The most dominant athlete in every sport

serena williams
Serena Williams hasn’t lost in 2015.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Some of these athletes are right in their primes, some have a long track record of sustained success, and some are athletes just beginning their dominance.

We recently ranked the most dominant athletes in sports in general, but we also chose the most dominant in each sport individually.

From the NFL and NBA to soccer, tennis, golf, track and field, and more, we selected the 31 athletes who stake a claim as the best in the world at what they do.

Men’s soccer: Cristiano Ronaldo

Men's soccer: Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid forward

Age: 30

Ronaldo took home the Ballon D’or in 2014 and carried Portugal to the World Cup despite being knocked out in the first round. He has 18 goals in 2015 and 50 goals in 47 games for the 2014-15 season.

Women’s soccer: Nadine Kessler

Women's soccer: Nadine Kessler

German national team midfielder

Age: 27

Kessler won 2014 FIFA’s women’s player of the year and was leading a German team that’s one of the favorites going into the 2015 Women’s World Cup. In October she hurt her knee and will now miss the World Cup.

Men’s tennis: Novak Djokovic

Men's tennis: Novak DjokovicREUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Serbian tennis player

Age: 27

Djokovic is the No. 1-ranked tennis player in the world, and seems poised to dominate in the near future. He’s the first player to win the year’s first three Masters 1000 tournaments— the biggest outside the Grand Slams — and has a 5,000-point lead over Roger Federer for the No. 1 rank.

Women’s tennis: Serena Williams

Women's tennis: Serena WilliamsClive Brunskill/Getty

American tennis player

Age: 33

Williams won seven titles in 2014, including the US Open, and is 20-0 in the 2015 season. Her own inconsistency is her biggest problem. When she’s healthy and focused, however, she’s unbeatable.

Men’s basketball: LeBron James

Men's basketball: LeBron JamesMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers forward

Age: 30

LeBron James has a rightful case for MVP each season. The Cavaliers won 20 more games with James this year while the Miami Heat lost 17 more games without him. All the while he puts up monster stats every night.

Women’s basketball: Maya Moore

Women's basketball: Maya MooreKevin C. Cox/Getty

Minnesota Lynx guard

Age: 25

Moore won the 2014 MVP award, averaging 24 points and eight rebounds per game, and then led USA Women’s Basketball to gold in the 2014 FIBA World Cup while winning player of the tournament.

Football: J.J. Watt

Football: J.J. WattThearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Houston Texans defensive end

Age: 26

Watt is the reigning NFL defensive player of the year and the runner-up for MVP. He had 20.5 sacks on the year, one interception, and even had three receiving touchdowns on offense. He’s almost uncontainable for offensive lines.

Men’s track and field: Usain Bolt

Men's track and field: Usain BoltRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Jamaican sprinter

Age: 28

Bolt doesn’t compete often outside of the Olympics, but when he does, he dominates. He set the world records for 100m and 200m at the 2012 Olympics. He recently ran his slowest 100m time ever and still won the race.

Women’s track and field: Genzebe Dibaba

Women's track and field: Genzebe DibabaJulian Finney/Getty

Ethiopian middle- and long-distance runner

Age: 24

Dibaba was named 2014 sportswoman of the year for setting indoor world records for 1500m, 3000m, and two-mile distances. She ran the second-fastest 5K ever in March, missing the world record by two seconds.

Men’s skiing: Marcel Hirscher

Men's skiing: Marcel HirscherAlain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty

Austrian skier

Age: 26

Hirschel has been the men’s No. 1-ranked skier for four years. He’s the first skier to win four straight World Cup titles, and he needs just two more to have the most titles overall.

Women’s skiing: Tina Maze

Women's skiing: Tina MazeAlain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Slovenian skier

Age: 31

Maze took home three medals at the 2015 World Ski Championships, including a gold medal in the combined event — an event that’s “designed to determine the best all-around skier.” She was nominated for Laureus Sportswoman of the Year in 2015.

Men’s MMA: Jon Jones

Men's MMA: Jon JonesSteve Marcus/Getty Images

UFC fighter

Age: 27

Jones has a 21-1 record in the UFC and has won his last three fights by unanimous decision. Out-of-ring issues continue to plague him though; he tested positive for cocaine, and was stripped of his UFC title after getting arrested in connection with a hit-and-run accident.

Women’s MMA: Ronda Rousey

Women's MMA: Ronda RouseyHarry How/Getty Images

UFC fighter

Age: 28

Rousey typifies dominance. She’s 11-0 in MMA and 5-0 UFC fights. Her last two fights have lasted an average of 15 seconds.

Men’s swimming: Chad le Clos

Men's swimming: Chad le ClosFrancois Nel/Getty

South African swimmer

Age: 23

Le Clos was named FINA World Swimmer of the Year in 2014 after he dominated the 2014 World Championships, winning gold in the 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly, as well as the 200m freestyle. He also won two gold medals in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, one for the 400m medley.

Women’s swimming: Katie Ledecky

Women's swimming: Katie LedeckyHarry How/Getty

American swimmer

Age: 19

Ledecky is a three-time All-Met Girl’s Swimmer of the Year and currently owns the world records in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle. She could become the first woman to win four individual gold medals at a single World Championship this August.

Baseball: Clayton Kershaw

Baseball: Clayton KershawHarry How/Getty

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher

Age: 27

Kershaw had one of the best pitching seasons in MLB history on his way to winning the 2014 Cy Young. He led MLB in wins, ERA, WHIP, and was second in opposing batting average.

Men’s cricket: Mitchell Starc

Men's cricket: Mitchell StarcCameron Spencer/Getty

Australian cricketer

Age: 24

Starc helped lead Australia to win the 2015 World Cup and was named player of the tournament in the process. He led the entire tournament with 22 wickets.

Women’s cricket: Sarah Taylor

Women's cricket: Sarah TaylorSteve Bardens/Getty

English cricketer

Age: 25

Taylor was the T20I Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2013, and during a stint playing in Australia in 2014 was named the South Australian Scorpions Player of the Year for 2014-2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *