The women’s singles category of the Italian Open was commenced in the year 1930 and over the years, several legendary players have won the tournament. There are quite a few big names when one looks at the most successful champions of the tournament. The most successful player of the tournament in the women’s singles category is legendary American player Chris Evert who has won the tournament five times in her career. The most recent victor of the clay court WTA 1000 competition who won it in 2022 for the second time in her career. However, that does not put her on this list.
Since the Italian Open comes right before the clay court Grand Slam of the year, Roland Garros, a lot of the players treat the tournament as a place to hone their skills to the best so that they could perform at the highest level. However, the importance of the tournament cannot be understated. The Italian Open dates back to 1930 and it is a Masters 1000 competition. Winning it would do wonders for anyone’s career. With that in mind, here is a look at the top five most successful women’s singles players who have won the Italian Open.
Chris Evert – 5 titles
American tennis legend Chris Evert is the most successful women’s singles player who has participated in the Italian Open. Evert has won five Italian Open titles in her illustrious career, three of which came in consecutive years. Her first win came in 1974 when she beat Martina Navratilova 6-3, 6-3 in the final. The next year she won her second title, beating Navratilova again. Evert’s next three titles came in three years from 1980 to 1982. She beat Virgina Ruzici on two occasions and Hana Mandlikova on one.
Serena Williams – 4 titles
From one American legend to another. Serena Williams is only one short of her compatriot in terms of Italian Open titles. Williams’ four wins came in 2002, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Her latest victory was a 7–6(7–5), 6–3 final win against Madison Keys. The American played Justine Henin in her first Italian Open final and managed to win the match 7–6(8–6), 6–4.
Conchita Martinez – 4 titles
She might not be as well known as Evert or Williams, but Conchita Martinez made a name for herself at the Italian Open during her time as a professional player. The Spaniard won the competition four times and she did it in four straight years from 1993 to 1996. Martinez’s first win came when she defeated Gabriela Sabatini 7–5, 6–1 in the 1993 final. Her latest success was in 1996 when she beat Martina Higgins 6–2, 6–3 in the final.
Gabriela Sabatini – 4 titles
From 1988 to 1992, Argentinian tennis player Gabriela Sabatini dominated the Italian Open landscape. In the space of five years, Sabatini won the competition four times, losing out only in 1990 to Monica Seles. Her first win came in 1988 she defeated Helen Kelesi 6–1, 6–7(4–7), 6–1 in the final and her most recent Italian Open win came in 1992 which saw her get the better of Monica Seles 7–5, 6–4.
Maria Sharapova – 3 titles
Russian tennis icon Maria Sharapova is fifth on this list with three Italian Open titles to her name. Sharapova first win the Italian Open in 2011 when she beat Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in the final and followed it up with her second win the following year with a 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(7–5) final win over Li Na. The Russian’s latest success in the Italian Open came in the year 2015 when she defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 4–6, 7–5, 6–1 in the final.