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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Finally, Graf Gets To Start Her Year
February 16, 1992
New York Times

CHICAGO, Feb. 15 Another new year, another new catastrophe for Steffi Graf.

"At least, the year is finally starting for me," she said Friday, lounging in her hotel suite here after an evening of watching John Malkovich emote onstage. Tonight, she was to play Jana Novotna in a semifinal of the Virginia Slims of Chicago, her first tennis tournament of 1992.

"I had such a bad start last year that I had no problems in motivating myself for this one," said the 22-year-old German, who began 1991 with a disappointing quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open to Novotna, then eventually lost the No. 1 world ranking to Monica Seles last March.

Graf went so far in her pursuit of a fresh start that she dismissed her longtime mentor, Pavel Slozil, to start from scratch with a new coach, Heinz Gundhardt.

First, the Flu

"I was training hard, I was even lifting weights," she said. "I really meant for this year to start different."

Graf, mistress of malady, began 1992 in typical fashion. Four days after a complete physical checkup that informed her she had finally achieved maximum resistance to the allergies and viral infections that seem to follow her around the globe like an unwanted personal aura, she came down with a maximum version of the flu on a flight from Germany to Australia, where her new year was scheduled to begin.

By the time her flight landed in Perth, her ears were blocked and her equilibrium had vanished. After she played several Hopman Cup matches, the doctors ordered her to rest, and the rumor mill traced her illness to several dramatic sources.

"They said I was sick because I was depressed and not happy with myself and tennis and felt so locked into my life," said Graf, who holds 10 Grand Slam singles titles. "No kidding, I'm not a person who jumps out of bed in the morning and says how great everything is, but the truth was, I got the flu from my brother. Simple."

And as soon as she recovered from that, she came down with a harsh case of the German measles. She still can't figure out where she caught that.

"I was feeling better, and then one night I felt a bump on the back of my head and I started getting red marks on my chest," she recalled. "But then there were eight bumps, so I knew I couldn't have banged my head that many times and not known it."

Australian physicians, unsure of just what ailed her, sent Graf home to Germany, where her mother, meeting for her at the airport, almost didn't recognize her.

"My hands and joints were swollen and everything hurt so much that I was walking like a very old lady," Graf said. "My mother took one look at me and said, 'What have you done to yourself now?' "

Once the measles subsided, Graf got back to the business of starting her year with a new coach, new methods, and something of a new attitude. Sequestered in Florida with Gundhardt, she submitted to a practice regimen that at first was nearly as painful as her measles had been.

Moving Around the Court

"He has a different way of doing things from Pavel and me; he had me hitting from the corners for 15 minutes, and then hitting from the net for a half-hour straight," said Graf, who is continually bombarded by suggestions that she volley more often.

The latest such adviser was a fan who spoke with her as she signed autographs during a Kraft Tour promotion here on Thursday.

"Come to the net more," urged the fan, and received a classic Graf shrug in reply. "Come to Chicago more," he added. "That's better," she said.

But Graf hasn't been able to dodge Gunthardt so easily.

"He doesn't listen too much to what I say," she said. "If I say I can't do it, he tells me I can. I'm the kind of person who needs to be pushed, and sometimes Pavel was too close to me to push hard enough, I think. Heinz doesn't just push once, he keeps at me."

The changes he has imparted to Graf's game are, so far, "small differences, but they are there," she said.

"I'm using my hips more to bring power to the serve, and I'm hitting my forehand a little earlier," she added.

As for her volley: "I know what the right thing to do is, but I don't always make myself do it."

In Chicago, Graf has kept to herself, as usual, accompanied to Bulls games and the theater by her mother. The stiff shoulder that prohibited most volleys and overheads and forced a myriad of "tablets and injections just to make it through Wimbledon" last spring is gone, as is wrist strain that made it "hard to even hold the racquet" last fall as she claimed three straight tournament victories after her loss to Martina Navratilova in the United States Open semifinals.

"At last, all is fine -- so far," Graf said. Navratilova Rallies

The city that named a day in her honor only Wednesday seemed on the verge of retracting the welcome mat Saturday.

Martina Navratilova's quest for a record 158th singles title as well as a record 12th title at the Virginia Slims of Chicago almost came to a premature halt in the semifinals this afternoon against Lori McNeil. But after being "just killed" in the opening set, Navratilova regained her composure, broke McNeil in the first game of the second set, and emerged with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

"It was like she had a radar and knew what I was going to do even before I did," Navratilova said of McNeil's first-set assault. "But when I broke her to start the second, that broke the spell and I was back in the match."

Navratilova, 35 years old, shares the record for most career victories, 157, with her retired contemporary, Chris Evert.
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Re: 1992

Steffi lives it up - New Graf steps out in style
Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, February 16, 1992
Len Ziehm

Steffi Graf's first visit to Chicago wasn't memorable. Many of the people who put on the Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament didn't even remember she was here in 1986.

"I was a much different person then," Graf said. "I was by myself, and I walked the streets a lot."

That Graf played only doubles, pairing with Gabriela Sabatini. They reached the final before losing to the then-famous "Twin Towers" of 6-1 1/2 Claudia Kohde-Kilsch and 6-2 Helena Sukova. Graf also was starting with a new coach, Pavel Slozil, at that tournament.

The Steffi Graf visiting for this Chicago Slims - in what well could be her last appearance here - is a different person indeed.

Instead of walking the streets alone, she is seeing the sights. All the sights.

On Monday, it was the Art Institute; on Tuesday, the Bulls' game; on Thursday, the Steppenwolf Theater to see John Malkovich in "A Slip of the Tongue." She also found "a couple of nice restaurants."

"I watch a lot of basketball matches," she said. After watching the Bulls, she acknowledged Michael Jordan "really nailed 'em."

That's hardly a comment you would expect from an athlete portrayed by the international media as insular and one-dimensional.

The player who held the world's No. 1 ranking longer than anyone else - man or woman - does guard her privacy, a lesson learned with difficulty in Europe after her father was charged in a paternity suit by a German model. She calls the German press "horrible."

While she fulfils her media commitments, she makes no effort to enhance her charisma.

"I do not care about public images," she said. "I do not work on this at all."

Graf, though, is not one-dimensional. Driven, yes.

She loves photography, skiing, movies and impressionist art. She enjoys all music, but especially Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen. She enjoys reading, primarily works of German authors. She has three dogs.

Though she has no steady boyfriend, she has been known to enjoy the company of men.

Vogue magazine used her as a model, but she isn't likely to pursue that employment area.

"I saw Cindy Crawford on TV," she said. "There's a long way to go (for me)."

Still, her father once reported that Playboy magazine offered $750,000 if Graf would pose nude.

As for tennis, she admits to being "jealous" of Martina Navratilova's approaching a record 158 singles championships. But she has no plans to chase that mark.

