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Serena Williams ‘paved the way’ for mothers to keep playing tennis, says Martina Navratilova


Tennis nice Martina Navratilova thinks extra ladies will proceed to play skilled tennis after having youngsters – thanks largely to Serena Williams.

When she retired from tennis final month, the 41-year-old Williams left behind a legacy that stretches properly past her 23 grand slam titles, the final of which she gained on the 2017 Australian Open whereas pregnant along with her daughter Olympia.

She made her return the next yr and went on to contest 4 grand slam finals – eschewing the notion that motherhood and a profitable tennis profession can’t go hand-in-hand.

In response to Navratilova, Williams has impressed a unique mindset in comparison with when she dominated the game within the Seventies and 80s.

“For girls it was either-or, however now Serena proved you may have each. There are many different moms on the tour who’ve performed rather well,” the previous world No. 1 tells CNN en Español’s Elizabeth Pérez.

“The largest purpose we didn’t see it – there are a pair – the care wasn’t there, the cash wasn’t there, and likewise ladies simply selected to have infants after which they didn’t come again.

“However now I feel Serena sort of paved the best way for motherhood and to nonetheless be an athlete. I feel you will notice an increasing number of ladies enjoying properly into their 30s, perhaps into their 40s.”

Williams played the final game of her career against Ajla Tomljanovic at this year's US Open.

Williams isn’t alone in blazing a path for moms hoping to proceed their tennis careers.

Earlier this yr, Tatjana Maria, a mother of two, reached her first grand slam semifinal at Wimbledon 15 months after the delivery of her second baby, whereas Victoria Azarenka has ranked constantly inside the highest 20 on the earth for the reason that delivery of her son Leo in 2016.

Navratilova, who holds the WTA Tour’s all-time report of 167 titles, loved a protracted profession, throughout which she gained 18 grand slam singles titles, 31 grand slam doubles titles and 10 grand slam blended doubles titles.

After retiring from singles in 1994 on the age of 38, she continued enjoying doubles – and profitable titles – in her 40s.

She has remained concerned within the sport as a coach, broadcaster, and ambassador for the WTA Tour, highlighting the significance of preventive checkups to fight particular ailments resembling breast most cancers – with which Navratilova was recognized in 2010.

Following her retirement, she has noticed a sport always evolving, notably in relation to gamers’ longevity.

Navratilova believes will probably be extra frequent for gamers to take pleasure in longer careers than in her day, following the development set by Williams and Roger Federer, who lately performed the ultimate match of his profession on the age of 41.

“With the cash that’s in tennis, folks can take higher care of themselves,” she says. “Most of all, with the data that we have now about how one can care for our our bodies a lot better – that may extend gamers’ careers.

“Perhaps (gamers will) not play as a lot yearly however play longer and higher high quality as properly. The care is there, the psychological well being, all of that’s being addressed now a lot better than it was in my day.”

Navratilova (right) presents Iga Swiatek with the US Open trophy.

Navratilova provides that Williams’ retirement will go away a void in tennis – “the electrical energy that she delivered to the stadium was superb,” she says – however thinks the way forward for the game is in “nice arms” with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

The Polish star gained her third grand slam title – and second of the yr – on the US Open in September, and on the age of 21 seems to be set to solely add to her grand slam tally – notably on her favored floor of clay.

“We can’t substitute a Roger Federer or a Serena Williams,” says Navratilova, “however we are able to herald new faces that may make us really feel higher about ourselves and preserve us entertained hopefully for many years to return.”

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