How does Serena Williams compare to other tennis greats?

How does Serena Williams compare to other tennis greats? originally appeared on NBC SportsWashington

One of the most famous careers in tennis history is coming to an end.

Serena Williams wrote an editorial for September issue of Vogue the she will retire Sometime after the US Open. The Grand Slam event kicks off in New York at the end of August and is the setting for some of them most iconic moments.

While she was unsure of an exact retirement timeline, it won’t be long before the final chapter in Serena’s career is written. It is undoubtedly one of the most famous careers not only in tennis but in the entire sport. So where does it compare to the greatest resumes in tennis history?

It’s difficult to compare players from different periods. Although Open Era in tennis represents a benchmark for seismic change in the sport, there is over 120 years of history to sift through when defining the best players. Serena’s dominance on the court is hard to match, but other players across the sport have their punch in the record books.

Before Serena leaves the court for the last time, here she takes on fellow tennis legends:

Which tennis player has the most Grand Slam singles titles?

Serena has the second most Grand Slam singles titles of any tennis player – women or men – at 23. Her first win came at the 1999 US Open, and her most recent Grand Slam championship was against her sister, Venus Williams, at the 2017 Australian Open.

She spread her wealth across the four Grand Slams. She has seven US Open and Wimbledon titles, six US Open titles and three from the French Open. She twice won all four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments in her career, although none of these series took place within the same calendar year.

Margaret Court is the only player above Serena on the all-time list of Grand Slams in women’s singles and has won 24 in her career. She finished the Golden Slam in 1970 and won all four Grand Slams. Her top tournament came in her home country when she won 11 of 14 Australian Open titles from 1960 to 1973. Thirteen of their Grand Slam titles came before the start of the Open Era in 1968.

Steffi Graf is the third woman with over 20 Grand Slam titles in singles. The German champions took home 22 Grand Slam trophies, seven of them from Wimbledon.

In men, three players have won 20 or more Grand Slams. Rafael Nadal leads the pack with 22, followed by Novak Djokovic’s 21 and Roger Federer’s 20. Federer held the men’s crown until Nadal won the 2022 Australian Open. Djokovic also overtook Federer by winning earlier this year Wimbledon.

Which tennis player has the most Grand Slam doubles titles?

Although Serena and Venus were often competitors, they were also successful teammates. The Williams sisters won 14 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles: six at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open, two at the US Open and two at the French Open.

Martina Navratilova is the queen of doubles tennis. She won 31 Grand Slams and won at least seven titles in each of the four events. Louise Brough, Margaret Osborne duPont and Pam Shriver are next on the list at 21 in their careers. Court sits alone in fifth place with 19 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles.

Only five men have more double grand slams than the Williams sisters: Mike Bryan (18), John Newcombe (17), Roy Emerson (16), Todd Woodbridge (16) and Bob Bryan (16). Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all competed in doubles at points in their careers, but none of them ever won a Grand Slam in this format.

Which tennis player has the most Olympic gold medals?

Serena and Venus have the most Olympic gold medals in tennis history.

The siblings won three gold medals in doubles, beginning at the Sydney 2000 Games and winning consecutive gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Games and the London 2012 Games. Each sister also has a singles gold medal. Venus won hers in 2000 and Serena topped the podium in 2012.

Venus and Kathleen “Kitty” McKane Godfree are the two tennis players with five total Olympic medals. Along with her four gold medals, Venus won mixed doubles silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics, playing alongside Rajeev Ram. Godfree took home one gold, two silver and two bronze medals in her Olympic career by competing at the 1920 Antwerp and 1924 Paris Olympics.

For men, Reginald Doherty is the only player to have won three Olympic gold medals. Two of these came in men’s doubles (1900, 1908) and the other in mixed doubles (1900). Chris Dixon is the only other men’s player to have won four Olympic medals.

Of the men’s players with 20 or more Grand Slam wins, Nadal is the only one to win Olympic singles gold in 2008. Federer has two Olympic medals including gold in men’s doubles in the same year. Djokovic’s only medal came in the form of bronze in the 2008 men’s singles tournament.

Which tennis player has won the most tournaments?

Serena is in eighth place with 73 women’s singles titles. In the Open Era she is in fifth place.

Court holds the record by a wide margin with 192 tournament titles. Navratilova is next on the list at 167, followed by Chris Evert at 157, Billie Jean King at 129, and Graf at 107. Navratilova owns the Open-era record with a whopping 177 doubles titles.

Rod Laver has the most singles titles of any tennis player. He won 198 events while reaching a record 286 singles finals. Ken Rosewall is second in both categories while Federer is tenth in both categories.

Which tennis player has the most career wins?

For men, Rosewall is the all-time all-time leader with 1,811 wins and 2,521 games played. Bill Tilden is second in both categories and has 1,726 wins in 2,232 games, although he holds the consecutive win record of 98.

If you narrow it down to the Open Era, Jimmy Connors leads in both categories with 1,274 wins in 1,557 games. Federer leads active players with 1,251 wins and 1,562 games played.

For women, Navratilova leads all Open Era players with 1,661 games played and 1,442 wins. At 74, she also has the longest winning streak. It was one of four streaks of 41 or more consecutive wins during her career. In doubles, Navratilova went 747-143 in her career.

Despite not even being in the top 10 for singles games played, Serena sits fourth on the wins list with 855.

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