At 22, Graf has 61 titles. Navratilova is 35. Graf doesn't think she will be playing that long.

She isn't so driven by tennis that she lives on the court, like many of her rivals who play both singles and doubles. Navratilova always has done that. Graf stopped playing regular doubles three years ago.

The only thing similar about the Graf of 1986 and the Graf of this week is that she again is breaking in a new coach. Heinz Gunthardt, an affable former Davis Cup star for Switzerland, has replaced Slozil.

Gunthardt has no coaching experience, having spent his time recently doing television work and writing in Europe. Gunthardt lives with his wife and two young daughters in Zurich, a three-hour car ride from the Grafs' German residence in Bruhl.

"The father (Peter Graf) called me before the ( Virginia Slims Championships) to see if I could come for a few days of sparring," Gunthardt said. "Afterward, he called again and wanted me to go to Australia with them."

Graf got sick at the Australian Open. A case of rubella, the German measles, left her bedridden for two weeks. That's the only reason she competed here.

Normally, Graf would have played the warmup tournaments for the year's first Grand Slam - the Australian Open - then the Australian and the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

After that, she would move to her American residence in Boca Raton, Fla., where she lives in a house with her parents in an adjoining villa. All are surrounded by dense palm trees and a driveway usually lined with sports cars.

Chicago would be a rest week for her first American tournament, the Virginia Slims of Florida in Boca Raton. There would be no need to play an indoor tournament in between all those outdoor ones.

Graf, though, needed competition this year after missing the Australian swing and Tokyo.

Whether she plays Chicago again is doubtful, but the week did give Gunthardt his first close look at the woman who was ranked No. 1 for 186 weeks in a row - ending on March 11, 1991, when Monica Seles took over.

"Steffi likes to work," Gunthardt said. "Even if it's early, she's there and ready to go. That's very nice. Sometimes, she expects too much of herself."

They practiced 45 minutes twice a day here, usually at Mid-Town Tennis Club. "Then we did our own thing," Gunthardt said. He will be part of the Graf entourage at only about half the tournaments. The only other member of that entourage this week has been Graf's mother, Heidi.

"Steffi doesn't need a coach every day of the year," Gunthardt said. "Your input comes across better if you don't see each other all the time."

He won't comment on the coaching work of Slozil and said he will be paid a flat salary regardless of Graf's record on the court.

"I'm a small piece of the puzzle," he said. "Obviously, I'd like her to win tournaments. It'll be challenging to work with her. My goals are to do the best I can, even if she doesn't win. Her goals are more black and white."

Such as being No. 1.

"I was disappointed I couldn't play the Australian," she said.

"I practiced hard before it. But I'm really eager right now because this is my first tournament in 2 1/2 months, and I'm 100 percent fit."
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Re: 1992

Navratilova a final step from record - Novotna upsets Graf, spoils dream match
Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, February 16, 1992
Len Ziehm

Today could become a milestone in tennis history - unless Jana Novotna gets in the way.

Martina Navratilova goes for a record 158th singles title against Novotna in the $350,000 Virginia Slims of Chicago at the Pavilion.

Novotna spoiled what would have been an ideal setting for Navratilova's run at history Saturday night when she stunned Steffi Graf, the player who ended Navratilova's reign as the world's No. 1-ranked player in 1987.

"We're going to make some headlines tomorrow," said an ecstatic Novotna after her 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 upset, a 2-hour 2-minute duel that ended with a Graf double fault.

If Navratilova, 35, beats her 23-year-old Czech rival today she will break a tie with the retired Chris Evert and become the winningest tennis player of all time.

Jimmy Connors, the top man, has 109 titles. No other player - man or woman - is even close.

Navratilova deflected questions about her quest for the record all week, but relented after outlasting Lori McNeil 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday's first semifinal.

"It'll be sweet when it happens," said Navratilova, who also bids for her 12th Chicago Slims singles title and sixth doubles crown today.

"It could be tomorrow, or it could be at Palm Springs, San Antonio or Wimbledon. But it's a record that I don't think will be broken.

"To do it, a player would have to win about 12 or 13 tournaments a year for 12 or 13 years. People don't play that much any more. I'll be very proud of it."

Monica Seles replaced Graf as the top-ranked woman last year by winning nine titles.

Navratilova's record-tying 157th victory came over Seles at the Virginia Slims of California on Nov. 10.

Seles deprived her of No. 158 in the Virginia Slims Championships in New York on Nov. 24. Gabriela Sabatini did the same in the Toray Pan Pacific Open at Tokyo on Feb. 2, and McNeil had Navratilova worried Saturday.

"That match was why you don't talk about finals until you get there," Navratilova said. "Lori was zoned in the first set. It didn't matter what I did. She had radar. She knew what I was going to do before I knew."

Navratilova was down 40-15 in the first game of the second set, but rallied for her first break. "That broke the spell, and got me back in the match," she said.

Still, Navratilova's survival was in doubt when McNeil won her fourth straight game in the third set to take a 4-2 lead.

"I could have easily given up," said Navratilova, "but I didn't. That was the key." She won the last four games, keeping McNeil winless in their 10 career matches.

Novotna hasn't officially beaten Navratilova, either. She lost all five of their tournament meetings, but did win a one-set exhibition in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend.

"I beat Steffi in an unbelievable match at the Masters (last November's Virginia Slims Championships), and I couldn't do anything the next day," Novotna said. "Now I've got to not think about this match, and already start thinking about tomorrow."

The week's biggest crowd - 7,628 - watched Novotna-Graf, while 6,387 turned out for Navratilova-McNeil.
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Re: 1992

Navratilova Survives, Graf Upset
February 16, 1992
Neil Milbert
Chicago Tribune

The monarch was confronted with a major coup attempt, and the throne seemed on the brink of toppling.

The time had come for Martina Navratilova, the defending champion and 11- time titlist in the Virginia Slims of Chicago tennis tournament, to give herself a serious pep talk.

``Okay, you can feel sorry for yourself later,`` said the voice within.

``The time is now! You better get your butt in gear or it`s going to be over before you know it!``

It was the third set of Saturday afternoon`s semifinal match with Lori McNeil in the Pavilion.

When Navratilova was decisively defeated in the opening set it was the first time in 10 years that she`d lost a set in the Chicago Slims.

Although Navratilova rebounded to win the second set she now was in deep trouble trailing four games to two with McNeil serving.

``I needed a break right away,`` Navratilova said later.

It came quickly. McNeil was out on a ground stroke and hit the net after Navratilova returned a serve. Then, Navratilova connected on a forehand passing shot followed by a deep lob that dropped in while McNeil was bearing down on the net.

