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This past week, there’s been plenty of chatter over social media as to who the GOAT of all athletes is. And Serena Williams’ name is in the mix. She may just be the GOAT, man or woman. Defining the GOAT is a fun debate sports fans like to have in particular groups. But rarely have we seen this debate encompass men and women athletes to determine one overall GOAT.
For those of you who don’t know, GOAT stands for the greatest of all time. With LeBron James and Tom Brady winning the most recent NBA and NFL championships respectively in their old age — as it relates to sports, it’s got people all across the sports world wondering: Who is the greatest athlete, or greatest champion of all time?
LeBron makes his case being 36-years-old and coming off his fourth NBA Championship. His final record is often brought into question since it currently sits at 4-6. Many critics use the record as an argument against him.
Tom Brady just won his seventh NFL Super Bowl at the age of 43 years old. Although being a quarterback in the NFL is not the most physically demanding position on a consistent basis; nevertheless, going to 10 Super Bowls is unheard of. There are entire organizations that have never even been to one!
Enter Serena Williams.
At 39-years-old, and even after giving birth to a child and competing, winning a major championship while pregnant, Serena Williams is showing no signs of slowing down her quest to be the record-holder for most championships of all-time of man and woman.
On Thursday she faces No. 3 Naomi Osaka, who is a powerhouse herself and is poised to take the baton once Serena retires for her record-tying 24th major singles championship.
Since turning pro at the age of 14, Serena has won 23 major Singles championships and finished runner-up 10 times. She’s won 14 Grand Slam Doubles titles.
What sets Serena’s championships apart, and truly ahead, from some of the other GOATs is that she plays individually. At the end of the day, the outcome falls solely on her. There’s nobody to pass the ball or bail her out. There’s nobody to catch a pass to seal the game. It’s Serena and only Serena.
In fact, it takes a special kind of person to be able to handle that kind of pressure year after year, not to mention the fact that she’s doing this as a black woman in a sport overwhelmingly represented by whites.
On Thursday the world may find Serena taking one step closer to tying the all-time record of 24th championships. First, she’ll have to get past a youthful Osaka. But if her 6-3 6-3 victory over No. 2 Simona Haley is any indicator, she is well on her way to becoming the GOAT.