Re: Says Azarenka, Serena is the greatest player of all time
Others brought up a good point though. Rightly or wrongly (IMO wrongly, especialy regarding Graf) the reality is the vast majority of people and experts believe Graf or Navratilova is the greatest female player of all time. Graf is only 2nd in slam wins and Navratilova is only tied for 4th. This too is arguably an inflated position for Graf considering the Seles stabbing, and Navratilova would be way behind not only Court and Graf, but also Wills Moody and Evert had everyone played the Australian and French in the 20s and 70s (to those who challenge this Evert would have won way more combined Australians and French Opens in the 70s when she was the dominant player than Navratilova who might have managed 1 or 2 grass Aussies at the end of the decade, that is it). However despite that Graf and Navratilova are considered the two best by most people today.
So this is proof that it is not all about slam wins or stats, so saying nobody can say Serena is best ever due to not leading any stats, that is not the case. If it were all about stats everyone would say Court is the best ever, and while Court is disgracefully underrated, it is obvious that is not the view of most people, so unless you are willing to give Court her due and admit that she is probably the GOAT based on the stats, then you cant dismiss Serena easily from the argument by just saying well her stats arent the best. Not saying you have to concede her the greatest ever of course, but you also cant automatically assume all to look past her due to stats unless you are willing to concede Court, and not Graf or Navratilova is the GOAT.
Reality is tennis is played on a tennis court, not on paper. Serena's career consistency is far from the best, hence why she doesnt lead the stats. However it is quite possible had all these women played in the same era she would lead them all in many stats including slam wins, since her really good tennis would shut everyone else out virtually everytime on grass or hard courts. These women were all the best in their own eras so naturally when they played well usually won each particular slam, but these others being more consistent than Serena, and their best being better than others best of their time just like Serena, they ended up winning more. Playing in the same era as Serena would bring a whole new dimension to things though, particularly for those of us who believe her really good tennis would beat all others really good tennis on grass or hard courts, even given time coded into a whole new era, with the same equipment, etc....Not that you have to accept this viewpoint but it is not an implausible one either.
Now if Serena still had only 9 slams of course you couldnt argue her as the best ever, but now that she is only a few behind some of the GOAT contenders one can argue her based on sheer playing level.
Lastly for all the dissing of the womens field from 2009-2011 imparticular over the course of her career Serena has faced more overall competition than anyone. Lets break it down:
Navratilova- dominated a really weak field 82-86. Yeah she had Chris, and occasionaly Hana, but lack of depth would be a massive understatement, the top 10 was mostly filled with scrubs who wouldnt scare even a 1 slam winner in the slightest. That isnt to take away from the fact her dominance these years was amazing no matter the field, and she played some of the best tennis ever by a women which was revolutionary at that point.
Evert- did face some deep fields during her reign in the 70s, but was only the #1 for any extended period when Court and King were well into their 30s, and before Navratilova got it together.
Graf- dominated with Navratilova and Evert in their 30s, lost dominance to Seles, Seles stabbed, dominates again, new generation emerges, gets injured, recovers enough to face them and puts up admirable fight in 1999, retires at barely 30 rather than testing herself against them further, the end.
Court- 60s was underrated and pretty good field, but the state of the Australian Open back then is well documented, and of her two main rivals she and King almost never played their best tennis in the same years, Bueno dealt with major health problems her entire career after 1960, and the other top players were mostly clay courters Turner, Jones, and Richey, in a grass court heavy era.
Serena- Played in an era with Venus, Henin, Hingis, Davenport, Clijsters, Sharapova, Mauresmo, all multi slam winners, and only Henin and Hingis did she hardly ever meet peak to peak, outlasted them all including the younger ones, and now in new era is facing off with near certain future multi slam winners Azarenka and Kvitova as well. Early in career dealt faced off with Graf and Seles as well.
Last edited by justineheninfan; Sep 13th, 2012 at 01:50 AM.