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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #1
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Question What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

She's not going to win 25 Grand Slams singles titles. No. And for the purpose of this thread, let's talk only about singles.

But then Steffi Graf only won 22 and a heck of a lot of people consider her above Margaret Court. Heck, even Martina Navratilova who won 18 only compared to 24 for Court, is considered by many as the Greatest ever.

Serena's not there yet but she's also not finished with the game. So standing right now with 11 Grand Slam singles titles: 4 Australian Opens, 1 French Open, 3 Wimbledons and 3 US Opens. She held all Grand Slam titles at one point by completing a non-calendar Grand Slam in 2002-03.

So if Graf who won less than Court and Navratilova who won less than Court can be considered the Greatest ever, at what number then can Serena enter that argument?

Or is this simply a double standard where you say numbers are everything, Serena must have Graf and Navratilova like figures to be considered equal but they do not need Court like figures to be considered equal.

How do we also assess the level of competition getting tougher and tougher as the years have gone by? Women's tennis as a sport has become more and more popular over the years with more prizemoney, more media attention. Also comes with increased competition. How do we also put this into perspective?

People are already calling Federer with 15 Grand Slam singles titles the Greatest ever. He has never held all four slams at the same time (no calendar nor non-calendar Grand Slam) compared to Rod Laver who won the Grand Slam twice. Is Federer the greatest because he's the latest? Obviously, not just because of that but surely it has something to do with it.

Please leave this in GM, as I want to see what people use as their standards or doubles standards.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

I get confused whenever I see the title 'greatest ever' appear, anyways to answer the question it kind of depends what era you became enthralled in tennis and whether you have the ability to remove your fan bias? If a 10 year old starting watching tennis in the last few weeks then they will say Serena Williams because that's all they've seen. Going on slams only I would suggest Margaret Court. I highly doubt her record is going to be broken because the competition and technology used is vastly different now than when Margaret was playing, I just can't see anyone ever being a single dominant figure over the current competition.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

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Originally Posted by jorjamae View Post
I get confused whenever I see the title 'greatest ever' appear, anyways to answer the question it kind of depends what era you became enthralled in tennis and whether you have the ability to remove your fan bias? If a 10 year old starting watching tennis in the last few weeks then they will say Serena Williams because that's all they've seen. Going on slams only I would suggest Margaret Court. I highly doubt her record is going to be broken because the competition and technology used is vastly different now than when Margaret was playing, I just can't see anyone ever being a single dominant figure over the current competition.
Your post is full of contradictions but at least you got it right with your last words. I think that given what we know regarding the current competition, it's unrealistic for Serena to get Court, Graf or even Navratilova like figures. So I'm trying to figure out what is a realistic figure she needs to be considered the Greatest Ever. 11 is not enough. I'm a fan but I'm willing to admit this.

If she wins 16 by the end of her career, I'll say she's the Greatest ever. That's 2 short of Navratilova and Evert who together virtually dominated the tour. Serena's had more rivals at least through Venus and Justine and possibly with Sharapova in the future.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

Honestly although she reached very much in her career, I can not imagine her being considered as the greatest player ever...
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

Rod Laver recently said players can be considered the greatest of an era, but hardly of all time. I would agree on that.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

She might be the greatest player among 1980s-1990s
but GOAT? HELL NO.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

She needs at least 2 more slams than Graf to compensate for Graf's ridiculous amount of weeks at #1
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

She needs to build a time machine, go back to 1999, and win all the slams that she should have. Singles, doubles and mixed.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

There are only two ways of deciding who is the best ever:

1. Objectively with statistics.

2. Subjectively having watched all of the above play against their peers.

I tend to favour the second option myself.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #10
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

It would take a hell of a lot. Serena LACKS in the areas where Navratilova and Graf EXCEL.
Weeks at no.1, titles outside the slams......

On her side however is the fact that some in the GOAT converstaion have said her level of tennis is GOAT.

If she gets 18 slams, I would consider her AS worthy of discussion with the others up there, she is already top 5 anyway IMHO.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #11
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

Talking about the all-time-greatest most people just look at the open-era because all the time before that is difficult to compare to the competition today.

And Navratilova and Graf share (almost) all of the all-time-records: Most GS, most Wimbledon, longest winning streak, longest time at the number 1 spot, most tournaments won, most finals, etc. etc. etc.

There's no doubt about: Serena needs play another deceade to be compared with these two.

But she might do that! :-)
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #12
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

With all the injuries she had in 2005 -2006, I would have never thought that one day she would win 11 GS titles

Keep on performing well Serena
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #13
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

If she won five or six in a row, that would put her in the argument. Although, that would also put her within sneezing distance of Navratilova/Evert in slam totals so...

I think she could get 18 slams, which would certainly provide a legitimate claim to her being included in the GOAT discussion. She also has had quite an interesting career, with an odd lull in between her two dominant periods; I'm not sure anyone has done this before, so with a more respectable slam total, she's in the discussion I think.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #14
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackms421 View Post
If she won five or six in a row, that would put her in the argument. Although, that would also put her within sneezing distance of Navratilova/Evert in slam totals so...

I think she could get 18 slams, which would certainly provide a legitimate claim to her being included in the GOAT discussion. She also has had quite an interesting career, with an odd lull in between her two dominant periods; I'm not sure anyone has done this before, so with a more respectable slam total, she's in the discussion I think.
Yeah I pretty much agree with you, Although I don't necessarily think she needs to win 5/6 in a row, if she could win the US and AO again, hence winning 3 in a row and 5/6, she'd have another lofty achievement at the slams to add to her resume.
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I think with her serve and her athleticism, her power, her court mobility, I just think when she’s on, she’s the greatest player we’ve ever seen, ever. Now, whether her record is the greatest remains to be seen because she hasn’t retired yet. But I think she is really the greatest player. I have seen Martina and Steffi at their best. There are little chinks in those players’ armor, but it was a different era, where you didn’t need to be the perfect player.
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Old Jul 7th, 2009, 11:43 AM   #15
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Re: What will it take for Serena to be considered the Greatest ever?

again and again for her fans she is GOAT now. She won't be greatest ever. She will behind Graf, Court or Navratilova in many stats
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