“Size Doesn’t Matter” Well for men it does but for women it doesn’t. Because if we look at women tennis players many of the top performing female tennis players are under 5’10. Serena Williams, the best female tennis player of all time stands at only 5’9 while the best male tennis player Novack Djokovic stands at a height of almost 6’2.
In tennis, a good height does provide a little bit of competitive advantage such as with big arms they can reach shots that are out of their reach and generate more power. But height is not the main factor that led players to win the match. Tennis is a game of strategy and smart play therefore even a short player can out win their opponent with a strategic play.
Table of Contents
Short Female Tennis Players
According to ITF the average height of female tennis players is 5’9″ while the tallest female tennis player of all time is Venus Williams with a height of 6’1″ and the shortest female tennis player is Nuria Llagostera Vivers with a height of 5’1.
Lauren Davis has won in total two singles and six doubles titles on the WTA tour. Despite having short in height she utilized her other qualities to win these titles. She is known for her aggressive backhand, speed, and strength on a clay court. So to every short person out there don’t let your height come in the way of your dreams.
Physical Advantages Of Being Short In Tennis
You might be shocked to know that there are multiple advantages that a short-height person has over a taller person.
Lower Center Of Gravity
A short person has a lower center of gravity which allows them to have quicker changes in direction therefore they can be more responsive on the court and counter the ball from any direction. With a lower center of gravity, they also have improved balance which decreases the chances of falling over on the court.
Quicker Movements And Agility
Being shorter gives one an upper hand in speed and agility. Shorter players have improved footwork and movements which lead to more successful defensive play. Short tennis players are also able to hit the ball early because they are at a better angle to counter the ball when it’s coming towards them, therefore, giving their opponent less time to prepare.
Top 8 Short Female Tennis Players
Nuria Llagostera Vives
- Height: 5’1″
Nuria Llagostera Vivers is a retired Spanish player. She was born on 16 May 1980 and in June 2005 Llagosterva Vives reached her best singles ranking in the world, she was at No. 35 in the world. Later on, in November 2009, she reached No. 5 in the WTA doubles ranking.
In her tennis career, she won a total of two singles and six doubles titles on the WTA tour. In 2005 she also won the silver medal at the 2005 Mediterranean Games. Vives along with her partner María José Martínez Sánchez defeated Serena and Venus Williams in a doubles championship at the 2009 WTA Tour Championships.
Vives tennis career ended after it was announced that she will be suspended for two years because of testing positive for Dextroamphetamine. Therefore she announced her retirement from professional tennis on 20 November 2015.
- Height: 5’2″
Amanda Coetzer is the second shortest female tennis player on the list. Coetzer is a former South African tennis player and was born in Hoopstad on 22 October 1971. During her whole tennis career, she scored many achievements. She was able to reach three grand slam semi-finals (The Australian open in 1996 and 1997, and the French Open in 1997) and became the first African woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. Along with that she also qualified for the 1993 US Open Grand Slam.
Despite having a shorter height she was able to beat players ranked higher than her therefore she gained the nickname “The Little Assasin”. In total, she won 18 WTA tournament titles and her final singles title was won in Acapulco in 2003. The total cash prize money Coetzer earned in her career is $6 Million.
If we look at Coetzer’s personal life, she was married to the Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan in 2007. They have two children, a son Shimon and a daughter Olivia. Coerzer took retirement in 2004 and ended her career in tennis.
- Height: 5’2″
Lauren Davis is an American professional tennis player. She is known for her strong backhand, speed, agility, and clay court strength. When Davis was 9 years old she started playing tennis. And at the age of 14, she received a wild card at the 2008 US Open which results in her debut on ITF Junior Circuit. Upon turning 16 she left her hometown to get training at Evert Tennis Academy.
Her professional career started in 2011 when she won her first WTA Tour match in the Miami Open. And to this date, she has scored many achievements. If I start mentioning all of Lauren Davis’s achievements then I’ll miss our main topic therefore this topic is for another day.
In 2013 Davis took legal action against Production Design Associates and Design Output in the event of a piece of lighting and video equipment being fallen over her head and knocked her unconscious. The Production Design Associates and Design Output were hired by the sponsor Dove to install video and lighting equipment for the interview. Due to their negligence, Davis suffered from serious and painful head traumas.
- Height: 5’2″
On the list of short female tennis players Anna Smashnova is in the 4th position but if we look at her junior tennis career she became the Number one junior tennis player in the Soviet Union at the age of 10. Smashnova started playing tennis at the age of six, which shows her enthusiasm for tennis. In 1989 when she was just 14 she won the Soviet Union youth championship.
Smashnova was born on July 16 1947 in Minsk. In September 1990 Freddy Krivine, one of the founders of Isreal Tennis Centers invited Smashnova to immigrate to Isreal which led to her immigration to Isreal along with her family. If we look at her tennis career she reached her career-high singles ranking of world number 15 in 2003.
Smashnova reached 13 finals and won 12 out of them. She also won a Junior Grand Slam title in the 1991 French Open girl’s Championship. After the 2007 Wimbledon Smashnova retired from her professional tennis career.
