Women Tennis Stars Were Hampered By Their Feet

In the Wimbledon runup, the tennis world focused on Rafel Nadal’s deteriorating left foot.

Women’s professional tours have a greater chance of severe foot injuries. They have derailed the tennis careers of famous champions.

Here are some of the biggest names who have failed by their feet on WTA tours. &

Martina Hingis

The Hingis case is perhaps the most talked about “what if?” in the history of women’s tennis. She won five Grand Slam singles titles, 13 doubles titles, and seven mixed doubles titles.

At age 22, she announced her retirement due to the pain from injuries and subsequent surgery.

Despite having sued her former sponsor for $40 million for supplying “defective” shoes that were “unsuitable for competition,” Hingis’ lawsuit was dismissed in 2002.

Anna Kournikova

In parallel with Hingis’ late 1990s-early 2000s reign at the sport’s top, Anna Kournikova possibly became the most famous female tennis player despite never winning a singles title.

In 2000, she was ranked No. 8 in singles and won 16 doubles titles (including 11 with Hingis), and was ranked No. 1 in doubles in 1999.

A series of injuries derailed Kournikova’s tennis career, including a stress fracture in both feet and surgery.

Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez shocked the sports world in her unlikely run to the 2021 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Finals as an unseeded teenager.

The 19-year-old Canadian received on-court medical treatment during the match but refused to retire despite urgings from her father.

Upon diagnosis, her foot was found to have a Grade 3 stress fracture; as a result, her father says she will be out until August at the earliest.

Naomi Osaka

Osaka ruled the women’s game between late 2018 and early 2021.

The world’s most marketable female athlete won four Grand Slam titles, reached No. 1 on the world rankings, and worked for social justice.

After a mental-health hiatus from tennis for most of 2021, she’s fallen off the map in recent years.

After sustaining an Achilles tendon injury earlier this year – and the lingering effects affected her at the French Open, Osaka is now ranked No. 43 in the world.

She withdrew from Wimbledon before it began to prevent further injury.