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Serena Williams picked as the GOAT by Tennis Channel, Martina Navratilova follows at No. 2

  • Serena Williams has been ranked as the greatest female player of all time by the reputed channel, as part of a top 10 list.
  • The list contains only two active players - the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus.
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Modified 13 May 2020, 17:41 IST

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Tennis Channel has ranked Serena Williams as the greatest of all time (GOAT) among women's singles players. Serena tops a list of 10 players that the channel believes are the best to have ever wielded a tennis racquet.

Serena Williams is one of the most decorated players in the history of women's tennis. Her tally of 23 Grand Slam titles is the highest in the Open Era, and the second highest overall - just one short of Margaret Court (24).

With her win at the 2003 Australian Open, Serena Williams became just the ninth female player ever to complete the career Grand Slam. That win also meant she held all the four Slams simultaneously - a feat accomplished by only two other women in the Open Era.

Serena Williams' other records

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Having made her professional debut at the tender age of 14 years in 1995, Serena Williams jointly holds the record for most consecutive weeks at World No. 1 (186) along with Steffi Graf. The 38-year-old's 309 total weeks at the numero uno spot are only behind that of Martina Navratilova (332) and Steffi Graf (377).

Serena Williams' 39 Grand Slam titles - 23 in singles, 14 in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles - are the most by any active player, and the third-most in the Open Era. Apart from Rod Laver, Steffi Graf and Margaret Court, Serena is the only player to have accomplished the feat of simultaneously holding all four Grand Slam singles titles on multiple occasions.

Serena Williams' 351 Grand Slam singles match wins and 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt are the most by any woman player in history. The right-hander holds the record for most Australian Open titles (7), and shares the record for most US Open titles with Chris Evert (6).

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Her tally of four Olympic gold medals - one in singles and three in doubles with sister Venus - is an all-time record.

Serena Williams is the only player in the Open Era to win three Grand Slam titles after saving match points. She did so against Kim Clijsters at the 2003 Australian Open, Maria Sharapova at the 2005 Australian Open and Elena Demetieva at 2009 Wimbledon.

Williams' 2013 Roland Garros title, 11 years after winning her first title on the red dirt, is an Open Era record for the longest span between titles at the same Major.

Who else makes up the all-time top 10 list of Tennis Channel?

Serena Williams and Margaret Court
Serena Williams and Margaret Court

Martina Navratilova has been ranked as the second greatest player to have played the sport.

The left-hander's 59 Grand Slam titles -18 singles titles, 31 doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles - are the most by any player in the Open Era. Along with Margaret Court and Doris Hart, Navratilova is the only player to have accomplished the Career Grand Slam in singles, doubles and mixed doubles - a feat known as the Grand Slam boxed set.

However, it came as a surprise for many to see Navratilova ranked ahead of Germany's Steffi Graf, who occupies the third spot. The German's 377 weeks at World No. 1 is a record for any player, male or female. Moreover, her tally of 22 Grand Slam singles titles is the second highest in the Open Era, just one fewer than Serena Williams (23).

In 1988, Graf won all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic singles gold in Seoul, making her the only player in tennis history to accomplish the 'Calendar Golden Slam'. Graf is also the only player in history to have triumphed at least four times at all the four Grand Slam singles tournaments.

Maria Sharapova sneaks into the top 10, Martina Hingis misses out

In another surprise of sorts, Maria Sharapova found a place in the list at No. 10, while 'Swiss Miss' Martina Hingis as well as seven-time Slam champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley missed out.

Sharapova retired from the sport earlier this year, and is one of just 10 women ever to have completed the Career Grand Slam. However, her career was blighted by the doping scandal in 2016, which led to a 15-month ban.

Here is the list of all the 10 players, in descending order, as published by Tennis Channel:

  1. Serena Williams
  2. Martina Navratilova
  3. Steffi Graf
  4. Chris Evert
  5. Billie Jean King
  6. Margaret Court
  7. Monica Seles
  8. Venus Williams
  9. Justine Henin
  10. Maria Sharapova

Published 13 May 2020, 17:41 IST
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