NAVRATILOVA CONFIRMS SHE'LL BYPASS LIPTON
The Miami Herald
Wednesday, February 5, 1986
Now it's certain: Martina Navratilova won't play in the $1.8 million Lipton International Players Championships.
The tournament's defending champion will not be a last- minute entry, as was speculated last week when she withdrew from the Virginia Slims of Florida on Key Biscayne because of the flu. Lipton tournament chairman Butch Buchholz confirmed Tuesday that Navratilova would bypass the two-week event that begins Monday at Boca West.
"I think she still may be ill, but that's not the problem," said Buchholz. "She needs to enter the Virginia Slims of Oakland to catch up on her required number of name (Virginia Slims) events."
Navratilova originally planned to skip the tournament for the same reason. She hasn't competed in enough tournaments to qualify for the bonus pool for the Virginia Slims circuit that ends in March. If she played in the Lipton, she would have wound up playing six consecutive weeks.
"It won't be a problem next year," said Buchholz, "because the tour will be November to November instead of March to March."
Qualifying for the Lipton tournament begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with 128 men and 64 women. Admission is $5 per day.
Promoter George Liddy said he will continue to run a $150,000 women's pro tournament in South Florida Sept. 22-28 as scheduled, but it no longer will be at Bonaventure Racquet Club west of Fort Lauderdale and won't be sponsored by Maybelline.
The Lynda Carter/Maybelline Classic is moving to Mission Hills in Palm Springs, Calif., to become a six-player event with prize money boosted from $150,000 to $250,000, Liddy said.
"Maybelline agreed and Mission Hills agreed, but nothing has been signed yet," said Liddy, who also ran the $250,000 Virginia Slims of Florida last week. "Maybelline wanted to have a major event in the West. We have talked to Gleneagles in Delray Beach as a possible site for our tournament, and we're looking for a new sponsor."
The Tournament of Champions, held the past few years in Orlando, will be moving to Marco Island March 31-April 6. Chris Evert Lloyd has entered the event.