Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says that Serena Williams will have a great chance to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles at the upcoming US Open. The US Open Grand Slam tournament begins in New York on August 31st and the women's field has seen six of the Top 10 players withdraw due to injury or concerns about travelling to the United States during the current health crisis.
Serena has won 23 Grand Slam titles and has reached four finals at the majors since returning to the courts after giving birth to her first child. However, she has lost on all four of those occasions, two of them coming at the US Open in the last two years.
Navratilova says Serena Williams has a great chance to win 24th Slam in New York
According to Forbes magazine, Navratilova says, "I think Serena just wants that record [of 24 Grand Slam titles] regardless of any GOAT status.
For her it's about that number. Now she's got a great chance with the U.S. Open with a smaller field obviously”. 38 year old Williams returned to the courts earlier this month at the WTA event in Lexington where she reached the quarter-finals and is playing at the Western & Southern Open in New York this week.
She scored a three-set win over Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus in her first match at the tournament on Monday. The US Open is also being played without any crowds this year due to the global pandemic, a factor that Navratilova says will help the lower ranked players as compared to the top players like Serena who are used to playing in front of packed stadiums and feeding off the energy of the crowds.
"She likes to feed off the energy from the crowd. That won't be there. I think that's more of a handicap for the top players than the lower-ranked players, the crowd not being there. Bit of an equalizer”. The US Open Grand Slam tournament begins in New York on August 31st.
Serena Williams will be one of the four Top 10 women in the US Open draw - along with World no. 3 Karolina Pliskova, current Australian open champion Sofia Kenin, and former US Open champion Naomi Osaka.