Present at the launch of the ‘Road to Singapore’, a year-long journey to the WTA Championships to be held in October, as the legend ambassador for the event, the ever-smiling former American world No 1 believed it was who knew her game best. “I wasn’t the strongest, the fastest or tallest. But I had a dream. If you work hard towards it, it will come true is what I believed. I was determined and hungry to win matches,” said the lady in yellow, who statistically has a 90.05% winning percentage in singles, the highest-ever in men’s or women’s tennis.
The game has changed drastically since the days of Chris Evert vs Navratilova or Evert vs Graf (they played only 13 times). “The athleticism has brought a change. When I was playing, I would probably practice two-three hours and that would be a big day. Today, the girls have an eight-hour day regularly with practice and off-court workouts. I would even eat steak and baked potatoes before a match,” said the 59-year-old, generating laughs from the audience.
“Martina brought about athleticism then, Serena and Venus (Williams) generated a power game while today Li Na’s boldness and efforts have made a breakthrough in this part of the world. Tennis has become a global game with so many different Grand Slam winners.”
Also in attendance was 2014 Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard.
The writer’s trip has been sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board