The 13 WTA players whose last title was remarkably a Grand Slam: Coco Gauff, Emma Raducanu and more…
Did you know that nine retired WTA players’ final career title was a Grand Slam? There are also four active players – including US Open winners Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu – whose last title was a major.
There are currently 13 names on the list of WTA players whose last title was incredibly a Grand Slam, although you would expect Gauff and Raducanu to win more titles before they retire.
1. Chris O’Neil – 1978 Australian Open
Chris O’Neil became the first unseeded woman to win the Australian Open in the Open Era when she lifted the crown in 1978 following a win over Betsy Nagelsen.
She was also the last Australian woman to win the title until Ashleigh Barty’s success in 2022.
The Australian didn’t come remotely close to winning another major after that as she failed to make it past the second round at her final 11 Grand Slam events.
2. Barbara Jordan – 1979 Australian Open
American Barbara Jordan’s first and last career singles title being a Grand Slam. That feat came at the 1979 Australian Open when she defeated her compatriot Sharon Walsh in straight sets.
Jordan did win another Grand Slam, but it was in the mixed doubles alongside Eliot Teltscher at the 1983 French Open.
3. Evonne Goolagong – 1980 Wimbledon
Evonne Goolagong’s distinguished career saw her lift 84 singles titles, including seven Grand Slam trophies.
The Australian defeated four top 10 players (Hana Mandlikova No 9, Wendy Turnbull No 6, Tracy Austin No 2 and Chris Evert No 3) during her 1980 Wimbledon title run, which turned out to be her last-ever title.
4. Steffi Graf – 1999 French Open
Steffi Graf became the first player to beat the first, second, and third-ranked players in the same Grand Slam tournament as she defeated Martina Hingis (world No 1), Lindsay Davenport (No 2) and Monica Seles (No 3) en route to lifting the trophy at Roland Garros in 1999.
Although Graf also reached the Wimbledon final a few weeks later, the 1999 French Open turned out to be the German’s final singles title.
The tennis legend Graf finished her career with 107 titles with 22 of them coming at majors.
5. Kim Clijsters – 2011 Australian Open
Kim Clijsters lost her first four Grand Slam finals and then won her next four major finals with the final one coming at the 2011 Australian Open when she defeated Li Na in three sets.
Clijsters appeared in only one more WTA final – the 2011 Open GDF Suez – and she retired after the US Open that year. Or so everyone thought as she made a comeback in 2020 before retiring again in 2022.
6. Marion Bartoli – 2013 Wimbledon
After losing the 2007 Wimbledon final against Venus Williams, Marion Bartoli returned six years later to lift her maiden Grand Slam title at the All England Club.
Just 40 days after her Wimbledon win, Bartoli announced her retirement as she revealed that injuries had taken its toll.
7. Li Na – 2014 Australian Open
Chinese legend Li Na started the 2014 season in brilliant fashion as she won her home title, the Shenzhen Open, and followed it up with her second Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open as she defeated Dominika Cibulkova in the final.
She also reached the Miami Open final two months later – losing against Serena Williams – but sadly she struggled with injury for most of the season and eventually announced her retirement in September that year.
8. Flavia Pennetta – 2015 US Open
Italian Flavia Pennetta won 11 WTA Tour singles titles with her biggest trophy coming at Flushing Meadows in 2015 when she defeated her compatriot Roberta Vinci in the final.
During her acceptance speech, Pennetta announced that she would retire at the end of the season. She played a few more tournaments – including the WTA Finals – but failed to reach another final.
9. Bianca Andreescu – 2019 US Open
The US Open has had a history of throwing up surprise winners in recent years and Bianca Andreescu joined the list of first-time major winners when she stunned Serena Williams in straight sets at Flushing Meadows in 2019.
Andreescu, whose three WTA titles all came in 2019, appeared in two finals after that but lost the 2021 Miami Open to Ashleigh Barty and the 2022 Bad Homburg Open title against Caroline Garcia.
She still has time on her hands to win not only another WTA title, but another major.
10. Emma Raducanu – 2021 US Open
Emma Raducanu’s only title to date came at the 2021 US Open when she went on a magical journey, becoming the first qualifier – man or woman – to win a Grand Slam.
The British youngster hasn’t reached a final since her Flushing Meadows milestone as she has struggled with form and injuries over the past year, but like Andreescu she still has her long career ahead of her.
11. Ashleigh Barty – 2022 Australian Open
Not too many players retire shortly after winning a Grand Slam, but that was exactly what then world No 1 Ashleigh Barty did following her Australian Open success in 2022.
In fact, Barty’s last ever match was her final win over Danielle Collins at Melbourne Park and she was unbeaten in her final 11 matches as she also won the Adelaide International prior to the Australian Open.
12. Marketa Vondrousova – 2023 Wimbledon
Marketa Vondrousova won only her second career title – and first since April 2017 – when she stunned Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final this year. Her previous WTA final appearance came at the 2019 French Open when she lost against Ashleigh Barty.
The Czech has failed to reach another final since her Wimbledon title run as she has struggled with injury.
13. Coco Gauff – 2023 US Open
Coco Gauff is the most recent Grand Slam winner as she won her maiden major at the US Open with a three-set win over Aryna Sabalenka.
Given her form during the latter half of the 2023 tennis season, you’d expect the American won’t be on this list for too long as she is expected to add a few more Grand Slam titles, let alone WTA trophies, to her name before she calls it a day.
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