John McEnroe expects Serena Williams to make at least one more “real run” at winning a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.
Williams, 40, has been stuck on 23 majors since winning the Australian Open in 2017, just six months before she gave birth to daughter Olympia.
She has lost in four finals since and has not played since retiring in the first round of Wimbledon with injury last summer.
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It is not yet clear when she will return to action, but McEnroe thinks she remains “motivated” to at least draw level with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Slams.
“Serena looks as though she is still training and trying to get herself ready and absolutely wants to try and break the record,” seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe told Eurosport.
“She seems very motivated still and I anticipate her coming back and making a real run at Wimbledon or trying to do one more US Open.
“She is desperate for one more even though it doesn’t change anything in my book. She is one of the greatest athletes, male or female, that has played the sport, so of course we would like to see her play again, but she is also 40 and doesn’t have the fear factor that she once had amongst the younger players, so that makes it more difficult.”
Williams did not play at the 2022 Australian Open as she said she was not yet ready to “physically compete” at her “highest level”.
She may target a return on home soil at the WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami in March.
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But getting back to full fitness appears the primary focus for Williams right now and McEnroe thinks the three-set format in the women’s draws at the Grand Slams will be beneficial in her quest to equal Court’s record.
“She has the slight advantage over Roger [Federer] that the length of the matches are shorter in the women’s game.
“There is an opportunity to recover whereas it’s more difficult if you get stuck in a couple of five-setters at the Grand Slams. Those are the tournaments the players care most about.”
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