Is Serena the best womens player of all time?

Courtesy+of+Rolling+Stone

Courtesy of Rolling Stone

Vivek Sharma, Contributing Writer

At the 2015 US Open, tennis star Serena Williams chased history. She attempted to become the first player since Steffi Graff in 1988 to complete the calendar grand slam: winning all four major tournaments in the same year. Her quest may have ended at the hands of eventual runner-up Roberta Vinci in the semifinals, but her legacy will live on forever.

Williams is the youngest of five sisters, including fellow tennis star Venus Williams, who all moved to Compton as young children. This run down, destitute area of Los Angeles saw the birth of her journey to become one of the most decorated players to ever play the game. She learned tennis from her father, Richard Williams, on the public courts, until she turned pro in 1995. Serena’s humble roots account for a dedicated and loving fanbase that make her legacy that much more impressive.

Serena’s incredible run began at the U.S. Open last year, with a convincing championship win over Caroline Wozniacki.

At the Australian Open in January, she defeated Maria Sharapova in the final. At the French Open in June, she beat surprise finalist Lucie Safarova. At Wimbledon, she became the first player to win four slams in row twice in her career.

When she arrived in New York in late August, having lost only two matches all year, she started her last lap of this highly viewed quest. This historic run raised a noteworthy question: what is Serena Wiliams’ place in history? Where does she rank among other all time greats?

She is certainly right up there, among the company of stars such as Steffi Graff and Martina Navratilova. Serena has won a whopping 21 grand slams, a breathtaking achievement in itself. Graff has one more, holding the record at 22. Navratilova is slightly behind the both of them in that regard, with 18 grand slams to her name. Serena Williams has also been ranked number one in the world for almost 270 weeks. Steffi Graff holds the record for most weeks at number one, however, with 377. Navratilova was number one for a total of 332 weeks. All three players are certainly well deserving of their fame.

While all three players have been incredibly dominant during their respective careers, Graff appears to be slightly ahead of Williams and Navratilova in terms of her achievements. However, Williams is still playing unbelievable tennis and could very well surpass her. Williams is a fantastic player with a fantastic legacy, and she will undoubtedly continue to add on to her CV in the twilight of a legendary career. Kudos to a legendary player, who undoubtedly will continue to impress her enormous group of supporters.

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