Serena Williams has ‘very little chance’ of winning Roland Garros and she knows it, says Martina Navratilova, but Wimbledon will be different.
Williams suffered an early loss in Rome, crashing out to Nadia Podoroska in an error-strewn performance.
It was her first match since the Australian Open semi-final, and her first outing on clay this season, and the defeat has prompted her to take a wildcard for Parma to get more tennis into her legs before Paris.
That, according to Grand Slam legend Navratilova is a smart move, although expectations should still be managed at the French Open.
“[Serena has] very little chance [of winning] Roland Garros, but a very good chance at Wimbledon,” Navratilova told Amazon Prime.
“You need more match play. Serena has not played since the Australian Open. As you get older you need to pair your schedule down and play a little bit less but she’s just not played enough and that shows up.
“Her game is fine, her movement is as good as it’s been the last ten years. But, when you have to put it all together under pressure, if you haven’t been under pressure enough you will not be able to do it.
“It showed. When things got close in Serena’s match she made mistakes that she normally wouldn‘t make had she played more matches.
“So, I think it’s a great decision for her to go to Parma, get more matches under her belt.
“But, I think she knows that the French Open is most likely not the one to win, but she needs the matches to compete better at Wimbledon.
One thing that looked a little lacking in her performance in Rome was her movement, but Navratilova doesn’t necessarily think that will be an major issue.
“She’s got the biggest weapons in the game and when she puts them together she doesn’t have to move that much, and when she has been moving she’s been moving well.
“So, again, it’s more mental, it’s more just…getting the rust out and being able to keep your nerves together when it’s close and when you get older it gets tougher, mentally.”
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