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Federer is the best Tennis man in history... but three women have outdone him

Published: Updated:

By winning Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, his twentieth Grand Slam title, the Swiss Roger Federer has risen a step higher to the pantheon of world tennis.

He is now four lengths ahead of his biggest opponent, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has won 16 times.

However, three women have won more titles than him: in the modern era, known as the "Open era", Serena Williams and Steffi Graf hold the high place, 23 and 22 respectively titles, according to French newspaper Lemonde.

But if we go even further, Margaret Smith-Court of Australia keeps the world record: she won 12 titles as an amateur before taking a short retreat, and coming back to collect an additional 12 trophies as a professional, once the Open era inaugurated.

Another record was missed by Federer: he never won a Grand Slam tournament in doubles. He remains outside the very closed circle of the six players who won the four Open doubles and singles (Roy Emerson, Margaret Smith Court, Doris Hart, Shirley Fry Irvin, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams). And even further from the Smith-Court-Hart-Navratilova trio - three players who have made their mark on the four major tournaments of the circuit in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.