For McNeil, this was the beginning of the end. Novratilova proceeded to win the next three games, the set and the match. In those final four games, McNeil was able to pick up only one point.

By winning the match 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, Navratilova advanced to Sunday afternoon`s championship match.

Her opponent will be Jana Novotna, the third-seeded player in the tournament and the 10th ranked player in the world.

Novotna overcame a poor start and rallied in the third set to upset top-seeded Steffi Graf, the No. 2 ranked player in the world behind Monica Selles. The scored was 0-6, 6-3, 7-5.

A victory by Navratilova in the final would represent her 158th tournament title, an unprecedented feat. Going into the match, she shares the record with retired Chris Evert.

``This is the reason why I don`t talk about the finals until I get there,`` said Navratilova after McNeil`s failed coup attempt was history. ``I can`t control how my opponent will play.``

McNeil has an 0-10 career record against Navratilova, but it was she who was making all the right moves at the start of the match.

``She was in absolute control,`` said Navratilova. ``It didn`t matter if I stayed back, came in, hit it hard or hit it soft. The balls were skimming over the net.

``If I hit it deep she came in and hit a volley. If I hit it soft, she was staying back and hitting passing shots.

``It was like she had a radar. She knew what I was going to do before I did. I got absolutely killed, but it was only a set. It doesn`t matter if its 6-0 or 7-6-it counts the same.

``I just needed to break that rhythm somehow. I succeeded by playing a good game to break her serve at the start of the second set. That broke the spell, and I was back in the match.``

McNeil refused to back off and by the seventh game was leading 4-3. But Navratilova closed out the second set with three straight victories, then won her first two games of the third set.

Then, McNeil made a comeback and Navratilova found herself seemingly on the verge of being upset.

``I just hung in there and kept plugging away, and didn`t give up,`` she said. ``It was anybody`s match. Lori could have won just as easily as I did.

``She was putting a lot of pressure on me. I had to hit good second serves, which I did for the most part.

``She matches up well with me, the way her shots work out. Her best serve, her slice serve, is to my forehand. And my best serve is to her strength, her backhand. She likes to come in. I don`t get a chance to go to the net very often because she beats me there.

``I respect her as a person and as a player. That`s why I have such a good record against her. This was a great match in the sense I had to play well to win.``
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Re: 1992

The Charlotte Observer
Sunday, February 16, 1992
Observer News Services

Second-seed Martina Navratilova rallied behind her serve and beat Lori McNeil 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 Saturday in the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Chicago.

Navratilova tries for her 12th Chicago Slims championship today (1 p.m., ESPN) against third-seed Jana Novotna.

Novotna ousted top-seed Steffi Graf 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the final.

If Navratilova wins today, it would be her record 158th singles title. She and Chris Evert, who retired in 1989, each have 157 victories. Jimmy Connors has the most men`s singles titles at 109.

Navratilova failed to hold serve three times as she lost the first set.

``It was like she had a radar gun,`` Navratilova said. ``She knew what I was going to do before I knew what I was going to do.`` After winning the second set, Navratilova took a 2-0 lead in the finale. The fourth-seeded McNeil, 0-10 against Navratilova since 1985, won the next four games.

``I just needed to break up that rhythm,`` Navratilova said. ``I couldn`t let her go up 5-2. Then it would have been tough to come back.``

Navratilova broke McNeil in the seventh and ninth games to take command and held serve in the 10th game to win.

``She came up with some very important shots, made good returns, but that`s what makes champions,`` McNeil said. ``Martina would come up with a big point.``

Jana Novotna upset top seed Steffi Graf 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the night semifinals.

The two-hour match ended when Graf double-faulted in the 12th game of the final set.

``In the end, my serve let me down, especially in that third set when she broke me in the 10th game and then again in the 12th,``said Graf.

Novotna's victory was her second over Graf since last November, Novotna won a quarterfinal match against Graf at the Slims Nationals in New York, Graf's last tournament. Novotna stands 3-11 against Graf.

The final will be a battle of Czech natives. The 35-year-old Navratilova, with a 5-0 career edge over Novotna, goes for her 12th Chicago Slims championship.

* MaliVai Washington and Wayne Ferreira each moved within a step of their
first pro title with straight-set, semifinal victories at the Federal Express International in Memphis.

Washington, a former Michigan All-American who turned pro in 1989, ended Jimmy Connors` stunning run with a 6-2, 7-5 victory.

Ferreira, the No. 7 seed, earned his shot at the winner`s check with a 56-minute, 6-2, 6-3 blitz past Amos Mansdorf.

Neither Washington nor Ferreira has lost a set in the tournament.

``I wanted to be patient and I wanted to take pace off the ball,`` said Washington, the 14th seed who reached his first final earlier this year in Auckland, New Zealand. ``I didn`t want to be banging from the baseline all day. He is 39 and people say he can`t last, but Jimmy Connors can last more than 80 percent of the guys on tour.``

* Boris Becker and Jim Courier reached the final of the Donnay Indoor Championship in Brussels.

Becker, the No. 3 seed, defeated top-seed Stefan Edberg 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Courier, the world`s top player and No. 2 seed, eliminated fifth-seed Guy Forget 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.

The victory assured Courier of retaining the No. 1 ranking which he took from Edberg last week.

* Pascale Paradis-Mangon and Natalya Medvedeva scored straight-set semifinal victories in the EA-Generali indoor tournament in Linz, Austria. Medvedeva defeated fellow Russian Evgenia Manyokova 6-3, 6-2 and Paradis-Mangon of France ousted Italy`s Sandra Cecchini 6-2, 7-5.
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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Navratilova Victory Is One for the Record Book
February 17, 1992
New York Times

CHICAGO, Feb. 16 A legend already, but far from an anachronism, Martina Navratilova, who says the real reason she's playing tennis at the not-so-tender age of 35 is "because I still can and not be embarrassed," proved herself today to be the most prolific champion in the history of her sport.

She created her own drama, survived the trauma of two match points, and ultimately set the sort of record that won't soon, if ever, be broken.

Navratilova, in the words of her defeated opponent, Jana Novotna, "made big history" this afternoon in Chicago with a tremulous 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 victory that brought her the 158th title of her career, breaking a record she had shared with Chris Evert. No other tennis player, male or female, has accumulated so many victories.

Navratilova earned her first career title in Czechoslovakia in 1973, celebrated her first victory in the United States by hugging a light stanchion in Orlando, Fla., in 1974, had arthroscopic surgery on both knees in 1990, and isn't certain when she'll part company with her racquet.

Doubts Come and Go

"I've got nothing to hang my head about tennis-wise," said Navratilova, who yearly undergoes and then overcomes a spate of mid-winter doubts as to whether to continue plugging away against an ever increasing number of power-hungry teen-agers. "Emotionally I get down, and I wonder how much longer I can go, and whether this will be the last year," she has said.

