The 1980s was a golden era in Women's tennis which was dominated primarily by the great sporting rivalry of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Although at the beginning of the decade, Tracey Austin also contended for the number 1 ranking, Meanwhile, from mid-1987 Steffi Graf's era became dominant.
1. Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova finished the World number 1 between 1982 and 1986. During the 1980s she won a total of 15 Grand Slams. In particular, she was most dominant on grass with six consecutive Wimbledon Championships. Elsewhere, she won four US Opens (1983-84 and 1986-87), three Australian Opens (1981,83 and 85) and two French Opens (1982 and 84). Her powerful serve and volley game was most successful on faster surfaces, but she managed to develop her baseline game with a new topspin backhand and she also took the level of fitness in women's tennis to a new level.
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2. Chris Evert
During the 1980s, Chris finished World Number 1 in 1980 and 1981 and she competed for the number 1 positions with Martina Navratilova in both 1982 and 1985. She won a total of 9 Grand Slams (4 French Opens, 2 US Opens, 2 Australian Opens and 1 Wimbledon). Here stats are very close to Steffi Graf, but she was consistently ranked 1 or 2 for the majority of the decade, so she was awarded number 2 due to her longevity.
After being the most dominant player of the seventies, she was seemingly surpassed by Navratilova. However, hard work on her athleticism and attacking game enabled her to come back and challenge Martina in 1985 and 1986.
3. Steffi Graf
Steffi was one of the most dominant players of all-time. In the 1980s, she won 8 Grand Slams (2 Wimbledons, 2 US Opens, 2 Australian Opens and 2 French Opens). Here dominance continued into the 90s, when she was the player of the decade in our opinion. Her supreme athleticism, powerful serve and huge forehand ensured that she dominated the 1988 and 1989 seasons only failing to win one Grand Slam.
4. Hana Mandlikova
Throughout much of the 1980s, Hana offered the only competition to Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. She was always a danger with her athletic all court game. She possessed powerful serves, finesse volleys and a dangerous forehand. She won 4 Grand Slams; the 1980 Australian Open, 1981 French Open (upsetting Chris Evert on her beloved clay), 1985 US Open (beating Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the Semi and Final) and the 1987 Australian Open (over Martina at the last grass court tournament to be held there).
5. Tracey Austin
Tracey retired in 1984, but her success in the early years gives her the number 5 ranking. Graf, Evert, Navratilova and Austin were the only players ranked number 1. She also won the 1981 US Open. She possessed excellent groundstrokes and challenged Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for the top spot in 1980 and 1981. Her footspeed and fighting spirit made her a great competitor.