Court, Evert, Martina and Graf are > Serena.

KG1965

Legend
Serena always plays good tennis, has a monstrous strength compared to other opponents.

But she won less than Court, Evert, Martina and Graf and the big 4 are always a little higher in the all-time ranking.

You need to get more, Serena. And still play 4-5 years.
 

Crocodile

Legend
Hard to answer this question. Best person to answer is someone who has been around the tennis circuit since Margaret court and followed the sport closely.
Different eras are hard to compare. Today's athletes with all the professional approach, the science, the racquet and string tech, different surfaces and fitness makes today's game very different.
I think they are/were great champions but it's hard to go past Serena for the reasons you mentioned.
 

Xavier G

Hall of Fame
The five of them are the top tier of women's tennis, I believe.
It's hard to compare eras in tennis and all are great in their own way.
Court and Graf won the Grand Slam along with longevity/dominance, Martina won 6 Slams in a row over 1983-84, Evert was a dominant and consistent champion and Serena has twice held all 4 Slams at the same time.
I would personally say that Martina, Steffi and Serena are probably the three greatest and from there, I prefer not to pick out one.

Serena failed in her bid to win the Grand Slam when she got close in 2015 though and I don't think she's been quite the same since.
She seems to feel the pressure more and has now lost 6 out of her last 8 Slam finals, including losing the last four without winning a set.
There clearly must be a psychological element to losing the finals.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
Serena has had the benefit of weak competition through the majority of her career. She's never had to go up against another goat contender. So, putting Serena at #5 all time is a legitimate argument.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
You can argue Evert, Martina and Graf but Court doesn't come into consideration.

She didn't win more than Serena. Almost half of her slams were from a tournament that wasn't considered a slam at the time and wasn't played by the top players + she played as little as 4 matches to win some of the tournaments.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Serena has had the benefit of weak competition through the majority of her career. She's never had to go up against another goat contender. So, putting Serena at #5 all time is a legitimate argument.
As opposed to Court who literally won 11 slams at the Australian Open which none of the top players contested? At the 1961 Australian Open the only players in the draw were Australian. Literally only Australians played it that year and she won.

If people want to run the line that Serena's opposition was weak need to immediately discount almost half of Court's slams then.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
As opposed to Court who literally won 11 slams at the Australian Open which none of the top players contested? At the 1961 Australian Open the only players in the draw were Australian. Literally only Australians played it that year and she won.

If people want to run the line that Serena's opposition was weak need to immediately discount almost half of Court's slams then.
Fine by me.
Navratilova, Evert, Graf > Serena > Court.

But for all those people who claim Serena is greater than Evert, Navratilova and Graf based solely on slam count, and greater than Court based on Courts competition.... I say your logic is flawed. You can't have it both ways.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
She needs 24-25 to definitely pass Graf. Graf’s additional titles, dominance, golden slam, better distribution etc put her above Serena’s 23.
You mean calendar golden slam. Also, dominance I would not include here, we know what happened to her main rival.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Fine by me.
Navratilova, Evert, Graf > Serena > Court.

But for all those people who claim Serena is greater than Evert, Navratilova and Graf based solely on slam count, and greater than Court based on Courts competition.... I say your logic is flawed. You can't have it both ways.
Yes, there's always different criteria. Some people say Serena is the best, because at her best she would beat them at their best.
 

Mr.Lob

Legend
Yes, there's always different criteria. Some people say Serena is the best, because at her best she would beat them at their best.
How often is Serena at her best though? I think Graf, Navratilova and Evert brought their "A" game more often than Serena has. Court a little before my time. Consistency and mental strength is high on that list of criteria.
 

Midaso240

Hall of Fame
Yep,absolutely. She would have to play into her 40s to have any chance of equaling those ones but I hope she doesn't because it would be incredibly embarrassing and cringe worthy for all of us...
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
You mean calendar golden slam. Also, dominance I would not include here, we know what happened to her main rival.
That’s the one. And Serena has padded her stats in 30s vs non existent field (up until last couple of years) same as big 3 have done since 2017.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
How often is Serena at her best though? I think Graf, Navratilova and Evert brought their "A" game more often than Serena has. Court a little before my time. Consistency and mental strength is high on that list of criteria.
Definitely, Serena is behind them when it comes to consistency. On the other hand she is maybe the best at coming back from being down in a match. At least she was before the maternity leave(or is she losing those finals mainly because she is not quick enough anymore?)
 

