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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Tennis Players. The pantheon dataset contains 1,148 Tennis Players, 69 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 3rd most number of Tennis Players behind United States and Australia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Tennis Players of all time. This list of famous Russian 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 Russian Tennis Players.

Photo of Maria Sharapova

1. Maria Sharapova (1987 - )

With an HPI of 54.04, Maria Sharapova is the most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 94 different languages on wikipedia.

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мария Юрьевна Шарапова, pronounced [mɐˈrʲijə ʂɐˈrapəvə] ; born 19 April 1987) is a Russian former world No. 1 tennis player. She competed on the WTA Tour from 2001 to 2020 and was ranked world No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for 21 weeks. She is one of ten women to achieve the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won silver in women's singles at the 2012 London Olympics. She has been considered as one of the best tennis competitors of her generation. Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on 22 August 2005 at the age of 18, becoming the first Russian woman to top the singles rankings, and last held the position on 8 July 2012. She won five major titles — two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. She won 36 titles in total, including the year-end championships on her debut in 2004. She also won three doubles titles. Although she played under the banner of Russia with the WTA, she has lived in and been a United States permanent resident since 1994.Sharapova failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, testing positive for meldonium, a substance that had been banned (effective 1 January 2016) by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). On 8 June 2016, she was suspended from playing tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). On 4 October 2016, the suspension was reduced to 15 months, starting from the date of the failed test, as the Court of Arbitration for Sport found that she had committed "no significant fault" and that she had taken the substance "based on a doctor's recommendation… with good faith belief that it was appropriate and compliant with the relevant rules". She returned to the WTA Tour on 26 April 2017 at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, and has been the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. In June 2011, she was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time and in March 2012 was named one of the "100 Greatest of All Time" by Tennis Channel. According to Forbes, she was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned professional in 2001. In 2018, she launched a new program to mentor women entrepreneurs.

Photo of Anna Kournikova

2. Anna Kournikova (1981 - )

With an HPI of 52.86, Anna Kournikova is the 2nd most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 71 different languages.

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (Russian: Анна Сергеевна Курникова, IPA: [ˈanːə sʲɪrˈɡʲejɪvnə ˈkurnʲɪkəvə] ; born 7 June 1981) is a Russian former professional tennis player and American television personality. Her appearance and celebrity status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google Search.Despite never winning a singles title, she reached No. 8 in the world in 2000. She achieved greater success playing doubles, where she was at times the world No. 1 player. With Martina Hingis as her partner, she won Grand Slam titles in Australia in 1999 and 2002, and the WTA Championships in 1999 and 2000. They referred to themselves as the "Spice Girls of Tennis".Kournikova retired from professional tennis in 2003 due to serious back and spinal problems, including a herniated disk. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida, and played in occasional exhibitions and in doubles for the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis before the team folded in 2011. She was a new trainer for season 12 of the television show The Biggest Loser, replacing Jillian Michaels, but did not return for season 13. In addition to her tennis and television work, Kournikova serves as a Global Ambassador for Population Services International's "Five & Alive" program, which addresses health crises facing children under the age of five and their families.

Photo of Marat Safin

3. Marat Safin (1980 - )

With an HPI of 51.88, Marat Safin is the 3rd most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Marat Mubinovich Safin (Russian: Мара́т Муби́нович Са́фин, IPA: [mɐˈrat ˈsafʲɪn] ; Tatar: Марат Мөбин улы Сафин; born 27 January 1980) is a Russian former world No. 1 tennis player and former politician. He achieved the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) top singles ranking on 20 November 2000. Safin began his professional tennis career in 1997, and held the No. 1 ranking for a total of nine weeks between November 2000 and April 2001. When Safin became the world's number one player in 2000, he became the youngest world number one in tennis history. He won his first major title at the 2000 US Open, defeating Pete Sampras in the final, and his second at the 2005 Australian Open, defeating Lleyton Hewitt in the final. Safin helped lead Russia to Davis Cup victories in 2002 and 2006. Despite his dislike of grass courts, he became the first Russian man to reach the Wimbledon semifinals in 2008. At the time of his retirement in November 2009, he was ranked world No. 61. In 2011, he became a member of the State Duma representing the United Russia party. In 2016, he became the first Russian tennis player inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Safin is also the older brother of former women's WTA world No. 1 player Dinara Safina. They are the only brother-sister tandem in tennis history to have both achieved No. 1 singles rankings.Safin is the recipient of four ATP Awards: 1998 Newcomer of the Year, 2000 Most Improved Player, 2001 Fans' Favourite, 2002 Fans' Favourite. Since its inception in 2000, Safin is the only player alongside Roger Federer to have won the award multiple times.

