Tennis-Don't write off Serena yet, says Wilander

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Wimbledon
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - A 24th Grand Slam title is getting "further and further" away for Serena Williams after her painful exit from Wimbledon on Tuesday but she can still get there, says Mats Wilander.

American great Williams, 39, injured her leg after a slip in her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Centre Court and quit in tears.

It meant she remains on 23 Grand Slam singles titles, having not added to her vast collection since winning the 2017 Australian Open, losing four finals in the interim period.

Some question whether Williams could be close to calling time on her career, but seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander says she can still match Margaret Court's record.

"I guess it's getting further and further away but you've got to give her a chance at the U.S. Open," Wilander, who is working for Eurosport at the Championships, told Reuters.

"I think this was an injury that she had coming in. Grasscourts are dangerous when you have a little bit of an injury that's for sure.

"But I think we have to wait for a little bit longer before we can write her off. She played well enough in Paris even though she lost to (Elena) Rybakina in the fourth round."

Wilander does think, however, that whereas once, Williams could win against anyone, on any day, he believes the new generation of players are no longer intimidated by her.

"These days I think it's about who she plays, having a good draw, playing the right person on the right day. That never used to matter but it starts to matter quite a bit now."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)