Tennis legend Steffi Graf has said she hopes Serena Williams surpasses her Grand Slam record and goes onto become the sport’s most decorated woman.
World No 1 Williams, whose 22 Grand Slam titles currently equals the number won by Graf in her career, can overtake the German with a win at the US Open that would put her just one major triumph behind Margaret Court’s 24 titles.
Graf, the former world No 1, insists she would be happy to see Williams better her achievement at Flushing Meadows.
“I’m happy for her, I’m excited for her,” she told CNN’s Open Court. “I think it’s cool that records are being broken, that’s what they’re there for. She’s been phenomenal to the sport of tennis, it’s been great to watch. I hope she does break it.”
Graf racked up her 22 majors between 1987 and 1999, whilst 34-year-old Williams started her dominance in 2002.
The 47-year-old expects Williams to pursue even more titles, but believes fellow German Angelique Kerber could eventually emerge as tennis’ leading woman.
Discussing her compatriot, Graf said: “I’ve gotten to know her a little bit over the years. She has come to the Adidas programme in Las Vegas where we have a little tennis camp.
“She’s physically really strong. She’s a really hard worker. Hey, she’s been in the finals, she won the Australian Open. She can do it all.”
Kerber can seize Williams’ world No 1 spot with victory in the Western & Southern Open after the latter pulled out with a shoulder injury.