Tennis - Tennis legend Steffi Graf believes that Serena Williams can surely break Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles when the American returns to tennis. Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in January at the Australian Open while she was in the early stages of her pregnancy and gave birth to her first child in September. The 35-year-old has said she plans to return to the circuit in time for the Australian Open.
Speaking in Zhuhai where Graf is the global ambassador for the WTA Elite Trophy, the German told the media, "Absolutely, yes. A lot of it is determined on her drive and if that's what she wants to do. It sounds from what I hear that she's looking to come back to tennis. You know, everything that she has shown over her career just makes you believe that if she has that in her sights then she will go after it and achieve it."
Graf, herself, won 22 Grand Slam singles titles in her career - a record for the Open Era until Williams broke the tie she held with Graf in Melbourne. The German also spoke lavishly about the rise of Ashliegh Barty, the young Australian who has risen nearly 300 spots into the world's top 20 this season. "I did see her at the very beginning of her career; she came and surprised all the players with her style early on. I don’t completely know exactly how she came back to playing cricket and then back to tennis but it is a pretty incredible story. Seeing her play so well, especially this year from where she’s started to where she’s ending, it’s a pretty incredible speed of how she’s finding herself back into the tennis tour. The Australians always have an interesting style of tennis and she’s one of them. She’s got great hands and a lot of potential and it’s great to see her back in the sport of tennis.”