Chris Evert is not somebody who bestows praise without reason and having won 18 major singles titles is qualified to make judgments of levels of achievement. So the six times US Open champion isn’t just offering platitudes when she insists Serena Williams should now be viewed as one of the three greatest female tennis players of all time alongside Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.

Evert is about to the her busiest US Open fortnight for  some time as one of the lead commentators on the ESPN team after ten years away  from the television commentary booths at Flushing Meadows. And she maintained:   "I'd put Serena right up there] with Martina and Steffi.”
 
Though Evert  has not been at all the majors over the last decade, she has
watched the  on-court action closely and monitored what has been going on away from the  tournaments. The Serena Williams story, of course, reads like some movie script  with pain, emotion and some episodes that are slightly incongruous to the life  of a top flight tennis pro. Plus the 13 times major  champion reportedly  experienced a near death experience earlier this year.

But Evert  maintained : “Serena is the best comeback player we've ever seen. If you look at  the last ten years, she's been out, she comes back. Even when she
hasn't been in  shape, she can still win a Grand Slam.

“She is an incredible  athlete. She's got the power. She's got the speed. She's got the mental  toughness. There isn't a chink in the armor there at all. Her health is her own  worst enemy. Her health is her rival or competitor.”

Evert made her  commentating comeback at Wimbledon earlier this summer and watched Serena, with  just two competitive matches in a year, proceed to the fourth round to lose to  former finalist Marion Bartoli. Earlier, the four times champion had beaten  Aravane Rezai, Simona Haleep and Maria Kirilenko.

Since Wimbledon Serena  has won titles in Stanford and Toronto, beating players who will be seeded high  in New York such as Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Sabine Lisicki and Sam  Stosur. She withdrew from Cincinnati because of issues with her  toe.
 
But Evert continued: “ We saw Serena at Wimbledon,
and I think  even though she lost a close match to [Marion] Bartoli, the French
girl played  out of her head,.

"I think that exceeded people's
expectations, that  Serena would do that well at Wimbledon after being out for a
year and all her  health issues. She committed herself. She practiced. She's won
two tournaments.  That's unbelievable. Not to undermine the rest of the field,
but it just shows  that she's head and shoulders above anybody else, again, when
she's  healthy.”



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