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Giving Serena her due
Why Williams may be best women's player of all-time

John Wertheim - Tennis Mailbag
May 2, 2007 1:28PM


You say, "Rev up a tape of Borg or Vilas, watch where their shots land, take note of the pace and I defy you to tell me either would stand a chance against Nadal. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you it wouldn't be close." All right then, how about this: Rev up a tape of Evert, Navratilova or Graf, watch where their shots land, take a note of the pace, and I defy you to tell me any of them would stand a chance against Serena. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you, it wouldn't be close. I also would point out that Serena is way ahead of Nadal in Grand Slam wins and will likely stretch her lead in the next few years. So, using your logic, does that make Serena the greatest women's player of all-time?
-- Roger Prine, Charlottesville, Va.

No, because there are additional factors, just as there are additional factors working against Nadal. But I do agree with Roger's other premise: Head-to-head, Serena beats everyone. Ply all the greats with the same racket, pit them in a tournament and my money is on Williams. And I think that should have some bearing on how history recalls her. As I wrote last week, Serena will not surpass the Slam total of Evert, Martina, Court or Graf. But a few more majors and I think we have to speak seriously about her as a female GOAT candidate.

We could sit at the bar and debate this until last call, but look at it this way: Bill Russell won many more NBA titles than Michael Jordan. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar won (several) more MVPs. Wilt Chamberlain had a higher career scoring average, et cetera. And yet at some point there is a generally accepted recognition that Jordan is the Best Ever. Why? Because non-empirical factors (depth of competition, mental toughness, arc of career and, yes, a sense that in absolute terms there was never a better player) work in his favor.

Serena Williams: GRAND SLAM CHAMPION
:worship: 57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1 :worship:​
:worship: Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus) :worship:​
 

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Giving Serena her due
Why Williams may be best women's player of all-time

John Wertheim - Tennis Mailbag
May 2, 2007 1:28PM


You say, "Rev up a tape of Borg or Vilas, watch where their shots land, take note of the pace and I defy you to tell me either would stand a chance against Nadal. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you it wouldn't be close." All right then, how about this: Rev up a tape of Evert, Navratilova or Graf, watch where their shots land, take a note of the pace, and I defy you to tell me any of them would stand a chance against Serena. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you, it wouldn't be close. I also would point out that Serena is way ahead of Nadal in Grand Slam wins and will likely stretch her lead in the next few years. So, using your logic, does that make Serena the greatest women's player of all-time?
-- Roger Prine, Charlottesville, Va.

No, because there are additional factors, just as there are additional factors working against Nadal. But I do agree with Roger's other premise: Head-to-head, Serena beats everyone. Ply all the greats with the same racket, pit them in a tournament and my money is on Williams. And I think that should have some bearing on how history recalls her. As I wrote last week, Serena will not surpass the Slam total of Evert, Martina, Court or Graf. But a few more majors and I think we have to speak seriously about her as a female GOAT candidate.

We could sit at the bar and debate this until last call, but look at it this way: Bill Russell won many more NBA titles than Michael Jordan. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar won (several) more MVPs. Wilt Chamberlain had a higher career scoring average, et cetera. And yet at some point there is a generally accepted recognition that Jordan is the Best Ever. Why? Because non-empirical factors (depth of competition, mental toughness, arc of career and, yes, a sense that in absolute terms there was never a better player) work in his favor.

Serena Williams: GRAND SLAM CHAMPION
:worship: 57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1 :worship:​
:worship: Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus) :worship:​
My goodness. This coming from John. :eek:
 

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Giving Serena her due
Why Williams may be best women's player of all-time

John Wertheim - Tennis Mailbag
May 2, 2007 1:28PM


You say, "Rev up a tape of Borg or Vilas, watch where their shots land, take note of the pace and I defy you to tell me either would stand a chance against Nadal. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you it wouldn't be close." All right then, how about this: Rev up a tape of Evert, Navratilova or Graf, watch where their shots land, take a note of the pace, and I defy you to tell me any of them would stand a chance against Serena. Heresy, I know. But I'm telling you, it wouldn't be close. I also would point out that Serena is way ahead of Nadal in Grand Slam wins and will likely stretch her lead in the next few years. So, using your logic, does that make Serena the greatest women's player of all-time?
-- Roger Prine, Charlottesville, Va.

No, because there are additional factors, just as there are additional factors working against Nadal. But I do agree with Roger's other premise: Head-to-head, Serena beats everyone. Ply all the greats with the same racket, pit them in a tournament and my money is on Williams. And I think that should have some bearing on how history recalls her. As I wrote last week, Serena will not surpass the Slam total of Evert, Martina, Court or Graf. But a few more majors and I think we have to speak seriously about her as a female GOAT candidate.

