Navratilova Tips Williams Sisters for Future Success

Published July 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Nine-times Wimbledon women's singles champion Martina Navratilova on Wednesday said the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, are destined for great things after the veteran was on the receiving end of a quarterfinals doubles defeat from the pair. 

The 43-year-old naturalized American and her South African partner Mariaan de Swardt went down 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 to the Williams duo as the siblings progressed to the semifinals, matching their showing in the singles. 

They face each other in Thursday's showdown. 

Navratilova, who was bidding for a 20th overall title which would have equaled Billie Jean King's record haul, said Venus and Serena have the world at their feet. 

"They've talked the talk but now they are walking the walk," said the Czech-born veteran. 

"Women are not supposed to be cocky and arrogant but they're backing it up now. I'd like to see more of that." 

Navratilova, who was responsible for the evolution of women's tennis by adding power and aggression to their game, believes the physical presence of the two sisters gives them a big advantage over their opponents. 

"They are both imposing players. I'm just like a pip-squeak next to them," she added. 

Asked if she had enjoyed herself at the All England Club this week Navratilova replied: "I got into the second week and that's good. 

"I would have loved to stay out there longer. But overall I had a blast." 

Even though victory was sweet for the Williams sisters, they still took time to pay tribute to Navratilova, a living legend in women's tennis. 

"She was my favorite player when I was younger so I was glad to get the opportunity to get the chance to play against her," said a proud Serena. 

"She's not acting her age out there - she's playing so well. Her hands are as quick as ever." 

Venus and Serena wrote an exciting new page in tennis history Tuesday when they marched through to meet each other in a mouth-watering Wimbledon semifinal. 

First, 18-year-old Serena demolished fellow American Lisa Raymond 6-2 6-0 on Court One in a one-sided quarterfinal lasting just 41min. 

She then dashed over to Center Court to watch Venus, 15 months her senior, battle past world number one Martina Hingis in three sets – (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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