Singapore - Women's tennis has entered a new era no longer
dominated by Serena Williams, 18-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert said
"I don't think nobody will dominate in the near future
anyway like Serena Williams, and kudos to her, it shows how great she was as a
player, but I think now this is how we're going to form some new rivalry where
the girls will have to play it out," she said at the WTA Finals in
"We're going to see new winners every single week,
different winners every single week. The variety and depth, different age
groups, different styles of play, so I think we're entering a new era,"
Evert told reporters at a joint press conference with fellow legend Martina
The elite season-ending competition has been the most evenly
matched in recent history with American powerhouse Williams skipping the event
due to a shoulder injury and Russian Maria Sharapova still serving out a doping
suspension for the banned medication meldonium.
Navratilova, who also won 18 singles Grand Slams in her
career, said it was "not quite" a changing of the guard but that the
game is now much closer - though players still need to watch out for when
"There's a saying that when you injure a king, you have
to make sure to kill [him] because they have a habit of coming back," she
said with a laugh.
Asked about Sharapova's return next year, Navratilova said:
"Well she didn't dominate when she was playing but top four,
She defended Sharapova over her doping ban, pointing out
that meldonium was a drug that had been allowed for many years.
"It was pretty clear that she wasn't meaning to cheat
as I've said many times before. She took a drug that was legal for so many
"The price that she's paid and is still paying is
bigger than her mistake but that's how it goes. Now she has an opportunity to
come back," Navratilova added.