Serena can break overall slams record: Graf

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Serena Williams

London, November 5: Serena Williams undoubtedly has the ability to break the all-time record of grand slam titles after giving birth to her first child, according to Stefanie Graf.

In January, Williams broke Graf's Open era record of 22 slams by winning the Australian Open when she was two months pregnant.

The American is just one shy of levelling with Margaret Court's overall landmark of 24, and Williams – who gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September – has indicated a desire to return to the WTA Tour.

Indeed, last month Australian Open organisers refused to rule out the possibility that Williams will return to Melbourne to defend her title.

And Graf is backing Williams to come back and overhaul Court's mark.

"I think a lot of it is determined on her drive and if that is what she wants to do," she told the WTA's official website.

"It sounds from what I hear that she is looking to come back to tennis and everything that she has shown over her career just makes you believe that if she has that in her sights then she will go after it and achieve it."

Graf also paid tribute to former rival Martina Hingis, who she defeated to win the French Open in 1999, following the Swiss' announcement at the WTA Finals that she will retire.

"I've been absolutely amazed just watching her, from when she retired from singles. We actually played a couple of exhibitions and you know she played still so incredible," she added.

"So seeing her go back to just playing doubles and mixed was fun.

"I missed her playing singles, I would have loved to have seen her play a little longer because of her really crafty style and her incredible hands but it was nice to see her still be on the tour in doubles and mixed and achieve a lot of milestones in that.

"Again, she's somebody who could have played even longer with the talent she has. It's pretty incredible."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 18:00 [IST]
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