Iga Swiatek - Australian Open 2022

Most dominant young female tennis players

With Serena Williams no longer the force she once was and former world number one Ashleigh Barty retiring from the sport, women’s tennis has seen big changes at the top of the world rankings. The current holder of the coveted number one spot is Poland’s Iga Świątek, a three-time major winner and still only 21 years of age.

Despite a straight sets loss in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open, according to the latest sports betting, she remains the favorite for all three remaining Slams thanks to her impressive all court game. But who exactly is Iga Świątek, and who are the other up and coming young players that will be hoping to challenge her in the years ahead?

Iga Świątek

Age: 21

Nationality: Polish

Winner of the French Open in 2020 and 2022 and the US Open in 2022, Świątek became the first Polish player to win a major singles title. She has won a total of 12 WTA Tour-level titles and in 2022, became only the fourth woman to win the Sunshine Double. That impressive run saw her go on a 37-match winning streak, the longest on the WTA Tour in the 21st century.

In 2022 She also became the first player since Serena Williams in 2013 to collect over 11,000 ranking points in a single season

Coco Gauff

Age: 18

Nationality: American

Gauff already seems to have been around for years, but she is still only 18 years of age, and is the youngest player in the top 10. In 2019, aged just 15, she won her first WTA Tour singles title at the Linz Open, becoming the Tour’s youngest singles title-holder since 2004.

2019 was also the year that Gauff made herself known on the big stage when she became the youngest player in Wimbledon Championship history to qualify for the main draw. She went on to beat former World No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the first round, before finally departing in round four.

Gauff has a career-high singles ranking of No. 4 and has even reached the top of the rankings in women’s doubles. Last year saw her appear in her first major singles final at the French Open, and she will be looking to build on that success in 2023.

Emma Radacanu

Age: 20

Nationality: British

It may seem strange to suggest former US Open champion Radacanu is an up-and-coming player, but the British star has suffered so many injuries since she burst so dramatically onto the scene, that her career is yet to get going.

She only made her WTA Tour debut back in the summer of 2021, with a wildcard entry into Wimbledon, but despite her lack of experience, she reached the fourth round with a series of impressive displays.

However, the 2021 US Open is where Raducanu announced herself to the world of tennis, becoming the first singles qualifier in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title, all without dropping a single set. It was the second Grand Slam tournament of her career; she holds the Open Era record for the fewest majors played before winning a title. Injuries have seen her slip from her career-high ranking of 10, but an injury-free 2023 could see the Radacanu back on the big stage.

Qinwen Zheng

Age: 20

Nationality: Chinese

Named the 2022 WTA Newcomer of the year, China’s Zheng Qinwen is a player on the rise. She became the second teenager to make a WTA 500-level in the season after Coco Gauff.

In 2022 at the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, Zheng became the first Chinese teenager ever to reach a WTA Tour final. She also became only the second teenager to make a WTA 500-level or higher final in the season. In September last year, she became the first Chinese teenager to rank in the world’s top 30.

Marta Kostyuk

Age: 20

Nationality: Ukrainian

This year has begun well for Marta Kostyuk, as she won her first ever WTA Tour singles title at the inaugural ATX Open in March. The result saw her enter the world’s top 40 for the first time in her career, as her climb up the world rankings continues.

Still only 20 years of age and buoyed by her first tour victory, the Ukrainian will be hoping to add to her trophy cabinet this year and make a statement run in the slams. On her current trajectory, it would be difficult to bet against her reaching the top ten before the year is out.

With so many great young players on the tour, every tournament is becoming harder to predict, but that is what makes women’s tennis so exciting. Combined with the likes of world-class players such as Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Belinda Bencic and more, the women’s tour has never looked stronger.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.