When Serena Williams bested her elder sister Venus Williams in the final of the Australian Open 2017, not many were surprised by the final score line.
This was Serena’s 17th win in 28 matches over Venus. With this victory, she also eclipsed the Open Era record held by former German great Steffi Graf. Now, Serena is just two Slams away from overtaking the all-time mark set by legendary Margaret Court (24 Grand Slam titles).
The 35-year old American, who is known for her fiercely competitive streak, has dominated the women’s arena for over a decade. She is now on track to become the greatest female tennis player of all time or the greatest player ever in the history of the sport. Swiss maestro Roger Federer has also given his vote in favour of the younger Williams.
The Australian Open men’s champion Roger Federer, who himself lifted the trophy at the iconic Rod Laver arena beating his long-time rival Rafael Nadal this year, expressed his admiration for Serena and praised her longevity which makes her a special player in the tennis world.
"I admire everything she's doing and has done. I thought she was ready to check out there for a while. But she's hung on and she's found new ways of doing things. She's gotten healthy again as well, she was very unfortunate on a few occasions,” Federer quoted by Sport360.
Both Serena Williams and Roger Federer have won the women's singles and men’s singles event respectively at Australian Open 2017.
"People who have done it for a long time and who are older now but are still super eager and super willing and Serena is exactly like that," said Federer. "She's a fierce competitor and on the way to becoming the greatest of all time. It's wonderful to see her do it for sure."
Earlier, former US Open champion Andy Roddick referred Serena as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Roddick described her as "not just one of the greatest women athletes of all time but one of the greatest athletes of all time."
The fellow American went a step further and compared her to the other legends of the sport who were tagged the greatest unanimously by the fans world over. Roddick said, "We need to enter her into the conversation with [Michael] Jordan and [Muhammad] Ali. I think that's where the respect lies and where the conversation needs to go after the acknowledgment of what she's done for women in sports."