Who would win if Serena faced Djokovic, Azarenka played Federer and Sharapova encountered Murray?


Omair is continuing his series of comparing Top 3 WTA players to the ATP Top 3. Before digging into the actual numbers to contrast the two tours, Omair is comparing the general sporting characteristics of men and women and the styles of WTA No.1, No.2 and No.3 players to their respective ATP colleagues.

I hope that you people enjoyed the introductory article. There are a few things that I should have mentioned then, but better late than never. Please note that the views expressed here are mine and it is just how I see things, it is not to offend anyone, be it player or his/her fan.

Firstly, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely different for a lot of reasons. The major reason is probably the physique and build of sexes. We can argue into it by saying that there are a lot of female players who have more power than males, however, a biologist or doctor would be able to explain it more appropriately. Overall, for one reason or another, the games are different, but that does not mean that one is better than the other. Difference is the spice of life, and it is difference that makes things interesting.

A reader pointed out that women’s tour is more elegant, delicate as compared to men. I, for one, would love to see an encounter of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, not to determine who is better, just to see how they match up with each other. However, as I said in the first article, more appropriate matches would be Serena Williams vs. Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka vs. Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova vs. Andy Murray. Can you imagine Serena Williams acing Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka outhitting Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova outlasting Andy Murray? Have you ever wondered or have you ever wanted to see these players challenging each other? I have imagined it quite a few times and if the matches were to happen, here are the outcomes I would expect.


In the match-up of Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, I am not too sure if Novak Djokovic would come out on top handily. He might if Serena would have one of those rough days. It would be more of a coin toss. This would perhaps be the most interesting of all the match-ups considering that both players can defend well, can hit through their opponents and return well. It would definitely be a match worth watching. In a best-of-three, I would go with Serena, although Djokovic would have an equal chance of taking it, but I stick with Serena.


In the match-up of Victoria Azarenka and Roger Federer, I don’t think that Azarenka would have enough to trouble the Swiss. She might take a set off Federer, but winning the match would be tough, unless he is having an off serving day. I say so because Azarenka’s serve is not her major weapon and she tends to double fault a lot while the Swiss serves well and overall Azarenka’s game would not match up with Federer’s game. I would love to see how Azarenka would handle how Federer mixes up things. If Azarneka is having a great serving day, things would be interesting, but in my opinion by the end of the day Federer would take the match. This is in no way to belittle Azarenka, just my own opinion of how things would turn out.


Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray would be tricky, considering the power-based game of Sharapova and the more of a defensive game of Andy Murray (consider this I did not say completely defensive). This would also come down to who is hitting more consistently. If Sharapova is unable to execute her shots, she would have trouble against Murray and would most probably go down, but if she executes well, she would definitely have a great chance against Murray. I am indecisive on this, so I leave it to you people to decide who you take to win the match.

Just a little reminder to the fans of all these great players, I do not intend to belittle any player or hurt the feelings of anyone, the potential match-ups and their outcomes are just an imaginative thinking on my part. The match-ups were not originally a part of the planned series, but it just occurred to me so I thought why not share my thoughts with you people.

How do you see the potential matches between the players if they happen? Who in your point of view will walk away with a win?

The next planned article of the series will look into the results of Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray over the course of last 12 months. So stay tuned and do share your thoughts since your suggestions always give me a picture of where to improve. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. I love it Omair, it’s fascinating stuff! I’ve also had a thought about this too. My favourite WTA player is Radwańska. I don’t routinely follow the men, so I don’t really have a favourite there, but if I did it would likely be Murray. Anyway, my idea was this: The top three WTA, you can put into theoretical matches with the ATP guys, as you have here, because those three have the physical strength and raw power to last against the men. But if you go to the No. 4, my girl Radwańska, I can’t imagine her having the physical power to take on any top 10 ATP player. Again, I know nothing of the ATP top 10, so this is a dodgy idea to begin with.

    Furthermore, as much as I love Aga, I can’t see her breaking the top three, and staying there for a respectable time, until/unless she can simply smash the balls as hard as Serena, Maria and Vika do. So what does that say about physical strength in tennis? I don’t mean stamina so much as raw hitting power. It tells me that the current top three are there because, (amongst other things, of course), they can hit the balls into orbit, and that makes them best suited to some kind of epic WTA vs ATP smackdown! 😀

  2. You cannot be serious Omair. The days have gone when the Wimbledon women’s champion was about the standard of an English regional men’s player but they are just milles apart. I actually enjoyed the women’s game more than the men’s a few years back especially at Wimbledon when it was just power serving from the men but now that there are four all court superstars in the men’s game, the women would be lucky to take three games in the two straight sets. And if it was best of five; well just a whitewash.