Tostao80

Rookie
Serena always plays good tennis, has a monstrous strength compared to other opponents.

But she won less than Court, Evert, Martina and Graf and the big 4 are always a little higher in the all-time ranking.

You need to get more, Serena. And still play 4-5 years.
Lol good try. Serena is considered the greatest by many. And you don't even have her top 4. She has more slams than ANYONE in the open era. The greatest.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
That’s the one. And Serena has padded her stats in 30s vs non existent field (up until last couple of years) same as big 3 have done since 2017.
Yes, but calendar (golden)slam is an artificial concept, you are holding all 4/5 at the same time calendar or not. So there is no big difference.

And I was talking about dominance as criteria not good enough, not who got their titles against which field(although we can talk about that too).
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
5 less Slams and still greater? Even Martina herself concedes Serena is the greatest.
I put Martina ahead off Graf and Serena.Without Chris Everett Martina would have won 25 slams easily.She has an amazing rival.Graf numbers inflated because of seles incident.Serena because WTA was joke after Henin and Clijsters retired.
 

Ginger ninja

Semi-Pro
if you want to talk weak era - step forward the best vulture of all time - Chris Evert. In terms of talent - Seles, Henin and Venus would all have taken Chrissie to the cleaners, on a like for like basis.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
if you want to talk weak era - step forward the best vulture of all time - Chris Evert. In terms of talent - Seles, Henin and Venus would all have taken Chrissie to the cleaners, on a like for like basis.
Chris is mentally the strongest player the game has ever seen.Even in her playing days so many players think they have huge chance against her at the end of the day she wins not the others and sometimes with dominant scorelines.
 

mika1979

Professional
Serena always plays good tennis, has a monstrous strength compared to other opponents.

But she won less than Court, Evert, Martina and Graf and the big 4 are always a little higher in the all-time ranking.

You need to get more, Serena. And still play 4-5 years.
If you rate steffi higher you must monica too
 

zvelf

Professional
On singles play alone:

1. Steffi Graf: 22 majors, 5 YEC, 107 titles, 89% career W/L, 377 weeks at #1, CYGS including a 5th major in a row

2. Martina Navratilova: 18 majors, 8 YEC, 167 titles, 87% career W/L, 332 weeks at #1, 6 majors in a row

3. Serena Williams: 23 majors, 5 YEC, 72 titles, 85% career W/L, 319 weeks at #1, 2 NCGS

4. Margaret Court: 24 majors, 192 titles, 91% career W/L, CYGS

5. Chris Evert: 18 majors, 4 YEC, 157 titles, 90% career W/L, 260 weeks at #1 (but really higher because rankings began when she was #1)
 

YommieSan

New User
Not really. Serena collected the 6 big prizes which are the 4 slams + tour final + Olympic gold. Other than Serena, only Graf collected all 6 in women's singles.
 

hipolymer

Hall of Fame
1. Navratilova
2. Evert
3. Graf
3. Williams
3. Court

the latter 3 didn't have any long-term rivals, which is why their slam-count is inflated
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If you look at Graf's runner-ups in slams and Serena's you can see that even in losses Graf was competitive. Serena has lost 10 finals and been blown out in most of them. GOAT's don't get blown out like that. On mental toughness alone, Graf, Martina and Evert are superior.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
If you look at Graf's runner-ups in slams and Serena's you can see that even in losses Graf was competitive. Serena has lost 10 finals and been blown out in most of them. GOAT's don't get blown out like that. On mental toughness alone, Graf, Martina and Evert are superior.
Not a Serena fan by any means but she only blown out after she gave a birth and she is really old.Graf retired age 30.I still put Navratillova ahead off Graf and Serena.Graf calender golden slam was so special but Seles stabbing inflated her numbers.
 

TennisD

Professional
Lol good try. Serena is considered the greatest by many. And you don't even have her top 4. She has more slams than ANYONE in the open era. The greatest.
Yeah say what you want about Serena but as another poster mentioned she's got the big 6 prizes - I could see maaaaybe making an argument for Graf because a calendar Slam (let alone a Golden Slam) is always extremely special but anyone who's arguing that Serena isn't the GOAT and is somehow outside the top 5 (realistically top 3) of all time is really, really working hard to justify a dumb take. She's the GOAT and once she gets #24 there won't be an argument.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
You can argue Evert, Martina and Graf but Court doesn't come into consideration.

