Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Of all the goats in sports, Serena Williams may be the best of them all

Tim Clayton/Corbis from Guy Tee pictures

) Forget wabbit season, duck season or even leash season.

In professional sports these days, it’s goat season.

In recent years, stars from a variety of athletic fields have come together to elevate their game to what can be considered the “best ever” Great player” level. “

Of course, some cases receive more scrutiny than others.

LeBron James has become a par with Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods has a compelling argument next to Jack Nicklaus. And Tom Brady – Thanks to prolific numbers and extraordinary longevity – has tied, and probably surpassed, any relevant NFL peers.

When we talk about the likes of Stephen Curry, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Judge, everyone has successfully moved from GORN (“The Greatest Now” ”) Status escalation. But there is one athlete who dominates more than all, past or present.

Her name? Serena Williams

With her 41st birthday just a few weeks away, the Michigan-born supernova capped off her remarkable career this week with a stunning finish. There’s no denying her 21st appearance in Eliminated by unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round at the US Open in New York.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

This is her sixth straight win at USTA headquarters since her last win at USTA headquarters in 2014.

But Williams, who turned pro five months after the 29-year-old Tomljanovic turned two, didn’t end that reality with a two-week nostalgia trip, That doesn’t diminish the notion of her head and shoulders in front of the GOAT court.

Because among her 21st century contemporaries None of them are separate from her degree.
Not really close. While James has surpassed Jordan in points, assists, rebounds and NBA Finals appearances, he is not in any of these categories The all-time leader, but still trails MJ in the ring. Meanwhile, Woods, who was a trophy-collecting phenomenon in his early years, seemed destined to break the Golden Bears’ 18 A major watermark, but the 11-year gap between No. 14 and No. 15 had hampered his pursuit until a horrific car accident and growing age made it a contentious issue.

While Brady’s seven championship titles and continued high-level performance at age 45 have produced nothing in football’s permanent hierarchy Debatable status, but dissenters suggest that he appears more frequently as a beneficiary of elite defensive and offensive teammates than others who may have unprecedented power.

On the other hand, Williams reached a level

While the 16 major tag team titles she won (14 women, two mixed) were impressive enough in every context, it was a solo performance, Venus’ sister far surpassed all who competed with her and statistically surpassed anyone before her, regardless of the era.

Jamie Squire

She started hoarding Grand Slam singles titles at the 1999 U.S. Open, she was 17 years old and since the new millennium Since her arrival, she has won more than 22 titles more than three times the seven compiled by her two seniors. Sister (from 2000 to 2008) and Belgian ace Justin Henin (from 2003 to 2007). Her 15 victories come after both of these two chasers, the last With the trophy lifted, only one other player – Maria Sharapova – has won as many as five majors since 2000, although Williams has 20 of 22 head-to-head , including 8 of the 9 Grand Slams. So, in the modern age of tennis, she’s in straight sets champion.

It’s only slightly less one-sided compared to the generation that was removed once or twice.

Although Williams’ 23 singles title is one after the all-time figure established by Margaret Court , more than half of the Australians’ two-dozen victories occurred before 1968, when participation in majors was restricted to amateurs. In the Open era that followed, she won 11 titles in 1973.

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova follow Court, and 18 titles were won. Navratilova’s last match was at the 1990 U.S. Open, although Williams has won all four majors at age 21 – by comparison, Evert was 27. , Navratilova, 26 – and never let her opponents share on stage for long, beat Venus 22-10 on aggregate, Henin and Sharapova in the majors. To be honest, only German star Steffi Graf deserves a sloppy mention in career debate, thanks at In the 1990s, she won 14 of her 22 majors—more than Williams’ 10 and 12 in 2000-09 and 2010-19, respectively—but the tiebreaker belonged to the latter, because She stayed with the elite for longer and produced more overall titles from start to finish.

Graff’s empire is built on precision that works on all surfaces, and Williams is the best she has ever done in the game Brilliant and underscored on hard courts and grass, she won 23 of her 23 majors at Wimbledon (seven), Australian Open (seven) and US Open (six). 20 games.

She has more wins (298) than Graff (194) in all three events, while she won the French Open of 69 victories and Graff’s 84. Germany has won three of Williams’s games at Roland Garros six times.

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File

The two have only met twice, in 1999 Graff was 29 and Williams was 17 In a pair of three sets, they became the world’s top women’s player with the longest runs each 186 weeks. No less authority than John McEnroe, the seven-time Grand Slam of Graff’s heyday The singles champion and longtime TV analyst has pointed the finger at Williams since his arrival, while calling her a global superstar and “the greatest player of all time”. “You can look at the achievements, she’s a major champion,” he told TennisHead.net. “The way she moves the needle when she plays, it’s like Tiger Woods and golf.

” When she plays, it’s a whole different stories. “

Jim Lampley, another veteran broadcaster, agrees.

Lampley, who was working for NBC when Williams won doubles gold in 2000 and 2008, told Bleacher Report that both her family and the development of the game helped her Ultimate greatness.

“She wasn’t the family’s first priority in the first place. I think she benefits from it,” he said. “The modern athlete is a carnivorous and obsessive machine. Everything is evolving because it has to. “Navratilova was unprecedented. Then Graf was unprecedented. Then Seri Na.” Game. put. match. legend.



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