French Open: The 9 greatest women’s singles champions – ranked!

Chris Evert Serena Williams Iga Swiatek
Chris Evert, Serena Williams, and Iga Swiatek all feature in our rankings.

The French Open has produced some iconic women’s singles champions, with greats of the game lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

Multiple tennis legends have lifted the famed title on Court Phillippe Chatrier, etching their name into the record books by triumphing on the dirt.

Several legends have triumphed in Paris, but who are the greatest champions of them all?

We rank our nine greatest French Open women’s singles champions, largely focusing on the Open Era – do you agree with our picks?

9) Martina Navratilova

Titles: 1982, 1984
Finals: 1975, 1985-87

Navratilova skipped the French Open throughout chunks of her career but still managed to lift the trophy on two occasions during the 1980s.

Victory in 1982 saw her win her first title at the event, beating Andrea Jaeger in the final, though arguably her finest Roland Garros moment came two years later.

Navratilova delivered a scintillating display against her biggest rival Chris Evert in the 1984 final, dropping just two games for her second title in Paris.

The Czech-born American also reached a further four finals in Paris, including three straight in the mid-1980s.

8) Iga Swiatek

Titles: 2020, 2022-23
Finals: N/A

Swiatek could be ranked much higher up this list in the years to come, and it is impressive that the 22-year-old was already an obvious choice to be included.

The Pole stunned the tennis world with her maiden triumph in 2020, winning her first WTA-level title without dropping a set, beating Sofia Kenin in the final.

And she reclaimed her title in 2022 with a dominant victory over Coco Gauff, before battling past Karolina Muchova in a thrilling final to defend her title in 2023.

The world No 1 is again the favourite for victory this year.

Read More: Iga Swiatek – The tennis legends world No 1 can emulate and overtake with French Open triumph

7) Margaret Court

Titles: 1969-70, 1973
Finals: N/A

Australian star Court played the French Open just four times during the Open Era but astonishingly managed to lift the title on three of those occasions.

In 1969, Court defeated Ann Haydon-Jones in three sets to claim her first Roland Garros crown of the Open Era, before beating Helga Niessen in 1970 – the year she completed the Calendar Grand Slam.

After losing early in 1971 and skipping the 1972 edition due to maternity leave, Court battled back again to win the title in 1973, beating Evert in the final.

She also won pre-Open Era titles in 1962 and 1965, which is why she edges out Swiatek in our rankings.

6) Serena Williams

Titles: 2002, 2013, 2015
Finals: 2016

Perhaps the greatest female player of them all, Williams was a three-time champion in Paris, a city she has often referred to as one of her favourite cities in the whole world.

The first ‘Serena Slam’ started at the French Open in 2022, where Serena beat older sister Venus to win her second major title, and first of four consecutive major wins over the next eight months.

Over a decade later, she found herself reclaiming the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen by beating Maria Sharapova in the 2013 final, before beating Lucie Safarova for a final Roland Garros crown in 2015.

Williams was also a beaten finalist in 2016, and last played the event in 2021 before her retirement the following year.

5) Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Titles: 1989, 1994, 1998
Finals: 1991, 1995, 1996

Three of Sanchez-Vicario’s four major singles titles came in Paris, cementing her place as one of the greatest female clay-courters of all time.

The ‘Barcelona Bumblebee’ is one of the youngest Grand Slam winners ever thanks to her 1989 triumphing, battling past Steffi Graf in the final to claim her maiden major.

Five years later she was back in the winners’ circle in Paris, winning her second Slam by beating home favourite Mary Pierce, before claiming her final French Open win with victory against Monica Seles in 1998.

Sanchez Vicario also reached three further finals at the tournament, in 1991, 1995, and 1996.

4) Monica Seles

Titles: 1990-92
Finals: 1998

Seles did not accumulate as many overall French Open finals as some, but her standing in the game – and her ‘threepeat’ – ensures her high ranking in this list.

She was only 16 years old when she won her first major at Roland Garros in 1990, downing Graf to win what was the first of nine Grand Slam singles crowns.

The Yugoslavian-born American then defended her title with victory over Sanchez Vicario in 1991, before edging out Graf in the 1992 final – one of the greatest Grand Slam finals in tennis history.

Seles’ stabbing in April 1993 cruelly hindered her chances of further French Open success, but she did return to the final in 1998.

Read More: Iga Swiatek’s clay movement ‘up there with Steffi Graf’ and has ‘Monica Seles-like concentration levels’

3) Justine Henin

Titles: 2003, 2005-07
Finals: N/A

No woman has won more Roland Garros titles this century than Henin, who ruled over Paris with her deft one-handed backhand throughout the mid-2000s.

In an all-Belgian final Henin claimed her first Slam title in Paris in 2003, downing Kim Clijsters to win what was the first of seven Grand Slam singles titles.

Henin suffered a shock second-round loss in 2004 but bounced back with three consecutive titles after that, starting with a dominant win over Mary Pierce in the 2005 final.

She then beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2006 and Ana Ivanovic in 2007, and may have won even more had she not initially retired weeks before the 2008 edition.

2) Steffi Graf

Titles: 1987-88, 1993, 1995-96, 1999
Finals: 1989-90, 1992

One of the all-time greats, some of Graf’s greatest and most memorable Slam victories came across her six French Open victories.

The German beat Martina Navratilova to win her first Slam in 1987, and then infamously double-bagelled Natasha Zvereva on her way to the Golden Calendar Slam in the 1988 final.

Graf then reclaimed her title with victory over Mary Joe Fernandez in 1993, before beating Sanchez Vicario in consecutive years in 1995 and 1996.

And she capped off her epic career with a 22nd and final major in 1999, beating Martina Hingis.

Read More: Novak Djokovic – How world No 1 can match unique Steffi Graf feat with French Open victory

1) Chris Evert

Titles: 1974-75, 1979-80, 1983, 1985-86
Finals: 1973, 1984

The greatest female clay-courter of modern times, it is no surprise that Evert has claimed more French Open titles than any other woman in the Open Era.

US star Evert won her first Slam at Roland Garros in 1974, beating Olga Morozova to claim the title, before overcoming Navratilova in the 1975 final.

After skipping the event for three years, she returned to win back-to-back titles in 1979 and 1980, defeating Wendy Turnbull and Virginia Ruzici respectively.

Evert regained the title in 1983 by beating Mima Jausovec and beat Navratilova in the 1985 and 1986 finals for her final Paris triumphs.