Roland Garros’ red clay is a historic crossroads.
Serena Williams is playing for her 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam record, while 19-time major champion Rafael Nadal can equal Roger Federer’s men’s mark winning his 20th Grand Slam title in Paris.
Asked her views on the Greatest Of All Time, the three-time French Open champion initially appealed to a higher power.
“You know, the greatest for me is and will always be Jesus, so I’m going to leave it at that,” Williams said.
Ultimately, the four-time Olympic gold-medal champion said the male GOAT is a two-headed champion.
“I think Rafa, I’m obviously a huge fan of his,” Serena said. “I always have been. But it’s like you can’t compare two people that are equally great. Roger, I mean, he’s Roger Federer. I think that says enough.”
The former world No. 1 suggests if you really want to be fair and accurate you must acknowledge both Federer and Nadal as the dual GOAT.
“So, you know, it’s like I don’t understand why people want to pit who’s this, who’s that?” Williams said. “They both have spectacular careers that 99% of people can only dream of and they both deserve.
“Every single credit and every single thing that they get they absolutely deserve it. I’m a big fan of both, to be honest.”
American Jack Sock, who will face US Open champion Dominic Thiem in round two, said all of the Big 3 have earned GOAT status on their favorite surfaces.
“You see maybe Roger win so many different ones so many different times, only the French once, but he gets labeled the GOAT because of that, plus all the tournaments outside of that,” Sock said. “They’ve all won so many Masters Series, so many Slams, I think you could say that Rafa is the GOAT of the claycourt, especially if he wins here again.
“It’s tough to say. They all play different. They all lovetheir different surfaces, different conditions. Novak is still obviously in reach for the slam count as well. You can’t really put your finger on one guy, especially if Rafa ties here. It’s tough to say.They’re all GOATS in their own way in different areas of the sport, for sure.”
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