Serena Williams up there with the greats

Skinnada Roar Rookie

By Skinnada, Skinnada is a Roar Rookie

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    Serena Williams' greatest tournament win came at Melbourne Park a decade ago. (AFP PHOTO/ Martin Bernetti)

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    Love or hate her, no one can possibly question the greatness of Serena Williams.

    Her record speaks for itself with 15 singles, 13 doubles and two mixed doubles grand slam titles to her name. Then throw in four Olympic gold medals from Sydney 2000 to her recent triumph in Beijing.

    Williams captured her fourth US Open crown in a third decade, driving home the longevity of her career. At 30 years old, Williams will have a few more years to add to her already stunning record.

    Injury cost her a few years of quality tennis between 04-06 and the back half of 2010 into 2011 where she only played six tournaments. Now she is seemingly back at peak fitness, for a 2013 campaign that could be another year of Serena supremacy.

    The US Open was pure dominance from round one to the beginning of the second set in the final against Victoria Azarenka. Williams blasted her way past all opponents, rarely being troubled and relying on her serve, which is the best in women’s tennis.

    Azarenka then turned the final on its head, playing some quality tennis through the second set and most of the way through the third. Williams was about to be runner up again as she was to Aussie Sam Stosur in 2011.

    Azarenka had Williams on the ropes but, unlike the previous year where she unravelled and lost her cool, she bounced back. This year Serena would not go down without a fight.

    She managed to hang in there and Azarenka became increasingly nervous and tentative. Williams then put the foot on the throat, claiming the next three games to win the match.

    I have seen many articles debating whether Williams is the greatest of all time. Her 15 Grand Slam titles places her sixth all time, nine titles behind Margaret Court. I believe Serena may win another four or five Grand Slam titles, bringing her closer to Steffi Graf’s 22.

    This is just like comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, when James is only 27 years old and has up to 10 years of a career to play out. Williams has a few years to close the gap to Graf but Court looks to be untouchable. Serena will need to have four years of supreme dominance with minimal injury trouble to achieve this.

    Williams in the past has been known to explode and show bad sportsmanship in some matches. I fully agree that she has gone overboard on some occasions.

    However, she has also been criticised for playing and looking like a man, regardless of her outlandish attire. Granted she doesn’t have the physique that appeals to male spectators compared to the likes of Sharapova, Ivanovic or an Azarenka but this should be irrelevant.

    Watching great athletes is a privilege and should be treasured as sports fans. I think that Serena Williams fits the bill as one of the greats, whether her appearance appeals to you or not.

    I will continue to sit back and enjoy her career and let the records be compared once she retires.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • September 12th 2012 @ 9:12am
      Jimbo Jones said | September 12th 2012 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      It would be good to have seen some tougher competition during her career to see what she is really made of. I know that she can only play whoever else is around, but I feel that she has been quite fortunate to be playing without much competition. (Well compared to the men at the moment anyway – the competition and rivalry at the top of mens tennis for the past few years has been amazing, and winning an open you really have had to earn it)

      • September 23rd 2012 @ 4:04am
        Mark said | September 23rd 2012 @ 4:04am | ! Report

        To jimbo jones…are u kidding me… How tough does the competition have to be..venus williams, lindsay davenport, martina hingis, j capriati, kim clijsters, sharapova, henin, and d newbies..azarenka, petra, etc
        Best not to argue with her dominance and give her her dues… If u wanna bemoan her lack of “rivals” then imguess steffi never really had competition during the middle of her career and after seles was stabbed… So at least four free slams for her then..

        • September 27th 2012 @ 11:33pm
          avery thomas said | September 27th 2012 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

          Serena is beautiful and has one of the best bodies or may I say physique in tennis. With the level of competition she still flourish. She is one of the greats. If she hadn’t have missed about 2 years of of her career due to injuries and personal problems she would catch steffi graf and probably give a run at the grand slam record which is 24

    • September 12th 2012 @ 9:42am
      Becktastic said | September 12th 2012 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      I’m hearing you Skinnada……I’m hearing you!!!

    • September 12th 2012 @ 12:43pm
      Cathos said | September 12th 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

      Tennis is one of the few sports where females are watched and regarded almost as highly as men (with the exception of the fewer sets for women rule which needs to be changed). Yet Serena and other players are still hugely judged on appearance and personality. Male players are forgiven far more often for outbursts on the court or a dodgy haircut but their ability to play tennis is never questioned. Females cop it from all sides in all sports its about time we had a strong role model who is not only one of the greats but also gracious and focused as an athlete.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 12th 2012 @ 1:06pm
        Skinnada said | September 12th 2012 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

        Cathos, can’t agree with you more Re 5 set matches for the women. Equal play = equal pay I say.

    • September 12th 2012 @ 6:17pm
      srilakshmi said | September 12th 2012 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

      one of the greatest players the tennis world has seen.she is fit to be regarded as the queen of queens.a great athlete.she had so many problems but fought all of them and still is reigning

    • October 8th 2012 @ 11:29am
      TruthBeTold said | October 8th 2012 @ 11:29am | ! Report

      Serena obviously trails the Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, and Navratilova in majors won. Yet when you see Serena do things like serve 102 aces over the course of a Wimbledon — more than any male and a feat no one female would come close to achieving.
      John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Kim Clijsters and Lindsey Davenport have all stated that Serena is either the greatest or best female player ever.  All are multiple grand slam winners, therefore there opinion on this subject carry real weight.  Many have such strong convictions about Steffi Graff being the best ever, look at her record against competition as say, Christ Evert 7-6, Navratilova 9-9, and of course a hard hitting but slow footed Lindsey Davenport 8-6.  If Serena (today’s) or early 2000’s, well it doesn’t matter.  If Serena played against a peak Steffi Graf, Graf would be blown off the court with the rest of the competition.  By the way, Serena’s record against Linsey Davenport is 10-4.  Stop with your denials, Serena is the best and greatest the women’s game has ever seen, period.  Live with it!!  EVER, EVER!!

    • November 29th 2012 @ 9:53pm
      Shaun said | November 29th 2012 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

      I think one can never really compare different generations to each other. I mean technology was different, level of training ect was different. Each player in his/her respective generations did what they had to do to stay on top. Navratilova until Steffi, Steffi until Hingis, Hngis until Daventport and Williamses, Williamses until Henin & Cljsters. In order to dominate they all had to put certain things in place, change training regimes etc. So it would have been interesting to see if they all played in the same era. But i think they all would have upper their game in order to stay competitive. I can assure you that as competive as Steffi and Navratilova were, they would have spent as much time in the gym as Serena does. To those saying that Serena would have blown Steffi off the court. I dare you to watch their two matches in 1999. (the same year Steffi retired and Serena won her first GS). Those matches were split evenly between them and both went to 3 sets. Even back then Serena was blasting big serves and aces. But Steffi wasnt far off. And they matched each other with winners. Serena having more with being able to hit off the FH & BH. But that did not change the outcome of the matches. Because any tennis player will tell you that tennis is not just all about power, its about being present during each point and knowing what to do to win. And in that repsect Steffi, Serena, Martina, Evert and even Seles are best.

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