Serena Williams has been on the cusp of drawing level with the all-time Grand Slam record for some time now, but a former tennis star believes the coronavirus pandemic has meant time is slowly slipping away from her to create history.
The American, who turns 39 in September, lost in last year's Wimbledon final and remains one Grand Slam short of tying Margaret Court's record 24 major titles.
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She has reached four Grand Slam finals since giving birth to daughter Olympia in 2017 but failed to win any of them.
And Barbara Schett, former World No.7 and now turned commentator, told Eurosport she believes the break is going to severely hinder Williams’ chances of coming back and grabbing another title.
“I think time is slowly is slipping by and this enforced break is certainly not great for her or the older players,” she said.
“I was convinced last year she was going to win a Grand Slam title but now I’m just starting to feel that it’s not so possible.
“There are players out there who know they can beat her, her mobility isn’t so good, she gets more nervous, she puts pressure on herself to win another Slam.”
While Schett agreed Williams could still win another title, she said it would become more and more difficult as time went on and this extended break isn’t going to work in her favour.
Roger Federer also losing time on career
The cancellation of Wimbledon this week could also potentially derail Roger Federer’s chance of another Grand Slam to create space between himself, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The 38-year-old Federer is leading the race for most Grand Slam titles for men with 20, but only sitting one in front of Spaniard Nadal (19) and three in front of Djokovic (17).
The last of Federer’s Slams came at the 2018 Australian Open and the closest he came to adding to his tally was last year’s Wimbledon final.
Federer’s last match was in the Australian Open semi-finals before he underwent keyhole surgery on his knee in February. His next chance at a Grand Slam would be the U.S. Open, scheduled in New York from Aug. 31 to Sept. 14.
The French Open, an event he has skipped in the past, has been rearranged from May to September — a week after Flushing Meadows.
Australian Todd Woodbridge, a nine-times Wimbledon doubles champion and singles semi-finalist, was unsure what was in store for Federer if the season is lost.
"The question that Roger will have to ask himself is how motivated is he to come back for another year?," Woodbridge told AAP after The All England Club announced it would not hold the tournament for the first time since World War II.
"Or has this actually helped him?
"But the less match play that you get in this period at that age, it's so much harder to come back and recover once you start again.
"So I really think that post-2020 will be a new era of people trying to create records because it'll have really have broken up a great period in tennis.
"It has stopped the potential, I think, of Federer winning one or two more.
"It becomes very highly unlikely for him."