“Not Going to Write Her Off”: 18-Time Major Champion Believes Serena Williams Can Win More Grand Slams

Published 03/18/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Serena Williams of The United States celebrates victory during the Ladies Singles second round match against Christina McHale of the United States on day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Tennis Martina Navratilova believes it’s not the end of the road for Serena Williams as far as Grand Slam titles are concerned.

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Though Serena couldn’t conquer Naomi Osaka in the semi-final of this year’s Australian Open, Navratilova was wowed by her performance at Melbourne Park, saying it was the best she had seen the American play in recent years.

Serena played her best at the Australian Open but still lost, says Martina Navratilova

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Navratilova said that the 39-year-old looked to be in peak form and fitness until she came undone against the eventual champion. “For me, she moved better than she had in years,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion said.

The legend said that she wasn’t sure how much the loss would have affected the American, as she played her best but “still lost”“Maybe that would be harder for her. She did not play badly, just Naomi played the big points a little bit better,” Navratilova told Tennis Channel.

Serena came into the Australian Open in the hope of ending her three-year wait for the 24th Grand Slam title, which would bring her on level with the legendary Margaret Court’s career tally of Majors. However, the agony was prolonged as she fell to a straight-set defeat to Osaka.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her third round match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Navratilova reckons Serena Williams can tie Margaret Court’s career Grand Slam haul

Serena left the arena with unshed tears but broke down later, cutting short a press conference and leading many to question if she would rise again from the crushing defeat.

Weighing in on the same, the nine-time Wimbledon champion said that while she was unsure if Serena has been able to process the Australian Open loss, she fancied the American to reach her milestone on the lawns of All-England Park.

“On the grass, that will be more user-friendly for her,” Navratilova said.

As to whether Serena can snap her barren Grand Slam run at Wimbledon, Navratilova said that that would depend largely on her body language and whether she shows up stronger from her experience at Melbourne Park.

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The legend added that if Serena can lift herself from the soul-crushing loss at the Australian Open, there’s no reason why she can’t add another couple of Grand Slam titles to her name. “Can she break Margaret’s record? I’m sure she can tie it,” Navratilova said, adding she wouldn’t “write her off until she quits”.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

856 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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