Depending on how you define “greatest”, distinguishes whether or not your post makes sense, or is just plain stupid. I am sensitive to this as a swimming aficionado, where a similar argument is brewing between Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky.
- If “greatest” is defined as “who would win” then neither Williams or Ledecky is the “greatest”. Williams, as Mr. McEnroe accurately pointed out, would probably be ranked well down the list if she was a man. Neither her speed, serve, or strength of return compares favorably to even a strong amateur player. In Ledecky’s strongest event, the 1500m, her (women’s) world record would rank her at 150th in the world if she were a man.
- If “greatest” is defined as “who was the most dominant” (in tennis, this would be measured by lifetime Grand Slam wins, and in swimming, by normalized margin of victory) then Williams is the “greatest ever”, bar none. Serena has five more grand slam wins than Federer, and although some swimmers have reproduced what Ledecky has done for short windows in their careeers, nobody has run this kind of dominance for as long as she has. So, if she can maintain her dominance through this year’s Worlds, the 2019 Worlds, and 2020 Olympics, her case for “greatest swimmer ever” measured by event dominance, will be strong.
This has nothing to do with genderism. This has to do with deciding what your metric for comparison is.