The Most Famous

TENNIS PLAYERS from Italy

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This page contains a list of the greatest Italian Tennis Players. The pantheon dataset contains 1,148 Tennis Players, 28 of which were born in Italy. This makes Italy the birth place of the 10th most number of Tennis Players behind United Kingdom and Argentina.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Italian Tennis Players of all time. This list of famous Italian Tennis Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Italian Tennis Players.

Photo of Lilí Álvarez

1. Lilí Álvarez (1905 - 1998)

With an HPI of 60.86, Lilí Álvarez is the most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages on wikipedia.

Elia Maria González-Álvarez y López-Chicheri, also known as Lilí Álvarez (Spanish pronunciation: [liˈli ˈalβaɾeθ]; 9 May 1905 – 8 July 1998), was a Spanish multi-sport competitor, an international tennis champion, an author, feminist and a journalist.

Photo of Adriano Panatta

2. Adriano Panatta (1950 - )

With an HPI of 60.02, Adriano Panatta is the 2nd most famous Italian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Adriano Panatta (born 9 July 1950) is a former professional tennis player from Italy. He won the French Open in 1976, and was the only player ever to defeat Björn Borg at Roland Garros, doing so on two occasions. He is currently a regular guest of the RAI broadcast Quelli che... il Calcio from 2018 to 2021.

Photo of Flavia Pennetta

3. Flavia Pennetta (1982 - )

With an HPI of 55.90, Flavia Pennetta is the 3rd most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Flavia Pennetta (Italian pronunciation: [ˈflaːvja penˈnetta]; born 25 February 1982) is an Italian former professional tennis player. She became Italy's first top-ten female singles player on 17 August 2009 and the first Italian to be ranked world No. 1 in doubles, on 28 February 2011. She is a major champion, having won the 2011 Australian Open women's doubles title with Gisela Dulko, and the 2015 US Open singles title over childhood friend Roberta Vinci in the first all-Italian major final.Pennetta won ten other WTA singles titles, including the 2014 Indian Wells Open, where she defeated the top two seeds. She also was a mainstay in the Fed Cup team competition, helping Italy win four titles in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2013. Her other highlights in doubles include winning the 2010 WTA Finals and finishing runner-up at the 2005 and 2014 US Opens, partnering respectively with Elena Dementieva and Martina Hingis. After winning the 2015 US Open, Pennetta announced she would retire at the end of the season, playing her last tournament at her WTA Finals singles debut. There, she defeated eventual champion Agnieszka Radwańska in the round-robin stage and retired with a top-ten singles ranking. Pennetta was pronounced a Knight of Order of Merit of the Republic on 24 January 2007 by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, then President of Italy.

Photo of Francesca Schiavone

4. Francesca Schiavone (1980 - )

With an HPI of 55.08, Francesca Schiavone is the 4th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Francesca Schiavone (Italian pronunciation: [franˈtʃeska skjaˈvoːne]; born 23 June 1980) is an Italian former professional tennis player. She turned professional in 1998 and won the 2010 French Open singles title, becoming the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam event in singles. She was also runner-up at the 2011 French Open. Her career-high ranking is world No. 4, achieved on 31 January 2011. To date, Schiavone is the last one-handed-backhand player to win a Grand Slam title on the women's tour.She won eight WTA singles titles in total, including Roland Garros. In doubles, her career-high ranking is world No. 8, peaking with an appearance in the final of the 2008 French Open. Furthermore, she helped Italy to win the Fed Cup in 2006, 2009 and 2010, and has the most wins for the Italian team. Schiavone played in the longest ever women's singles match at a Grand Slam tournament, when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4, 1–6, 16–14 in the fourth round of the 2011 Australian Open women's singles draw, the match lasted 4 hours and 44 minutes and in the process secured her first and only quarterfinal at the Australian Open.On 5 September 2018, Schiavone announced her retirement from tennis at the US Open. During the announcement, she shared aspirations of winning a Grand Slam as a coach. In April 2021, Schiavone began coaching Petra Martić.

Photo of Fabio Fognini

5. Fabio Fognini (1987 - )

With an HPI of 53.95, Fabio Fognini is the 5th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Fabio Fognini (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfaːbjo foɲˈɲiːni]; born 24 May 1987) is an Italian professional tennis player. He has a career-high ranking of world No. 9 achieved on 15 July 2019. He is currently ranked (March 2022) in 34th place by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Fognini's most successful surface is red clay, upon which he has won eight of his nine ATP singles titles, most notably at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters, as well as having reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 French Open. Together with Simone Bolelli, Fognini won the 2015 Australian Open doubles championship, becoming the first all-Italian men's pair to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era. He began playing tennis when he was four years old and is also a fan of football, supporting Inter Milan and Genoa FC. He also enjoys motorbike racing and is a fan of Valentino Rossi. Fognini speaks Italian, English, Spanish, and French, and his nickname is "Fogna".

