‘I Don’t Buy It’- Martina Navratilova Once Questioned Serena Williams Over Bizarre Wimbledon Retirement

Published 06/23/2022, 11:34 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 13: Serena Williams (USA) looks dejected against Simona Halep (ROU) during their Ladies’ Singles Final on Day 12 of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Serena Williams is one of the most gracious players on the tour. For more than 2 decades, Serena has been a regular headline maker. Mainly for her extravagant dominance and mighty records in the game. However, going back in time, Serena once became the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

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Going back in time, in 2014, Serena suffered a third-round loss to Alize Cornet at the Wimbledon Championship. Heading forward, Serena went on trying her luck in women’s doubles alongside sister Venus Williams. The 5-time champion pair kicked off their campaign with a first-round win. However, the second-round clash of the pair had Serena indulging in unusual acts. Acts that opened the doors for speculation for many, including Martina Navratilova.

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Navratilova takes a dig at Serena Williams

Entering the court, both the teams started hitting balls to warm up. Serena is known to be the promoter of the importance of warm-up in tennis. While Serena makes sure to make the most of her warm-up time, that didn’t seem to be the case that day. During the warm-up, the fans saw some bizarre moments from Serena. The former World No. 1 was seen struggling to collect balls from the ball kids. During the match, fans also witnessed a lack in her hand-eye coordination and a lack in her motor skills.

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While Serena managed to play two games of the opening set, it was Serena’s serve in the third game of the set that acted like a matchstick to the speculations. Going down history lane, Serena is one of the best servers in the history of the sport. However, that match had Serena serve four back-to-back double faults to give away the game.

Disappointed by the act, Serena announced a mid-match retirement from the match. Moments later, Wimbledon released a statement saying that Williams is suffering from a virus illness. However, Serena’s dizzy and bewildered appearance had already opened the room to speculations.

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Conversing with a media house, tennis great Martina Navratilova took a dig at Serena saying, “I don’t buy it.” 

Going further in the conversation, she also called out Wimbledon to address it as a viral illness. “I think virus, whatever they’re saying it was, I don’t think that was it… I don’t know what it is, but I hope Serena will be OK,” she added.

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Like Navratilova, many other tennis legends like Chris Evert and Pam Shiver have already questioned Serena’s condition during that match. While the controversy subsided with time, the pair of Williams sisters made a comeback in 2016 to win the title for the 6th time.

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Ahmar Wasif

902 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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