Tennis is a truly international sport, with great players from many different nations competing at tournaments across the globe to determine the best. The sport's preponderance of prestigious championships has allowed many different players to compile glittering records of achievements. But what matters most - major titles, peak form, contemporaneous competition, or something else entirely? And in consideration of it all, which player stands above the rest as the greatest to ever pick up a racquet?
Serena WilliamsShow moreShow less
Williams won just about everything there was to win, and changed the sport forever.
Serena Williams burst onto the highest levels of women's tennis with an unprecedented combination of speed, power, and control. Williams's serve is one of the fastest and is regarded by many experts as the best in the history of women's tennis. Her powerful groundstrokes and exceptional mobility forced other players to adapt their own games to keep up with her, permanently changing the athletic and strategic dynamics of women's tennis. Williams's athletic dominance combined with a fierce competitive mentality enabled her to become a world-class player from a young age and sustain her high level of play longer than almost any other great player: she won two Grand Slam championships as a teenager and has continued winning titles into her late 30s.