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Navratilova: Sympathy for Serena and Federer


Wimbledon's cancellation could be a road block in Serena Williams' hunt for history.

Martina Navratilova says she sympathizes with the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is aiming to equal Margaret Court's all-time major record winning her 24th Grand Slam crown.

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Time is passing and missing Wimbledon, which cancelled for the first time in 75 years due to the coronavirus pandemic, is a major missed opportunity for the 38-year-old Williams and 38-year-old Roger Federer, Navratilova says.

Tennis Express

The former world No. 1 believes Wimbledon's grass is the ideal launching pad for both Williams and Federer to win another major.

“Only war has stopped major tournaments happening, now we have this pandemic and for players like Roger Federer and, of course, Serena Williams, it’s time lost," Navratilova told Laureus.com in an interview. "Particularly Serena, Wimbledon being her best chance to break Margaret Court’s record.

"She’s stuck on 23 and tries to get to 24, maybe 25. It’s an opportunity lost, when you’re not getting any younger. If I was sitting in that position I’d be going nuts that I can’t play."



Navratilova says historic chases by iconic champions Serena, Federer and Nadal are impacted most by sport's shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and will need to adapt to achieve their aims.

“Everybody’s in the same boat, but for the old players like Roger and even Rafa Nadal and, particularly, Serena Williams, it’s more difficult, no doubt about it," Navratilova told Laureus.com. "I sympathize with them, because this is an enemy you can’t rehab, you can’t fight against, you just hope it will go away and we can play next year.

“Novak Djokovic is right behind Roger and Rafa chasing the major titles, but I think the one that’s most affected would be Roger Federer because he’s the eldest by quite a bit. But you have to deal with it. As Billie Jean King said ‘champions adjust’.”


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