Former World No. 1 Ivan Lendl says he considers Margaret Court as the Greatest of all Time in the pre-Open era and would pick between Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams as the greatest in the Open era based on where Serena finishes at the end of her career.
In an interview to World Wide of Sports, the eight-time Grand Slam singles champion, says, "You have to look at pre-Open era which is Margaret Court even though she won her Grand Slam and share of titles after the sport opened up, and then you look at Open-era only in my mind and you look at Steffi, Martina and Serena."
Margaret Court has won the most number of Grand Slam singles titles in tennis history with 24 Grand Slams - 11 of those coming in the Open era. Serena Williams, with 23 Grand Slams, is chasing her record but has been beaten the last four times that she has reached a Grand Slam singles final.
She also won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and 2 mixed doubles Grand Slams. Graf has won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, including the Golden Slam (all four slams and the Olympic singles gold medal). Martina Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles in her career but also won 31 major women's doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles.
The Czech, who won 94 singles titles in his career, says that he would reserve his comment on the Greatest of all time for the women in the Open era once Williams finishes her career. "First of all, what they both (Steffi Graf and Serena Williams) achieved is incredible, it is absolutely amazing and phenomenal.
Secondly, I do not like judging something which is still a moving target. When Serena is done and retired I might sit down and think about it, till then I'm just going to let the movie play and watch. I think it is a fascinating topic to discuss or follow and watch now and I consider myself very fortunate to have seen guys like this, like Pete and Roger and Rafa and Novak play and coach against them, but also very fortunate to be playing the same time when Steffi won her Golden Slam in 1988 and I don't know if we will ever see that again. I'm very fortunate to see that and you realise how very special that is."