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, 62 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 65.48, Maria Sharapova is the most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 93 different languages on wikipedia.

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (UK: SHA-rə-POH-və, US: SHAR-; Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова, IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ʂɐˈrapəvə] (listen); 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, and the only Russian, to achieve the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won silver in women's singles at the 2012 London Olympics. 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 for a fifth time for four weeks from 11 June 2012, to 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 in 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 January 1, 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 has been named highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned pro in 2001. In 2018, she launched a new program to mentor women entrepreneurs.

Photo of Marat Safin

2. Marat Safin (1980 - )

With an HPI of 63.80, Marat Safin is the 2nd most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 63 different languages.

Marat Mubinovich Safin (born 27 January 1980) is a Russian retired world No. 1 tennis player and former politician. He achieved the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world No. 1 singles ranking on 20 November 2000. Safin is also the older brother of former WTA world No. 1 player Dinara Safina. They are the only brother-sister tandem in tennis history who have both achieved No. 1 rankings.Safin began his professional tennis career in 1997, and held the No. 1 ranking for a total of 9 weeks between November 2000 and April 2001. He won his first Grand Slam title at the 2000 US Open, defeating Pete Sampras in the final, and won 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 semifinals of Wimbledon at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, where he lost to Roger Federer. 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.

Photo of Anna Kournikova

3. Anna Kournikova (1981 - )

With an HPI of 63.77, Anna Kournikova is the 3rd 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] (listen); 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 Yevgeny Kafelnikov

4. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1974 - )

With an HPI of 59.50, Yevgeny Kafelnikov is the 4th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Kafelnikov (Russian: Евгений Александрович Кафельников, IPA: [jɪvˈɡʲenʲɪj ˈkafʲɪlʲnʲɪkəf] (listen); 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 Dinara Safina

5. Dinara Safina (1986 - )

With an HPI of 57.83, Dinara Safina is the 5th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 51 different languages.

Dinara Mubinovna Safina (Russian: Динара Мубиновна Сафина; Russian pronunciation: [dʲɪˈnarə ˈsafʲɪnə] listen ; Tatar: Cyrillic Динара Мөбин кызы Сафина, Latin Dinara Möbin qızı 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, falling to Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, respectively. She had success at Grand Slam events in women's doubles by winning the 2007 US Open with Nathalie Dechy. She also won the Olympic silver medal in women's singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Safina retired in 2014 after a lengthy absence from the tour since 2011 due to an ongoing back injury. She is the younger sister of former world No. 1 men's player Marat Safin. The brother–sister pair are the first to both achieve No. 1 rankings.

Photo of Svetlana Kuznetsova

6. Svetlana Kuznetsova (1985 - )

With an HPI of 57.18, Svetlana Kuznetsova is the 6th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 49 different languages.

Svetlana Aleksandrovna Kuznetsova (born 27 June 1985) is an inactive Russian professional tennis player. She has appeared in four Grand Slam singles finals, winning two, and has also appeared in seven doubles finals, winning twice. As a doubles player, Kuznetsova has reached the finals of each Grand Slam event at least once, winning the Australian Open twice. Born to an athletic family, Kuznetsova moved at the age of seven to Spain to attend the Sanchez-Casal Academy. In 2001, she first took part in a WTA tournament, the Madrid Open, and a year later won her first WTA title at the Nordea Nordic Light Open in Helsinki, Finland. Her first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament was at the 2002 Australian Open and her first Grand Slam title came at the 2004 US Open over countrywoman Elena Dementieva, making her the third Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title, after Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova. Kuznetsova's second Grand Slam title was the 2009 French Open, defeating compatriot Dinara Safina in the final in straight sets. At the 2006 French Open and the 2007 US Open singles tournament she was the runner-up, both times to Belgian player Justine Henin. As a result, Kuznetsova obtained a career-high No. 2 WTA ranking, holding that position for 24 weeks in 2007 and 2008. Since the 2010 season, Kuznetsova lost her top 10 position and even dropped down to a year-end ranking of 72 in 2012, until recovering in 2016, when she progressed to the top ten and reached the semifinals of the WTA Finals, her best result in that tournament to date. 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, which remains her career-high. She won the Australian Open twice in doubles, in 2005 alongside Alicia Molik and in 2012 partnering Vera Zvonareva. Kuznetsova also played various times mixed doubles events, most prominently in 2003, but never went beyond the quarterfinals. She has won a total of 18 WTA singles and 16 WTA doubles titles to date.

Photo of Olga Morozova

7. Olga Morozova (1949 - )

With an HPI of 56.44, Olga Morozova is the 7th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Olga Vasilyevna Morozova (Russian: Ольга Васильевна Морозова, IPA: [ˈolʲɡə mɐˈrozəvə] listen ) (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. Due to her achievements as both player and coach, Morozova often is referred to as the Godmother of Russian tennis.

Photo of Elena Dementieva

8. Elena Dementieva (1981 - )

With an HPI of 55.73, Elena Dementieva is the 8th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 46 different languages.

Elena Viacheslavovna Dementieva (Еле́на Вячесла́вовна Деме́нтьева, [jɪˈlʲɛnə dʲɪˈmʲenʲtʲjɪvə] (listen); 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 Anastasia Myskina

9. Anastasia Myskina (1981 - )

With an HPI of 55.33, Anastasia Myskina is the 9th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  Her biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Anastasia Andreyevna Myskina (Russian: Анастасия Андреевна Мыскина listen ; born 8 July 1981) is a Russian former professional tennis player. Myskina won the 2004 French Open singles title, becoming the first Russian woman to win a major singles title. Due to this victory, she rose to No. 3 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, becoming the first Russian woman to reach the top 3 in the history of the rankings. In September 2004, she reached a career-high ranking of No. 2. She has not retired officially, but has been inactive on the WTA Tour since May 2007.

Photo of Alexander Volkov

10. Alexander Volkov (1967 - 2019)

With an HPI of 54.41, Alexander Volkov is the 10th most famous Russian Tennis Player.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Alexander Vladimirovich Volkov (Russian: Алекса́ндр Влади́мирович Во́лков listen ; 3 March 1967 – 19 October 2019) was a Russian professional tennis player.

Pantheon has 62 people classified as tennis players born between 1949 and 2001. Of these 62, 61 (98.39%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living tennis players include Maria Sharapova, Marat Safin, and Anna Kournikova. The most famous deceased tennis players include Alexander Volkov. As of October 2020, 4 new tennis players have been added to Pantheon including Alexander Volkov, Elena Rybakina, and Anastasia Potapova.

Living Tennis Players

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Deceased Tennis Players

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Newly Added Tennis Players (2020)

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