Victoria Azarenka calls Serena Williams best ever, says she is closing the gap

Victoria Azarenka Serena WilliamsPrior to losing to Venus Williams at the Toray Pan Pacific Open this week, Victoria Azarenka was speaking confidently about her game.

In an interview with AFP before the tournament began, Azarenka called Serena Williams the best player ever, though she clarified that she can only judge players from her era when making such a declaration. She also said that despite losing to Serena in the finals of the US Open, she is closing the gap on the American superstar.

“Serena is playing the best tennis of her life and so am I,” Azarenka told AFP.

“It’s been really noticeable the gap from last year we have in the matches has minimised. I’ve beaten her twice this year. No one else has done that.

“It’s just exciting to be in the era of somebody and competing with somebody who is considered the best ever and being their toughest opponent.”

Azarenka probably is Serena’s best competition right now, though Sloane Stephens beat Williams too and will surpass her eventually. And we all know where Maria Sharapova falls in this discussion.

Serena has only lost four times this year, with two of the losses coming to Azarenka. One win came in Qatar early in the year, and the other was in Cincinnati before the US Open. Both wins were in the finals, so that is definitely a strong sign as Azarenka says.

Azarenka is 3-13 against Williams all time and 0-8 against her in grand slams. But she might be right that she is closing the gap; she went 2-3 against her this year after going 1-10 previously. The big difference is she needs to finally beat Serena in a grand slam. Now, if she could only figure out how to beat Venus …

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  • Jacob Jones

    Totally ridiculous.. Graf woulda owned Serena, and God only knows what Martina woulda done to her..

    How quickly they forget, lol.. Evert, whom I don’t consider the greatest ever, won 90% of her matches, including 125 in a row on clay.. Really, people, as much as you think it’s true, the earth wasn’t formed 25 years ago..

  • SpinMax

    martina >> steffi >>>>>> serena

  • leokev

    They played twice and split the victories. Graf won the first encounter, Serena the second. As Serena was just getting started in her rise, I doubt Graf woulda owned her.

  • Jacob Jones

    Graf woulda run her right off the court, brother.. People forget, with her huge forehand and serve, that Graf’s biggest weapon was her court coverage.. She is easily the fastest women’s player, ever..

  • leokev

    I beg to differ. She may have been one of the fastest of her era, but prior to being stabbed, Seles had her number. In terms of pure speed, I’d give the award to Henin. Graf would have been the equivalent of Venus (in her prime) or Sharapova.

  • Askari Ali

    Larry Brown, how much crystal meth are you smoking to say that Azarenka and Stephens are closing the gap on Serena? 2 grand slams for Azarenka and NO titles for Sloane Stephens and they’re both how old now? Excellent non-journalism from you, Mr. Brown!

  • Askari Ali

    Jacob, your assumption is ridiculous..Graf said HERSELF that Serena is the greatest women’s tennis player and Martina and Evert have stated that as well.