Tennis is one of the most physically strenuous sports on a person’s body. In addition to being a lifelong sport which provides many benefits for players of all ages, it has numerous physical, psychological and social benefits. However, if you’re not in tip-top shape, one can easily get injured during a lengthy and strenuous three-set match.
In looking for a model for both your game and your fitness, look no further than the professionals you see playing on TV. Here is a list of the fittest women in the sport.
*Pictured: #9. Ana Ivanovic
#18. Caroline Wozniacki: Wozniacki, who was coached by her father, says she counted tennis stars Martina Hingis and Steffi Graf among her inspirations. Shortly after advancing to the semifinals of the 2010 U.S. Open, Wozniacki became the first Danish player to claim the top spot in the world rankings.
#17. Maria Kirilenko: Kirilenko started playing tennis at age 7 when father introduced her to the game at Dinamo Moscow Central Stadium. She’s since won 6 career WTA singles titles, and the tennis players she most admires are Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Jennifer Capriati for their on-court style and attitude.
#16. Roberta Vinci: Vinci began playing tennis at age 6, and claims that her favorite place to be is her hometown of Taranto, Italy. She also is a good soccer player and has as a lucky charm a stuffed orange dinosaur from her brother.
#15. Petra Kvitova: Since turning pro in 2006, Kvitova has won 17 WTA titles including two Wimbledon crowns in 2011 and 2014.
#14. Mandy Minella: Minella started playing tennis at age 5. In addition to tennis, the No. 110 player in the world also enjoys listening to music, seeing friends and playing golf.
#13. Camila Giorgi: Giorgi began playing tennis at age 5 at a local club after her father introduced her to the sport. The rising No. 77 player in the world’s favorite surface is hardcourts. To help stay in top fitness, Giorgi also enjoys boxing, soccer and MotoGP.
#12. Sorana Cirstea: Cirstea was introduced to tennis at age 4 by mother, Liliana. She speaks Romanian, English and Spanish and is studying French, and likes all surfaces. Her favorite shot is the forehand.
#11. Eugenie Bouchard: Bouchard, still just 22, has made magnificent progress at the highest level of tennis since becoming a professional in 2009. She reached the 2014 Wimbledon final after reaching the semifinals at both the Australian Open and French Open earlier in the year. Her success on and off the court has made her a major name in the sport.
#10. Angelique Kerber: Kerber made her professional debut in 2003, rising to prominence after reaching the semifinals of the 2011 US Open, at which time she was ranked No. 92 in the world. She is currently ranked as No. 2, making her the highest-ranked European — and the best left-handed player — on the Tour.**
#9. Ana Ivanovic (pictured): A WTA veteran since 2003, Ivanovic’s fitness has never been questioned. She reached the peak of her career back in 2008, when she won the French Open title and also reached Australian Open final but is still around competing at a high level today.*
#8. Daniela Hantuchova: Seven-time WTA singles winner Hantuchova’s favorite surface is grass; so naturally, her favorite tournament is Wimbledon. She’s currently ranked No. 253 in the world.**
#7. Sania Mirza: Mirza is the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India, currently ranked as part of the No. 1 women’s double tandem in the world, along with Martina Hingis.
#6. Maria Sharapova: In addition to her commercial success, Maria Sharapova has achieved an amazing level of on-court success as well. She won all four Grand Slam events and achieved world No.1 status in 2005, and since then has remained a top-5 player.
#5. Tsvetana Pironkova: Pironkova, 28, turned professional back in 2002. Some of her biggest achievements have been defeating the mighty Serena Williams not once, not twice…but thrice in Grand Slam events.
#4. Laura Robson: Robson is the highest ranked British female player in the world, and has been making steady progress since turning pro back in 2008. Her best finish in Grand Slam events was in Wimbledon in 2013, in which she reached Round 4 of play.
#3. Dominika Cibulkova: Ciboulkova, from Slovakia, started in the professional ranks in 2006. She reached her career-best No.10 ranking after reaching the final of 2014 Australian Open.
#2. Agnieszka Radwanska: Radwanska is only 27, but having turned pro back in 2005, it feels as if she has been around much longer. Currently the world No. 4 player, she has yet to win a Major singles title but finds herself deep in Grand Slam tournaments on the regular. She made the finals of Wimbledon in 2012, and has four semifinals appearances in Majors to her name.
#1. Serena Williams: Who else could possibly be No. 1 on this list? Williams just recently tied Steffi Graf’s modern-era Grand Slam record with 22 titles, and her fitness is no small secret to her success. She is a workout machine with an impressive fitness regimen, and has been at or near No. 1 since 2002.