She didn't win more than Serena. Almost half of her slams were from a tournament that wasn't considered a slam at the time and wasn't played by the top players + she played as little as 4 matches to win some of the tournaments.
Steffi has 107 titles, serena only has 72...

Martina has 167.

Serena doesnt lead in any catagory. Chrissy has a 91% winning percentage.

Explain to us why serena is the goat, what record does she hold aside from playing forever
 

insideguy

Legend
Steffi has 107 titles, serena only has 72...

Martina has 167.

Serena doesnt lead in any catagory. Chrissy has a 91% winning percentage.

Explain to us why serena is the goat, what record does she hold aside from playing forever
You know full well that many of those titles are meaningless. The tour isn't structured like that anymore. Players don't play every week like that anymore. No player is ever going to approach those numbers of titles. Martina and Chrissy played a few HOFers same with Graff. Serena has played a ton.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
You know full well that many of those titles are meaningless. The tour isn't structured like that anymore. Players don't play every week like that anymore. No player is ever going to approach those numbers of titles. Martina and Chrissy played a few HOFers same with Graff. Serena has played a ton.
Meaningless to a williams fan maybe, lmao.

Serena has 72 titles in 24 years. I'll do the math since your a williams fan.

She averages three tournament wins a year. Thats a dominate player?
 

insideguy

Legend
Meaningless to a williams fan maybe, lmao.

Serena has 72 titles in 24 years. I'll do the math since your a williams fan.

She averages three tournament wins a year. Thats a dominate player?
If you are going to base total titles as Greatest ever then no one will ever surpass Martina. Martina wasn't making slam finals at 38. After making slam finals at 18. Serena has probably played a dozen HOFers actually probably more. Martina and Evert played each other. That was it. Austin retired at 19, there was no one for year till Graf. It was a dead era. They played King when she was old, when they were in their primes they had no one. Serena in her Prime had at least 5 HOFers her sister, Hingis, Davenport, Clisters, Henin, Sharapova and many more. Get real
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
If you are going to base total titles as Greatest ever then no one will ever surpass Martina. Martina wasn't making slam finals at 38. After making slam finals at 18. Serena has probably played a dozen HOFers actually probably more. Martina and Evert played each other. That was it. Austin retired at 19, there was no one for year till Graf. It was a dead era. They played King when she was old, when they were in their primes they had no one. Serena in her Prime had at least 5 HOFers her sister, Hingis, Davenport, Clisters, Henin, Sharapova and many more. Get real
Ahh, you dont know history, thats the problem.


I could go on with more facts, but like you said "they are meaningless" lmao.

Take care
 

TennisLBC

Professional
How mentally strong can anyone be if they cannot keep pace with her chief rival?

From 1973 to Wimbledon 1979 Evert own Navratilova 25-9. She only pick 12 wins moving forward. Martina answered with 34 wins; almost lapping Chrissie 3 times. That is entering Serena/Maria territory from '79 to 1988. The mental strong make adjustments especially when the competition gets better.
 

insideguy

Legend
Ahh, you dont know history, thats the problem.


I could go on with more facts, but like you said "they are meaningless" lmao.

Take care
LOL Martina v Graf? Martina was already on her down swing. If Martina was so good how come she wasn't making slam finals at 37 and 38? Who were Martinis rivals besides Evert? Who? Who is a Hall of fame from the era? Goolagong? Once the younger player came along she was done. That aint the case with Serena.
 

insideguy

Legend
Except winning the 2006 us open mixed doubles at the age of 50.

But ya...

I hope your better at tennis than talking about it :D
Oh lord. Martina was a great player. She wasn't better than Serena. When she was wining most of her slams she had one player to worry about. Again if you want to compare Sue Baker or Pam shriver to the players Serena has faced over the years then bless ya.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
She wasn't better than Serena
Do you play at a high enough lvl to make this judgement? I could beat both of them and tell you martina is a much better player.

You realize serena and kim only played 9 times? Yet steffi and martina playing 18 times doesnt count...
 

clout

Hall of Fame
Navratilova and Graf still have a lot of arguments to be greater than Serena but Evert imo doesn't unless we're just focusing on consistency. I can't even comment on Court cuz tennis was just wayyyy too different back then.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
I'd go,
Serena
Martina
Graf
Evert
Court.

