“Wasn’t lucky enough to have a…” – Martina Navratilova’s candid look at what Serena Williams has been missing in her tennis career

Since her debut in 1995, Serena Williams, who recently retired, has dominated the tennis court for nearly 25 years. Many believed that she did not have a major rival in her career due to her enormous dominance for long periods of time.

Back in 2021, Martina Navratilova spoke about one thing Serena was missing in her career, which was a long-term rival. It is worth noting that Navratilova had the great Chris Evert as her rival on the tennis court as they fought for more than 15 years and played 80 matches against each other.

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Martina Navratilova spoke about Serena Williams’ rivals

In a podcast interview In 2021, 18-time Grand Slam champion Navratilova spoke about how Serena only has Justine Henin and Venus Williams as her real rivals on the tennis court. I think the closest would be Justine Henin, the closest rival, and of course her sister Venus. But she wasn’t really, she wasn’t lucky enough to have a Chris, you know, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” said Navratilova.

Then she took the name of Victoria Azarenka and said: There were many hypocrites. Azarenka looked like she was going in that direction. But then that evaporated. And then she got pregnant, she hurt herself and then she got pregnant. And then I don’t think I ever beat her in the Open a few years ago. But that’s it. So, Venus and Justine, that’s it.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 07: Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams of the United States and Chris Evert pose after the women’s singles final match on day 14 of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Notably, Serena has had rivalries with the likes of Maria SharapovaJustine Henin and Venus Williams. However, she was a dominant force in all of these rivalries. She had a head-to-head record of 18-2 against Sharapova. Against her sister Venus, she won 18 games and lost 12. Only Henin came close to her level and went head to head with her; Serena had one 8-6 Head-to-head record against the Belgian tennis player.

Even Azarenka didn’t stand a chance against her as she only won and lost five times 18 times. Navratilova mentioned the name of Chris Evert, as serena had no one like her to push her beyond the limits. Remarkably, Navratilova and Evert had one of the greatest, if not the greatest, rivalries in tennis.

Rivalry between Navratilova and Evert

As already mentioned, Navratilova met Evert for 80 games in 15 years. At first, Navratilova barely won anything against the American tennis player as Evert massively dominated.

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Check out this story: Martina Navratilova adds a surprise twist to her farewell tribute to Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open

However, Navratilova was determined to win; So she changed her diet and exercise routine to get fitter. From 1980, Navratilova truly became a dominant force as Evert found it difficult to defeat the former Czech-American player. Before Evert retired from tennis in 1989, Navratilova had one 43-37 Head-to-head record against their archrival Evert.

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Despite their rivalry, they were really close friends off the tennis court. It is worth noting that both Evert and Navratilova have won the same number of singles Grand Slam titles, namely 18.

Do you think Navratilova and Evert had the biggest rivalry in tennis? Let us know in the comments.

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