Tennis is a very international sport that finds unlikely superstars from some non-traditional sporting powerhouse countries. We love to tune in every week to see who is coming up the ranks to challenge the #1 and make a splash on the scene. Apart from the Golden age of American tennis (the Sampras/Agassi years) a few decades ago and the more recent turn for the American ladies (the Williams sisters domination) some of the names that we see flashing up at the bottom of our screen on occasion leave us baffled and even frustrated at times while we struggle to understand how so many consonants in a row doesn’t constitute a spelling error.
Most of the time we laugh and shrug it off but there are many special occasions that due to the birth of the internet find us scribbling down the last name of a female tennis participant with a pen and pad so we don’t mess it up when we inevitably type it into google search later that evening… you know… just to check out her stats. What is truly remarkable is that when you find those stats, they are often some of the top tennis stars on earth.
Tennis arguably has some of the most attractive female athletes on the planet filling out it competitor pool and many of those attractive ladies come from the far off exotic reaches of the world, and we just happen to think they’re far out and exotic themselves. We’ve compiled a list of tongue twisting names that are paired with mind boggling beauties.
15 Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard burst onto the scene a couple years ago after playing some incredible tennis and shooting her world ranking up to #5 in 2014. She has struggled as of late and fallen down the ladder to the #121 spot but is heating up in recent play and will likely land herself in the top 100 again very soon. Eugenie hales from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and has a traditionally French last name where one doesn’t pronounce the ‘CH’ as ‘Cha’ more of a ‘Sh’ rolling off the tongue a ‘Booshard’. But that’s just part of the puzzle. Most people aren’t lucky enough to be stapled with the feminine form of Eugene as a first name. I can only imagine some people looking at this beauties first and last name and going… “Well that just doesn’t make any sense.”
14 Belinda Bencic
Belinda Bencic is a Swiss tennis star who made an impact on the tour recently and rose to as high as #7 in 2016 but has fallen back down to earth in recent months and sits at #72 currently. After turning pro in 2012 her name began popping up on the bottom of our screens as she rose up the ladder and the end of her Swiss surname confusing some of her fans. the first ‘c’ in her last name can be interpreted 2 ways and it might feel natural to move to the soft ‘ch’ on ‘Benchic’ common in many European countries but in reality it falls to an ’s’ and her name is pronounced ‘Bensik’. How much fun are we having with words everybody?!
13 Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki is an experienced German tennis player who turned pro in 2006. She has had a very accomplished playing career and at one point was ranked #12 in the world back in 2012. It seems her playing days might be numbered as she has fallen down to the #245 spot on the ladder and at that point you have to wonder if it’s time to give it up. We’ve had a fun time following you Sabine, I just love that first name. It’s not that hard to pronounce but it just rolls off the tongue with a certain sensuality, Sabine. Her last names not that hard to wrap you head around either but we’re giving her points for having only 3 of the same vowel in one surname, Lisicki.
12 Daniela Hantuchova
Daniela Hantuchova is the Slovakian goddess of tennis who’s been gracing our screens for almost 2 decades. She turned pro in 1999 (That’s before y2k people!) and at one point was ranked #5 in the world and made it to an Australian and French open finals before retiring around the middle of last year. But that isn’t stopping us from putting her on this list. Her instagram is littered with her in bikini shots having fun on yachts and in incredible dresses about to go hit the town. We might not have the toughest time pronouncing her name it it might not be flashing up on our tv anymore but that hasn’t stopped it from racing through our minds as we lay in bed at night. ‘Hantuchova, Hantuchove, Hantuchova’.
11 Tsvetana Pironkova
Tsvetana Pironkova is a steamy Bulgarian tennis pro that we would like to run into at the club and perhaps convince her to give us a few lessons. She has never broken into the top 30 on the world stage topping out at #31 in 2010 and has faded away down to #168 in recent years. But she still looks great and her name still confuses the hell out of us. We think it might be the 3 consonants in a row including a ‘v’ that start her first name off that put us on the back foot from the get go. But that’s ok, just as long as she writes down her number under her confusing moniker on a napkin for us that’s all we’re worried about.
10 Donna Vekic
Donna Vekic is a young 21-year-old tennis pro from Croatia who turned pro in 2012 and has been hanging around a mid-40’s ranking for the past year and we’re excited to see if she climbs any higher/ Now she might not have the most difficult name to pronounce on this list but we just haven’t heard that much of it up to this point to be %100 confident in it’s pronunciation. But hat’s ok because we are committed to watching her event she’s on tv to really start paying attention to her name, if for no other reason. Keep up the good work Vekic and we’ll tune in to work on our diction and international spelling abilities. ‘Vekich?’, ‘Vechis?’, ‘Veckis?’, we’ll figure it out.
9 Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina is a very attractive Ukrainian tennis player who has been on the scene for a number of years after turning pro back in 2010. The 23-year-old has fought her way up to the monstrously respectable position of #3 in the world and doesn’t look to be giving up any ground anytime soon. an amazingly consistent player, Elina has only really struggled at the big events never making it past the quarter finals in any Grand Slam event, but we’re sure her breakthrough will come and she’ll tuck a few of those in her back pocket eventually. And we just love the way her names sounds, not too hard to pronounce, but it just bounces of the tongue with a sing-song rhyme, Elina Svitolina! love it!
