Top 5 Women’s Clay Court Players
Unlike the top clay-court players of all time on the men’s side, the women’s side of great clay-court players of all time has Americans. American women just seem to win on the stuff! It’s interesting that historically, there has been no such thing as a clay-court specialist on the women’s side, whereas the term has been very common on the men’s side. On the women’s side, it’s been common for the greatest players on clay to also be great players on grass and hard courts. The best women’s players seem to be a bit more well-rounded. That being said, let’s take a look at my top five women’s clay-court players of all time.
5. Monica Seles
With three French Open titles to her name, Seles broke into the scene in 1990 by winning the French Open in style, defeating Stefi Graff in straight sets. Seles would go on to threepeat. Winning the French Open in 1991 and 1992. Unfortunately for Seles, she would suffer her stabbing accident in Germany on the run-up to the 1993 French Open. She would come back in 1995 but never be the same.
4. Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario
Sanchez-Vicario would win her maiden French Open in 1989, and then continue to establish her prowess on the red dirt by winning in 1994 and 1998. Sanchez was extremely successful at the French Open, making an additional three finals appearances to go with her four semifinals appearances in the 90s. From 1989 to 2000, if you wanted to win the French Open, you had to go through Sanchez-Vicario.
3. Justine Henin
Justine Henin ruled the 2000s on clay with her imaginative one-handed backhand. Her heavy strokes on both wings allowed her to push opponents back and dictate every point. She was especially deadly on the red clay, where she would go on to win in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007. She would win every French Open final she contested, sending quality opponents like Clijsters, Ivanovic, and Kuznetsova packing.
2. Steffi Graf
Arguably the greatest women’s player of all time, Steffi captured six French Open titles. Of note, her 1988 French Open title was part of her Calendar Grand Slam. Steffi captured her first French Open title in 1987 and her last in 1999. It doesn’t get any more consistent than that.
1. Chris Evert
The Queen of the Clay now and forever will always be Chris Evert. Evert was a fighter who never gave up and never gave any free points. She was most at home on the clay where her cerebral and consistent style was well suited for the surface. She would capture a total of seven titles French Open titles during her career and forever be considered the Queen of Clay.
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