The 6 women to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the Open Era: Martina Navratilova peerless

Shahida Jacobs
Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams with Wimbledon trophies
Wimbledon winners: Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams with their trophies

Martina Navratilova has won Wimbledon four times without dropping a set, Serena Williams has done it twice while four other women have achieved the feat once.

Winning any Grand Slam without playing a three-setter is a unique achievement and 18 different women have done it at a major since the sport became professional in 1968 with six of them doing it at Wimbledon.

The 6 women to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the Open Era:

6. Marion Bartoli – 2013

Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli is the most recent player to win Wimbledon without dropping a set as she did it just over a decade ago during her first and only Grand Slam title run.

Incredibly, she also notched up the achievement without playing a tie-breaker during the 2013 tournament.

Seeded 15th, Bartoli defeated Elina Svitolina, Christina McHale, Camila Giorgi, Karin Knapp, Sloane Stephens, Kirsten Flipkens and Sabine Lisicki in straight sets.

The 5 women with the most grass-court match wins: Martina Navratilova No 1, Chris Evert third

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

The 8 women to win Wimbledon more than once in the Open Era: Martina Navratilova at No 1

5. Venus Williams – 2008

The great Venus Williams won two majors without dropping a set with the first coming at the 2007 US Open before No 2 came at Wimbledon the following year.

Naomi Cavaday, Anne Keothavong, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Alisa Kleybanova, Tamarine Tanasugarn, Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams were the players that Venus beat on her run. She played two tie-breakers during the tournament – against Cavaday in the first round and against fifth-seed Dementieva in the semi-final.

4. Lindsay Davenport – 1999

Lindsay Davenport has the unique honour of winning all her majors without dropping a set. Besides her Wimbledon 1999 feat, she also won the 1998 US Open and 2000 Australian Open without going the distance.

The American defeated Alexandra Fusai, Karina Habsudova, Laura Golarsa, Barbara Schett, Jana Novotná, Alexandra Stevenson and Steffi Graf.

Davenport defeated Graf 6-4, 7-5 in the final in what turned out to be the German’s final Grand Slam final appearance.

3. Chris Evert – 1981

The legendary Chris Evert was the first player to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the Open Era, although the likes of Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong achieved it at other majors before 81.

The American won her third and final Wimbledon crown without going to a third set.

She beat Christine O’Neil, Yvonne Vermaak, Lele Forood, Claudia Pasquale, Mima Jaušovec, Pam Shriver and Hana Mandlíkova en route to the title.

2. Serena Williams – 2002, 2010

22-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams is the only player after Martina Navratilova to win Wimbledon without dropping a set more than once.

The first time was in 2002 when she won the first of her seven titles at Wimbledon and was part of the “Serena Slam”.

Seeded second behind defending champion and sister Venus, Serena defeated Evie Dominikovic, Francesca Schiavone, Els Callens, Chanda Rubin, Daniela Hantuchova, Amelie Mauresmo and Venus.

Eight years later she repeated the achievement when she won her fourth title at SW19 as she beat Micaela Larcher de Brito, Anna Chakvetadze, Dominika Cibulková, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Vera Zvonareva.

1. Martina Navratilova – 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990

Martina Navratilova is the record holder for most titles won at Wimbledon as she lifted the trophy nine times and four of those runs were achieved without dropping a set.

Two years after Evert did it for the first time at SW19, Navratilova emulated her great friend as she won the 1983 title in emphatic fashion, beating Beverly Mould, Sherry Acker, Mima Jausovec, Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, Jennifer Mundel, Yvonne Vermaak and Andrea Jaeger.

She made it back-to-back titles without dropping a set as Mareen Harper, Amy Holton, Iva Budarova, Elizabeth Sayers, Manuela Maleeva, Kathy Jordan and Chris Evert were beaten.

Navratilova also won the 1985 title, but dropped one set in the final against Evert before returning the following year for another peerless title run. Amanda Tobin-Dingwall, Jane Forman, Kristin Kinney, Isabelle Demongeot, Bettina Bunge, Gabriella Sabatini and Hana Mandlikova were on the losing end.

The tennis legend’s final Grand Slam trophy came at Wimbledon in 1990 and this time she defeated Sophie Amiach, Anne Smith, Karin Kschwendt, Judith Wiesner, Katerina Maleeva, Gabriela Sabatini and Zina Garrison.