Serena Williams Greatest Female Athlete Ever?
“And Serena Williams wins another Grand Slam! The champ wins again!”
This was not the case Thursday evening as injured Serena Williams was ousted by №10 seed, Karolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic. She was so close to winning her 23rd grand slam title, and at 34 years of age, what has she not done. Despite this semifinal loss in the US open, one cannot overlook her dominance over the past decade. From starting off as simply the “younger sister” of Venus Williams to becoming the face of US Women’s Tennis, she has to be in contention for greatest female athlete ever.
Is Serena Williams the greatest female athlete ever? That is a yes. 22 grand slam titles, 6 №1 World Rankings, first African-American to win the Australian Open, first person, male or female, in history to win at least three Grand Slam titles 6 times or more; the list goes on and on. Being considered the greatest female athlete ever is not only based on athletic performance, but also changing the culture of a sport. Other great athletes from Michael Jordan to Usain Bolt achieved this, and for the women’s side, who truly changed a sport more than Serena Williams.
Title IX was huge for women’s sports and in the 1980s, one woman who truly transformed Women’s Track and Field was Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Known as the “First Lady of American Athletics”, Jackie competed in four Olympics and won the women’s heptathlon and long jump. Being one of the first females to shatter the stereotypes of women the way she did, her legacy is cemented in history.
When you think of women’s basketball legends, the first name that comes to mind for many is Lisa Leslie. Her numbers were great, her winning was superior, but she put a stronghold on the game. A 3-time WNBA MVP and 4-time Olympic gold medalist, her dominance was in the WNBA, internationally, and culturally. The way Shaq changed the game in the paint and was arguably the root cause of the 3-second rule, and in the same fashion, Lisa changed the inside entirely. Being known as the 1st woman to dunk in a WNBA game only propelled more future athletes such as Britney Griner to follow her footsteps.
Some have even argued that MMA athlete Ronda Rousey is the greatest ever with 15-second wins and pure dominance. Yet and still, what female athlete has dominated with such longevity the way Serena Williams has? What female athlete has overcome many obstacles, on and off the court, and consistently pulled through the way Serena has? What female athlete has completely change the course of a sport the way Serena has. Haters will try to say she only receives high recognition because of her sister’s previous accomplishments, but that put even more pressure on her to be great. With the serve and athleticism that we haven’t really seen from a female athlete like Serena, a few years down the road, she will be considered the greatest female athlete ever to walk this planet.