But today, after reaching her seventh straight final and winning the Virginia Slims of Chicago for a record 12th time, the fourth-ranked Navratilova vowed she'd return here in 1993.

"They don't tell a heart surgeon who's been operating for 30 years that he ought to retire," she said. "If the hands aren't shaking, why should you stop?"

But Navratilova's serve was shaky today in a "see-sawing" match.

"I was lucky," she said, after improving her record against Novotna to 6-0, assisted in part by two questionable calls as the 10th-ranked Czech served for the match in the 10th game of the third set. One call determined a Navratilova service return good and the other overruled a call and turned a successful Novotna first serve into a fault.

"Jana deserved to win, and I know she's going to beat me one of these days: I just hope I'm not around when it happens," joked Navratilova, who said Novotna, with her 10 aces and 19 backhand winners, was the more accurate serve-and-volley technician this afternoon. "The way Jana played, I was always out there scrambling on my knees."

A Game of Breaks

The match contained 14 service breaks, 7 for each player, but the last two, both at Novotna's expense, were the ones that determined the outcome of this 2-hour-22-minute test of nerve between rivals who share little beyond their homeland and hyperactive emotions.

"I never had Martina as an idol," said Novotna. "Suddenly in the last games there are two bad calls; it's difficult to control yourself after working for two and a half hours. But I'm still happy with the way I played: I was the one who was pushing her to the limit."

Navratilova saved her boldest moves for a storybook ending.

After holding for 4-5 in the final set, Navratilova survived two match points: A powerful backhand service return down the line, a shot Navratilova said has only lately "clicked" into her repertory, saved the first, and Novotna lost the second by dumping a backhand volley into the net. Pressed by Navratilova's passing shots off both sides, Novotna double-faulted at her third break point to even the set at 5-5.

A crisp backhand volley gave Navratilova a 6-5 edge. Although Novotna made a partial recovery from a 0-30 start in the final game, Navratilova ripped a forehand return down the line for a break point. Then she put Novotna away by dunking a perfect backhand lob behind her back at match point.

"I won the match by going for it," said Navratilova. "You can lie to yourself all you want, but when a record's on the line, there's pressure."

Navratilova, whose $17.7 million in career earnings is another record on the women's tour, tied Evert's mark by defeating top-ranked Monica Seles in November. "I was playing the record, not the person," she said. Today, she refused to let the achievement of the record supersede the immediacy of the moment.

"The moment took over the history part," she said. "I just wanted to win the match."
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Re: 1992

Navratilova celebrates her record 158th title - Win over Novotna hit by controversy
Chicago Sun-Times
Monday, February 17, 1992
Len Ziehm

This was a match worthy of its place in the tennis history books.

Martina Navratilova became the winningest player in the history of her sport Sunday when she defeated Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 for her 158th singles title.

Chris Evert, who is retired, had 157 and Jimmy Connors, the top man, has 109. No other player is close to that trio.

Navratilova got the record on her third try and in a near-perfect setting. Chicago has been her most fruitful tournament stop. She won the Chicago Slims singles title for the 12th time in 16 appearances.

The Pavilion also was the site of the last in her 80-match rivalry with Evert, who retired in 1989. Navratilova won their farewell battle easily before the first tennis sellout at the Pavilion, and the match Sunday outdrew that one.

Slims officials announced a crowd of 8,341 and didn't have an attendance figure for the Navratilova-Evert final in 1988. They sold all the obstructed-view seats for Navratilova's record-setter, however, and those seats weren't put on sale for the Evert match.

Novotna, who is ranked 10th in the world, loomed as the perfect spoiler when the crowd greeted Navratilova with a standing ovation.

On Saturday, Novotna had upset top-seeded Steffi Graf, the player who put an end to Navratilova'a No. 1 ranking in 1987.

The only thing that spoiled Navratilova's moment Sunday was the nature of the victory. The match swung on two controversial calls that left Novotna irritated and Navratilova sympathetic.

"There were close calls but no bad calls the entire match," Novotna said. "Then there were two. Why? Nobody can answer that."

The 2-hour, 22-minute match was filled with turning points, but none more crucial than those made in the 10th game of the third set.

Novotna, who was serving for the match, had Navratilova down 40-15 but couldn't cash in on either match point.

The second got away on a Navratilova passing shot Novotna thought was long. Navratilova got the service break she needed to stay alive on a Novotna double fault that came on an overrule by chair umpire Keith Crossland.

"The pass was out. I'm certain about that," Novotna said. "And my serve was in, but he overruled it. To make that call in that situation is impossible."

"I couldn't tell about the line call, but the serve was too close to overrule," Navratilova said. "I was lucky."

Navratilova held serve in the next game and put the match away with a break in the 12th game, with the winning point coming on a perfect lob that landed inches inside the baseline as Novotna charged to the net.

Novotna admitted she lost her poise after the two calls went against her.

"Who wouldn't?" she said. "We work for 2 1/2 hours, and suddenly it's over. I'm real disappointed about how it turned out."

She had 10 aces to two for Navratilova, 17 break points to Navratilova's 14 and scored 123 points to Navratilova's 121. Both broke serve seven times.

The crowd and $35,000 runner-up check soothed Novotna's feelings somewhat. She received a standing ovation that lasted almost as long as Navratilova's.

"That gave me great satisfaction," said Novotna, who at 23 is 12 years younger than Navratilova.

Navratilova's big day didn't end with the singles victory. She teamed with Pam Shriver for her sixth Chicago Slims doubles title. They beat Zina Garrison and former Whitney Young star Katrina Adams 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).

The doubles victory marked the 63rd time Navratilova has won both singles and doubles at the same tournament. She won $70,000 for the singles and split $21,000 with Shriver for the doubles.

"It was a long day but an unbelievable day," Navratilova said.

No one could argue with that.
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Re: 1992

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Monday, February 17, 1992

Martina Navratilova made tennis history yesterday by beating Jana Novotna, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5, in the Virginia Slims of Chicago final.

It was her 158th tournament title in a career that began in her native Czechoslovakia in the early 1970s and it enabled her to break the record for total victories that she had shared with Chris Evert.

"You can lie to yourself and say the record isn't in your mind, but it's rough," Navratilova said. "I was emotionally tired."

Navratilova won by making a dramatic comeback. "I already was preparing my loser's speech."

Navratilova trailed 5-3 in the third set and was serving to an adversary who had broken three of her four previous service games in the set. Novotna dueled Navratilova to deuce before hitting two consecutive groundstrokes long to lose the game.

Again, in Game 10, Navratilova faced the brink of defeat. Novotna pulverized a winner off an attempted lob to lead 40-15.

