Sunday, United States Women’s National Team captain Carli Lloyd marked history, becoming the first woman and just the second player overall to score a hat trick in a World Cup Final.
With that — and the World Cup championship won by the U.S. Women’s National Team as a whole —Â in mind, here’s the list of the Top 5 female athletes of all time.
5. Martina Navratilova, tennis
While Navratilova is the No. 2 tennis player on this list, many would say that she’s the top women’s tennis player of all time. She has had the most dominant period. From 1982-96, she won 428 of 442 singles matches, going an amazing 86-1 in 1983. In 1984, Navratilova and teammate Pam Shriver won 109 consecutive matches and all four major titles, taking the doubles Grand Slam.
4. Serena Williams, tennis
Serena emerged as arguably the top women’s tennis player in history, portraying both devastating power and magnificent longevity, becoming the oldest player to achieve the No. 1 ranking in Women’s Tennis Association history. Williams has won 35 Grand Slam titles: 20 in singles, 13 in women’s doubles and two in mixed doubles, while adding four Olympic gold medals.
3. Mia Hamm, soccer
In 2004, soccer legend Pelé topped the 125 greatest living soccer players for FIFA’s 100th anniversary. Just two women made the list: Mia Hamm and teammate Michelle Akers. Nine years later, she became the first ever woman who was put into the World Football Hall of Fame.
2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, track and field, basketball
She’s arguably the greatest female track star of all time, Joyner-Kersee was a big name in the long jump and heptathlon, medaling at four different Olympics. Joyner-Kersee took silver at the 1984 Olympics in the heptathlon, then topped in 1988, winning gold at both the heptathlon and the long jump. She held the gold ones again in the heptathlon in 1992, while taking the bronze that year in the long jump. She finished her Olympic career with gold yet again in the long jump in 1996 at age 34.
1. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, track and field, golf
Zaharias was an All-American in basketball who won two gold medals and one silver medal in track at the 1932 Olympics* and started playing golf in 1935, competing in the men’s PGA event the Los Angeles Open just three years later becoming huge fame at the sport, winning 41 LPGA events.
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