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Photos: Former No. 1s celebrate WTA’s 40-year anniversary

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The WTA brought together 17 of its 21 former (and current) No. 1s to help celebrate its 40th anniversary at a “40 Love” event at the All England Club on Sunday.

The party included the WTA’s first No. 1, Chris Evert, its current No. 1, Serena Williams, and almost every top player in between, including Martina Navratilova, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati and Maria Sharapova. (The computer rankings were introduced in 1975.)

GALLERY: WTA All-time No. 1s in women’s tennis

The absent former No. 1s were Steffi Graf, Venus Williams (who withdrew from Wimbledon before the tournament with a back injury), Kim Clijsters (who is expecting her second child in September) and Victoria Azarenka (who withdrew from her second-round match last week because of a knee injury). Graf’s absence was particularly glaring, given that she held No. 1 for a record 377 weeks and is cited as an inspiration by many of today’s players. (The WTA said Graf politely declined because of an existing obligation.)

After the jump, check out portraits and other photos from the “40 Love” celebration.

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(L-R back row) Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic, Jennifer Capriati, Caroline Wozniacki and Amelie Mauresmo; (L-R front row) Tracey Austin, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Justine Henin. (Note: Court and King had their primes before the computer rankings were introduced.)

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Left: Tracey Austin and Chris Evert. Right: Evonne Goolagong-Cawley and Martina Navratilova.

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Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati.

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Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport.

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Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki.

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Billie Jean King and Serena Williams.

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Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

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Dinara Safina and Justine Henin.

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Madison Keys and Genie Bouchard.

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Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna.

(All photos: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images; Julian Finney/Getty Images)

  • Published On Jul 01, 2013
  • 4 comments
    BrentWolgamott
    BrentWolgamott

    I completely forgot that Safina was a "former number 1".  LOL

    Tony31
    Tony31

    If I were Steffi Grad, I would not want to be in the same room as Martina Navratilova who continues to bash Graf; a bitchy Navratilova does not inspire, she is a bore.

    gustavus
    gustavus

    I love how Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo couldn't possibly get any further away from Margaret Court if they tried.  I wonder if this is pure coincidence or if her infamous anti-gay comments played a role in how they players were arranged for the photograph.  

    Curtos07
    Curtos07

    Ana looks fantastic, but her hair...yeah. No bueno.