Martina Navratilova: Serena Williams will still be force to be reckoned with

Former world No. 1 Martina Navratilova is hoping Serena Williams will return to being fully healthy and make her comeback to tennis. 

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, hasn’t played since retiring her Wimbledon opener due to a hamstring issue. 

Navratilova believes Williams will still be a “force to be reckoned with” but added the American’s fitness might not allow her to play enough matches. 

“My prediction for Serena Williams in 2022: I hope she can be healthy. I hope she gets to play,” Navratilova said. “I am not sure she will, but she needs to play more matches. But she will still be a force to be reckoned with.”

Williams out of the Australian Open

Williams was hoping to be ready for the Australian Open but that wasn’t the case. 

In a recent interview, coach Paul Annacone said Williams hasn’t given up on winning a 24th Grand Slam. 

“Let’s think about it. 23, she’s been on that number of Majors. She doesn’t play another match, it doesn’t matter. She has done so much. Internally, I think with great players, they got to figure out why they want to keep playing. She is such a competitor. She wants to get that No. 24,” Annacone said on Tennis Channel.

Also, Annacone acknowledged that staying away from the game for too long can create problems. 

“All those things outside the court for her are great way for her to kind of decompress and hit the reset button for a bit. But, at the end of your career as an athlete, you have to be very careful not to stay too far that way. Because the longer you go, the longer it is to get back there. I think she and Patrick know exactly what they want to do. There is no reason she can’t continue to play great,” Annacone added.