But Navratilova's successful passing shot on a return of service saved one match point. Novotna then hit the net on a close-in shot. She earned another match point when Navratilova netted shot, but double-faulted. Seven points later she double-faulted again to make the set 5-5.

Still in jeopardy but now seeing clearly the way out, Navratilova proceeded to win the 11th and 12th games, the match and the tournament.

"I was playing great tennis," said Novotna. "I don't think it was the
pressure of the record for Martina. I was the one who put so much pressure on her, especially on the serve."


-- Down two sets, former No. 1 player Boris Becker rallied for a 6-7 (5-7), 2-6, 7-6 (12-10), 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 victory against current No. 1 Jim Courier in a four-hour, 54-minute final of the Donnay Indoor at Brussels, Belgium.

-- Malivai Washington earned his first professional title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory against Wayne Ferreira in the Federal Express International at Memphis, Tenn.

-- Natalia Medvedeva of Ukraine, ranked 97th in the world, needed only 67 minutes for a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Pascal Paradis-Mangon in the final of the EA-Generali tournament at Linz, Australia.
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Re: 1992

Martina nets milestone win No. 158
Monday, February 17, 1992
Doug Smith, Jerry Bonkowski

CHICAGO - Martina Navratilova has nothing to prove, just a few more records to break, it seems, before she ends one of the more extraordinary and controversial careers in sports.

Navratilova, 35, who holds most of the game's major records, added a really big one Sunday. She won her 158th career singles title - the most by a pro tennis player - by capturing the Virginia Slims of Chicago , her 12th title in the Windy City.

Playing with savvy and grit - and aided by a controversial overrule - No. 2 seed Navratilova saved two match points and rallied to defeat No. 3 Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 in a dramatic 2-hour, 24-minute final.

``I was preparing my loser's speech during the match,'' Navratilova said. ``I had to tell myself I could come back. I had to keep bringing myself back, I (kept saying) stay with it, it's not over yet. This is a weight off my shoulders.''

Said Novotna: ``She made a great comeback and history.''

Navratilova, who was tied with retired Chris Evert for career titles at 157, claimed her latest record, hitting a forehand topspin lob winner at match point.

``She's still better under pressure than most players,'' Evert said. ``I congratulate her and I'm glad it was Martina who broke it. I don't think it'll ever be broken.''

Said Navratilova's doubles partner, Pam Shriver: ``She did it in great, dramatic fashion. I wouldn't say it was one of her best matches, but she gutted it out and got a little fortunate in (the third set). It was very well deserved because no one's been as consistent over so many years as Martina.''

After a brief rest, Navratilova teamed with Shriver to beat Zina Garrison and Katrina Adams 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) for the doubles crown. It is the 63rd time the Czech native has won the singles and doubles title in the same tournament.

Jimmy Connors, 39, holds the record for most career titles in men's tennis (109).

Navratilova failed in two previous chances to set the record, losing in the final of the Virginia Slims Championships Nov. 24 and at the Pan Pacific in Tokyo two weeks ago. The third try proved the charm for Navratilova, who played on young legs, frequently dancing in place between Novotna's serves, like a boxer awaiting the bell.

Novotna won the second set, and broke Navratilova in the first game of the third set.

Novotna, who is 0-6 against Navratilova, was close to pulling off the upset, leading 5-3 in the third.

But Navratilova held serve in the ninth game, then got a key break in the next game when umpire Keith Crossland overruled a linesman, charging Novotna with a double fault on her first match point.

Of the umpire's overrule, Novotna said, ``I'm really, really disappointed at how this turned out. It was such an important game and then here comes a bad call. It's difficult to control yourself. Suddenly, the match is over.''

Said Navratilova: ``She had the match point. The serve was very close, too close to overrule. The guy shouldn't be overruling when it's that close. I was lucky. Jan deserved to win. I have to admire her. She was playing very well.''

Said Novotna, who defeated No. 2 Steffi Graf 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the semifinals: ``I don't think she felt pressure because of the record ... I was the one who put so much pressure on her, especially on her serve. I was the one who was pushing her to the limit.''

A corps of hard-hitting youngsters have pushed Navratilova down to No. 4 in the world rankings. And time has snatched away a bit of her quickness.

Surgery on both knees and emotional rejuvenation, sparked by former pro Billie Jean King, should keep Navratilova playing a while longer.

A year-long court battle, involving a lawsuit filed by former companion Judy Nelson, has been a major distraction for Navratilova. The suit, filed shortly before Wimbledon last year, remains unresolved. An out-of-court settlement still is being negotiated.

``She's had a rough year,'' Evert said. The record comes at a good time.''

Evert knew her record was doomed months ago when Navratilova tied it.

``As soon as she got within 10 tournaments of the record, I knew it was inevitable that she'd get it,'' Evert said. ``It's hard for me to be depressed about it (losing the record), while sitting here with my 4-month- old boy in my arms. Your priorities change.''

Evert plans to place a congratulatory call to Navratilova.

``I think she's happy for me,'' Navratilova said of Evert. ``She's just so happy with Alex, her son, that she could care less about records right now. She's so removed from that, though she may un-retire and start playing again just to make it difficult for me.''

Navratilova, who barked when questioned about the record this week, now breathes easier.

``When a record is on the line, it puts tremendous pressure on you,'' she said. `It's rough. That's why records are so hard to attain. Records are easier to tie but tougher to break.''

Said Evert: ``Right now, setting records is the most important thing in her life.''

And two others seem within Navratilova's reach.

She is three shy of King's record of 20 career Wimbledon titles and eight shy of Margaret Court's 62 grand slam titles. Navratilova plans to retire from singles in a few years but would still play doubles if she's on course to overtake Court.

``If there's a chance to catch Margaret, I'll play doubles and mixed doubles at all four grand slams,'' she said.

But like Connors, Navratilova's love of the game is the main reason she's still on tour.

``(Prize) money is still an incentive, but I'm probably the last of the generation of just playing tennis for the purity of the game,'' she said. ``Nothing else mattered; I just wanted to win on the tennis court. I've never lost my love of the game.

``As long as I'm still enjoying it and the body's willing. I don't know which one's going to give out first, but I'm sure I will know when it's time to quit and still bow out gracefully.''

Navratilova for the record


Most career titles: 158

Most Wimbledon singles titles: 9

Most prize money: $17.7 million

Longest singles match winning streak: 74

Longest doubles (with Pam Shriver) match winning streak: 109 RECORDS WITHIN REACH

Most Wimbledon titles: 20, held by Billie Jean King. Navratilova has 17

Most grand slam titles: 62, held by Margaret Court Smith. Navratilova has 54.
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Re: 1992

The Charlotte Observer
Monday, February 17, 1992
MARIO FOX, Associated Press

Martina Navratilova became tennis` all-time leader in singles titles Sunday the hard way.

