As 2011 begins to draw to a close, we here at Total Pro Sports thought this would be a perfect time to revisit and update our list of the world’s most Googled female athletes.
It was a pretty big year for women’s sports. The biggest event of course was the 2011 Woman’s World Cup, which was more exciting and more popular than ever before. Women’s tennis also got a big boost this year thanks to the return of it’s biggest star, Serena Williams, who had been out for the better part of a year. How did all of this affect this year’s results? You’ll have to read the list to find out.
So without any further ado, here are the world’s most popular female athletes in 2011 as measured by the number of Google search results from the past 12 months.
This Belgian tennis player may only be ranked no. 26 in the world, but she still manages to just barely crack the top 30 most Googled female athletes.
30. Yanina Wickmayer – 1,080,000 Results
When you score a dramatic game-tying goal in extra time against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, and that goal is named the best play of the year at the 2011 ESPY Awards—yeah, you get a big boost in Google search results.
29. Abby Wambach – 1,120,000 Results
Paraguayan Leryn Franco is by far the world's most famous javelin thrower. I wonder why?
28. Leryn Franco – 1,130,000 Results
Surely Agnieszka Radwanska makes the list on the strength of her being the most successful Polish women's tennis player of all time.
27. Agnieszka Radwanska – 1,260,000 Results
Misty May is one half of the greatest beach volleyball team of all time, but for some reason she's a lot more popular on the web than teammate Kerri Walsh.
26. Misty May-Treanor – 1,360,000 Results
Another member of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team who got a big boost thanks to a successful run to the finals at this year's World Cup.
25. Alex Morgan – 1,450,000 Results
Marion Bartoli's dad pissed her off at this year's Wimbledon tournament, so the French tennis star had him kicked out. Any publicity is good publicity, though.
24. Marion Bartoli – 1,490,000
Definitely the most famous softball player of all time (okay, maybe the only famous softball player), Jennie is still one of the most Googled female athletes even though she retired in 2010 to focus on family.
23. Jennie Finch – 1,650,000 Results
She's a golfer, she used to have an advice column in FHM, she was on Celebrity Apprenctice...Natalie Gulbis is a Jill of All Trades.
22. Natalie Gulbis – 1,710,000 Results
Zvonareva has fallen from no. 2 to no. 7 in the women's tennis rankings over the last year, but this Russian is still pretty popular on the web.
21. Vera Zvonareva – 1,720,000 Results
Unlike our previous entrant, Serbian-born German tennis player Andrea Petkovic is currently on the rise, sitting at a career best no. 10 in the world.
20. Andrea Petkovic – 1,720,000 Results
This no. 24-ranked Slovakian tennis player reached her career peak waaaay back in 2003, yet in our Google Rankings she comes out ahead. Go figure.
19. Daniela Hantuchova – 1,760,000 Results
Wow, so women's tennis is completely dominating the upper-middle portion of this list. But don't complain to no. 6-ranked Aussie Sam Stosur. Look at those guns—she could hurt you.
18. Samantha Stosur – 1,910,000 Results
This Belarussian, ranked no. 3 in the world, is another star on the rise. Keep an eye on her.
17. Victoria Azarenka – 1,940,000 Results
This 22-year-old Slovakian tennis player is only no. 17 in the world, yet she ranks higher in Google results than the numbers 3, 6, 7, and 10? You don't think Google search results are related to...nah, couldn't be.
16. Dominika Cibulkova – 1,950,000 Results
What can I say, the internet loves a swimming superstar and 21-time Olympic medalist (5 golds, 13 silvers, 3 bronzes) who also posed in Playboy.
15. Amanda Beard – 2,030,000 Results
When you're the most successful Asian tennis player ever—Li Na is ranked no. 5 and won the 2011 French Open—you're Google results go way up.
14. Li Na – 2,080,000 Results
They don't call her "the face of women's MMA" for nothing.
13. Gina Carano – 2,150,000 Results
How do you become the most famous female golfer in the world? Join the pro tour when you're 16.
12. Michelle Wie – 2,180,000 Results
You win Wimbledon and jump to no. 2 in the world, you get two and a half million Google results. That's how it works.
11. Petra Kvitova – 2,590,000 Results
She's only ranked 27 in the world, and she's never even sniffed a Grand Slam title, yet here is Maria Kirilenko cracking the top 10. People must love her charming personality. (Google factors that into their algorithms, right?)
10. Maria Kirilenko – 3,540,000 Results
You knew Hope Solo would be on the list, right? She's the face of the team and the most famous U.S. women's soccer player since Mia Hamm.
9. Hope Solo – 9,040,000 Results
At no. 22, Ana Ivanovic has fallen so far from 2008, when she won the French Open and jumped to no. 1 in the world. People are still fond of her, though.
8. Ana Ivanovic – 12,300,000 Results
Danica probably makes more money as a model and spokesperson then she does as a race car driver. Let's see how she does in NASCAR.
7. Danica Patrick – 14,500,000 Results
One of the world's most accomplished Alpine skiers? You bet. Yet it was hard to find a photo of Lindsey not in a bikini.
6. Lindsey Vonn – 22,600,000 Results
Venus is 31 years old, which is like 62 in tennis years, but she's one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time, so she's till pretty popular out there on the intertubes.
5. Venus Williams – 30,500,000 Results
I was going to complain about the fact that Anna K. is still so popular despite not really doing anything. Then I heard she was a trainer on season 12 of The Biggest Loser, so I guess that means she is still an "athlete."
4. Anna Kournikova – 36,700,000 Results
The best female tennis player in the world for two years running—and she's adorable. That's going to get you a ton of search results.
3. Caroline Wozniacki – 37,200,000 Results
It seemed like Maria Sharapova got distracted by her modeling and spokesperson career for a while there, but she's rededicated herself to tennis and has risen to no. 4 in the world again. She's the anti-Kournikova.
2. Maria Sharapova – 54,700,000 Results
Serena may be the most dominant women's tennis player of all time. She was #1 last year, and she is #1 this year. What can I say—the internet loves her.