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Serena Williams can turn lockdown to her advantage and finally win a 24th Grand Slam title, says Chris Evert.
Williams, 38, has lost her last four major finals, prompting questions over whether the burden of chasing Margaret Court’s record is weighing heavy.
Tennis great Evert says the break in the season because of the coronavirus pandemic could help Williams’ mindset.
“Maybe she will be calmer out there,” she said. “I think she will have a fresh perspective and approach.”
Williams’ age is against her and the cancellation of Wimbledon – widely seen as the American’s best opportunity for another trophy because of the way her game is suited to grass – was unfortunate for her.
But Evert says there is another way of looking at it.
“She looks really fit and in great shape and she seems to be really eager to get back,” the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion told BBC Two’s Wimbledon: The Best of the Championships.
“So that’s the danger zone for a lot of the other players because if anyone can get through these difficult times and these challenges it’s Serena Williams, with what she’s had to go through in her life. This will be a like piece of cake for her, so watch out for her.”
Williams has in the past spoken about how she nearly died because of a series of complications after giving birth.
She returned to the tour six months later – in March 2018 – and went on to reach the Wimbledon and US Open finals that year.
Two more finals at the same Slams followed in 2019 as a pattern of performing impressively for the fortnight before falling short in the end emerged.
“There is enough time lapse between those Grand Slam finals where she lost to now,” Evert said.
“That was then, and this is now. Don’t you think [the lockdown] has changed perspectives for people? I want to do more than ever now things that I’ve been postponing and I want to get to my bucket list.
“I’m a little bit calmer and living a bit simpler than before. And maybe that has changed Serena too. When she does come back and play I think she could use it to her advantage.”
Williams’ first opportunity to once again try to equal Court’s record will be the US Open, which is scheduled to be held behind closed doors from 31 August.