Photo of Daniil Medvedev

4. Daniil Medvedev (1996 - )

With an HPI of 49.14, Daniil Medvedev is the 4th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Daniil Sergeyevich Medvedev (Russian: Даниил Сергеевич Медведев, IPA: [dənʲɪˈiɫ sʲɪrˈɡʲe(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf]; born 11 February 1996) is a Russian professional tennis player. He has been ranked as high as world No. 1 in men's singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), and is the current world No. 4. Medvedev has won 20 ATP Tour singles titles, including the 2021 US Open and 2020 ATP Finals. In the former, Medvedev defeated then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final to deny him the Grand Slam. In the latter, he became the only player to defeat the top three ranked players in the world en route to the year-end championship title. He has also won six Masters titles and contested six major finals. His six Masters titles all came in different venues, making him only the sixth player to win Masters titles at six different venues. Medvedev made his ATP Tour main draw debut at the doubles event of the 2015 Kremlin Cup. In 2017, he participated in a singles major for the first time at Wimbledon, where he defeated world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka. In 2018, Medvedev won his first ATP Tour singles titles, and achieved a breakthrough in 2019, making his top 10 debut after Wimbledon and reaching six consecutive tournament finals, including at the US Open. He went on to win the ATP Finals in 2020 and contest two major finals in 2021, winning at the US Open. Shortly after reaching another Australian Open final in 2022, Medvedev became the first man outside of the Big Four to hold the world No. 1 ranking since Andy Roddick in 2004, the third Russian man following Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999 and Marat Safin in 2000, and the 27th man overall. He then struggled with form and eventually dropped out of the top 10 in rankings, but returned to form in early 2023 and has since reached two more major finals and returned to world No. 3.

Photo of Yevgeny Kafelnikov

5. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1974 - )

With an HPI of 48.83, Yevgeny Kafelnikov is the 5th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Kafelnikov (Russian: Евгений Александрович Кафельников, IPA: [jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ˈkafʲɪlʲnʲɪkəf] ; born 18 February 1974) is a Russian former world No. 1 tennis player. He won two Grand Slam singles titles, the 1996 French Open and the 1999 Australian Open, and a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He also won four Grand Slam doubles titles, and is the most recent man to have won both the men's singles and doubles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament (which he accomplished at the 1996 French Open). In 2019, Kafelnikov was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Photo of Olga Morozova

6. Olga Morozova (1949 - )

With an HPI of 44.84, Olga Morozova is the 6th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Olga Vasilyevna Morozova (Russian: Ольга Васильевна Морозова, IPA: [ˈolʲɡə mɐˈrozəvə] ; born 22 February 1949) is a retired tennis player who competed for the Soviet Union. She was the runner-up in singles at the 1974 French Open and 1974 Wimbledon Championships.

Photo of Dinara Safina

7. Dinara Safina (1986 - )

With an HPI of 44.41, Dinara Safina is the 7th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Dinara Mubinovna Safina (Russian: Динара Мубиновна Сафина, pronounced [dʲɪˈnarə ˈsafʲɪnə] ; Tatar: Динара Мөбин кызы Сафина, romanized: Dinara Mӧbin kızı Safina; born April 27, 1986) is a Russian former world No. 1 tennis player. Safina was runner-up in singles at the 2008 French Open, 2009 Australian Open, and the 2009 French Open. She had even greater success at major events in doubles, winning the 2007 US Open with Nathalie Dechy. She also won the Olympic silver medal in women's singles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Safina officially retired in 2014 due to a long-term back injury. She is also the younger sister of former world No. 1 men's player Marat Safin; the brother–sister pair are the first to both achieve the No. 1 singles rankings.

Photo of Elena Dementieva

8. Elena Dementieva (1981 - )

With an HPI of 43.75, Elena Dementieva is the 8th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 47 different languages.

