Venus and Steffi Graf Were Better Than Serena Williams, Says Hall of Fame Coach

Published 10/18/2021, 8:05 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


Serena Williams is known across the world as the greatest female tennis player of all time. In the latest episode of The GOAT: Serena podcast, former players and coaches talked about the best matches as well as her rivals on the court. They picked the period of 2000-2005, as Williams was challenged a lot at that time.

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The Hall of Fame coach, Benny Sims, also remarked his admiration for players who hit better tennis shots than Serena Williams. According to him, Serena is all-time great, but there were a few players like Venus Williams, Justine Henin, and Steffi Graf who had the ability to break Serena’s mindset.

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Benny Sims applauds Venus’ first serve

The Hall of fame coach, Benny Sims, made a special appearance on the podcast The GOAT: Serena. He started the conversation by speaking about the Williams sister.

He said, “On the lot of years of professional tour, you can see people hitting the ball almost as beautifully as Federer, but they rank 350. So before I suggest that somebody did something as well better than Serena, it would have to be in addition to the rest of their game that combinated and then being able to beat her.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Further, he added, “So I want that be clear, but that being said, there are a couple of instances where you can look at people who did things certain periods of time. Venus, as you well know, very early through the middle of her career, her first serve certainly was as formidable as Serena’s. Never her 2nd, but certainly by all means her first serve was.”

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Sims compares Justin Henin and Serena Williams

Sims specifically mentioned Justin Henin’s slice. According to him, she possessed the most graceful slice which has distributed a lot of her opponents.

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“Justin’s back hand was probably more versatile. I mean she had the beautiful top spin. But it was the slice that got her out of trouble and it made is so dominant on clay. Because you could play what a heck of a point and think you’ve got into trouble and she slice the ball back, start all over again. So certainly Justin’s backhand, and probably from a moment stand point, again.

“Venus and certainly Steffi Graf, I think, were better than Serena throughout.”

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Benny Sims ended the conversation by concluding that a few female tennis players like Justine Henin, Venus Williams, and Steffi Graf had the potential to hit elegant tennis shots than Serena Williams.

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Atri Bhatt

492 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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