Case Closed: Serena Williams Is the G.O.A.T. After 22nd Grand Slam at Wimbledon | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

Serena Williams waves to the gang whereas displaying off the 2016 Wimbledon girls’ singles KIRK/Getty Pictures

If Serena Williams had retired with 21 Grand Slam titles, many would contemplate her the best feminine tennis participant of all time. By successful 22, Williams slams the door on the argument.

Case closed. She’s the best of all time.

See more: Serena williams goat

Williams defeated Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to seize her seventh Wimbledon title and twenty second Slam general. She tied Steffi Graf for essentially the most Grand Slam titles within the Open period.

After the match, Williams advised the gang on Centre Courtroom, per, how powerful it has been attempting to chase down No. 22.

“It has been extremely tough not to consider it,” she stated. “I had two tries this 12 months and misplaced to 2 nice opponents, one in all them being Angelique. It makes the victory even sweeter understanding how arduous I needed to work.”

Williams additionally moved inside two titles of Margaret Courtroom’s all-time file of 24. Courtroom amassed a lot of her triumphs on the Australian Open, primarily her residence match, previous to the Open period.

So Graf’s 22 stood because the benchmark for greatness. Even when each member of the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame referred to as Williams the best ever, with out 22 she remained statistically behind Graf. Williams wanted this quantity to solidify and confirm her greatness.

Not that she needed to persuade her friends. In 2015, when Williams pursued the calendar-year Grand Slam, tennis Corridor of Famer John McEnroe already thought of her the best of all time.

He stated on BBC Radio 5 Dwell, “I feel Serena is likely one of the all-time biggest athletes, interval. Man or girl. She’s the best feminine participant I’ve ever seen. She’s confirmed it to me time and again.”

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Previous to Wimbledon 2015, Christ Evert advised Sean Gregory of Time journal why she believed Williams is the best:

After watching her matches and watching her carefully, these gamers get shut, they’re doing very well, after which she’ll get to a different degree the place she slaps winners and she or he begins acing folks. It isn’t one degree. Unexpectedly, she’s up two or three ranges higher than the sphere. It isn’t in regards to the different ladies. It is about how good Serena is.

Successful 22 was extra about settling bar-room debates, the place stats rule.

Think about numbers apart from 22. Williams’ file in Grand Slam finals, 22-6, is second solely to Courtroom (11-1). Williams’ 304 Slam match wins are second solely to Martina Navratilova’s 306. (Needless to say Navratilova performed in 773 extra singles matches than Williams.)

Williams is the oldest participant to have held the No. 1 rating. Some may argue Williams’ longevity weakens her case, as Graf retired at age 30. Nonetheless, Graf performed 127 extra matches than Williams.

Two years in the past, the New Yorker’s Ian Crouch wrote that Williams is greater than the best tennis participant of all time. Crouch declared her the best American athlete in a era.

“Neglect tennis for a second, although: After I say the best athlete in a era, I imply the best in any sport,” Crouch wrote. “Sorry, LeBron. Sorry, Tiger. Sorry, Derek.”

Serena Williams hits a forehand through the remaining of Wimbledon Brunskill/Getty Pictures

Williams’ profession spans from her teenage years—when Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce battled for Slam titles—to right now’s revolving door of challengers reminiscent of Kerber and Garbine Muguruza.

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Hingis, Capriati and Davenport are Corridor of Famers now. One among Williams’ hardest foes, Justine Henin, might be inducted this 12 months. Kim Clijsters is on her means. Williams has a successful file in opposition to each one in all them.

The absence of those greats and Williams’ subsequent dominance raises the argument of whether or not she benefited from a weak period.

When evaluating gamers from overlapping eras, head-to-head competitors is the easiest way to measure who is bigger. Williams and Graf cut up their two conferences. The issue? Graf was on her means out, and Williams was nonetheless so younger.

Although data in opposition to frequent opponents might be skewed by matchups, age and different circumstances, they do supply perception as to how Williams and Graf could have fared in opposition to one another.

Widespread Corridor of Fame opponents embrace Capriati and Davenport. Graf loved a 10-1 file in opposition to Capriati, whereas Williams was 10-7. Towards Davenport, Graf was 8-6 and Williams 10-4. Towards Pierce, Graf was 4-2 and Williams 5-1.

Hingis, who was 6-7 in opposition to Williams and 2-7 in opposition to Graf, makes the case for and in opposition to Williams’ greatness. Hingis, 35, is just a few months youthful than Venus Williams and about 15 months older than Serena, and the five-time Grand Slam champion straddled the Graf and Williams sisters eras.

Congrats, @serenawilliams. YOU did it! Get pleasure from this second. Stress is a privilege. 😎 #22andcounting

Congratulations @serenawilliams 22 and counting. GOAT!!!

Congratulations to the very best ever! Serena Williams ! Superb achievement 💪🏻🎾

Serena = 🐐

Hingis’ greatest years have been over earlier than Graf retired. A teen phenom, Hingis gained all 5 of her Slams by 1999. Graf gained her final Slam on the 1999 French Open. She defeated Hingis.

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As of late, Hingis cannot cling.

Final 12 months, she performed singles on the Fed Cup. It was her first official singles match in practically eight years. She misplaced. When requested by WTA employees in regards to the distinction between singles right now and yesteryear, Hingis responded, “The one downside is the bodily half. That is what it at all times was, even once I was taking part in singles and doubles on the professional tour.”

When you think about how rather more cash gamers make in singles versus doubles, it’s a must to guess that if Hingis may compete on the tour right now, she would.

Williams has merely outplayed and outlasted Hingis, Davenport, Henin, Clijsters, Pierce, Li Na and so many extra.

She’s dominated the power-hitters like Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. She found out the artful shot-makers like Hingis and Henin. At the same time as she approaches age 35, Williams continues to face up to the onslaught of gamers who’re a decade or extra youthful.

After her triumph on Centre Courtroom, tennis greats previous and current tweeted congratulations. Many referred to as her a legend or the G.O.A.T.

Some will make the case for Graf, and even Navratilova. But when Williams’ legacy is judged by a jury of her friends, the case is closed. She is the best feminine tennis participant of all time.

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