We could sit at the bar and debate this until last call, but look at it this way: Bill Russell won many more NBA titles than Michael Jordan. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar won (several) more MVPs. Wilt Chamberlain had a higher career scoring average, et cetera. And yet at some point there is a generally accepted recognition that Jordan is the Best Ever. Why? Because non-empirical factors (depth of competition, mental toughness, arc of career and, yes, a sense that in absolute terms there was never a better player) work in his favor.

Serena Williams: GRAND SLAM CHAMPION
:worship: 57 Consecutive Weeks as World #1 :worship:​
:worship: Olympic Gold Medalist ('00 Doubles w/ Venus) :worship:​
Sorry i just don´t agree.

Only Serena and Only Serena has been the responsable for her inability to win more grand slams, and maintain a level of consistency that the best ever players of the game showed.

Having said that i think Serena has lost to so many no one players in the past few years, that you really have to come up with the question how consistently good Serena can be? She´s damn too good at times, but where is the consistency? Sorry but Serena lacks way too much of that word in order to be called the GOAT.

Serena´s fitness has been the one stopping her from becoming the best ever in the game. And that´s her fault, period.

Anyway we´ll see what she does for the next years.
 

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Once again, eras canNOT be compared. I'm sick of people constantly doing so. Nearly every modern athlete is better than an athlete of a era/generation before them. We're faster, stronger, different way of training, different equipment, different nutrition, women especially have differences in what is allowable for us as women than even 20 or 30 years ago. I get ill writing it again and again. ENOUGH already. ;(!
 

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so serena only has accomplish a fraction of what graf, evert, and nav did, and be consistently ranked below justine henin, yet serena is the best ever?

:lol:
 

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so serena only has accomplish a fraction of what graf, evert, and nav did, and be consistently ranked below justine henin, yet serena is the best ever?

:lol:
This is a prime example of someone who hasn't read the posted article.
 

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Serena´s fitness has been the one stopping her from becoming the best ever in the game. And that´s her fault, period.

Anyway we´ll see what she does for the next years.
I think its her injuries -- and that's not her fault, but the hand that she's been given.

I don't believe in a GOAT, but if I had to choose today, it would be Martina Navratilova greatest (along with Margaret Court) because they played and were successful in all events. Not just singles. Also, Martina had a super great rival in Evert and then in Graf and Seles (although the later 2 were in Martina's dotage -- ie old age). Martina's rivals themselves all have an argument for greatest of all time (many think that Seles would have been had she not been stabbed).
 

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I think its her injuries -- and that's not her fault, but the hand that she's been given.

I don't believe in a GOAT, but if I had to choose today, it would be Martina Navratilova greatest (along with Margaret Court) because they played and were successful in all events. Not just singles. Also, Martina had a super great rival in Evert and then in Graf and Seles (although the later 2 were in Martina's dotage -- ie old age). Martina's rivals themselves all have an argument for greatest of all time (many think that Seles would have been had she not been stabbed).
Her fitness is much related to her injuries, she has not taken care of her phisical conditioning, blame the doctors, blame bad luck, the point is that the girl can´t play consistently on the tour without having an injury.

All of this had lead her to horrible and unexplainable loses and her losing valuable time where she would have bagged grand slam after grand slam.

What about the GOAT of Tennis playing full years on tour? And being consistently enough to be considered the best of all of times? She just can´t. And she "probably" won´t.
 

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This is a prime example of someone who hasn't read the posted article.
i couldn't imagine serena playing with a wood racquet. evert would have destroyed her.

i would take justine over serena in the current era. justines game is just superior. justine is #1 and will finish 07 #1..
 

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i couldn't imagine serena playing with a wood racquet. evert would have destroyed her.

i would take justine over serena in the current era. justines game is just superior. justine is #1 and will finish 07 #1..
I'm confused. Are you basing your disparaging comments about Serena on your knowledge or simple dislike?
 
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Her fitness is much related to her injuries, she has not taken care of her phisical conditioning, blame the doctors, blame bad luck, the point is that the girl can´t play consistently on the tour without having an injury.

All of this had lead her to horrible and unexplainable loses and her losing valuable time where she would have bagged grand slam after grand slam.

What about the GOAT of Tennis playing full years on tour? And being consistently enough to be considered the best of all of times? She just can´t. And she "probably" won´t.
Well, I'm one who agreed with Chrissie Evert that her dedication is split (which effects her playing "full years on the tour"), so I see your argument.

Jon wrote -- what? Two weeks ago? That Serena is determined to do things "her way," which means she has no interest in playing a full schedule or doing anything else that other champions have done in the pursuit of their personal greatness/legacy.

