Tennis fans take sides: Federer or Serena as GOAT

Switzerland's Roger Federer stretches out for a backhand return to Germany's Mischa Zverev during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

GQ sent Twitter into a frenzy by declaring Roger Federer as the greatest tennis player of all-time.

Here’s the tweet that sparked the fury:

In case you forgot, Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title at this year’s Australian Open, which spawned this GQ feature:

“Roger Federer was supposed to be finished,” wrote Rosecrans Baldwin. “Or at least exiting gracefully, getting on with his transition to post-tennis things. But then, in January, after five years without a Grand Slam and a season sidelined by injury, he went ahead and won again. Not as the unflappable perfectionist but, for the first time, as a rangy underdog.”

Many think Serena Williams is the GOAT:

Others came to Federer’s defense:

And this gentleman tells tennis fans to cut it out:

The Ladies Finger’s Sharanya Gopinathan isn’t down with GQ’s decision:

It was sexism that made GQ forget that Serena Williams has won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other athlete in the world. Former tennis number one, Andy Roddick has said that Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time across all sports, and Williams herself has said that she prefers to be called one of the greatest athletes in the world, not, as so many media houses persist in calling her, one of the greatest female athletes. This is hardly the first time something like this has happened. She faces this kind of stupid sexism so often you wonder why she puts up with any of us.

Yahoo! Sports’ Princy G. James says GQ wasn’t demonstrating bias:

There is still room for debate whether Federer is greater than Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, or whether Serena is better than Martina Navratilova or Steffi Graf. But it is ridiculous to say that Serena is greater than Federer just because she has won five Slams more than the latter. By mentioning so, GQ was not showing gender bias or belittling Serena’s achievements, but only paying tribute to one of the greatest sportspersons in the history. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges, and let’s stop doing that.

Pedestrian says this question is impossible to solve:

Okay. It’s not easy to compare male and female tennis players – or even to compare tennis players throughout history – but that doesn’t mean a lot of very smart, sports-minded people haven’t tried Straight up, Williams has five Grand Slam titles on Federer, but that’s only a tiny part of it. In June 2016, ESPN put Federer at #1 in their ranking of the top 20 tennis players of all time, with Steffi Graf coming in at #2 and Williams at #3. Three years earlier, Dr. Ian McHale, a sports-focused statistician, used a mathematical analysis of the stats to declare American Jimmy Connors the GOAT. In that instance, Swede Bjorn Borg came in at #2, and Federer was #3 (Dr. McHale only looked at stats from male players). Basically? Determining exactly who is the GOAT is basically impossible, and the whole thing is very subjective, anyway.

Maybe there are a few other candidates who should be considered as the greatest ever:

What do you think? Who is the greatest tennis player of all-time: Federer or Serena?

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