Photo of Sara Errani

6. Sara Errani (1987 - )

With an HPI of 52.90, Sara Errani is the 6th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Sara Errani (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsaːra erˈraːni]; born 29 April 1987) is an Italian professional tennis player. She is a former top five player in singles and former world No. 1 in doubles. With 9 WTA singles titles and 27 doubles titles (including 5 Grand Slam doubles championships and 5 Premier Mandatory/Premier doubles titles) she is the Italian tennis player winning the highest number of WTA titles ever. She entered in Top 10 on 11 June 2012, remaining there for 94 straight weeks, and reaching her career-high singles ranking of world No. 5 on 20 May 2013. Became the world No. 1 in doubles for the first time on 10 September 2012. She was the year-end No. 1 doubles player in both 2013 and 2014, and has held the top ranking for a combined total of 87 weeks. Errani's breakthrough season occurred in 2012. At the Australian Open, she reached the quarterfinals in singles (the first time she advanced past the third round in a Grand Slam singles draw) and was a finalist in doubles. Known as a clay-court specialist, Errani won three titles on clay going into the 2012 French Open, where she reached the finals in both the singles (becoming only the second Italian woman to ever reach a Grand Slam singles final) and doubles tournaments, winning the doubles title with her partner Roberta Vinci. They also won the doubles titles at the 2012 US Open, and the 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. By winning the 2014 Wimbledon Women's Doubles title, Errani and Vinci became only the fifth pair in tennis history to complete a Career Grand Slam.Her achievement in reaching the 2012 US Open singles semifinals leaves Wimbledon as the only Grand Slam tournament in which Errani has yet to make the quarterfinals in singles. She also made the semifinals at the 2013 French Open, the quarterfinals at the 2014 French Open, 2014 US Open, and 2015 French Open, and qualified to the WTA Finals twice in 2012 and 2013. In 2017, Errani was banned from playing for 10 months due to a failed drug test.

Photo of Camila Giorgi

7. Camila Giorgi (1991 - )

With an HPI of 52.04, Camila Giorgi is the 7th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Camila Giorgi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkaːmila ˈdʒordʒi]; born 30 December 1991) is an Italian professional tennis player. She has a career-high singles ranking of world No. 26, achieved on 22 October 2018. She is the current Italian No. 1. After winning her first ITF title in 2009, Giorgi made her Grand Slam and main-draw debut at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. Giorgi reached the fourth round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships in just her second appearance at the tournament. After her successful run at the championships, she made her top-100 debut in the WTA rankings. The following year, she followed it up with a third-round run at the Wimbledon Championships, and made her second Grand Slam fourth round at the US Open. She reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, six years after her Wimbledon breakout. Giorgi reached her first WTA Tour final in 2014 at the Katowice Open, and then won her first title at the Rosmalen Open. She won the biggest title of her career at the 2021 National Bank Open in Montréal, defeating former world No. 1, Karolína Plíšková, in the final. Giorgi is known for her aggressive style of game and her powerful flat groundstrokes, and is considered to be one of the hardest hitters of the ball on the tour. Her most notable professional wins have come at the 2013 US Open, Indian Wells Open, and Eastbourne International, defeating former world No. 1 players Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka, respectively.

Photo of Andreas Seppi

8. Andreas Seppi (1984 - )

With an HPI of 51.34, Andreas Seppi is the 8th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Andreas Seppi (German: [ʔanˈdreːas ˈsɛpi], Italian: [anˈdrɛːas ˈseppi]; born 21 February 1984) is an Italian professional tennis player.He has reached a career-high singles ranking of world No. 18 on 28 January 2013.

Photo of Raffaella Reggi

9. Raffaella Reggi (1965 - )

With an HPI of 51.16, Raffaella Reggi is the 9th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Raffaella Reggi (Italian pronunciation: [raffaˈɛlla ˈreddʒi]; born 27 November 1965) is a former professional tennis player from Italy.

Photo of Roberta Vinci

10. Roberta Vinci (1983 - )

With an HPI of 51.01, Roberta Vinci is the 10th most famous Italian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Roberta Vinci (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrta ˈvintʃi]; born 18 February 1983) is an Italian former professional tennis player. In doubles, she won five major tournaments and reached the world No. 1 position. She also reached a career-high ranking of world No. 7 in singles, in May 2016. She is the fourth Italian woman to have reached the top 10 in singles, after Flavia Pennetta, Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani. At 33 years and 4 days old, she became the oldest player ever to debut in the top 10. Vinci rose to worldwide prominence at the 2015 US Open, when she reached the singles semifinals and defeated world No. 1, Serena Williams, in three sets, ending her hopes of achieving the Grand Slam, in what has been described by commentators as one of the greatest upsets in tennis history. She went on to lose to her childhood friend Pennetta in the first all-Italian major final.Vinci won 35 career titles, ten in singles and 25 in doubles, including the 2012 French Open, the 2012 US Open, the 2013 and 2014 Australian Opens, and 2014 Wimbledon titles with regular partner Errani. In doing so, they became the fifth pair in tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam. She and her Italian teammates Mara Santangelo, Pennetta, and Schiavone beat the Belgian team 3–2 in the 2006 Fed Cup final. Justine Henin-Hardenne retired in the decisive fifth match due to a right knee injury, which granted Italy its first Fed Cup trophy. With the Italian team, Vinci won the Fed Cup again in 2009 and 2010, defeating the U.S. team in the final both times. At the 2012 US Open, Vinci reached her first major singles quarterfinal, at 29 years of age, by defeating then-world No. 2 Agnieszka Radwańska in the fourth round. She lost to her doubles partner, world No. 10, Errani, in the quarterfinals. Vinci achieved the same feat the following year when she defeated Camila Giorgi in the fourth round, but subsequently lost to Pennetta. At one point, Vinci was one of only three players in the WTA top 100 using a one-handed backhand.

Pantheon has 28 people classified as tennis players born between 1905 and 2001. Of these 28, 27 (96.43%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living tennis players include Adriano Panatta, Flavia Pennetta, and Francesca Schiavone. The most famous deceased tennis players include Lilí Álvarez. As of October 2020, 1 new tennis players have been added to Pantheon including Jannik Sinner.

Living Tennis Players

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Deceased Tennis Players

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Newly Added Tennis Players (2020)

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