The top 3 are a bit interchangeable but that was my decision 3-4 years ago and nothing's really changed.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Steffi has 107 titles, serena only has 72...

Martina has 167.

Serena doesnt lead in any catagory. Chrissy has a 91% winning percentage.

Explain to us why serena is the goat, what record does she hold aside from playing forever
I don't think Serena is the GOAT. I don't think women's tennis has one single tennis GOAT.

Each player has their own claim to it. Navratilova with the most titles, Serena with the most open era slams, Court with the most overall slams (disagree on that one), Graf with her calendar year golden grand slam, Evert with.... well I don't know for her.
 

zvelf

Professional
If you are going to base total titles as Greatest ever then no one will ever surpass Martina. Martina wasn't making slam finals at 38. After making slam finals at 18. Serena has probably played a dozen HOFers actually probably more. Martina and Evert played each other. That was it. Austin retired at 19, there was no one for year till Graf. It was a dead era. They played King when she was old, when they were in their primes they had no one. Serena in her Prime had at least 5 HOFers her sister, Hingis, Davenport, Clisters, Henin, Sharapova and many more. Get real
Navratilova at least had stronger competition than Serena. She had Evert and Graf as major rivals, both players far greater than any of Serena's rivals. Graf and Navratilova were 9-9 head-to-head and met in 9 slam matches including 6 slam finals. They also played 3 YEC against each other. The only notable players Serena has played more than 18 times are Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka, all three of whom have had extremely uneven careers. So yeah, Graf and Navratilova had more of a rivalry than Serena did against anyone other than those three. Serena played Capriati 17 times, Henin and Davenport 14 times each, Hingis 13 times, Mauresmo 12 times, Clijsters 9 times, and Seles 5 times when Seles was past her prime.

And almost all of those HOFers Serena played retired early in Serena's career. Seles retired in 2003. Hingis mostly retired in 2003 as well (at age 22!). Capriati retired in 2004 (at age 28). Davenport basically played singles tennis part time after 2006 due to motherhood and retired in 2008. Henin also retired in early 2008 (at age 26 while she was ranked #1!). Mauresmo retired in 2009. Clijsters retired in 2007 (at the age of 23!), came back for 3 years and retired again in 2012. Venus didn't retire but she was a shell of herself due to Sjögren's syndrome. Navratilova and Evert had Austin at least as long as Serena had Hingis as a competitor. Navratilova and Evert also had a waning Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, Hana Mandlikova, and Virginia Wade. Between 2009 and 2019, zero players accumulated as many majors as Mandlikova other than Serena.

Until recently with Osaka, Andreescu, and Halep, Serena hadn't had any strong competition since 2008 as "fluke" players like Ana Ivanovic, Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, Marion Bartoli, Flavia Pennetta, and Jelena Ostapenko have been able to win majors with no one else bringing anything remotely close to domination when Serena doesn't win. Players like Dinara Safina, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, and Karolina Pliskova reached #1. Serena did have strong competitors early on, but she had 10 years with none. Navratilova and Evert at least had at least one other all-time great, if not two or three, against them throughout their entire careers.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Not a Serena fan by any means but she only blown out after she gave a birth and she is really old.Graf retired age 30.I still put Navratillova ahead off Graf and Serena.Graf calender golden slam was so special but Seles stabbing inflated her numbers.
2001 USO, 2004 Wimby and 2011 USO she lost finals in straight sets with at least one set with only 1-2 games won. That's every bit as bad as her recent post-baby losses. She only has one 3 set loss amongst her 10 losses.

I doubt you'll find many of Graf's 9 losses as uncompetitive. Let alone guys like Nadal and Federer that I don't think have ever been beat in 3 sets in a major final.
 

mistik

Hall of Fame
2001 USO, 2004 Wimby and 2011 USO she lost finals in straight sets with at least one set with only 1-2 games won. That's every bit as bad as her recent post-baby losses. She only has one 3 set loss amongst her 10 losses.

I doubt you'll find many of Graf's 9 losses as uncompetitive. Let alone guys like Nadal and Federer that I don't think have ever been beat in 3 sets in a major final.
Again most his loses came very late in her career.Steffi only retired age 30.
 
Top