Wimbledon memories: the best players of the women’s singles, from the beginning to Serena Williams. For the third time in history, the tournament was canceled, but at the All England Club, we have lived unforgettable tennis moments and great records.
In the beginning, it was the two World Wars that marred the tournament, this year the global pandemic forced the Church Road board to cancel the event. Thanks to insurance taken out in 2003 against pandemics, however, Wimbledon will not suffer economic damage.
From the first edition of 1884 until 1914, there was a British domain, with many stars that, at the turn of the 1800s and 1900s, began to write the history of women’s singles. Among them Lottie Dod (1887, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1893), Blanche Bingley (1886, 1889, 1894, 1897, 1899, 1900), Charlotte Cooper (1895, 1896, 1898, 1901, 1901, 1908) and Dorothea Douglass (1904 , 1906, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914).
After the First World War, the era of La Divine Suzanne Lenglen began, which dominated both Wimbledon and Roland Garros. In London, the Frenchwoman won five consecutive titles (from 1919 to 1923) plus the sixth title in 1925.
She was the first real-world star of women’s tennis, which influenced both the way she played and women’s fashion in sport. Subsequent to Lenglen were the American players who wrote the story at the All England Club between 1927 and 1958.
Helen Wills Moody was one of the greatest American tennis players ever. At the Championships she won in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932,1933, 1935 and 1938. Louise Brough (1948, 1949, 1950 and 1955), Maureen Connolly (1952, 1953, 1954) and Althea Gibson (1957 and 1958 ) were the heirs of Wills Moody.
Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams’ domains
Maria Bueno was another of the great interpreters of tennis on grass-courts and in London, she won in 1959, 1960 and 1964. The following years marked the great rivalry between Margaret Smith and Billie Jean King.
Between the two was the American to win more titles in London (1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975). During this rivalry, a young Chris Evert also got three wins, but the late 1970s and 1980s were dominated by Martina Navratilova, record-woman at Wimbledon with nine titles won in three different decades (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990).
Navratilova’s record is still unbeaten and could hold out for many more years. Steffi Graf was the icon of women’s tennis in the 1990s, and she won seven titles on the London lawns (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996).
The late 90s and the beginning of the new millennium saw the great triumphs of Serena and Venus Williams. Serena, winner of the title for seven times (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) is looking for the 24 Major, which allows her to reach the absolute record of Margaret Smith.
Will she make it this year? Venus, with five titles (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008), was the protagonist of all the early 2000s. A 17-year-old Maria Sharapova stunned the world in 2004, establishing herself as one of the biggest women’s tennis stars in the world of all-time.
Petra Kvitova could have obtained more than the two titles won. Instead, to finish, will Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep won the last two editions both against Serena Williams. This year we should be content to relive the best moments, the best matches, the statistics, the curiosities and much other news about the Championships: but our mind goes already to 2021, with the hope of returning to live the emotions that only Wimbledon can to guarantee.