WTA Finals: Who has won the most Tour titles?
The WTA Finals certainly has a special place on the tennis calendar. It is the culmination of the season in women’s tennis, and brings together only those who deserve it on performance alone.
The list of former winners, therefore, reads like a who’s who of women tennis greats.
Who, though, has won the coveted title most in history? Let’s take a close look.
=5 Justine Henin – 2 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 2006, 2007
Belgian women once reigned supreme in the WTA, and Justine Henin was one of them. She won three Grand Slam titles between 2006 and 2007 and lost another final, and she backed-up that relative dominance with back-to-back Tour Finals titles too.
In fact, such was Henin’s quality, it’s perhaps a surprise she was restricted to just two.
=5 Martina Hingis – 2 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1998, 2000
When Martina Hingis burst onto the scene as a teenager in the mid-1990s, it appeared for all the world that she would dominate the WTA for a decade.
She didn’t quite manage that, although she did win a staggering five singles Grand Slams in a two-year period starting with the 1997 Australian Open. She also won a WTA Finals title during that period, and another in 2000 – as well as three in the doubles in 1999, 2000, and 2015.
=5 Gabriela Sabatini – 2 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1988, 1994
Argentinian star Gabriela Sabatini perhaps never translated her obvious talent into Grand Slam titles, although she was playing in a hyper-competitive era in women’s tennis in fairness.
She is actually the only player on this list who has more WTA Tour Finals titles than she has singles majors, but her achievement should not be downplayed in the slightest.
=5 Evonne Goolagong Cawley – 2 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1974, 1976
Evonne Goolagong was something of a trailblazer in the WTA and a major dominant force in the 1970s. That saw her win 14 Grand Slam titles – seven in the singles and seven in doubles tennis.
It will surprise no one, then, that her career also saw her pick up a pair of Tour finals titles in 1974 and 1976, when she was at the very peak of her powers.
=4 Kim Clijsters – 3 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 2002, 2003, 2010
Kim Clijsters was the other Belgian player who made a serious mark in the WTA in the 2000s, as she managed to marry power and elegance from the baseline to produce a special brand of tennis.
Her remarkable career saw her win big titles either side of an early retirement in 2007. Two of her four Grand Slam titles came after her comeback, as well as one of her three WTA Finals crowns.
=4 Monica Seles – 3 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1990, 1991, 1992
It’s impossible to talk about Monica Seles without a heavy hint towards the ‘what if’. Indeed, Seles is arguably the greatest ‘what if’ in all of sport, not just tennis. She won eight Grand Slam titles as a teenager and dominated the WTA, but a knife attack by a fan of rival Steffi Graf left her confidence and career a shadow of what it once was.
During those incredible years during which she couldn’t lose, she also dominated the WTA Finals, winning three in a row between 1990 and 1992.
3 Chris Evert – 4 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977
Chris Evert won the lot during her illustrious career, and the WTA Finals was not immune to her talents by any measure. Like Goolagong, she was a major part of an incredibly competitive 1970s in women’s tennis.
She won nearly half of the WTA Finals titles on offer during that decade, though, which really underlines what a special player she was.
= 2 Serena Williams – 5 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 2001, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
You’re never going to write a feature about serial WTA winners without Serena Williams showing up somewhere on the list, and her dominance and sheer longevity means you’re always a little surprised to find her kept off top spot.
That is the case in the WTA Finals, though. Her five titles were a remarkable achievement, and one bettered by just one equally remarkable woman. That said, it never felt like the competition was a particular priority for Serena.
= 2 Steffi Graf – 5 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996
The career of Steffi Graf always feels relatively short compared to others. In reality, it wasn’t, but she did feel genuinely unbeatable during her peak years. Incredibly, Graf won 22 singles titles, with all but one of them coming in an eight-year period between 1988 and 1996.
Her dominance also translated to the WTA Finals in those years too, with her winning five titles in that period.
1 Martina Navratilova – 8 titles
WTA Finals Winner: 1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 (x2)
Tennis loves a GOAT debate, and whatever the criteria you will struggle to topple Martina Navratilova. She won an open era record 167 singles titles in her career, including 18 majors. That is only literally half of the story, though. Despite all that winning, she also found time to win 177 doubles titles – a tally with included 41 majors.
Part of that mind-boggling titles haul were her eight Tour Finals titles, a tally that even the very best in history cannot even get close to.
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