    Yes, Serena would hit the odd ace ; I remember Sam Stosur acing Jamie Murray a few times in a mixed doubles final. Other than that, however , the games are miles apart. If the woman’s game is so good, start playing five sets.

  3. I dont know your tennis background man, but this article is ridiculous. Any of these girls would be very lucky to even take a game of the men, on any surface.. You dont seem to fathom how extremely big diffrence there is in power and quality between top men and top women.

    Serena might be able to win against like 300 ranked

  4. I am a huge fan of women’s tennis, i think that men and women in tennis are equal when it comes to skill. When you watch players like Hingis, Williams or Clijsters, they are definitly more talented and smarter that many of their male counterparts, however it would be impossible for them to take one set to any top ATP player for the same reason no woman can run 100m at the olympics with men, or jump at the same height… The game has never been as much about speed and power on both sides, and it’s only fair to say that men are superior in both parts.
    This being said, it’s as much fun to me watching professional women and men perform in every sport.

  5. Jim – Thanks man 🙂 The idea is fascinating for me too :)and I agree that for Radwanska will be tough to break the top unless she adds some power to her game.

    Des Platt – Agreed those days have gone, but you can not count out Serena. She has the power and the game to beat the top men’s player if she is on her game. I am not very sure about Sharapova and Azarenka against Murray and Federer respectively, but as for Serena i ll back her.

    Filip Pol – I don’t think that they will be lucky to take a game off their ATP counterparts. They are more than capable of that. Yes, ATP players have much more power as compared to WTA but that can’t stop me from backing Serena.
    and Serena can challenge top ATP players with her game, rather beating 300 ranked player.

    But as I said in the article, this is not to offend any player or his/her fans, the match-ups are entirely my imagination and as per their games I think it will be fun watching the matches.

  6. Are you serious? Top women players arent able to compete with any of top3 best men players, though they might have chances against players from places around 200, not higher. 1st of April is far away, ‘you cannot be serious’, as smb said in the past 😛

  7. What a joke. No top women’s player could even come close to beating a top 200-300 mens player. The only way is if the man had a melt down.

    Jeez, Serena even has problems reversing her course to cover a wrong footed shot from a mid range women. She would be made a laughing stock by her clumsiness against the men.

    I was a college level instructor in the 70’sand any one of us coul demolish Billie Jean King. The Bobby Riggs match was a 55 year old basically rec player playing the doubles against a 29 year old top level woman playing the singles.

  8. I think that if tennis was *only* about power, then most likely the men would *always* win, andmost likely in straight sets, as seems to be the consensus here. But, I would point out that power is relative, and only one component of the whole game. So saying that no woman could take a set off a man, is highly illogical.

  9. Jim said: “…saying that no woman could take a set off a man, is highly illogical.”
    Right on, brother – but, hey: what *can* be logical in an argument based on a ridiculous premiss that men and women can be compared at all, triggered off by obviously misogynistic motives (sadly upheld, as we see, by some women as well)?
    It is tantamount to comparing cocks and pussies: their measurements (?), their hardness (not softness, of course!), their… eh, speed vs. lasting-powers (anyone, you fellow-guys?).
    Now, what I’m trying to say is this: that something *can* be done means only that it *shall* – not *should* – be done.
    P.S. And should anyone ask about my own stance on this profound matter: give me, say, a Mona Barthel vs. Petra Martic encounter, instead of a, say, Djokovic vs. Nadal one, – any time. And let me, thereby, believe that anyone who, for reasons beyond the crudely sexual ones, loves women’s tennis, will surely know, or at least guess, why.

  10. Well I guess If that happened, they would consider that as a joke. But I think the question should be how bad would the men beat the women ?

  11. It’s context that makes them comparable, I suppose. You can’t compare the genders in and of themselves because they’re inherently different. But if you put them in a context, in this case tennis, then comparisons can be made. Odious, maybe, but that’s just another opinion. If we all take it lightly and not get uptight about it, then harmless fun can be had. Of course, we’re talking about tennis fans here, who can be just as venomous and stupid as anyone else over-committed to a symbol. If you want to talk about sexism and mysogony, I would look more closely at some of the vitriol generated by male fans of female tennis players. There’s definitely some macho bullshit going on there. 😉

  12. @Jim: Oh, well, is gender, then, not a part of the “context”? I thought it was, and a large one at that: was it, after all, not one of my two main points – the other one being, indeed, the “macho bullshit” that set the whole thing rolling (the one you’re recommending me to look at more closely is simply the excrement of the retards among the morons, whom I duly alluded to as having “crudely sexual” reasons for “loving” women’s tennis [-players], have I not?).
    And as to the remark “If we all take it lightly and not get uptight [!] about it, then harmless fun can be had”: sure, in case we all were as simply benevolent as you, obviously, and many others of the minority, are. But since it is, based on my lifelong observation, not the case, I don’t see any good reason for taking it lightly – except if the reason be basking on in one’s own given goodly bent of nature.
    With kindest and, yes, heartfelt regards.

