Originally Posted by TMF
I've always believe every sports gets better by the decade, and yes, it does applies to Federer too. The difference is Fed has the numbers to backup but not Serena, who's behind. If Serena has the equivalent(no need to surpass) stats as Chris, Martina or Graf, I would put her ahead of them. The problem is her achievement is not even close to their career achievements.
Serena is either ahead or will soon to be ahead in some stats:
-Most hard court slams ever. She is currently tied for the record with Graf at 9. If she wins the Australian Open (which she is the favorite to) she will take the record on her own at 10. Given that many now regard Graf the GOAT, and Graf gained 1 or 2 extra hard court slams by the Seles stabbing as it is and would already be behind otherwise, this is significant.
-Slams won 13 years apart. This is the longest since World War 11 beating Graf (12 years), Navratilova (12 years), Evert (12 years), and Wills Moody (12 years). She is likely to extend this further.
-4 Olympic Gold medals. The so called GOAT prior to Serena, Steffi Graf, has only managed 2, and 1 of them was a demonstration sport with nobody in the WTA top 20 entered.
Laver's 2 Grand Slams are superior to all of Federer's achievements, and Gonzales being the #1 player in the World for 9 years in a row also is but you dismiss them because of the so called easier era.
My point was if Serena reaches 20 slams she would clearly be the GOAT. 20 slams would be the real record considering Graf's 22 and Court's 24 both being false marks due to the Seles stabbing and the Australian Open for women in the 60s being only the Australian Nationals with on average 2 or 3 of the top 10 showing up. In reality Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Wills, and Court are all together with 18 or 19 slams, and Serena reaching 20 would set the new slam record. Add to that her already best ever longevity, her being acknowledged by all experts as having the highest peak level play ever, her dominance over the deepest field in womens tennis history back in 1999-2003, her setting the all time pace on hard courts, and Serena would be acknowledged by nearly all as GOAT. Whether Planet TW accepted that or not would be irrelevant.
Many experts and fans already consider Serena the best ever as it is. John McEnroe, Bud Collins, Chris Evert, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, current World #1 Victoria Azarenka, Cliff Drysdale, have all called her the best women player of all time.