30 greatest female athletes of all time

It's Women's History Month and to honor the great women who have graced the sports world, we've put together a list of the greatest female athletes ever.

Caitlin Clark celebrates a big play for the Iowa Hawkeyes
Caitlin Clark celebrates a big play for the Iowa Hawkeyes / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
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20. Martina Navratilova
Tennis

The best way to represent Martina Navratilova and her impact on tennis is with one simple number: 59. She won 59 major titles in her career. She had 18 individual majors, 31 major women's doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles. That is a ridiculous level of dominance. At the biggest stage, whether it was by herself, with another woman, or with a man, Navratilova was dominant. 

Another number helps tell the story: 332. That was the number of weeks Navratilova was number one in the world in women’s tennis. For those not trying to take out their calculator, that is more than six years at number one. She was on top of the world doubles rankings for a world record 237 weeks. In total, Navratilova won over 300 tournaments. That’s mind-blowing. 

Things changed from great to dominant when Navratilova changed her workout plan to one of a basketball player and switched to graphite-fiberglass composite racquets. Her rivalry with Chris Evert pulled many eyes to women’s tennis. Her run from 1982 to 1986 is up there with literally Michael Jordan as one of the most dominant runs in sports. 

Outside of tennis, Navratilova is a gay-rights activist, coming out herself in 1981. She also lost her Czechia citizenship when she asked for political asylum in the United States, a request that was granted. She was eventually given dual citizenship, but it showed that she was overcoming the odds as early as 18 years old.