The 9 youngest Australian Open women’s champions in the Open Era: Steffi Graf 3rd, Maria Sharapova 6th

Shahida Jacobs
Martina Hingis 1997 Australian Open champion
Swiss tennis player Martina Hingis with the 1997 Australian Open trophy

Martina Hingis’ record as the youngest-ever Grand Slam and Australian Open winner looks set to be safe for the foreseeable future.

Hingis was aged 16 years, 3 months and 26 days when she won the first of her three Australian Open titles while three other teenagers feature on the list of youngest winners in Australia.

If 19-year-old Coco Gauff wins the 2024 Australian Open then she will become the fifth youngest player to win the title. Ditto for fellow 19-year-old Linda Noskova, who defeated world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the third round.

Nine youngest Australian Open champions:

9. Serena Williams 21 years, 3 months, 28 days

The great Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam just a few days before her 18th birthday as she lifted the US Open and just over three years later she completed her Career Grand Slam by winning the 2003 Australian Open as a 21-year-old.

It was the first of seven titles at Melbourne Park for the American as she defeated her sister Venus Williams 7–6 (7–4), 3–6, 6–4 in the final. It was also her fourth consecutive major singles title as she completed the “Serena Slam” well before her 22nd birthday.

8. Naomi Osaka – 21 years, 3 months, 10 days

Having stunned the tennis world by defeating Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final, Naomi Osaka followed it up with the 2019 Australian Open trophy a few months later.

Japanese star Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova 7–6 (7–2), 5–7, 6–4 in the final and also became world No 1 for the first time in her career in the process.

7. Sofia Kenin – 21 years, 2 months, 18 days

Just over two months after she celebrated her 21st birthday, Sofia Kenin broke Australian hearts en route to winning the 2020 title at Melbourne Park.

The American defeated world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in the semi-final before securing a 4–6, 6–2, 6–2 victory over Garbine Muguruza in the final.

Kenin also finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros a few months later.

6. Maria Sharapova – 20 years, 9 months 7 days

Maria Sharapova won her maiden Grand Slam as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon in 2004 and she collected the third of her five major trophies as she beat Ana Ivanovic 7–5, 6–3 in the 2008 Australian Open final.

Sharapova also defeated world No 1 Justine Henin in the quarter-final and fifth seed Jelena Jankovic in the semi-final didn’t drop a set or face a tie-breaker at any stage during the tournament.

5. Mary Pierce – 20 years and 13 days

Seven months after finishing runner-up to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the French Open final, Mary Pierce made her Grand Slam breakthrough as she turned the tables on the Spaniard with a 6-3, 6-2 win to lift the 1995 Australian Open trophy.

The Frenchwoman defeated eighth seed Natasha Zvereva and second seed Conchita Martinez en route to the final.

Pierce went on to win her home title at Roland Garros in 2000 while she finished runner-up in three more Grand Slams.

4. Hana Mandlikova – 18 years, 9 months, 11 days

Back when the Australian Open used to be played in November-December, Hana Mandlikova became the youngest champion in Open Era history when she defeated local hope Wendy Turnbull – who beat Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver and Sue Barker en route – 6–0, 7–5 in the 1980 final.

Of course, three other players would go on to win the Australian Open at a younger age.

Czech great Mandlikova won a second title in Australia in 1987 while she also lifted the 1981 French Open and 1985 US Open.

3. Steffi Graf – 18 years 7 months 9 days

Still a couple of months shy of her 19th birthday, Steffi Graf kicked off her Golden Slam year in 1988 by winning her maiden Australian Open title at the start of the year.

After defeating defending champion Mandlikova in the quarter-final and fellow German Claudia Kohde-Kilsch in the semi-final, Graf brushed aside Chris Evert 6–1, 7–6 (7–3) in the final to win her second major.

Later in the year, she won the French Open, Wimbledon, US Open and gold in the singles at the Seoul Games to complete the historic Golden Slam.

The German finished her career with 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

2. Monica Seles – 17 years, 1 month, 24 days

Monica Seles was the youngest-ever Grand Slam winner when she won the French Open until Martina Hingis broke her record (see below) and she comes in behind the Swiss player both in terms of youngest-ever major winner and youngest Australian Open champion.

Seles was 16 years and 189 days when she won the 1990 French Open and just over a month after her 17th birthday she won the 1991 Australian Open, defeating Jana Novotna in the final.

The Yugoslav-born Seles won nine Grand Slams, but it was very much a case of “what could have been” had she not been stabbed by a deranged Steffi Graf fan in 1993.

1. Martina Hingis – 16 years, 3 months, 26 days

Already the youngest Grand Slam champion of all time as she was just 15 years old when she won the 1996 Wimbledon women’s doubles title alongside Helena Sukova, Martina Hingis added another chapter to her story in January 1997 when she won the Australian Open.

Aged just 16 and 117 days, the Swiss Miss – as she was fondly known during the early days of her career – defeated Mary Pierce 6–2, 6–2 to win her first Grand Slam singles title.

Hingis, who went on to win five singles trophies, 13 women’s doubles titles and seven mixed doubles trophies in Grand Slams, remains the youngest major winner.

READ MORE: The 9 youngest Australian Open men’s champions in the Open Era: Novak Djokovic 3rd