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Martina Navratilova

Unhappy About Game Today

Navratilova attempted a singles comeback that month at the Eastbourne grasscourt championships, an annual Wimbledon tuneup. Playing at age 45 in her first tour singles match in eight years, she defeated Tatiana Panova to become the oldest woman to win a WTA match. In the next round she lost to 19-year-old Daniela Hantuchova—both matches went the full three sets. Navratilova also competed in doubles at the January, 2003 Australian Open with Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. They reached the third round before losing to the Williams sisters, 6-2, 6-3 in a match that lasted barely over an hour. In a sign of changing times in women's tennis, Navratilova, once the prototype of the power game, whom Newark Star-Ledger writer Brad Parks four months earlier said had "arms that could shame most high school football players," found herself overwhelmed.

Awards and Accomplishments

1977-79 WTA Tour Doubles Team of the Year (1977 with Betty Stove, 1978-79 with Billie Jean King)
1978-79 Wimbledon champion
1981 Australian Open champion
1981-89 WTA Tour Doubles Team of the Year with Pam Shriver
1982 French Open champion
1982-84 Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year
1982-87 Wins six straight Wimbledon championships
1983 U.S. Open and Australian champion
1983 Associated Press Female Athlete of the year
1984 French Open and U.S. Open champion
1985 Australian Open champion
1986 U.S. Open champion
1987 U.S. Open champion
1987 Women's Sports Foundation Flo Hyman Award
1989 Named female athlete of the decade by National Sports Review, Associated Press and United Press International
1990 Wins ninth Wimbledon singles championship, breaking Helen Wills Moody's record
1996 WTA's David Gray Award for contributions to tennis
1999 Ranked No. 19 in ESPN Sports Century's Top 50 athletes
2000 Inducted into Hall of Fame.

Martina Navratilova: Class of 2000

Oakland was her last tour stop prior to (Madison Square) Garden in 1994, and Martina's last final on her own. She lost narrowly and gamely to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario … despite leading 4-1 in the second, and serving for it at 5-3 in the third. "It would have been nice to have said goodbye to the tour with a win," she sighed.

Source: Collins, Bud. Bud Collins' Modern Encyclopedia of Tennis, reprinted by International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Many in the media, meanwhile, long for the days of the Martina-Chrissie rivalry. While Navratilova vs. Evert involved a study of so many contrasts, the sister duels of today's Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, is an all-in the-family affair. "Tennis stadiums fill with groans now, whenever the Williams sisters engage in their methodical marches through opposite ends of Grand Slam tournament brackets," Mike Vaccaro write in the Newark Star-Ledger while covering the 2002 U.S. Open. "This

Martina Navratilova

is why fans feel so numb, and why they instantly throw their support around anyone with a different surname.

"You'll never hear Venus say of Serena, 'I'll follow that sonofagun to the ends of the earth,' the way Jimmy Connors once vowed to hunt down Bjorn Borg," Vaccaro added. "You will surely never see the ice-cold contempt that used to cleave John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl, or even the sweet cold wars that Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert used to wage regularly."

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Famous Sports StarsTennisMartina Navratilova Biography - Behind The Iron Curtain, Prominence, Rivalry With Evert, Chronology, Speaks Out For Gays - SELECTED WRITINGS BY NAVRATILOVA: