Martina Navratilova wishes Serena Williams can play more matches in 2022
Martina Navratilova hopes Serena Williams can stay healthy and play more matches in the 2022 season. Williams last played a competitive matches at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. A hamstring injury forced her to retire from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and the American has not featured since.
Williams missed the last two Majors of the year, delaying her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown. She was initially expecting to be fit to compete at the 2022 Australian Open, but that has not been the case.
The American recently announced her decision to pull out of the Melbourne Slam based on the advice of her medical team. Officially, there has been no confirmation of when fans can see the former World No. 1 back on the WTA tour.
During a recent interview with the Tennis Channel, Martina Navratilova was asked to predict what 2022 had in store for Serena Williams. In response, Navratilova said she looked forward to seeing a healthy Serena Williams back on the tennis court.
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion believes that while Williams could still be “a force to be reckoned with,” the 40-year-old’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.”
Serena Williams’ win percentage in 2021 was her lowest since 1997
Serena Williams’ 17 matches in 2021 is her lowest since 2017
Serena Williams’ unfortunate leg injury meant she finished the year with a 12-5 win/loss record. Her 71% win percentage was the American’s since 1997.
Serena Williams turned pro in 1995 and ended up playing just one match that year, losing to World No. 149 Annie Miller. She did not play a single match the following year. In 1997, she played 14 matches and won nine of them to finish the year with a 64% win percentage.
Since then, she has won a minimum of 73% of matches every year for 23 years up until 2021. Moreover, the 17 matches she played in 2021 was her lowest tally since 2017.
Like Navratilova said, Serena Williams needs to play more matches but whether her fitness will allow her to do so remains a huge question.