Fighting with the Sky

Is Federer Really the Best Tennis Player Ever?

Posted on: July 6, 2009

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Roger Federer. I watched the Wimbledon men’s final yesterday morning and was rooting for Federer the whole time. It was a great match and Federer definitely deserves the title.

He has won a record breaking 15 Grand Slam titles. He won the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, something that has only been done by a handful of people. Everyone is saying he’s the best tennis player ever, and they might be right. But aren’t we forgetting to look at someone? What about the female tennis players?

A post on the Feministing Community brought this to my attention…

Martina Navratilova won 18, plus another 31 major doubles titles. Margaret
Court won 24 Grand Slam singles titles, 19 women’s doubles titles, and 19 mixid
doubles titles, for a totale of 62 Grand Slam titles!

Federer has won 15 Grand Slam titles. Navratilova’s 18 singles titles and Court’s 24 singles titles seem to be more than 15. But maybe that’s just me…
Why do we proclaim that Federer is the best tennis player ever based on the fact that he’s won 15 Grand Slam titles when there are women who have won significantly more than him?

I must admit, I am guilty of favoring men’s tennis. I usually only watch some matches at Wimbledon and occassionally the French Open, but I pretty much watch the men’s matches. I’ve never really thought too much about why this is. Maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with the men’s tennis players because they get more media attention. I’m not sure. It’s something that I’m going to have to think about more. I just something that I was not aware of and wanted to reflect on more.

Federer very well might be the best tennis player ever. But to not even mention the achievements of Navratilova and Court when discussing the greatness of Federer is doing a disservice to women tennis players and all women.
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2 Responses to "Is Federer Really the Best Tennis Player Ever?"

Saying Navratilova's better than Federer because she's won more titles is like me saying I'm better than her because I won more titles in my family tennis tournament, the one where I play may brother, mum and dad. I mean, c'mon! Are you seriously suggesting the standards are the same? Navratilova in her prime would never beat Federer (or any of the top 5 men playing at the moment).

I'm not necessarily saying that she's better, I'm just saying that in reporting on Federer's win and record breaking, there is no or very little mention of the achievements of female tennis players who have won more titles.I'm also not saying that Navratilova would beat Federer, because no one would be able to say that. I'm just saying: why are men automatically the best in the world when there are women who have won more titles?

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