Serena Williams ‘paved the way’ for mothers to keep playing tennis, says Martina Navratilova
The women’s champion, who is in her first season since the birth of her fourth child, has struggled to come back from a shoulder injury that has forced her to give up playing full-time.
But the injury seems to have healed well, and she hopes to return to the court at a time when her family is no longer able to support her.
“Playing tennis is a very difficult job. At times it can be quite stressful and a lot of hard work. I feel like I’ve given birth to my career and I’ve done it so well.
“It’s nice to be able to come back after surgery, and I can see the good out of it, and I can see the reason for my good results. I feel that I have paved the way for others who want to continue playing tennis.”
Williams did not return to the court following surgery on her left shoulder in February, but is now back to light training.
With the birth of her fourth child, the 24-year-old wants to be independent and not have to depend on the love and support of her family following her injuries.
However, Martina Navratilova believes that Williams’ success in her career has made it easier for women to break into the world of top-level tennis and is hopeful more people will embrace the sport.
“As a player, you have to be mentally tough. All you can do is to try to play your best for your country. There has to be a lot of sacrifice on your part as well as the player. But now there are more players than ever before.
“It is good for women’s tennis because now the sport is open to all people who want to play. Nowadays, anybody can go to the courts and play. Everyone can play, including those people who are not as athletic.”
Martina, who is also the most decorated tennis player of all time, believes it is a sign of progress in the sport that players can no longer only be motivated by family and love.