She narrowly beat Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 in the final of the Virginia Slims of Chicago women`s tennis tournament.

``I was preparing my loser`s speech during the match,`` said Navratilova, who earned $70,000 for the victory. ``I had to tell myself I could come back. I said, If I can`t break the record in Chicago, where can I break it?` ``

Navratilova won her 158th career singles championship and 12th Chicago Slims title. She and Chris Evert, who retired in 1989, had been tied with 157. Jimmy Connors is the men`s all-time leader with 109 championships.

After a brief rest, Navratilova teamed with Pam Shriver to beat Zina Garrison and Katrina Adams 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) for the doubles title. It was the 63rd time that Navratilova, a Czech native who lives in Aspen, Colo., had won both the singles and doubles title in the same tournament. The winners split $21,000.

Navratilova, who doesn`t plan to retire soon, said she expects her mark to stand for a long time because the tour is more of a grind now than it was she started playing.

``Physically and mentally, it`s tougher,`` she said. ``You can`t just go out and play tennis.``

But Navratilova was thinking about winning the match, not history against Novotna.

``The moment took over the history part. I was just trying to win the match and I had to start hitting winners,`` said Navratilova, 35, a dozen years older than her opponent.

It looked like Novotna would pull off her second consecutive upset and in similar fashion, having lost the opening set to top-seed Steffi Graf before winning Saturday night`s semifinal.

``It`s a credit to Martina for her comeback and her historic match,`` said Novotna, who took home the $35,000 runner-up prize. ``I don`t think she felt the pressure of the record so much as the pressure I put on her. I was the one who pushed her to the limit.``

Novotna, now 0-6 against Navratilova, used her blazing serve and some daring passing shots to the corners in the two-hour, 24-minute match.

Novotna led 5-4 in the deciding set and forced Navratilova, the No. 2 seed, to match point twice in the 10th game.

But Navratilova rallied and Novotna, the third seed, double-faulted to lose her service. She questioned the call and angrily slammed her racket into the top of the net.

``There were no bad calls until the last set,`` said Novotna, saying it was possible the close calls might have gone against her because of the stature of her opponent. ``It`s possible.``

Navratilova easily held service and took 0-30 and 30-40 leads in the next game. The winner was a lob that just fell inside the baseline as Novotna watched in despair.

Novotna, who possesses the fastest serve on the women`s tour, had 10 aces, including one clocked at 105 mph, but she also had two dozen double-faults.

Novotna went ahead 3-0 in the middle set after a pair of service breaks.

She lost her serve in the next game but almost broke back in the seventh, which went to deuce three times, and in the ninth, which went to deuce. The young Czech slammed two aces past her opponent in the last game to tie the match.

In the tiebreaker, Navratilova rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win 7-4. Navratilova broke Novotna in the third game of the opening set, but lost her own serve without gaining a point in the 10th, which began three straight service breaks.
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Re: 1992

For Martina, Victory, History
February 17, 1992
Neil Milbert
Chicago Tribune

Martina Navratilova made history Sunday and made it seem like mythology.

Playing before a crowd of 8,341 in a Pavilion match that was masterpiece theater from beginning to end, the 35-year-old left-hander defeated Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 to win her 12th Virginia Slims of Chicago championship.

It was her 158th tournament title in a career that began in her native Czechoslovakia in the early 1970s, and it enabled her to break the record for total victories that she had shared with the retired Chris Evert.

``You can lie to yourself and say the record isn`t in your mind, but it`s rough,`` Navratilova said. ``I was emotionally tired.``

Navratilova won in dramatic fashion, making a classic comeback.

It seemed fitting and proper that it came in the Chicago Slims, where her 12 wins are her highest output of any tournament.

``I already was preparing my loser`s speech,`` said Navratilova, looking back on how bleak it was in Game 9 of the third set.

At that point, Navratilova trailed 5-3 and was serving to an adversary who had broken three of her four previous service games in the set.

Then, she persished the thought of defeat and asked herself: ``If I can`t break the record in Chicago, where am I going to break it?``

The will to win pre-empted the concession speech. But Novotna also was determined. The 10th-ranked player in the world dueled her fourth-ranked foe to deuce before hitting two straight groundstrokes long to lose the game.

Again, in Game 10, Navratilova faced the brink of defeat. Novotna pulverized a winner off an attempted lob to lead 40-15.

But Navratilova`s successful passing shot on a return of service saved one match point. Novotna then hit the net on a close-in shot that had the making of the coup de grace.

The 22-year-old challenger immediately recovered to earn another match point when Navratilova netted a shot.

But a double fault by Novotna on the ensuing serve wiped out the advantage. It then became a game of give-and-take until seven points later, when Novotna double-faulted, enabling Navratilova to win and knot the set at five games all.

Livid because the chair umpire had overruled the line judge, Novotna slammed her racquet against the net and protested to no avail. Navratilova was sympathetic.

``The serve was too close to overrule,`` she said.

Still in jeopardy but now seeing clearly the way out, Navratilova proceeded to win the 11th and 12th games, the match and the tournament that gave her a record seemingly destined to last longer than a lifetime.

``At the end, the moment took over the history part,`` said Navratilova, who moved to the brink of victory with a well-placed shot and then hit the winner of all winners to end the match. ``I had to take advantage of the opportunity.``

Seeded third behind Steffi Graf and defending champion Navratilova, Novotna entered the match on a high after upsetting Graf.

In Sunday`s first set, she broke Navratilova`s serve to force the tiebreaker. Undaunted by a 7-4 loss in the tiebreaker, Novotna took charge at the start of the second set and went on to deadlock the match. The trend carried over into the third set.

``I was playing great tennis,`` said Novotna. ``I don`t think it was the pressure of the record for Martina. I was the one who put so much pressure on her, especially on the serve.``

But Novotna felt the pressure got to a lineseman and the umpire when the match was on the line.

``No bad calls the whole match, and then at the end of the last set, two bad calls,`` she complained. ``I felt a passing shot was in. Then the umpire overrules the line judge and I double fault.``

``On the shot on the baseline I couldn`t tell,`` said Navratilova.

``There were two marks-one just on the back of the line and one was out. I was lucky.

``Jana is playing top-five tennis. It wasn`t the Jana that I had beaten five times that I was playing today.

``Somehow I won despite my serve. Except for the third set, my serve took a holiday. But then I was concentrating so much on serving technique, my volleying went off.

``I don`t think anybody will ever break (the record). It means winning 12 tournaments a year for 14 years, and I don`t see anybody playing that long. Now it`s much, much more physically and mentally demanding than when I came into tennis. I played 12 tournaments before I met the press. And now there are endorsements and appearances-you don`t just play tennis.

