Venus received the first of her own Grand Slam titles the next year, coming out on top at Wimbledon and then at the US Open.
Williams’ records consist of 49 WTA singles titles. She has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles. She is also one of only two active WTA players in all four Grand Slams to have reached the finals.
Sloane Stephens is a professional tennis player from California, born March 20, 1993. Stephens trained at a tennis academy in Florida and became a promising junior player, earning a world No. 5 career-high International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior ranking. She won three out of four doubles titles for Grand Slam girls in 2010 with her partner Tímea Babos.
Then 19-year-old Stephens soared to fame at the 2013 Australian Open with a semifinal run marked by an upset of then-world No. 3 Serena Williams. By the end of that year, she managed to climb No. 11, but later reverted and steadily ranked outside the top 25 until the end of 2015.
In the middle of 2017, she returned from injury to capture her first Grand Slam singles title back at the US Open in just her fifth tournament. For her successful season, she was also named the WTA Comeback Player of the Year.
Stephens continued her success in 2018. She won her first Miami Open Premier Mandatory title and completed a second French Open Grand Slam singles final. She also joined the top 10 for the first time and became runner-up in the WTA Finals.
Madison Keys is an American professional tennis player born in 1995 in Illinois. She moved to Florida to train at the Evert Tennis Academy. Her coaches saw her as a prodigy and felt she had a fair chance of winning a major championship.
On her 14th birthday, Keys went pro. Then, she soon displayed her talent by becoming one of the youngest players to win a match at the WTA Tour-level a few months later. In October 2016, she reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 in the world.
Since early 2015, Keys has been regularly ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in the top 25. At the 2017 US Open, she has played in one Grand Slam tournament final. She participated in the 2016 WTA Finals and was also a semifinalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Keys achievements also include winning five WTA tournaments, all at the Premier level. She received her biggest title at a Premier 5 even in the 2019 Cincinnati Open.
Danielle Rose Collins was born on December 13, 1993. At the University of Virginia, she played college tennis. She achieved the NCAA singles championship twice between her sophomore and senior years, in 2014 and 2016.
In 2016, Collins finished her career at Virginia with a title of a top-ranked collegiate player. When she reached the semifinals of the 2018 Miami Open as a qualifier, she established her place on the WTA Tour.
Collins’ breakthrough was at the 2019 Australian Open. She reached the semifinals, beating world No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the fourth round. She was a quarterfinalist at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships in doubles, and in singles at the 2020 French Open.
Collins has won four ITF singles titles and one WTA 125K. On January 28, 2019, she achieved a career-high world ranking of No. 23 in singles.
Sofia Anna Kenin, born November 14, 1998, is the current top-ranked American tennis player in women’s singles. She is the reigning WTA Player of the Year owing to her win at the 2020 Australian Open and runner-up finish at the 2020 French Open.
As a teenager, Kenin made her debut on the professional tour in the top 100 of the 2018 WTA rankings. In 2019, she won her first three titles and ended the year on the verge of the top 10.
With her win at the 2020 Australian Open, Kenin became the youngest American to win a Grand Slam women’s singles championship since Serena Williams in 2002.
Kenin has won a total of five WTA singles championships. She has also won two WTA doubles titles, including the 2019 China Open with Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Premier Mandatory level.
Alison Riske achieved her career-high singles ranking of world No. 18 in 2019. Born in Pittsburgh on July 3, 1990, Riske now lives in Atlanta. She went pro in 2009.
She won her first WTA Tour title at the Tianjin Open in 2014. On the ITF Women’s Circuit, she won two WTA singles championships, nine singles titles, and one doubles title.
Her best singles results at Grand Slam tournaments include reaching the US Open‘s fourth round in 2013, the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2019, and the Australian Open’s fourth round in 2020.
Her doubles career includes a semi-finals appearance with Jennifer Bardy at the 2019 Australian Open and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 40 with Gabriela Dabrowski at the 2020 US Open quarterfinals.
Bernarda Pera is an American tennis player who was born in Croatia on December 3, 1994. At the 2014 US Open, she made her WTA Tour debut, having won a wildcard in the doubles tournament with Tornado Alicia Black.
Today she has 9 ITF career titles in singles, and 8 ITF titles in doubles.
At the 2018 Australian Open, she made her Grand Slam singles main-draw debut, making it to the third round.
Madison Brengle’s greatest performance came in early 2015. She reached her first WTA Tour final in January, then she made it to a fourth-round Grand-Slam at the Australian Open. Her singles ranking achieved a career-best of No. 35 worldwide in May.
Her best win so far was over world No. 2 ranked, Serena Williams, in 2017. She won one singles title for the WTA 125K series, 15 singles titles for the ITF, and seven doubles titles for the ITF. She placed fourth in the world in juniors in August 2007.
Brengle then worked with the ITF Women’s Circuit for years but failed to enter as a qualifier for the pre-tournament throughout 24 consecutive majors between 2008 and 2014.
This ended when she won a wild card for her first major match-win at the 2014 US Open main draw. For the first time, her ranking quickly rose into the top 100.
Taylor Townsend is an American professional tennis player from Chicago, born in 1996. She began playing tennis when she was six years old. She was also included in the first junior players to join the XS Tennis program by Kamau Murray.
In July 2018, she gained a career-best WTA ranking of No. 61. In 2012, she was named the ITF Junior World Champion for finishing the year No. 1 in the junior rankings for girls. This made her the first American since 1982 to do so.
She took the Australian Open junior titles in both singles and doubles that year, and three out of four junior Grand Slam doubles titles.
These female tennis athletes are considered the top, must-watch tennis players of today and are the pride of the USA.
As some of the greatest players of all time, like the Williams sisters, begin to age beyond their glory days, some of these women athletes are making big strides toward becoming tennis’s modern-day powerhouses.