Martina: Serena will 'break all records'
Serena Williams can "break all the records" and establish herself as the greatest female player ever, tennis icon Martina Navratilova has told CNN's Open Court program in an interview with Pat Cash.
Seeded third at the Australian Open, Williams is looking to land her 16th grand slam crown as she chases down Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 titles and Steffi Graf's Open era haul of 22 after claiming the Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles last year in addition to winning singles and doubles gold medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The 31-year-old Williams, who won her first grand slam title at Flushing Meadows in 1999, might have won more events had she not been hampered by injury.
"At her best -- she is the best player out there and that's been the case for about 10 years now," said Navratilova, who won 18 grand slams including nine Wimbledon singles title.
"She just hasn't been at her best very often but this last year when she played after she lost in the first round of the French Open -- that really motivated her.
"She got in much better physical shape and now she is happy on and off the court and even though she is 31, I think she has played half the matches I played when I was 31.
"So she's a fairly young 31 -- as far as the body is concerned. She's had her injuries -- and other interests why she hasn't played as much -- which has hurt her in the past.
"Now I think it is to her benefit and that she is fresh mentally and she's fresh physically -so the way she is going if she stays healthy. I think she could break all the records."
Williams has picked up five Australian Open titles, won five Wimbledons, claimed four U.S. Open triumphs and one French Open win.
Then there was the golden year of 2002 where she won all four major tournaments on her way to the career grand slam.
In 2002, she won three grand slam titles, announcing she was ready to overtake her already well-established sibling Venus.
Then there are also the four Olympic gold medals, 22 doubles titles, two mixed doubles titles and 45 single titles.
Victory in Melbourne will take Williams ever closer to the coveted No.1 spot with the U.S. star a hot favourite to triumph.
And Navratilova is tipping Williams to take her rightful place at the very top of the sport.
She added: "I think if Serena stays healthy, she'll be No.1 by the end of the year. She will probably be No.1 by the end of the Australian Open and stay there.
"You can't go against her. She is fitter than she was the last couple of years when she was here.
"She is going to be as tough as nails. She wants it really badly. So Serena is the overwhelming favorite in every slam."
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