With Williams still chasing Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, just behind her on 23, Navratilova told Laureus.com: “For players like Roger Federer and Serena Williams, it’s lost time. Particularly Serena, Wimbledon being her best chance to break Margaret Court’s record.”

Williams has not won a slam title since taking maternity leave to have her daughter Alexis Olympia in 2017, after winning the Australian Open the same year. She has made it to four finals since her return, however.

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Navratilova added: "It’s an opportunity lost when you’re not getting any younger. If I was sitting in that position, I’d be going nuts that I can’t play.”

Wimbledon, which was due to start in June, has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pending further possible cancellations and postponements, the next scheduled Slam is the US, which is due to start on August 24, closely followed by the postponed French Open on September 20. Williams is currently ranked world no.9.

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