``I`m probably the last generation to play for the love of the game. That`s not good and that`s not bad. I`m still out there because I love the game and I can afford to play it because of the money I`ve made playing it. Even if I can have this moment once a year, it`s worth it.``

Then, her historic press conference concluded, Navratilova went back out and played tennis, teaming with her longtime friend and partner, Pam Shriver, to defeat Zina Garrison and Chicago`s Katrina Adams 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) in a thrilling match for the doubles championship.

Navratilova wouldn`t have wanted it any other way.
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Re: 1992

The Jerusalem Post
Tuesday, February 18, 1992
Reuter and Jack Leon adds

CHICAGO - Martina Navratilova won a record 158th career singles title on Sunday by saving a match point to beat Czechoslovakian Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 at the $350,000 Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament.

"You can say it's just another match, just another tournament, just another downhill race but it's not," said the fourth-ranked Navratilova. "You can lie to yourself all you want but when the record's on the line, it puts tremendous pressure on you."

The 35-year-old Navratilova had shared the all-time record with her longtime rival Chris Evert, who retired two years ago. Jimmy Connors holds the men's mark at 109 career singles titles.

"I'm glad it's over," Navratilova said of the four-month wait since her last title at the Virginia Slims of California. "Now I can play tennis."

Navratilova won her first singles title in her native Czechoslovakia in 1973. Though she says she doesn't remember the details of all her triumphs, among them 18 Grand Slam titles, she vividly recalls her first win in her adopted country in 1974 when she won the Virginia Slims event in Orlando, Florida.

Navratilova won just $10,000 for that first victory. She has since gone on to become the all-time money winner with more than $17-million in prize money and added $70,000 with her twelfth title at this tour stop.

Navratilova easily held serve for a 6-5 lead. She finished her record breaking performance by breaking Novotna on her first match point with a perfect forehand lob winner that touched the baseline.

In other action, MaliVai Washington (14), US, defeated Wayne Ferreira (7), South Africa, 6-3, 6-2, in the singles championships of the $780,000 Federal Express International in Memphis on Sunday. In the doubles final Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (2), from Australia, defeated Kevin Curren and Gary Muller, US 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5).

Jack Leon adds:

Gilad Bloom has won and lost in qualifying competition for this week's $1 million Eurocard Tennis Classic in Stuttgart.

The Israeli No. 2 was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Sweden's Jan Apell is second-round singles play, but he won his first doubles match in style with new partner Paul Wekesa of Kenya.

In the high-caliber doubles qualifier, Bloom and Wekesa opened their challenge on Sunday night with a brilliant 6-3, 6-4 victory over Carl-Uwe Steeb and Patrik Kuhnen. The two Germans have also teamed up for their country in Davis Cup doubles.

Bloom and Wekesa, who need one more win to go through to the main draw, last month made an auspicious debut together by reaching the doubles quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

Following his semi-final finish in Memphis, Amos Mansdorf has climbed from 49 to 42 in the latest weekly ATP world singles rankings. Bloom is 126th on the computer.
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Re: 1992

Navratilova's record for titles may last forever, experts say
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
Tuesday, February 18, 1992
Norman Arey

The record set by Martina Navratilova when she won the Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament Sunday is unlikely to be matched. That's the opinion of some tennis observers after Navratilova won her 158th career singles championship, eclipsing Chris Evert's record (for men or women) by one.

"It's probably foolish to say here's one [record] that won't be broken," said NBC commentator and tennis writer Bud Collins. "But times are different today. Players are enriched to the point of not caring or they're burned out. It's impossible for me to think about anybody playing that long."

Jim Martz, who followed Evert's career as a tennis writer for The Miami Herald, agrees. "I can't imagine anybody achieving what Martina achieved Sunday," he said. "Today, there's more competition than when Chris and Martina started out. There are better athletes today. I can tell you one thing: Martina, as competitive as she is, was going to stay out there and pound away until she got Chris's record, no matter how long it took. I've heard people say Chris may come back out of retirement to get it back, but that's not going to happen."

Martz says today's top players simply won't invest the years that Navratilova has. Navratilova won her first pro tournament in 1973. "The way Jennifer [Capriati] is going now, she may not last until the age of 20," Martz said. "I can't imagine Monica [Seles] would play past 30 the way she pounds away at the ball. This may be a record that will stand forever. Who's going to break it?"

According to a mathematical formula - taking players' average number of tournament victories per year since their first titles, projecting that average into the future and computing how old they would be when they reach 158 - only Steffi Graf, Ivan Lendl and Seles appear to have a realistic chance.

Graf, who has averaged 6.3 wins a year in 10 years, needs another 15 years at the pace to reach 158. She would be 37, two years older than Navratilova is now. Lendl, averaging 7.6 wins per year in 12 years, would be close to 40 when he got there, as would Seles, who has averaged 6.7 wins a year for three years.

They would have to maintain their excellence well into their 30s, something Navratilova has done. She won five tournaments last year and reached the finals of five others.

For some other big names, eclipsing Navratilova doesn't appear likely. Capriati, 15, may be the darling of the women's tour. But she'll have to pick up her pace of one win per year, or she won't reach 158 wins until she's 171 years old.

Jimmy Connors is No. 2 to Navratilova in titles among active players with 109. But he's also 39 and hasn't won since 1988.

What this formula doesn't take into account, by the way, is the possibility of Navratilova winning more titles. She has no plans to retire and will return to Atlanta this summer for her second year with the city's TeamTennis entry - the Thunder.

"I'm still out there because I love the game and I can afford to play it because of the money I've made playing it," she said after beaing Jana Novotna 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5 in Chicago. "Even if I can have this moment once a year, it's worth it."

Navratilova's longevity helped her get the record; while Evert won 157 of 303 tournaments, Navratilova won her 158th of 343.

Collins says the "fact that [Navratilova] can keep interested is amazing to me. Martina sets goals for herself. I know that ninth Wimbledon title [which she won in 1990] was important to her. Now this was another goal. I'm sorry she's not playing the Olympics. Who knows what other goal she may set?

"She's a giant. What can you say?"

