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Navratilova: Williams sisters should play more

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:32

After the early exits of Venus and Serena Williams at this weeks Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, legend of the game Martina Navratilova has told the sisters to play more tennis.

Comment: Stroppy Serena is out of line

The American, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles during a glittering career, said in Hong Kong on Tuesday that the Williams girls should offer more support to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour by playing more tournaments.

“We have two superstars who do not play as much as they should or could… Navratilova told the AFP news agency while in the region helping to raise money for Children’s Aid.

“You have to support the tour, for years the Grand Slams have been getting too much attention.

Navratilovas comments come after Serenas controversial exit from the Madrid event after she pulled out midway through her first round match against Italys Francesca Schiavone with a leg injury on Monday.

In her press conference afterwards she said she knew she was injured but didnt want to incur a fine of $75,000. The defeat follows similar early exits for Serena in Marbella and Rome, while Venus also crashed out early in Madrid to Alisa Kleyabnova on Tuesday night.

In a blog on her official website, WTA Tour policy.

I don’t think it was good for me to play Rome but the WTA has rules and regulations that they enforce, she wrote.

There are moments like now where I feel they don’t care if you are headless – if you don’t play a tournament you are severely punished.

Navratilova also insisted that, contrary to popular opinion, the womens game is in good shape and that the large number of women challenging for every title is good for the sport.

“People are more ready to criticise [the women’s game], she added. For example, when Chris [Evert] and I were dominating, people said there was not enough competition.

“Now you have so many different grand slam winners, people are saying the sport does not have any superstars what do you want?”

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