Gary, it can never be only about the Slams. Especially when considering champions from an age where tournament weights differed significantly from today's. Serena has won fewer matches, fewer tournaments, has fewer years as #1, fewer weeks as #1, etc. Slams are a huge crutch for her. I believe wholeheartedly that she could have dominated the women's game in any point in history, but she hasn't shown the drive and professionalism that players like Evert, Graf and Navratilova had, in my view. She is her own worst enemy in the context of the GOAT discussion.The fact is that people go on and on about Fed's 17 slams. And I will tell anyone here that I love his style of play in this era, because he is the only one who has won regularly who is not pushing from the baseline. I'd love to see him win another slam.
But if people are going to praise him in GOAT discussions (I do not believe in a "goat"), then to be fair we have to go by who wins the most and not by things like "weak eras", or even competition.
We will never know if Serena has been luckier with lack of competition, or if she simply is so much better than everyone else that she dominates.
I was a huge fan in the Evert/Navratilova era, and I miss that kind of competition from the top two players in the world.
But Serena has the numbers. If we are going by slams, we have to ONLY go by that. And if we are not going by slams, we need to start a new discussion.