Do you really want to read what I have to say or are you here just for the pictures? Believe me, I wouldn't really blame you and I completely understand. Women's tennis has certainly had its stars such as Martina Navratilova Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, and more, but it always had a limited audience. But then, something and someone magical happened.
Meet, Anna Kournikova. The sweet, Russian teen went pro in 1996, and revolutionized women's tennis. She was a young, beautiful, skilled Ruskie who played with style and passion. Though her career ended early and as a player she was certainly overrated, she changed the perception and popularity of women's tennis. She wore designs on the court that shocked the tennis world and her loose, short, exposing outfits were soon adopted by other women to add style and sexuality to female tennis players.
Since Anna, the sport has evolved and never looked back. Female tennis players have worn revealing, styled, fitted, and evocative uniforms that reveal more skin than ever before. But their game has also evolved, and their skills and talent has never been better. Some women serve over 100 MPH and can run the court with the speed of a gazelle and power of a lion.
More players from all over the world are turning pro at younger and younger ages. The landscape of women's tennis has been completely shaken, and we've seen some superior athletes. Whether or not all these women are still racking up the wins, they are certainly racking up the views.
20 Venus Loses A Strap
During an exhibition match in Milan against a local pro player, Venus almost gave the fans a little more than they bargained for when they came out to the stadium. Mid-match, the left strap of Venis’ dress snapped and she was just barely able to cover herself up before everyone got a full view of the goods. Many other athletes would’ve panicked or shown visible distress on their face, but Venus is a consummate pro and wasn’t fazed at all. She just covered herself up, calmly walked off the court, and changed outfits.
She didn’t stop there though, as when she was able to get back on the court, she brought popcorn for her opponent, who had been forced to wait out the wardrobe change.
19 Classic Kournikova
Here we come to a blast from the past! This is a classic shot of Anna Kournikova who wasn't necessarily known for her exceptional tennis skills but she definitely began a trend of female tennis players showing off a little more than what tennis fans were accustomed to at the time. During this particular match, on a serve, Kournikova's skirt hiked up and this photographer caught a glimpse of um... Let's say a visible outline underneath. Fortunately for Kournikova, social media wasn't prominent in those days, so this photo didn't immediately go viral like a lot of similar shots would today. But the internet has helped us in tracking down this moment.
Unfortunately a string of injuries would bring Kournikova's career to an end pretty early and rob us of more moments like these.
18 Genie Grants Another Wish
When Nike started rolling out dresses for their tennis stars, Eugenie Bouchard was quickly on board and started modelling them almost right away. Other stars tried them out and quickly switched back to a skirt and shirt, like Madison Keys. Now, Genie isn’t quick to give up and continued wearing hers going forward.
Now, the main complaint from other stars was that the fabric got in the way in certain situations. However, the main attraction, for lack of a better term, is that the dresses sometimes got hiked up during matches, giving viewers a better view of the ladies than they expected when they walked in the arena. In this photo, at the 2016 Australian Open, fans got a nice view of Genie after she let one of her serves fly.
17 Maria Sharapova Pulls A Little Too Much
The 30-year-old Sharapova is arguably the greatest Russian female tennis player of all time. She's won 35 singles titles, five Grand Slams, and ranks third among active players. She has also won at least one singles title from 2003 until 2015, a streak only bested by the legendary Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert. Unlike many players whose looks OR game are their claim to fame, Maria proves her looks AND game were for real. But seriously, we know why we're here. I don't care if she's playing an alligator because there's no way this flash won't mess with her opponent's mind. Call the match over. I wonder what the "Back Judge" is also thinking, and can't image how she can call the rest of this match without prejudice.
16 Simona Halep's 'Assets' Become Weaknesses
Not a joke, not cropped, and pretty amazing... that she is still among the top 5 women’s players in the world despite that kind of interference. From Romania, the voluptuous 16-year old ... yes, 16 year old at the time... could run the court and bury opponents. But yes, her game did suffer, she thought, because of her size. Simona then decided to do something about it. She ended up shocking and disappointing many of her drooling fans when she announced she would have a breast reduction operation. Her cup size was reduced from DD to C when her breasts effected her ability to play. Though her earnings and game have drastically improved, we still have the internet to thank for reminding us of years past.
15 Ashley Harkleroad Gets Caught In The Wind
In 1989, at just 4 years old, Harkleroad started playing tennis and turned pro in 2000. Though her game never really came together and she was not a dominant player, she did have her moments. Her all time highest ranking was #39 in 2003, and her best tourney placement was making it to the 2nd round of the U.S Open in 2003 and the Wimbledon in 2006. But really, does that matter? In 2008, she was the first female tennis player to pose for "Playboy," and then hoped that success would follow her to the court. But that wasn't the case, and she finally retired in 2012 and has taken her career inside, to the booth as a commentator. Ashley might have used her selection of underwear to mess with her opponents a little more often because most of her wins came off the court.