- Height: 5’3″
With a height of only 5’3″ Dominika Cibulkova has scored multiple achievements in her tennis career. She is a Slovak former tennis player. Cibulkova started playing tennis at the age of eight in Piešťany. Piešťany is a town in Slovakia. She later shifted to Bratislava along with her family.
If we look at Cibulkova’s tennis career, she has reached the quarter-finals of all four Grand Slams at least once. She also became the fourth player to win the 2016 WTA Finals after Serena Williams in 2001, Maria Sharapova in 2004, and Petra Kvitova in 2011.
On 9 July 2016, Cibulkova’s married her fiance Michael Navara. She was known for her signature expression; “Pome”. It is the slang version of “Pod’me” and in English, it translates to “Let’s go” or “Come on”. Her signature expression became so popular that with the help of her friend Marion Bartoli, she started her own clothing brand in 2004.
Cibulkova later retired in November 2019 and soon after her retirement she announced that she is expecting her first child who was born in June 2022, later in September 2022 she announced her second pregnancy.
- Height: 5’3″
Jill Craybas is the same height as Dominika Cibulkova. Both of them are 160m or in feet, 5’3″. If we compare both of the player’s performances then Craybas’s ATP Ranking is way less than Cibulkova’s. she stands at No.39 while Craybas stands at No.4. But overall Craybas has reached many achievements in her professional tennis career.
Such as In the 2005 Wimbledon Championships she defeated Serena Williams in the third round with a score of 6-3, 7-6. But later in the fourth round, Serena William’s older sister Venus Williams defeated her with a score of 0-6, 2-6, and eventually won the championship.
Craybas was born on July 4, 1947, in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. For college, she received an athletic scholarship to attend the University Of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications. She retired in 2013 and by the time of her retirement, she was the oldest player on WTA Tour, she was 39 years old at that time.
- Height: 5’3″
Misaki Doi is the shortest Japanese professional female tennis player of all time. At the age of six Doi started playing tennis. Her tennis career started at her school where she was a middle school student, Later in 2004 and 2006 she reached the semifinals of the All Japan Middle School Tennis Championship and this led to her enrollment in ITF Junior Tennis Circuit in 2006.
In her junior tennis career, she reached two Junior Grand Slam doubles finals, one at Wimbledon in 2007 and the other at the Australian Open in 2008. If we look at Doi’s professional tennis career she has scored big achievements. Her professional career started in 2006 and from 2006 to 2009 she got her first ITF title and also qualified for the WTA tour.
In 2010 she qualified for her first Grand Slam but didn’t score a win but in 2011 she had her first win in a Grand Slam tournament. Later in 2012, Doi reached her first WTA Tour quarterfinal by defeating Francesca Schiavone in two sets. To this date, Doi has scored many other achievements so it’s not possible to mention all of them here, so we should move toward our next participant on the list.
- Height: 5’3″
The last player on the list of short tennis players t is Rosemary Casals. She belonged to a poor family who had immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador. A few months after Casals was born her parents decided they could not take care of her and her older sister, Victora. Therefore Casalas’s great-uncle and aunt, Manuel and Maria adopted both sisters and raised them as their own children.
Casals learned to play tennis from her great-uncle Manuel, he was the only coach Casals ever had. In her junior tennis career, she faced many obstacles. Due to her 5’2″ height, she was one of the shortest players on the court. And another obstacle that she faced was more like discrimination. Tennis is a game for white upper-class people so Casalas poor background immediately set her apart from most of the players.
In 1998 Casals retired from professional tennis. Later in 2004, she got married to a former WTA Tour trainer Coonie Spooner and to this date both of them are happily married.
Final Thoughts On Short Female Tennis Players
At last, I would like to mention a few things that I have noticed while writing about short female tennis players. Anna Smashnova and Jill Craybas were born in the same month and year. Even though their birth dates are only 12 days apart but we can call them birthday twins. Anna Smashnova was born on July 16 1947 while Jill Craybas was born on July 4, 1947.
Another thing that I have noticed is that both Misaki Doi and Anna Smashnova started playing tennis at the six which makes also makes them the youngest tennis player on our list. Other than that in this list, there are players from different ethnicity and cultures so I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does height matter in tennis?
Height is not the main factor that led one to win a match in tennis. Tennis is a game of strategy and smart play therefore even a short player can out win their opponent with a strategic play.
Who is the shortest female tennis player?
On the list of short female tennis players Rosemary Casals is the shortest in terms of height. She stands at a height of 5’3″.
What is the ideal height for a female tennis player?
According to ITF the average height of female tennis players is 5’9″ while the tallest female tennis player of all time is Venus Williams with a height of 6’1″ and the shortest female tennis player is Lauren Davis with a height of 5’1″.
What is the advantage of short female tennis players?
A short tennis player has a lower center of gravity which allows them to have quicker changes in direction therefore they can be more responsive on the court and counter the ball from any direction. Along with that being shorter gives them an upper hand in speed and agility. Shorter players have improved footwork and movements which lead to more successful defensive play.
Hey, it’s 32 years old Robert Dexter here, a huge fan of Roger Federer. I love tennis since the age of 12. I write about tennis whenever possible. I have keen interest in equipment and the technicalities of tennis. Other than tennis, I love to post new stories on Instagram, read books and cooking.