Tennis fans – or some of them, at any rate – are up in arms after GQ called Roger Federer “the greatest tennis player of all time”.

In the wake of his incredible comeback win at the Australian Open this year, the 18-time Grand Slam winner was named GQ’s ‘Man of the Year‘.

“Roger Federer was supposed to be finished,” wrote journalist Rosecrans Baldwin. “Or at least exiting gracefully, getting on with his transition to post-tennis things. But then, in January, after five years without a Grand Slam and a season sidelined by injury, he went ahead and won again. Not as the unflappable perfectionist but, for the first time, as a rangy underdog.”

It’s a great feature [read it here], and GQ has obviously been plugging it hard.

But there’s more than a few Serena Williams fans getting mad at GQ here.

Of course, there’s absolutely people arguing on the other side of this.

Okay. It’s not easy to compare male and female tennis players – or even to compare tennis players throughout history – but that doesn’t mean a lot of very smart, sports-minded people haven’t tried

Straight up, Williams has five Grand Slam titles on Federer, but that’s only a tiny part of it.

In June 2016, ESPN put Federer at #1 in their ranking of the top 20 tennis players of all time, with Steffi Graf coming in at #2 and Williams at #3.

Three years earlier, Dr. Ian McHale, a sports-focused statistician, used a mathematical analysis of the stats to declare American Jimmy Connors the GOAT. In that instance, Swede Bjorn Borg came in at #2, and Federer was #3 (Dr. McHale only looked at stats from male players).

Basically? Determining exactly who is the GOAT is basically impossible, and the whole thing is very subjective, anyway.

“Most experts and ex professionals like myself believe it’s impossible to know who is the ‘greatest’ of all time,” wrote ex pro Pat Cash in 2013. “The best we can do is to try and understand who is the best at one time or another and compare for fun. The ‘greatest”‘ also depends on your definition of great.”

But uh – maybe in this case, just let Federer (and GQ) have it.

Photo: GQ.