  13. I have to agree with a lot of the other comments, there is no way Serena holds her own against the top male players. There is a massive difference there. Her skill level is very high, but she would not be able to overcome the physical disadvantage. Too great a mountain to climb.

  14. Thanks all for the comments. It was just a fun article and an imaginative one of-course. It was not originally planned as a part of series, but as I was jotting down the article, it came to my mind and I jotted it down just for fun.
    The next article is live which is more objective based on the facts and figures. I hope you people will like it.

  15. Very interesting article Omair. I have to think that Federer would beat Azarenka and that Murray would win against Sharapova (as much as it pains me to say it). However, I’m not sure what the result of the potential Serena-Djokovic match would be. They’re both so talented in their own ways, but I have to admit that I could see Serena winning. With Serena’s serve, it gives her a great advantage. It would be fascinating to see her match up against the return of Djokovic, probably the best in the men’s game. It’s something that I really wish I could see, but most likely neve will!

  16. Christ, Jim, of course I’ve “got issues man”. I thought everyone does… but, oh well, it seems that I’ve been wrong all the time, since you, obviously, do not (except, perhaps, the one of understanding simple things beyond having “harmless fun”). Hat off to you, “man”, and a “;p” too – whatever it may mean.

  17. Are you nuts
    I would be surprsied if serena could even win a game against novak LOL
    Do you know serena and venus challanged a male player from ATP some years ago.

    Venus and Serena Williams discovered they’re no match for the men on the ATP tennis tour

    In an impromptu ‘Battle of the Sexes’ at the Australian Open yesterday, first Serena, then Venus challenged No 203 Karsten Braasch to a set apiece, and he beat them both.

    Serena fell 6-1, Venus 6-2. They played as intensely as they could, while Braasch performed with gentlemanly restraint.

    “It was extremely hard,” said Serena. “I didn’t know it would be that hard. I hit shots that would have been winners on the women’s tour and he got to them easily ”


    Juts check it out mate.
    A 55 year old man bobby rings defeated world no 1 woman margrat court during 70’s. I mean just see the physical difference .

    There was a quote by serena some years ago about roger federer

    “I wish I could play like Roger Federer.”
    —Superstar Serena WIlliams

    I mean ,you cannot be serious .Men plays 5 set tennis and women 3 .This thing pretty much sums it all.

    I mean how could you even compare ?

  18. Thank you for settling that John. The notion that any of the top women could even take a single set off the top men is laughable. The Karsten Braasch ‘matches’ makes that irrevocably clear.
    Serena beating Djokovic!!?! That simply would never happen – she would be played off the court.

  19. I think this is possibly the most idiotic “article” ever.
    Serena (or any other female player) would be lucky to get points off of Novak.

    Serena beating Novak? LOL!!!!!

    Complete garbage.

  20. Williams beating Djokovic? never heard such rubbish she wouldn’t win a game she wouldn’t win more than 1 or 2 against the lads on the Challenger circuit so against the top player in the world? no chance same applies to Azarenka and Sharapova none of the women are powerful enough or move anywhere near well enough they’d be laughed off court in a 3 set match in about 45 minutes tops. Whoever gives them a chance needs recapturing very quickly!

  21. Hahaha these jokes have juste make my day!
    You think Djokovic-Williams is a 50-50 chance game!!! Go sleep because maybe you will see this game in your wet dreams or on Top Spin video game but never in real life !
    Yeah, we can argue that female tennis is more elegant or tenniswomen have the same level of technics but we all know that the power, the quickness and all the physical qualities are on men’s side.
    The only thing I agree with you is that I would like to see this game between them. Your feminist fantasies would be wipped out.
    PS : apologies for my english

  22. A lot of chauvinists here.

    Let’s be clear, Serena is not beating Novak. But to say that she would not win a point is laughable. I could see her holding serve quite well, but beaten in straight sets in the long run: 6-3, 6-2,6-1. Something like that.

    Azarenka and Maria… it’s a bit much for them in this predicament.

