The 5 women to defend their Wimbledon titles in the Open Era: ft. Serena Williams, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova

Ewan West
Martina Navratilova Steffi Graf and Serena Williams with Wimbledon trophies
Wimbledon champions: Martina Navratilova Steffi Graf and Serena Williams with their trophies

There have been 23 different women’s singles champions at Wimbledon since the start of the Open Era, but just five of these players have defended their title.

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has successfully defended the women’s singles crown at the All England Club more times than any other player.

Marketa Voundrousova, who won her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2023, could join the list if she triumphs at the grass-court Major again this year.

Here are the five players to successfully defend the Wimbledon women’s singles title in the Open Era.

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King won her first two Wimbledon singles titles in 1966 and 1967, before adding her third in 1968 — the first year of the Open Era — by defeating Judy Tegart in the final.

The American claimed her fourth crown at the All England Club in 1972, when she downed defending champion Evonne Goolagong in the title match.

In 1973, King overcame Chris Evert in the championship match for her fifth and final Wimbledon singles triumph.

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Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova secured the first of her record total of nine Wimbledon singles titles — and her maiden Major — in 1978, with a victory against Chris Evert in the final. In 1979, she beat her great rival Evert again to defend her crown.

The Czech-American then won six straight Wimbledon titles during an astonishing streak that started in 1982 and ended in 1987.

In the finals during this run, Navratilova overcame Evert in 1982, 1984 and 1985, Andrea Jaeger in 1983, Hana Mandlikova in 1986, and Steffi Graf in 1987.

Navratilova’s final Wimbledon victory came in 1990, when she downed Zina Garrison in the championship match.

Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf overcame six-time defending champion Navratilova in the 1988 Wimbledon final to win the grass-court Major for the first time. She defeated the same opponent in the 1989 title match to defend her crown.

The German collected three straight Wimbledon titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993, beating Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles and Jana Novotna in the respective finals.

Graf prevailed at Wimbledon for the sixth time in 1995, with a victory against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the championship match. She then saw off the Spaniard again in the 1996 final for her seventh and last Wimbledon title.

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Venus Williams

Venus Williams secured her maiden Grand Slam crown at the 2000 Wimbledon Championships, where she dethroned defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the final. She made it back-to-back titles in 2001 with a victory over Justine Henin in the championship match.

Having won Wimbledon for the third time in 2005, Williams triumphed at the All England Club in consecutive years again in 2007 and 2008.

The American beat Marion Bartoli and her sister Serena Williams in the respective finals to take her Wimbledon singles tally to five titles.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams won her first two Wimbledon singles crowns in 2002 and 2003, defeating her sister Venus Williams in both finals.

After a gap of six years since her previous victory, Williams lifted the Wimbledon trophy in consecutive years again in 2009 and 2010, overcoming Venus Williams and Vera Zvonareva in the respective title matches.

After adding a fifth crown in 2012, Williams won her sixth and seventh titles at the All England Club in 2015 and 2016.

The American downed Garbine Muguruza in the 2015 championship match, before beating Angelique Kerber to win her seventh and final singles title in 2016.

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