14 Martha Hingis Suffers Similar Fate
I once took a photography class where the instructor said to shoot, shoot, and shoot away because I'd never know what I caught until the photo comes to light. Well, here is an example that proves his point. I'm sure in the instant this picture was taken little did anyone know what would be revealed. Anyway, Martha hasn't let her short outfits get in the way of her game. She's still a force even though her greatest success came in the late 1990's when she won the Australian Open 3 times, Wimbledon, and the U.S Open. Hingis was ranked in 2005 as the 8th-greatest female player of the last 40 years, was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" in 2011, and was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It's got to be great news to know that's how she will be remembered!
13 Serena Williams's Outfit
It should be repeated that Serena is the greatest female tennis player of all time and there might not ever be anyone else like her. It's easy to assume how powerful her game is by the sheer strength of her body. She's built like a tank, solid, and though her body might not be as "slender" or light as the others, she is incredibly quick and powerful. But it's her heart, passion, and desire that makes her still the best. She once played in the shadow of Venus, but her drive has propelled her to clearly separate her from the competition. Make sure you watch her before it's too late. She's engaged to Alexis Ohanian, they're expecting their first child, and who knows, she may relinquish the title and her grip on the game.
12 Ana Ivanovic Going Au Naturel?
Oh boy. Yes, this picture is NOT photoshopped. Stay with me... Well, the beautiful 29 year old Serbian has won over $15 million and has had an amazing career. While not as dominant in terms of winning numerous major championships, she has beaten some of the best to ever play including Venus and Serena Williams. She also brought a bravado to the court and established some real, gritty rivalries with other players such as Jankovic, Kuznetsova, Sharapova, and Petrova. Her Achilles heel was her inconsistency. Her serve, once clocked at 125 mph, would come and go and abandon her when most needed. Her ground strokes, especially her forehand, could also swing from overpowering to a liability in the same match. Hopefully she's able to avoid further mishaps.
11 Maria Sharapova Wet... WITH PERSPIRATION!
In terms of her game, Maria, the once dominant and heralded Russian player has hit the skids on the other side of 30. Though still considered an all time great, it might be getting time for her to hang them up. Talk about a fall from grace in terms of game, Maria has dropped from#1 overall to #148. But she can certainly hold a top spot in the looks and sporting department with this shot. Following the nightgown theme, she's one athlete who doesn't need to change into something more comfortable after a hard days work. Her gown is certainly light enough to sway in an evening breeze and be translucent under the moonlight. When she goes on vacation, she must travel light to everyone's delight.
10 Anna Ivanovic Has Two Friends Pop Out
There are many parts of Anna's game to get excited about so we can't ignore any aspect of it. The first point, in case you were wondering, is she likes to play on all types of surfaces, including grass and clay. The second point is she also doesn't have a preference for either playing under the scorching sun or the bright lights of night. She also has a great eye for style and seems to pick the perfect outfit every time. Seems like she, and anyone else watching, can see she has a penchant for exposing herself. Was it all these mishaps that ended up convincing her to hang up her racket? In any case, hopefully she makes a better choice of clothing from now on.
9 Serena Williams Into Limo
I can easily make an argument Serena is the greatest American born athlete in history. She's won the Australian Open AND Wimbledon 7 times in the last 14 years. The U.S Open? Just 6 times in the last 18 years. Really, think about that dominance for such an extended period of time. Insane. Serena, unlike any other player, doesn't have to show off any part of her body or wear a short skirt to get anyone off their game. She is a dominant force and destroys opponents. She's classy, confident, cool, and has won more than $40 million dollars. In fact, right now she's probably thinking about her next tournament, and how any opponent or critic can kiss her a___. Best of luck to her and her little one on the way!
8 Venus Williams Leaps Too High
Venus is two years older than Serena but is also a killer on the court. Aside from her long list of tourney wins, she also holds the record for the most Olympic medals won by a male or female tennis player. She is the only player to have won a medal at four separate Olympic Games. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Venus won Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games for the first time since 1924. Now that's what we call a superstar. She is obviously built differently than her sister, just look at her musculature, and she was the first Williams girl to reek havoc on the court. I've never seen a woman with such powerful shoulders, arms, and her back is ripped. Her legs are incredibly athletic. The similarity? She's got the same message to opponents about what they can kiss!