Elena Viacheslavovna Dementieva (Russian: Еле́на Вячесла́вовна Деме́нтьева, [jɪˈlʲɛnə dʲɪˈmʲenʲtʲjɪvə] ; born 15 October 1981) is a Russian former professional tennis player. She won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, having previously won the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. She won 16 WTA singles titles, reached the finals of the 2004 French Open and 2004 US Open and reached seven other Grand Slam semifinals. Dementieva was also part of the Russian team that won the 2005 Fed Cup. In doubles, she won the 2002 WTA Championships with Janette Husárová and was the runner-up in two US Open doubles finals – in 2002 with Husárová and in 2005 with Flavia Pennetta. Dementieva achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 3, which was accomplished on 6 April 2009. She announced her retirement on 29 October 2010, after her final match at the 2010 WTA Championships. Between 2003 and 2010, she only ended one year, in 2007, outside the top 10. She is considered to be one of the most talented players never to have won a Grand Slam tournament.

Photo of Mischa Zverev

9. Mischa Zverev (1987 - )

With an HPI of 43.55, Mischa Zverev is the 9th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Mikhail "Mischa" Alexandrovich Zverev (German: [ˈmɪkaɪl ˈmiːʃa ˈtsfɛʁɛf]; born 22 August 1987) is a German inactive professional tennis player. He achieved a career-high singles ranking of world No. 25 on 24 July 2017. At the 2017 Australian Open, Zverev defeated world No. 1 Andy Murray in four sets before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Roger Federer. As a qualifier, he has also reached the quarterfinals of both the 2009 Italian Open and the 2016 Shanghai Masters. He is the brother of former world No. 2 and two-time ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev.

Photo of Svetlana Kuznetsova

10. Svetlana Kuznetsova (1985 - )

With an HPI of 41.92, Svetlana Kuznetsova is the 10th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 50 different languages.

Svetlana Aleksandrovna Kuznetsova (born 27 June 1985) is a Russian former professional tennis player. She is a two-time major singles champion, winning the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open, and finishing runner-up at two other majors. In doubles, Kuznetsova reached the finals of each major at least once, winning the Australian Open twice. Kuznetsova moved to Spain at the age of seven to attend the Sanchez-Casal Academy. In 2001, she first took part in a WTA Tour tournament, the Madrid Open, and a year later won her first WTA Tour title at the Nordea Nordic Light Open in Helsinki, Finland. Her first appearance at a major was at the 2002 Australian Open, and her first major title came at the 2004 US Open over countrywoman Elena Dementieva, making her the third Russian woman to win a major title (after Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova earlier that year). Kuznetsova's second major singles title was the 2009 French Open, defeating compatriot Dinara Safina in the final. At the 2006 French Open and the 2007 US Open singles tournaments she was the runner-up, both times to Justine Henin. As a result, Kuznetsova obtained a career-high WTA ranking of world No. 2, holding that position for 24 weeks in 2007 and 2008. After the 2010 season, Kuznetsova lost her top 10 position and dropped down to a year-end ranking of 72 in 2012, until recovering gradually through 2016, when she reentered the top ten and reached the semifinals of the WTA Finals, her best result in that tournament. Apart from singles tournaments, Kuznetsova was also successful in doubles. She won her first five WTA doubles titles with Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. After a series of disappointing results with her she paired with Martina Navratilova, Elena Likhovtseva, Alicia Molik, and Amélie Mauresmo. Pairing with Likhovtseva, she climbed to No. 3 in doubles in 2004, holding that position for eight weeks, her career-high. She won the Australian Open twice in doubles, in 2005 alongside Molik and in 2012 partnering Vera Zvonareva. Kuznetsova also played various mixed doubles events, most prominently in 2003, but never went beyond the quarterfinals. She won a total of 18 WTA singles and 16 doubles titles.

Pantheon has 69 people classified as tennis players born between 1949 and 2001. Of these 69, 68 (98.55%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living tennis players include Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, and Marat Safin. The most famous deceased tennis players include Alexander Volkov. As of April 2022, 7 new tennis players have been added to Pantheon including Aslan Karatsev, Alexander Bublik, and Tatiana Panova.

Living Tennis Players

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Deceased Tennis Players

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Newly Added Tennis Players (2022)

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