    Men’s Tennis is a lot more powerful, ground-strokes and forehand winners becoming a lot more dominant. But Tennis does not have to be all about power (Roddick anyone). I think that is why Federer is amongst the greatest, he balanced power with masterful skill. There is a chance the women can make up for strength by outwitting their opponents.

  23. I play women’s at Indiana University. Although I really appreciate guys having confidence in women to be better than men at any sport, this article is ridiculous. If Serena played any man in the top 20 she would maybe get a game or two. If you honestly think Serena would even have a chance against Djokovoic then you know absolutely nothing about tennis. In 1998 Serena played a set against the 203rd ranked man in the world and lost 6-1. Bobby Riggs was a 55 year old retired tennis pro and played Maraget Court during the prime of her career and he won 6-2, 6-1…..and the game has become even more physical these days leaving women at even more of a disadvantage. I like the article because I can’t believe anyone would ever think such ridiculous things and its flattering but nonetheless is absolutely false.

  24. I should put my opinion about who Serena is capable of beating. I say opinion in this circumstance but when talking about Djokovic beating Serena easily, that is indeed a fact. I think Serena stands no chance against any male in the top 500 and I think there are probably 30 male D1 tennis players that would beat her. I think the number one male at IU (where I go) vs Serena would be a good match.

  25. I’ll try not to be rude, but it might be difficult. I don’t think the writer of this article has any first hand experience in higher level tennis. I do and can say that high level men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely different games. A winner on the women’s tour is a routine get on the men’s. A 120 mph flat Serena serve troubles no ATP player. A 120 mph sliced Federer serve troubles every ATP player. The difference is spin. Federer can crank a serve into the low 140’s, but he rarely does so because a 120 mph serve with a lot of action on it is more effective. Just for reference, the top men’s serve speed is confirmed 156 mph, and possibly 163 mph by a current journeyman player.

    Footspeed – Serena is pretty fast and can hit balls extremely well on the run on the women’s tour. But, it simply does not translate to the ATP tour. Just about every guy from D1 college, Futures, Challengers, and World Tour, is faster and can hit the ball on the run better than Serena. That is just biology, men are generally faster than women.

    My assessment is that Serena would have a hard time being ranked anywhere on the ATP. D1 college players and pro journeymen alike battle day in and day out for just one or two measly ATP points to get themselves ranked in the top 1500. These guys hit bigger and run faster than Serena. I do think Serena has consistency and placement on her side though. If she was lucky, I think she might be able to pull a win off a nervous journeyman in a Futures event.

  26. It isn’t just that men have a massive advantage in the physical side, they also have a massive advantage in spacial awareness and hand eye coordination (and a ton of other stuff). Darts, chess and snooker are all open to women to participate with the men, and not a single one has ever won a tournament. Any tournament.

  27. Don’t entertain the thought of Serena Wms. beating a male tennis player; stop with that nonsense. Just pay attention to her as she keeps giving a beat-down to her female opponents. She will win this year’s US Open title for 3 in a row and number 18, no doubt. “Go, Serena! You are the greatest of all time! That serve is so beautiful to watch. Simply amazing!”

  28. I’m sorry but you obviously know nothing of tennis. None of those wta players are capable of winning a single game from any top200 atp player, and that is the truth, it’s not a matter of oppinion. Williams sisters challenged a male player, ranked somewhere around 200 and they won just 3games combined.

  29. Right now I don’t see Serena challenging Djokovic. The problem is more than men having physical advantages. I believe it could be overcome by future female outliers, but only if women competing against men becomes a regular thing in singles. We’ve seen men’s tennis evolve due to increased competition, so there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t have aassive impact on the level of women’s tennis. It would be difficult, to say the least, but I think that competition could lower the gap between women’s and men’s tennis.

  30. Interesting concept for an article, but I have to disagree with your predictions of winners. There is no way ANY woman beats any of the top 4 men provided both are playing their best. Im not trying to be clever or misogynistic, so don’t start taking offence. But the fact is that the men’s game is meters above the women’s game, in terms of power, precision, speed, stamina. The only way a top woman stands a chance is once you drop out of the top 5 men. And even that is very difficult. But Djokovic or Federer or Nadal at their best…they would mop the floor with any top woman player.

  31. I think the author of this article forgets which competition we are talking about. Maybe these women win a swimsuit competition, but I just watched Serena win the Miami championship with a meager 80 mph first serve. In a competitive environment, it’s not a contest.

