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Roger Federer can’t make that same claim, much less Mc Enroe.
Greatness has to do with more than athletic ability – Andy Roddick, with a serve of 150 mph is on no one’s greatest list (except for maybe one of “greatest finessers of multimillion endorsement deals while barely winning shit” with Anna Kournikova).
There’s no arbitrary ranking that Mc Enroe can make that will ever take that away, no matter how often he uses the gender qualifier to minimize it.
Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset.
While women’s tennis had already been trending towards a more power-era sport with competitors such as Monica Seles disrupting the status quo, Serena’s serve set a new standard, requiring her competitors to train towards consistently returning speeds that were more commonly seen in men’s tennis.
With the new benchmark being set and Serena’s serve taking her through a dominant run in the early aughts, the never-ending question started to rear its ugly head amongst professional tennis critics: could Serena be strong enough to compete with men?
In a letter addressed to the stadium and sent to Fairfax media in Australia, Navratilova, a prominent advocate for LGBT rights, said: "It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too).Plus early heads up about new tees, new contributors, and our events. Martina Navratilova has described Margaret Court's comments about the transgender community as "sick and dangerous".Almost two decades later, there are plenty of men and women across racial lines who still possess this opinion: a perfunctory search of “Serena” and “ugly” or “Serena” and “man” will generate a terrifying number of results.
This obsession with minimizing and masculinizing Serena isn’t just limited to a beauty standard, however.
She went from being ostracized as a villain the United States Tennis Association to being the face of it, selling out arenas in record time in a sport that was declining in attendance.