Wimbledon Nostalgia: 10 Greatest Female Champions | In Pictures

From 31-time Grand Slam Champion Helen Wills Moody, to Steffi Graf to Serena Williams - pictures of Wimbledon’s best.

Updated29 Jun 2015, 05:21 PM IST
Photos
3 min read

At Wimbledon, Serena Williams is often at her best. And this year she has a chance to win a third major title of 2015, taking her ever closer to becoming the fourth woman to win a calendar Grand Slam.

Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf are the only three to achieve the feat in the same season.

Williams has won the Venus Rosewater Dish five times, but only once in the last four years. The famous shield was first presented in 1886, two years after Maud Watson became the first women’s singles champion.

The first foreign success came in 1905 when May Sutton of the United States defeated defending champion Dorothea Douglass.

In this July 5, 1952 file photo, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly holds her trophy after winning the final in 1952. “Little Mo” won three straight Wimbledon titles from 1952-54, and in 1953, she became the  first woman to win the Grand Slam  - all four majors in the same year. (Photo: AP)
In this July 5, 1952 file photo, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly holds her trophy after winning the final in 1952. “Little Mo” won three straight Wimbledon titles from 1952-54, and in 1953, she became the first woman to win the Grand Slam - all four majors in the same year. (Photo: AP)
 In this July 6, 1957 photo, Althea Gibson became the first black player, male or female, to win Wimbledon when she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard in the final. She ended up with five Grand Slam singles titles, (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 6, 1957 photo, Althea Gibson became the first black player, male or female, to win Wimbledon when she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard in the final. She ended up with five Grand Slam singles titles, (Photo: AP)

Like the men, the tournament was very different after World War I. France enjoyed a grip on the women’s title with Suzanne Lenglen winning six out of seven from 1919-25. The baton then passed to Helen Wills — later Wills Moody — who won eight in an 11-year period through 1927-38.

After World War II, it was all about the Americans. Every finalist from 1946-55 was from the United States, with Connolly winning three straight from 1952-54. In 1953, “Little Mo” became the first woman to win all four majors in the same year.

 In this July 2, 1960 photo, Brazil’s Maria Bueno tosses her racquet high in the air after winning her second straight title at All England Lawn Tennis Championships.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Brazilian was the first woman from outside the U.S. and Western Europe to win Wimbledon when she triumphed in 1959. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 2, 1960 photo, Brazil’s Maria Bueno tosses her racquet high in the air after winning her second straight title at All England Lawn Tennis Championships.  The Brazilian was the first woman from outside the U.S. and Western Europe to win Wimbledon when she triumphed in 1959. (Photo: AP)
In this 1970 photo Margaret Court of Australia holds her trophy aloft after winning the women’s singles title. Court won a total of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1970, she&nbsp;became only the second woman after Maureen Connolly to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this 1970 photo Margaret Court of Australia holds her trophy aloft after winning the women’s singles title. Court won a total of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. In 1970, she became only the second woman after Maureen Connolly to win all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year. (Photo: AP)

In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black woman to win Wimbledon, almost two decades before Arthur Ashe would achieve the same feat in the men’s tournament. Maria Bueno then internationalized women’s tennis when the elegant Brazilian won two straight titles in 1959-60.

In this July 4, 1975 photo, U.S. tennis star Billie Jean King holds up the trophy after winning her sixth singles final at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. She won three straight Wimbledon singles titles from 1966-68 and  a further three in the 1970s as she amassed 12 major titles. In total, King&nbsp;won 39 Grand Slam titles. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 4, 1975 photo, U.S. tennis star Billie Jean King holds up the trophy after winning her sixth singles final at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. She won three straight Wimbledon singles titles from 1966-68 and a further three in the 1970s as she amassed 12 major titles. In total, King won 39 Grand Slam titles. (Photo: AP)
 In this 1971 photo, Australia’s Evonne Goolagong shown in action during the All-England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England. Just weeks after her victory in the 1971 French Open, Goolagong became the first indigenous Australian to win Wimbledon when she defeated Margaret Court. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this 1971 photo, Australia’s Evonne Goolagong shown in action during the All-England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England. Just weeks after her victory in the 1971 French Open, Goolagong became the first indigenous Australian to win Wimbledon when she defeated Margaret Court. (Photo: AP)

Billie Jean King became a dominant force just before and after the Open era began in 1968, winning six titles from 1966-75. King was also a prominent campaigner for equal rights.

 In this July 7, 1990 photo, Martina Navratilova is seen in action during the 1990 Wimbledon Final.&nbsp;Navratilova, a Czech-born left-hander who became a U.S. citizen in 1981, won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including nine Wimbledon crowns between 1978 and 1990. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 7, 1990 photo, Martina Navratilova is seen in action during the 1990 Wimbledon Final. Navratilova, a Czech-born left-hander who became a U.S. citizen in 1981, won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, including nine Wimbledon crowns between 1978 and 1990. (Photo: AP)
 In this July 2, 1988 photo, Germany’s Steffi Graf holds up the Championship Plate, after beating defending champion Martina Navratilova in the Final. Graf, won seven Wimbledon singles titles among her 22 majors. In 1988, she became the third woman to win the calendar Grand Slam of all four majors. She made it a golden one when she won the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 2, 1988 photo, Germany’s Steffi Graf holds up the Championship Plate, after beating defending champion Martina Navratilova in the Final. Graf, won seven Wimbledon singles titles among her 22 majors. In 1988, she became the third woman to win the calendar Grand Slam of all four majors. She made it a golden one when she won the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, (Photo: AP)
In this July 6, 2002 photo, Serena Williams, left, holds her trophy after defeating her sister Venu to win the Final. Following wins at the Australian and French Opens, Serena can become the fourth woman to win the calendar Grand Slam this year. Serena has to date won a totel of 20&nbsp;&nbsp;Grand Slam singles titles. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 6, 2002 photo, Serena Williams, left, holds her trophy after defeating her sister Venu to win the Final. Following wins at the Australian and French Opens, Serena can become the fourth woman to win the calendar Grand Slam this year. Serena has to date won a totel of 20  Grand Slam singles titles. (Photo: AP)

Since 1978, women’s tennis at Wimbledon can be divided into three eras of dominance. Martina Navratilova won nine titles from 1978-90, Graf won seven from 1988-96, and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, have won five each since 2000.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.

Published: 29 Jun 2015, 01:41 AM IST

Never Miss Out

Stay tuned with our weekly recap of what’s hot & cool by The Quint.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!