Becker says Serena will reach 24 majors: ‘She’s certainly the greatest’

andrewhendrie in News 22 May 2020
Serena Becker
Serena Williams (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Credit Image: © Jason Heidrich/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Boris Becker has backed Serena Williams to add to her Grand Slam title count and equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 singles majors.

Days after tennis legend Martina Navratilova said she’d be ‘going nuts’ in Serena’s current position of being forced onto the sidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Becker believes the American star will eventually equal Court’s record.

Speaking in an interview with Lareus, Becker also said it was ‘easier’ for Court to build up major titles in her era, where there was less competition and a lot of tournaments were played on grass.

“Being German, I still think of Steffi Graf as our queen, but Serena is certainly, certainly the greatest,” Becker said.

“Margaret Court is the most successful. Having said that, back in the day they played three of the four majors on grass, so it was easier if you’re comfortable on grass to win more.”

Serena famously won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title while three months pregnant at the Australian Open in 2017, defeating sister Venus in the final.

However, since returning to the tour later that year after giving birth to her first child, Serena hasn’t been able to add to her major collection, coming agonisingly close on a number of occasions.

The 38-year-old finished runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in both 2018 and 2019 and failed to win a single set in any of those finals, falling to the likes of Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu.

Set to turn 39 in September, Serena might not have a chance to compete for more major silverware in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused Wimbledon to be cancelled for the first time in 75 years.

The French Open and U.S. Open still hope to stage their Grand Slam tournaments in September and October, but the logistics of flying players from all around the world still seems a long way from feasible.

Regardless, Becker thinks Serena will equal Court’s record of 24 major singles titles at some point – even if she has to play into her 40s, something that Novak Djokovic spoke out earlier this week.

“I’m sure Serena wants to reach 24, I think that’s the reason she’s playing,” he said. “You know, she’s a role model for all the mothers out there who are professionally involved in sport. As long as she wants to play, I think she can win. So as long as Serena is good enough to reach a final, she’s good enough to win.”