It seems there should be a thread just for some articles related to World Team Tennis. Here's one to get started:
A fit 46, Navratilova tackles tennis league
By Michael D. Schaffer
Inquirer Staff Writer
Martina Navratilova did the whole active retirement thing.
She took up woodworking and made tables. She got a pilot's license. She learned Swahili. She took care of her dogs.
She also kept in shape. Such good shape that she thought it would be a shame to waste it.
So three years ago, Navratilova, the dominant female singles player of her day before retiring in 1994, took up another retirement project: playing world-class doubles tennis.
On Sunday, Navratilova, 46, claimed her 20th Wimbledon title, partnering with Leander Paes to win the mixed doubles competition.
The victory tied her with Billie Jean King for most Wimbledon championships and made her the oldest player ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Navratilova will play for the Philadelphia Freedoms of World Team Tennis (cofounded by King) in a match at 7 tonight against the Hartford FoxForce at Cabrini College.
The Freedoms, trying to rebound after dropping their first two matches of the season earlier this week to the Delaware Smash, couldn't ask for a more enthusiastic reinforcement than Navratilova, who will play several matches for the team.
Twenty-five years after she won her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, Navratilova is still flush with rookie zeal.
She talks about tennis as if she were charging the net. The words come tumbling out in a rapid-fire volley, but with no backspin.
"I'm having a good time," she said in a teleconference with reporters yesterday.
Navratilova, a native of Prague, Czechoslovakia, who became a U.S. citizen in 1981, said she has joked that she may keep playing tennis until she collects Social Security. "I'm only three years away from AARP," she said.
What motivates her to keep going?
Certainly not retirement restlessness. "Bored is not in my dictionary," she said.
What moves Navratilova is the act of trying.
"It's not the result, it's the process," she said. "The process is what I'm really enjoying. I feel I'm still improving and getting better and still learning things about the game, but mostly just reaching the form that I used to have a few years back... .
"What's always motivated me is doing my best and really seeing how good that can be."
Now that she's older, she said, she trains a little differently than she did in her younger days. "I'm not training harder, but training smarter," she said. Her training regimen now emphasizes quickness, she said.
She hasn't quite absorbed her Wimbledon accomplishment.
"I haven't really had time to let it settle in," she said. "After the champions' dinner [at Wimbledon] and traveling all night back to Florida and catching up on things to do, I really haven't even had a chance to say 'Hey, this is really amazing,' other than on the plane. It made the trip back a lot more enjoyable."
Navratilova, who plans to play in the U.S. Open later this summer, said she doesn't know yet if she will return to Wimbledon as a competitor next year.
Now that she has won there again, people are telling her she should defend her title. She said she'll make up her mind about that at the end of this year.
"It's very tempting to play. It's tempting not to play," she said.
Winning at Wimbledon for a 21st time would be icing on the cake. But winning there this year "wasn't the icing on the cake. It was the cake."
In the meantime, she's looking forward to playing for the Freedoms.
This will be Navratilova's 12th season of WTT play.
"Team tennis I love because it's fast, exciting and every point counts," she said. "It's not just winning a match; you want to win by as much as possible because they count in the end.
"Playing all five events [men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles] in one night and watching everyone play and cheer people on is great. I really like the whole package."
How would Navratilova in her prime have fared against the Williams sisters, the dominant female singles players of this day?
"I think I would win some and I would lose some," she said. Venus and Serena Williams "obviously have more power than I had." Navratilova points out, however, that she moved well and made few unforced errors. Her lefthanded serve also would have been an advantage.
But that's the world of what-if. Back in the real world, Navratilova is still on the court, trying.