He still sees Steffi Graf as Germany’s “queen”, but Boris Becker insists Serena Williams “deserves the title” of greatest women’s tennis player of all time.
Williams holds the record for most Grand Slams won in the Open Era with her 23 putting her one major adrift of Margaret Court’s all-time record.
The American’s last Grand Slam title came at the 2017 Australian Open, before she went on maternity leave, and even though she has appeared in four finals since giving birth, she has come up short every time.
Becker believes Williams is still “good enough to win”, but also admits the younger players are no longer “playing the name” when they face her in finals.
“Can Serena equal Margaret Court? She is past 30 and she’s become a proud mother. I’m sure she would love to play the US Open this year. They call her the Greatest of all Time on the women’s circuit, and she certainly deserves the title,” he told Laureus.com.
“Me, being German, I still think of Steffi Graf as our queen, but Serena is certainly, certainly the greatest. Margaret Court is the most successful. Having said that, back in the day they played three of the four majors on grass, so it was easier if you’re comfortable on grass to win more.
“I’m sure Serena wants to reach 24, I think that’s the reason she’s playing. You know, she’s a role model for all the mothers out there who are professionally involved in sport. As long as she wants to play, I think she can win. So as long as Serena is good enough to reach a final, she’s good enough to win.
“Having said that, the young generation won’t sleep. You know once you are in a final you’re not playing the name, you’re playing the title. That was Bianca Andreescu at the US Open final or Simone Halep in Wimbledon last year. They didn’t play the name.”
The Brit has had five months at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Part two of our interview with Emily Webley-Smith.
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