Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles, including the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while pregnant. Williams, who turns 36 in September, will soon become a mother. She insists that she will return to tennis and still compete at a high level, but can she? Especially at an age that, in tennis, is borderline ancient?
“Well, one thing I’ve learned being an analyst and commentator is I try not to ever bet against Serena and I try not to ever bet against Roger,” Tennis Channel analyst James Blake said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “If you keep those rules intact, you’re going to probably be pretty safe. If Serena says she’s going to do something and says she’s going to come back, I believe her.”
Williams won her first Grand Slam, the US Open, all the way back in 1999. She has won six US Opens, three French Opens, seven Australian Opens, and seven Wimbledons.
She’s dominated the sport for nearly two decades. In fact, the gap between her and the next-best player – whomever it was or is – has rarely, if ever, been close.
“I’m getting to be tired of everyone saying she’s the best female tennis player or great female athlete,” Blake said. “She’s, in my opinion, in the conversation with Jordan and Ali and Ruth and should be in considerations with the best athletes of all time. She is the toughest competitor, male or female, that I’ve ever seen – and that’s including getting to know Michael Jordan. All those stories you hear about him staying up late at night to win a pool game or to win at ping pong or win at cards – she’s got that same attitude. When you combine that attitude with also, in my opinion, being the best athlete out there on the women’s side, it just makes for another once-in-a-lifetime situation.
“Tennis fans are so lucky right now with he men’s game, but also the women’s game,” Blake continued. “You’ve got, in my opinion, the greatest of all time, and in my opinion, I also don’t think it’s even debatable.”