Who knows what the future brings for either Serena or Venus. At present, I think that Serena has proven she deserves to be in the "greatest" category as apposed to "great" (where I place Venus) or "good." But I think this latest injury is just another disappointment blip on her legacy screen, and another disappointment to this fan. And this time, its not her fault, because she appears in amazing shape at present.
 

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I'm confused. Are you basing your disparaging comments about Serena on your knowledge or simple dislike?
saying i think justine is better than serena, or that evert is the best with a wood is disparaging?

did you see that bagel justine hung on serena on serenas home court. shows you how much talent justine has. justine will get her revenge in the slams.
 

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saying i think justine is better than serena, or that evert is the best with a wood is disparaging?

did you see that bagel justine hung on serena on serenas home court. shows you how much talent justine has. justine will get her revenge in the slams.
Ohh....I see....I see....this is a soapbox for your rant for you to prove that JH is better than Serena. Cool.

Well, go on....finish the story about that bagel match. What finally happened in that match where JH killed Serena with that bagel? I'm listening.....
 
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Sorry i just don´t agree.

Only Serena and Only Serena has been the responsable for her inability to win more grand slams, and maintain a level of consistency that the best ever players of the game showed.

Having said that i think Serena has lost to so many no one players in the past few years, that you really have to come up with the question how consistently good Serena can be? She´s damn too good at times, but where is the consistency? Sorry but Serena lacks way too much of that word in order to be called the GOAT.

Serena´s fitness has been the one stopping her from becoming the best ever in the game. And that´s her fault, period.

Anyway we´ll see what she does for the next years.
Get over it. Serena had so many other factors against her that hindered her play for years. 1) She had jumper's knee which she had surgery on. The rehab for that surgery takes YEARS. So, beyond that, she can't train as much as she'd like because of the risk of further injuring her knee. 2) She lost her sister in a very violent crime. I dont know if you've lost a loved one, but it is incredibly difficult, and she should be applauded for even picking up a tennis racket again after that. Alot of players would have threw in the towel, lost complete motivation, or took years off. Serena did not take that much time off, and she was only gone around that time because of the knee surgery.

So, you saying that it is all Serena's fault that she hasn't won more majors and that it is all her fault she was not fit is partly ridiculous since during this time she has lost a dear sister and has been struggling with a rehabbing knee for years now. :rolleyes: Even with all the fitness issues or lakc of motivation, as you put it, Serena STILL owns the rest of the tour when she is playing well and SINCE the lost of her sister and the knee surgery, she has won just as many slams as Maria, Amelie, and Justine during that tiem period. :)
 

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saying i think justine is better than serena, or that evert is the best with a wood is disparaging?

did you see that bagel justine hung on serena on serenas home court. shows you how much talent justine has. justine will get her revenge in the slams.
The world #1 had a 6-0 5-4 2mp lead on Serena and still finished second.
Shows you how much talent Serena has. :)
 

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Ohh....I see....I see....this is a soapbox for your rant for you to prove that JH is better than Serena. Cool.

Well, go on....finish the story about that bagel match. What finally happened in that match where JH killed Serena with that bagel? I'm listening.....
personally, i think justine threw the miami match.

to be continued at roland garros........................
 

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Get over it. Serena had so many other factors against her that hindered her play for years. 1) She had jumper's knee which she had surgery on. The rehab for that surgery takes YEARS. So, beyond that, she can't train as much as she'd like because of the risk of further injuring her knee. 2) She lost her sister in a very violent crime. I dont know if you've lost a loved one, but it is incredibly difficult, and she should be applauded for even picking up a tennis racket again after that. Alot of players would have threw in the towel, lost complete motivation, or took years off. Serena did not take that much time off, and she was only gone around that time because of the knee surgery.

So, you saying that it is all Serena's fault that she hasn't won more majors and that it is all her fault she was not fit is partly ridiculous since during this time she has lost a dear sister and has been struggling with a rehabbing knee for years now. :rolleyes: Even with all the fitness issues or lakc of motivation, as you put it, Serena STILL owns the rest of the tour when she is playing well and SINCE the lost of her sister and the knee surgery, she has won just as many slams as Maria, Amelie, and Justine during that tiem period. :)
Years of rehabilitation? Sounds much more like years of excuses :lol:

Anyway Since the 2003 surgery after Wimbledon Henin has won 4 grand slams to Serena´s 2 and 1 from Queen Vee :eek: so since then Henin alone has been better than the two sisters together :lol:
Graf with a reconstructed knee and being 29 years old won a grand slam and reached finals of another in 1999, but then Serena wins the Usopen, Venus wins 2 slams in 2000, yet all Williams Fans may say the game moved on already... Well then the same could be said about Henin´s superior record in comparisson the Venus and Serena together since Wimbledon 2003.
 
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