8 Petra Kvitova
Petra Kvitova is a tennis beauty from the Czech Republic who turned pro back in 2006 and has been popping up on our radar ever since. Back in 2011 she reached the great heights of being ranked #2 in the world and is still currently positioned in the top 30 at #29. Seen as a constant threat to play against for the last decade, Kvitova has 2 Wimbledon wins over her great career and some great semi’s finishes in other Grand Slam events. Now if only she’d explain to us how it is someone can justify putting a ‘v’ right after a ‘k’ to start off a surname that would do us a world of good while we watch her continue to make an impact on the women’s tennis stage.
7 Kristina Mladenovic
Kristina Mladenovic is an absolute beauty of a tennis player. She was born in France, currently resides in Dubai, and has a very Eastern European name, a lady of the world. She turned pro super young in 2009 and the 23-year-old is currently ranked #10 in the world which means we’ll be seeing a lot, a lot, a lot, of Kristina in the coming year of tennis coverage. And we can’t say we’re going to complain one bit about that. Now we just have to wrap our heads around the ‘l’ immediately following the ‘m’ to begin her surname. But we’ve been practicing. whenever we see her on screen we just inadvertently jabber ‘Mla, Mla, Mla, Mla, Mla’ anyways. Keep up the good work Kristina!
6 Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska (That is the only time we’re going to spell out her entire name in this piece because in doing so once we almost had a stroke) is a Polish tennis player who has had much success over her career and at one point was the #2 player on the planet. The 28-year-old is currently ranked #33 and during her career has had some success over the grand slam tournaments with a finals trip at Wimbledon in 2012 and some semi and quarter finals appearances elsewhere. Now she might not be the most attractive star on this list but her name takes top prize no questions asked. let’s try it one more time … Ag..Ni..Esz.. Ka….Rad…Wan..Ska… WE DID IT!!!
5 Camila Giorgi
Camila Giorgi is an absolute cutie and we love watching her play. And we know her name isn’t that hard to pronounce (George-y) but it just reminds us so much of the recent remake of Stephen King’s ‘It’ where little Georgey goes missing in the sewers that we had to include her. After turning pro in 2006 she caught the eye of almost every male tennis fan out there and is still turning heads on the court today. The 26-year-old Italian i s a consummate fan favourite and we love tuning in while she’s on a featured court. Now all you have to do is stay away from killer clowns Camila, ok, do it for us, we want you to be safe.
4 Dominika Cibulkova
Dominika Cibulkova is a bombshell of a beauty and a hell of a tennis player and her name has more syllabus in it that a Eastern European voting booth. The Slovakian beauty has been close to the top of the ladder in recent years and has made a splash at 5 different Grand Slam events finishing in the quarter finals or better, making it all the way to the Australian open finals in 2014. Dominika has maybe the most pure physical appeal of any tennis player out there is you check out her instagram or photos of her out on the town, Sharapova is beautiful, Cibulkova is gorgeous. We’re not even worried about how to pronounce her first or last name properly, she makes us forget our own with just a glance.
3 Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic is another one of those names that isn’t particularly hard to pronounce and it just kind of playfully falls out of your mouth with a nice cadence, but it is a little Eastern European with some fun hard consonants and some ‘v’s in it so we’re justifying adding Ana to this list (even though she recently retired). When it comes to attractive tennis players Ivanovic was always one of our favourites and the best part about it its she was a great player, not just a face. The former world #1 has a French Open title under her belt and had some great showings at the other Grand Slam tournaments. We’ll miss watching Ana on the court but we’ll try our best to sneak her onto lists without making to much of a stretch on parameters.
2 Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruzu is a relatively newer face on the tour who has worked hard to make it to the top of her game and currently sits at #4 in the world taking a step back from her #1 ranking in September of last year. She took home the 2016 French Open won Wimbledon in 2017 which permanently puts her on our ‘to watch’ list. Not to mention she’s pretty foxy. and that name! Oh that name. Garbine is such a fun name first name to begin with, but now pair that with a surname that has only 1 vowel… and it’s the same vowel! 4 ‘u’s in one last name, cheers to you Ms. Muguruzu we’re not sure anyone else has as fun a name as your to pronounce once you get the hang of it.
1 Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki is one of the most gorgeous women in sports today and one hell of a tennis player to watch. The 27-year-old who turned pro in 2005 is currently ranked #1 in the world after winning her first Grand Slam this last month. Caroline took home the Australian Open in 2018 to start off this season and we’re so happy that she final put a Major titled in her trophy case after failing to win 2 U.S. Open Finals appearances in 2009 and 2014. Wozniacki is a Danish beauty and we love the way her name sounds and lends itself to greta word play. Let’s just say the ‘Wizard of Woz’ has a ‘Niacki for playing the net’. WORDS ARE FUN!