She's in! Good luck Martina
Early Bausch & Lomb surprise: Navratilova enters singles
By CHET FUSSMAN
The Bausch & Lomb Championships has added the winningest player in women's tennis history to its singles field.
In a move that surprised tournament officials, Martina Navratilova accepted a wild-card invitation Thursday night to play singles in the clay court event at Amelia Island.
The Bausch & Lomb Championships will be Navratilova's first singles appearance in the U.S. since she retired from singles play in 1994. Navratilova played singles one other time since then -- at a tournament in Eastbourne, England in 2002, after losing a bet with her trainer. Navratilova defeated Tatiana Panova 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to become the oldest player to win a WTA Tour singles match (45 years, eight months).
Navratilova was scheduled to play doubles at Amelia Island, but her representative phoned tournament officials to say she wanted to enter singles, too, said tournament spokesman Sandy Kavanaugh.
Navratilova won the inaugural Bausch & Lomb (then called the Murjani WTA Championships) in 1980, defeating Hana Mandlikova in three sets. She also won the title in 1984 and 1988.
With 167 career singles titles, Navratilova, 47, is the winningest player in pro tennis history. After retiring from singles, she stayed active by playing doubles, and won seven doubles titles in 2003.
Navratilova will not have an easy road in her comeback attempt. The world's former No. 1 player will not be seeded in next week's event, which begins on Monday.