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Virus threatening history bids: Navratilova



Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova

Grand Slam great Martina Navratilova believes the current generation of superstars face a threat to their place in history due to the coronavirus.

Roger Federer is currently leading the men's all-time list on 20 singles titles while Serena Williams remains an agonising one more Major win away from matching Margaret Court's women's record on 24.

And Navratilova, who won 59 Grand Slam titles in total, believes the sport's shutdown is bound to have an adverse effect on those building their legacies as they prepare to exit the sport.

Navratilova said: "For players like Roger Federer and Serena Williams, it's time lost. Particularly Serena, Wimbledon being her best chance to break Margaret Court's record. She's stuck on 23 and is trying 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.

"Everybody's in the same boat, but for the old players like Roger and even Rafa (Rafael Nadal) and particularly Serena, it's more difficult, no doubt about that."

Navratilova revealed the coronavirus-induced lockdown means this will be the first year that she has not been in London for Wimbledon.

Navratilova added: "For tennis players, at New Year, we always toast Wimbledon. I have been coming since I was 16. I have not missed one. Now it's the first time and I'm itching to get on a plane and just touch the grass."

Belfast Telegraph