Chart: MARTINA OVER THE YEARS Oct. 18, 1956: Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. 1973: Wins first tournament, at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, in same year current No. 1 player Monica Seles is born. 1974: Wins first tournament in U.S., Orlando Virginia Slims . 1978: Wins the first of her 18 grand slam titles, Wimbledon. 1981: becomes U.S. citizen. 1990: wins record ninth Wimbledon title. 1991: breaks Chris Evert's all-time record of 1,309 singles matches win by beating Mary Joe Fernandez in Milan. Also becomes oldest women's player to reach final of U.S. Open. Feb. 16, 1992: Beats Jana Novotna for 158th singles title, winning the Chicago Slims tournament. ALL-TIME SINGLES TITLES (Men and women) Martina Navratilova158 Chris Evert157 Jimmy Conners109 Ivan Lendl91 Evonne Goolagong Cawley88 Margaret Court 79 John McEnroe 77 CAREER WOMEN'S MONEY LEADERS (through 1991) 1. Martina Navratilova $17,664,593 2. Chris Evert $8,896,196 3. Steffi Graf $8,659,034 4. Gabriela Sabatini $5,024,760 5. Pam Shriver $4,676,909 6. Monica Seles $4,661,655 WOMEN's GRAND SLAM VICTORIES Margaret Court 62 victories Martina Navratilova 54 Billie Jean King 39 Doris J. Hart 35 Helen Wills Moody 31 LONGEST WINNING STREAKS Martina Navratilova: 74 matches (13 tournament titles), Jan.-Dec. 1984 Steffi Graf: 66 matches (11 titles), June 1989-May 1990 Martina Navratilova: 58 matches (9 titles), June 1986-Jan. 1987 Chris Evert: 55 matches (10 titles), March-Sept. 1974 Martina Navratilova: 54 matches (8 titles), June 1983-Jan. 1984.
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Re: 1992

Chicago Sun-Times
Monday, February 17, 1992


Player Debut W L Titles

1. Martina Navratilova 1973 1,328 183 158

2. Chris Evert 1969 1,309 146 157

3. Evonne Goolagong 1968 695 158 88

4. x-Margaret Court 1968 464 78 79

5. x-Billie Jean King 1968 695 155 71

6. Steffi Graf 1982 516 70 61

x - Court and King started their careers before the Open era. Their statistics reflect their careers since 1968.


City Entries Titles W-L %

Chicago 16 12 65-4 94%

x-Eastbourne 17 10 85-7 92%

Washington 13 10 55-3 95%

Wimbledon 19 9 103-10 91%

y-Dallas 15 9 57-6 90%

x - England; y - no longer held.
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Re: 1992

Let us turn our attention to the 1992 Lipton International Players Championships...

Tuesday, March 10, 1992

KEY BISCAYNE -- There were only blue skies at Lipton Monday.

No thunderbolts from the Association of Tennis Professionals, signaling major withdrawals, as in the past two years.

John McEnroe, who pulled out with injuries at the last minute in 1990 and 1991, remains committed to playing his first Lipton singles tournament.

''I really believe Mac will be here,'' said tournament chairman Butch Buchholz. ''I've talked to John's dad and all the arrangements have been made.''

Monday's rankings, which will determine the seeds in Wednesday's draw, came out, with McEnroe ranked No. 34. Too low to get seeded at the Grand Slams, but Lipton is the only event that seeds 32 men and women, and McEnroe, the tentative 29th seed, made the cut.

Jimmy Connors, who is ranked No.36, also will get a first-round bye Friday. Connors, the tentative 35th seed, was helped by the weekend injury withdrawals of Omar Camporese (No. 26) and Jordi Arrese (No. 31). Thomas Muster (No. 38), the 1989 Lipton finalist, also withdrew with a sprained ankle, missing the tournament for the second year in a row.

Right now, the top 37 men and the top 45 women rate seeds.

The top four men (Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras) and the top three women (Monica Seles, Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini) are entered. Wimbledon champion Michael Stich, No. 5, did not join Becker in taking a wild card.

''It's so nice to win a match,'' said Bassett, who returned from a two-year layoff at the Virginia Slims of Florida, losing to Kimiko Date last Monday.

''I was up 6-2, 5-3, 40-15, then I hit an overhead on the top of the net, so I was still a little nervous. Playing matches is much more different than practice.''

Bassett will play Claudine Toleafoa, 20, of New Zealand in the second round Wednesday. Bassett, who needs three victories to qualify for the main draw, is in the same section with top-seeded Kataryna Nowak of Poland, a possible third-round opponent.

Luanne Spadea of Boca Raton rallied to beat Els Callens 0-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Tammy Whittington, the former University of Florida player from Plantation, defeated Stacey Martin 6-3, 6-1. Spadea plays Whittington in the second round.

In men's qualifying, Jared Palmer of Largo defeated David Witt of Jacksonville 7-6, 3-6, 7-5.

Ivan Baron of Plantation meets Johan Anderson, the 23rd seed, in his first qualifying match today. Other players of note playing today: Angelica Gavaldon, Stella Sampras, Patti O'Reilly, Francisco Montana and Andrei Medvedev.

Tentative seeds, based on Monday's new rankings and subject to late withdrawals. The draw will be made Wednesday. Rankings in parentheses:


1. Jim Courier (1) 1. Monica Seles (1)

2. Stefan Edberg (2) 2. Steffi Graf (2)

3. Boris Becker (3) 3. Gabriela Sabatini (3)

4. Pete Sampras (4) 4. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (5)

5. Guy Forget (6) 5. Jennifer Capriati (6)

6. Goran Ivanisevic (7) 6. Mary Joe Fernandez (7)

7. Michael Chang (9) 7. Leila Meskhi (13)

8. Petr Korda (10) 8. Zina Garrison (14)

9. Emilio Sanchez (11) 9. Nathalie Tauziat (15)

10. Sergi Bruguera (12) 10. Mary Pierce (16)

11. Karel Novacek (13) 11. Judith Wiesner (17)

12. Andre Agassi (14) 12. Gigi Fernandez (18)

13. David Wheaton (15) 13. Lori McNeil (20)

14. Magnus Gustafsson(16) 14. Julie Halard (21)

15. Derrick Rostagno(17) 15. Amy Frazier (23)

16. Andrei Chesnokov(19) 16. Laura Gildemeister (24)

17. Brad Gilbert (20) 17. Kimiko Date (24)

18. Jakob Hlasek (21) 18. Radka Zrubakova (26)

19. Francisco Clavet(22) 19. Natalia Zvereva (27)

20. Wayne Ferreira (23) 20. Barbara Rittner (28)

21. Alberto Mancini (24) 21. Sandra Cecchini (29)

22. Goran Prpic (25) 22. Brenda Schultz (31)

23. Richard Krajicek (27) 23. Naoko Sawamatsu (32)

24. MaliVai Washington (28)24. Pam Shriver (34)

25. Amos Mansdorf (29) 25. Amanda Coetzer (38)

26. Andrei Cherkasov (30) 26. Debbie Graham (39)

27. Aaron Krickstein (32) 27. Karina Habsudova (40)

28. Javier Sanchez (33) 28. Patty Fendick (41)

29. John McEnroe (34) 29. Yayuk Basuki (42)

30. Paul Haarhuis (35) 30. Tami Whitlinger (43)

31. Jimmy Connors (36) 31. Natalia Medvedeva (44)

32. Richey Reneberg (37) 32. Andrea Strnadova (45)
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