7 Amandine Hesse Goes A Little Too Short
The 24 year old from France is just adorable, don't cha' think? Still a baby on the pro circuit, she has already won three singles and three doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation tour. Just last year, she climbed to a career high singles ranking of #154 and #108 in the doubles rankings. She is just entering her prime, so if she is going to make a statement on the court she needs to up her game pretty soon. She's already go the look nailed, with a super cute pony tail and figure. Let's hope her game catches up to her form, so more opportunities to watch her play will come. Who knows where she'll be by the time she's in her 30s.
6 More Nike Troubles
This backfired on Nike big time. The company was trying to introduce a new line of outfits called the "babydoll" dress, but there were some serious design flaws with the outfits. Several tennis players complained shortly after wearing them, as it was impossible to wear them during a match without some midriff being exposed.
“When I was serving, it was coming up, and I felt like the dress was just everywhere,” said Rebecca Peterson, who played with a long-sleeve shirt over the dress to hold it in place.
“In general, it’s quite simple, the dress, but it was flying everywhere.”
She wasn't the only one: "She saw it was very short and that it flies…I think every player was like, ‘Hmm, that’s short.’ She was worried about it in doubles, too, because when you get up from I-formation, you can grab it,” coach Jiri Fencl said.
5 Ivanovic Gets Caught In Compromising Position
Ana Ivanovic brought a lot of attention because of her good looks and her Eastern European flair. While her dominance in her later years wasn't quite as prominent as it used to be, she was actually ranked no.1 on the ATP list in 2008. Here, a cameraman caught a glimpse of her while serving and was in just about the ideal position to land a shot. Ivanovic landed many sponsorship deals throughout her career, constantly switching brands. And none of the brands seemed to curtail her hotness.
Ivanovic's run in tennis came to an end last year, after injuries began piling up on her. Her last match took place in the first round of the 2016 US Open, where she lost in straight sets to Denisa Allertova. A ceremony was held at the French Open earlier this year to honor the retired Serbian star.
4 Tamira Pascek Has A Couple Of Distractions
The 26 year old Austrian has never won a major tournament but has surely granted many fans their money worth. It's certainly a strange outfit to wear in a match unless she wants to make sure everyone's eyes are on her. But maybe all the attention has been a little too much for her. Over the past 4 years, her ranking has dropped from #26 to #203 and her career record is 279- 215. Though it seems her stock is falling, her rather large breasts haven't yet fallen through her straps and I gotta' think almost any other suit would be more comfortable. The top is certainly a cute design, I've seen similar cross straps on evening wear and bathing suits, and it certainly lets her stay cool. I wonder if she'll have a chat and get some advice from Simona Halep to see if anything should be done to help her game.
3 Eugenie Bouchard Goes One Piece
Eugenie has been falling in the ranks from #5 just a few years ago to #70 today. In 2014, at Wimbledon, she became the first Canadian-born player to reach the finals of a Grand Slam. She also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Australian and French Opens, and won the 2012 Wimbledon women's title. Perhaps one of the reasons for her slump is her choice in nightgowns. All I can say is this outfit is short, light, and very sexy. Not only does it show off her fantastic legs and arms, but it pushes the envelope as far as women's tennis styles. There's little doubt that wearing an outfit like this will keep her at least near the top of every fan's list. But she'll have to be careful when the wind blows.
2 Karolina Šprem A Victim Of Sweat
Šprem first came onto the radar at Wimbledon in 2004 where she defeated one of the greatest, Venus Williams, in the second round before losing to Lindsay Davenport. Her big win against Venus came under scrutiny when the umpire awarded her an extra point in the second set tie breaker, but maybe, in his defense, he was distracted. Looking as cute as ever in her evening gown, she was certainly revealing a lot of skin. The sun reflected off of everything, captured her terrific figure and muscles. None the less, he was canned, and later that same year she lost some of that form that made her a star. In 2009, Karolina came back in the top 100 but has since, sadly, fallen as a contender.
1 Anna Kournikova Returns
In 1998, at the age of 17, Kournikova changed the world of women's tennis. The adorable Russian broke the top 20 for the first time in her career and broke all the rules. She was the first female player to shatter the unwritten rules of fashion by wearing tanks, half shirts, revealing bottoms, one pieces, gowns, and more. She redefined the style and proudly showed off as much of her body as she could. Women tennis players were now seen as sex symbols and it was all because of Anna. She became the most searched for figure on the internet and pop culture. She dated sports stars, entertainers, acted, and even had alcoholic drinks named after her. Though hardly unbeatable on the court and certainly overrated, her impact on the popularity of women's tennis is undeniable.