Cape Town - Serena Williams says the only reason she is not in the conversation for 'greatest tennis player of all time' is because she is a woman.
“I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago,” the American said in a recent interview for ESPN vertical “The Undefeated”.
“I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it’s a lot to deal with — and especially lately. I’ve been able to speak up for women’s rights because I think that gets lost in color, or gets lost in cultures. Women make up so much of this world, and, yeah, if I were a man, I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago.”
Williams has won 22 career Grand Slam titles, which puts her level with Germany's Steffi Graf for most in the open era and two behind overall record holder Margaret Court of Australia.
The 35-year-old said she constantly has to hold her tongue because of 'blatantly unfair' things that go on in tennis.
“It’s very challenging because sometimes when things are blatantly wrong and blatantly unfair and blatantly racist or sexist, I just have to go and put on a brave smile and not let anyone know how I feel on the inside so they don’t get that satisfaction even though on the inside I would be dying,” she said.