For about the past four years all I’ve heard about is No.24 and that it would define Serena Williams’ status as the greatest tennis player of all time.
I think to myself, why should it? Why should greatness be determined just by silverware and why are we just comparing era’s only when it suits?
Since the Open Era came in since 1968 no player has won more Grand Slam titles than Serena Williams’ 23. Federer and Nadal have come closest with 20 but she is in a league of her own.
Why does she get compared to Margaret Court?
With the greatest of respect to Court, Serena’s achievements, longevity and fight for equality in sport stands her heads and shoulders ahead of the Australian.
Court won 24 Grand Slam titles but only 11 of them came in the Open Era. Not only that but with travel limited in some countries to Australia some draws were only 27-39 players, some in mid 40’s but none over 64 players
If we’re talking about greatness and Grand Slam titles won, what about Roger, Rafa and Novak and why aren’t they compared to Ken Rosewall for example?
Roger & Rafa both have 20 Grand Slam titles and Novak Djokovic has 18 but at no point does anyone say, what about Ken Rosewall and his Grand Slam record of 23?
The debate goes on about which of those three men are the greatest but why has no one said, they have catching up to do on Ken though?
Ken, similarly to Court won titles in both the Amateur era and the Open Era. He won’t eight Grand Slam titles but also won another 15 titles in the Pro Championships which are considered as part of the professional Grand Slam from the years of 1927-1967.
The events were held in London, Paris and New York before being defunct after 1967 when the Open Era came about in 1968.
So, why don’t we hear more of Roger, Rafa & Novak still have numbers to chase to be considered the greatest? These majors are considered part of the Grand Slam calendar for 40 years before the Open Era came in 1968 so it should be an equal playing field.
It feels like Serena has to prove a point that others don’t. If we’re counting slams that Court won then why isn’t the same for those won by Rod Laver (19) or Ken Rosewall (23)?
I do think it is baffling and disrespectful to Serena that this is still a conversation. If you can’t look at her achievements, battles and what she stands for and come to the conclusion that to be considered the greatest female player has to win another major.
Serena has fought for equality on and off court and has been a phenomenal champion for years, her 23 Grand Slams is an incredible achievement and you cannot forget her 14 Grand Slam titles won in doubles with Venus too.
A true tennis great, head and shoulders above the rest.