  32. Serena Williams wouldn’t defeat a man with an ATP ranking of 1000th – she would be obliterated by Djokovic but also Bautista Agut or Teymuraz Gabashvili or Jack Sock or any male player. Either you really know *nothing* about Tennis, or your article was a (very silly) joke.

  33. This is such a joke! There is no way Serena would ever beat djokovic unless something very unfortunate happened to him, like he broke a leg or two… And Vika would be lucky to take a game off fed… A set would be unbelievable.. Serena already played a professional man ranked outside the top 200 and easily beat her. No disrespect to these extremely talented ladies but men just have too much of an advantage physically.

  34. Its easy to imagine a mid-level division 1 player having no trouble at all with Serena.
    My daughters coach (man) played the 200th ranked women a few years ago and easily beat her and he is a 23 year old who plays well against certain D1 players but gets slaughtered against others.
    I recently watched a level 5 boys 18s in middle states and I think the winner wouldt have a realistic chance and may even be the favorite against Serena.

  35. I just came across this blog item so am late to the party but would still like to comment.

    Firstly, the writer is incomplete dreamland to think any of the three female players mentioned could come even remotely close to winning a set of any of the male players. You could actually extend that to ANY ATP player ranked in the top 500, if not top 1000. The difference in playing ability lies primarily in the speed of the men and how much margin they play with (i.e. more topspin). They are so much more explosive with their speed it means they can hit many more balls off a stable base and therefore more offensively. They can also play deep, heavily spun safety shots which WTA players simply never encounter.

    To give it a final piece of perspective… Serena Williams is one of the best built (muscular) players on the entire WTA. She is the only about same size as David Ferrer who is considered tiny by ATP standards. Regardless of innate skill similarity male players are simply taller, have longer limbs (and therefore levers and racquet head speed potential), much stronger and use heavier racquets (which have more plough).

    I comment the writer for making a discussion piece about this but some of the estimates above are truly ludicrous. Top WTA players get beaten in practice daily by former D1 male college players who had no chance of making it on the ATP tour. Tons of them are employed by top WTA players as hitting partners/coaches for that reason: they are everywhere and generally cheap to hire.

  36. Serena herself said she would lose love, love to Murray and would be “lucky to win a point”. It wasn’t false modesty. No woman player wins more than 3 games in a best of three sets against any top 200 men.

  37. Hahahahahaha!!! Is this article for real? Or are you actually this f*cking retarded?!
    All of these men, would absolutely “creampie” these women, in every way shape and form.
    Even when Djokovic first came on tour as a pro at 18 years old, he would have little problem dispatching Serena.
    Just check out the video of mixed doubles hopman cup finale between Janowicz/Radwanska and Serena/Isner.
    There were many moments where Serena was clearly overpowered by Janowicz especially his serve, which is good but nothing special on the ATP tour. He full on pelted 2 good forehands straight at Serena while she was at the net. She barely survived. If she could barely handle something like that, how’s she supposed to handle these an entire match?
    The other thing is, most ATP players have a more efficient forehand stroke i.e. they whip their forehand vs. women swing with their wrists locked and essentially try to push the ball back over. So they have a considerable disadvantage with their forehands.
    The only player that would stand any kinda chance would be Justine Henin, because she plays like Federer and uses the entire court and not just baseline all day long like women’s games these days. But since she’s so tiny she would have a damn difficult time either way.

  38. This article is political correctness gone mad! There was another similar article asking the question, ” why can women serve as fast as men” and pointed to only two women in history who’s fastest serves on record barely reached the ATP average.. haha! great stuff. Never mind that the men can hit harder that 120mph if they did’nt put slice on the ball.

  39. I think your article would be applicable IF and ONLY IF the men were playing with their left hand.. I guess the point of this article was to tickle the imaginations of readers. However, please include a disclaimer in future when writing articles without checking the facts. It might give rise to disillusioned players when they find that what you write is not true.


  40. The problem here is that people have trouble divorcing their protection brigade motives from simple discussions of gender. Serena cannot beat any top male, that is a simple fact. Facts aren’t sexist.

    Floyd Mayweather would lose to every single boxing heavyweight, but he is considered greater than most if not all of them. Exact same situation. Men have biological advantages so the comparison is futile. If we instead consider a pound for pound, boxing esque comparison, Serena would be in the top five of players of both genders, if not challenging for number 1.

  41. This article is a complete farce. Chauvinism has nothing to do with saying that Djokovic and Federer would absolutely destroy Serena or any other top women’s player. To say that Serena has a 50/50 chance against Djokovic is completely absurd. Even saying that means that the author of this article either doesn’t watch or doesn’t understand tennis in today’s game.


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