Serena Williams named Lewis Hamilton among some of the people that come to mind as her “greatest of all time.”
Serena Williams is about to put a bow on what has been a legendary career. GOAT-ed, some might say, as the tennis star has won 23 Grand Slam titles, which is good for second all-time just behind Margaret Court who won 24. On the men’s side, no single participant has won more than 22 all-time.
Williams will conclude her professional career at this year’s US Open, playing in the opening round on Monday night in the individual tournament.
In the lead-up to her retirement, TIME dedicated an issue of its magazine to Serena with a magazine cover with the sub-text: “THE GREATEST”.
As a part of the issue, Williams sat down with TIME and talked about some of her GOATs.
Serena Williams gave a major nod to Lewis Hamilton, and he responded
Asked to name a few of her GOATs, Serena Williams declared Lewis Hamilton “first and foremost.”
Lewis replied saying he was honored by the compliment from Serena.
Williams would go on to name many of the others associated with the GOAT conversation: LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan, as well as a group of her tennis peers like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
But to call out Hamilton first and foremost is telling of his impact on not just the motorsports, but the world. Hamilton has always been an activist and vocal on matters that are important to his heart, these moral aspirations coming to the forefront in 2020 when he spoke out on injustices such as the killing of Breonna Taylor by wearing a shirt on a victory podium stating, “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.”
The TIME article on Serena quoted Hamilton, who has been inspired by the Williams sisters’ ascent to the top of their sport. Their rise served as an archetype for what Hamilton did within motorsports and Formula 1.
“Especially growing up in my sport, where I’m the only person of color, seeing these two prominent figures, also the only people of color, really gave me a lot of confidence that I can do something similar. It’s not impossible.”
Hamilton has achieved equal heights as Serena in his own sport with that motivation, as he’s tied with Michael Schumacher for the most driver championships (7).
Williams and Hamilton have and will continue to inspire generations of people to defy the odds and do the unthinkable.
Williams hopes to perform stronger than Hamilton did this Sunday in Monday’s debut. Hamilton did not finish at the Belgian Grand Prix after making contact with Fernando Alonso in a crash that he feels blessed to have walked away from.