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9 players ranked World No. 1 in both singles and doubles ft. Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams

Martina Navratilova and the Williams sisters
Martina Navratilova and the Williams sisters

Reaching the World No. 1 ranking in any sport is a steep path that demands consistent results. Tennis is no exception. It is played in three disciplines - singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

Ever since the computer-generated rankings were introduced in the ATP in 1973, 28 men have been ranked World No. 1 in singles. Computerized doubles rankings began in 1976 and since then 56 players have been ranked No. 1.

Computer-generated rankings were introduced in the WTA in singles and doubles in 1975 and 1984, respectively. Since then, 28 women in singles and 46 in doubles have reached the World No. 1 ranking.

One of the rare achievements in tennis is to be ranked as the No. 1 player in both singles and doubles. It is a testament to a player's versatility on the court, let alone the endurance of their physique and stamina. Let's take a look at 10 such players who were the top-ranked players in both singles and doubles in their careers.

#1 Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova

A winner of a combined 59 Major Slams (18 singles, 31 doubles, 10 mixed doubles), Martina Navratilova won every Slam in both singles, doubles and mixed doubles at least once. Having turned professional in 1974, she holds the Open Era record for winning the most singles (167) and doubles (177) titles.

Navratilova was ranked World No. 1 in singles and doubles in 1978 and 1984 respectively. She held the No. 1 ranking in singles for 332 weeks and in doubles for 237 weeks. The Czech-born American won her first Major at the 1974 French Open women's doubles and the last at the 2006 US Open mixed doubles with John McEnroe.

#2 John McEnroe

John McEnroe
John McEnroe

A winner of 77 singles and 78 doubles titles, John McEnroe became the first male player to be ranked No. 1 in both singles and doubles since the advent of computerized rankings. A winner of seven Major singles titles, McEnroe first reached the numero uno spot in singles in 1980. The three-time Wimbledon and four-time US Open champion finished as the year-end World No. 1 player between 1981 and 1984.

In the doubles, McEnroe won five Wimbledon and four US Open titles. In 1983, he reached the doubles rankings for the first time. He remained at the summit of the rankings for 170 weeks in singles and 269 weeks in doubles.

#3 Stefan Edberg

Stefan Edberg
Stefan Edberg

1989 French Open runner-up Stefan Edberg won every other Major twice in singles. The Swede tasted success in the doubles earlier when he won the Australian and US Open doubles titles in 1987. In doubles, Edberg made at least the semifinals of every Slam. He was ranked the No. 1 doubles player in 1986 and held on to the rankings for 15 weeks.

A serve-and-volley specialist, Edberg was ranked No. 1 in singles for the first time in 1990. Despite being challenged by Boris Becker and Jim Courier regularly, Edberg was the World No. 1 in singles for 72 weeks.

#4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is a four-time singles, six-time doubles and four-time mixed doubles Major winner. The Spaniard won every singles Major except Wimbledon, where she was a two-time runner-up. In doubles, she won every Slam except the French Open.

Considered one of Steffi Graf's best rivals alongside Monica Seles, Vicario still managed to get to the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles for 12 and 111 weeks respectively.

1️⃣4️⃣ major titles 🏆4️⃣ Olympic medals 🥈🥉5️⃣ @BJKCup titles 🇪🇸1️⃣ Spanish great! 🤩Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario! https://t.co/QancT6bFXN

#5 Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis
Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis is a 25-time Major champion (in singles and doubles) who spent 209 weeks in singles and 90 weeks in doubles as the World No. 1 player. The five-time singles Slam champion won every Major except the French Open, where she finished as the runner-up twice. In doubles, Hingis finished as a two-time career Slam winner, which included a calendar Grand Slam in 1998.

She has also won seven mixed-doubles titles, winning at least two of each Slam, with the exception of Roland Garros, which she won once in 2016. Hingis became the youngest-ever World No. 1 in 1997 and in 1998, she spent 29 weeks as the No. 1 in both singles and doubles.

#6 Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay Davenport
Lindsay Davenport

Lindsay Davenport won every singles Slam in her career except the French Open, where her best result was making the semifinals in 1998. In doubles, she finished as a runner-up at the Australian Open six times and won the remaining three Majors once.

A winner of 55 singles tour-level titles, Davenport held the No. 1 ranking for 98 weeks, finishing as the year-end No. 1 four times between 1998 and 2005. In doubles, Davenport won 38 tour-level titles and was the top-ranked player for 32 weeks.

#7 Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters
Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters is a former pro who won four singles and two doubles Majors in her career. A three-time US Open singles champion, Clijsters completed the channel Slam in doubles with Ai Sugiyama in 2003.

She reached the World No. 1 in singles for the first time in 2003 and later in 2011 after winning the Australian Open. In doubles, she reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time in 2003 and held it for four weeks.

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#8 Venus Williams

Venus Williams at the 2022 US Open
Venus Williams at the 2022 US Open

Venus Williams is the winner of 23 Major titles. A seven-time singles Slam champion, Venus won the Wimbledon title five times and the US Open twice. The American's best result at the Australian Open and French Open was finishing as a runner-up. However, she won these two Slams in mixed doubles in 1998 partnering Justin Gimelstob.

In doubles, along with her younger sibling Serena Williams, the 41-year-old won 14 Majors, completing the career Grand Slam twice. Venus held the World No. 1 ranking in singles and doubles for 11 and eight weeks respectively.

#9 Serena Williams

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

A three-time career Slam winner in singles and two-time career Slam winner in doubles, Serena Williams has won 23 singles, 14 doubles and two mixed doubles in her illustrious career. She held the World No. 1 ranking for 319 weeks, which included a joint record of holding it for 186 consecutive weeks (alongside Steffi Graf).

In doubles, she was the World No. 1 for eight weeks. She completed the career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles, winning one and three Olympic gold medals respectively.

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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