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Steffi, Sabatani, Sharapova and Kournikova – Tennis Divas Who Stole Our Hearts

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Those of us from Generation Y (born on or after 1981, also known as the Net Generation) will be able to recall how often our parents used to speak about their favorite players and actors from their generation when we were kids. So if you were a tennis fan going through your teen years in the 1990’s, your favorite stars would be the likes of Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Steffi Graf, Gabriela Sabatani etc while your parents would always talk about the likes of Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.

History is known to repeat itself and so today Generation Y still feels that the world today isn’t what it used to be during their time. Take a look at women’s tennis and their are barely any players who exhibit class and charisma. Back in the 90’s the tour was full of high quality players such as Graf, Sabatani, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Jana Novotana, Mary Pierce and a few others. These players were not only masters of their game but also women who had stunning looks, great bodies and carried a tremendous amount of charisma.

Who are the personalities in women’s tennis from the recent past and present who stand out for their beauty as well as their game, lets take a look:

Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatani

At almost the same age and same height, Steffi Graf from Germany and Gabriela Sabatani from Argentina together formed one of the most awe-inspiring rivalries in women’s tennis during the decade between 1985 – 1995. Together they played 40 matches against one another with Graf winning 29 of those encounters. While Steffi’s tremendous success and 107 career titles make her one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, Sabatani’s (known affectionately as the Pearl of the Pampas) versatile stylish game and attractive Latin looks brought her a wide following, making her one of the most popular players ever on the women’s tour.

In terms of their physical beauty, Sabatani was considered to have an edge given her exotic South American roots but Steffi too carried herself in very graceful manner. As the videos above show, Sabatani can easily slip into any glamorous role with poise while Steffi prefers to be seen as the top tennis player of all time.

Anna Kournikova

Tennis is perhaps the only sport where if you take all the female players from Russia and put them on a stage in their best attire, they would seem to be competing for the Miss Universe crown. When talking about women with stunning looks in Tennis many Russian players come to mind such as Elena Dementieva, Anastasia Myskina, Maria Kirilenko and Maria Sharapova but no one stands out more for her beauty than Anna Kournikova.

Anna’s tennis career as a singles player was quite average as she never won a Grand Slam or WTA title, although she managed to achieve a career high ranking of 8 in the year 2000. Her forte though turned out to be in doubles where her partnership with World Number 1, Martina Hingis won her 16 WTA titles including Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002. Anna, though has most often been in the news for her great looks and the men she has dated including pop star Enrique Iglesias. During the peak of her fame in early 2000, when Google started emerging as the premier search engine on the web, “Anna Kournikova” used to be among the most searched terms.

Anna is now an American citizen who resides in Miami, Florida and is regularly seen in various TV shows in the USA mainly around health and fitness.

Maria Sharapova

When talking about “Beauty with Brains“, there is no reason why Maria Sharapova won’t be a contender for the same given her stunning looks, physique and success on the tennis court. At 6 ft 2 in this leggy beauty from Russia has won 24 WTA titles, is currently ranked number 2 and has previously also had a taste of occupying the number 1 ranking. She is repeatedly named the hottest athlete in the world and through sponsorship earns close to US $26 mn annually.

Similar to some the great names in Tennis from the past, in particular Monica Seles, Sharapova is known for on-court “grunting“, which reached a recorded 101 decibels during a match at Wimbledon in 2005. During her second round match in Birmingham in 2003, Sharapova was asked to tone down the level of her grunt after opponent Nathalie Dechy complained to the umpire, with Sharapova’s response saying that her grunting was “a natural instinct.”

Who ranks as your all time favorite female tennis player? Who are the players that you had a crush on during your days of yore? Share your thoughts by dropping a comment.