Is Serena Williams the GOAT? Reactions to her retirement and career
With a career spanning over 27 years and with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena Williams can be considered the Greatest of All Time
Although Williams is one Grand Slam title short of the Australian tennis player Margaret Court and is behind Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova in number of weeks at No. 1, the dominance that Williams has had in her sport since 1999, when she won her first professional singles tournament, has been something that tennis had never seen before and probably never will.
When asked about Williams’ influence on her game, the up-and-coming American tennis star Coco Gauff explained the impact that Serena has had on her: “That’s the reason why I play tennis, and tennis being a predominantly white sport, it definitely helped a lot, because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game, and it made me believe I could dominate, too. She’s the GOAT. And undisputed, too, in my opinion. But I don’t think that’s an opinion, it’s a fact. Serena, for me, is the GOAT. The GOAT of all GOATs. There will never be another Serena.”
The Greatest of All Time
Serena Williams hasn’t dominated the statistics and she’s not in No. 1 position in all of the sport’s categories, but the fact that she has played professionally at such a high level from the age of 14 to 40 and beaten players from so many different generations is unique in a sport in which most players retire in their early 30s.
Australian tennis player Ajla Tomljanović was the one who put an end to William’s 27 years of professional tennis at the US Open on Sep. 3, 2022, “I just thought she would beat me,” Tomljanovic said. “She’s the greatest of all time, period.”
Williams announced in Vogue magazine in August 2022 that she would be retiring after playing in the US Open, a tournament she had won six times. “I’ve been reluctant to admit that I have to move on from playing tennis,” Williams said. “It’s like a taboo topic. It comes up, and I start to cry. I think the only person I’ve really gone there with is my therapist.”
The younger of the Williams sisters, Serena admits that she would have liked to have won more majors than Margaret Court. “There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968,” Williams said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her.”
Sister Act - There wouldn’t be a Serena if there wasn’t a Venus
Her sister was there to support her during her last match at the US Open in New York and she has been there her entire career. There have been some arguments and misunderstandings, as happens in all families. Thanks to the film ‘King Richard,’ in which Will Smith portrayed their father, we got an inside look into the Williams family. In all families where sport plays a major role, there’s always one sibling who excels and in many cases it’s the younger one. Venus had an impressive career of her own and was a huge influence on her younger sister. The Williams sisters were very successful as doubles partners with the third most women’s doubles Grand Slam titles in the history of tennis and three gold medals in doubles at the Olympics.
Looking at Twitter and reading the international sports press today, there’s no doubt who the sports reporters and tennis fans consider as the GOAT of women’s tennis. There will always be those who use different statistics, records or metrics to disqualify her achievements, but nobody can deny that Serena Williams has been the most dominant player in the 21st century and for most of us, the Greatest of All Time.