- Clive Brunskill/Getty
- Roger Federer says he thinks Serena Williams is the greatest tennis player of all time.
- Federer says Williams’ singles and doubles accomplishments are unparalleled in the game.
- Williams said the same could be said for Federer.
Serena Williams is preparing to play in the French Open, her first major since having her first child.
To Roger Federer, Williams’ legacy is already cemented, even if she doesn’t add to her decorated career.
Federer told Jason Gay for the WSJ Magazine that, to him, Williams is the greatest tennis player of all time, man or woman.
Federer and Williams are the same age (36) and have both enjoyed nearly unparalleled success as two of the best athletes in any sport, still dominating at ages where few expected they would. Federer contrasted their rises to stardom.
“It’s been fascinating to watch,” Federer told Gay. “She had a totally different upbringing – I came up through Switzerland with the federation, she did it with her dad and her sister.
“It’s an amazing story unto itself – and then she became one of the greatest, if not the greatest tennis player of all time.”
Gay asked Federer whether he meant the greatest player ever or the greatest woman ever, and Federer reaffirmed his stance.
“I have to ask: Did Federer, considered by some to be the tennis GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), just suggest Serena was the GOAT? Did he mean GOAT on the women’s side – or overall?
“‘Overall,’ Federer clarifies. He ticks off the staggering stats of players like Williams and Steffi Graf, which eclipse those of anyone in men’s tennis, especially when one factors in all of Serena’s doubles titles.”
Gay asked Williams for her response, and she said they could both be considered the GOAT.
“I think we can say that about both of us, respectively,” she said. “He’s done amazing things in his career – I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a wonderful athlete, a great guy.”
Federer won’t play in the French Open this year, but with his career still in full swing and Williams returning to the court, it’s possible that both players will add to their legacies in the coming months and perhaps years.