Join Date: Jul 2012
My plan to try to do this by tournaments is not going to work, so I'm just going to wing it and post them as i find them.
NAVRATILOVA CAN UNDERSTAND BORG'S EXIT
The Miami Herald
Monday, March 7, 1983
BOB GREENE, Associated Press
Martina Navratilova is No. 1 among women tennis players. That's why she understands Bjorn Borg's decision to retire from the sport.
"He saw the other side of the mountain," said Navratilova, who lost only three matches in 1982 and began 1983 by capturing the first two Virginia Slims stops at Washington and Houston in January.
"There's not that many days you have free," continued Navratilova, who was to play Chris Evert Lloyd Sunday in the final of a tournament in Inglewood, Calif. "That's where the commitment is -- planning your whole day around tennis.
"You can have only one glass of wine with dinner because a second glass will affect you the next day. You have to be in bed early enough to get nine hours of sleep. Everything you do is planned around either playing or practicing."
Borg took a five-month vacation from tennis at the start of the 1982 season, then dropped off the tour after two tournaments when he refused to sign up for the minimum number of stops and was forced to qualify for every Volvo Grand Prix event he entered. After he lost in the quarterfinals at Monte Carlo and failed to get through the qualifying at Las Vegas, he took off the remainder of the year.
Then, in January, Borg announced he would no longer compete full-time.
"With Bjorn, he knows what it is to be No. 1 and he knows what it takes to be No. 1 again," said Navratilova. "He wouldn't want to do anything halfway."
Navratilova hasn't done anything halfway in the past year. She collected a women's record $1,475,055, bringing her career earnings to nearly $5 million -- the highest of any tennis player, male or female.
Like Borg, Navratilova has never won the U.S. Open, although she has captured the other three Grand Slam events -- Wimbledon and the French and Australian Opens.
In 1981 at the U.S. Open finals, she crushed Tracy Austin 6-1 in the first set before losing. She lost to Pam Shriver, her closest friend on the tour and her doubles partner, in the quarterfinals of the 1982 U.S. Open.
"The last two years were the only times I gave it a really good chance," she said of winning America's premiere tennis tournament. "The best chance was when I played Tracy. Last year, mentally I was as ready as I could be."
But Shriver and an ailment that left Navratilova weak stopped yet another bid for the elusive U.S. Open crown.
In New York recently, Navratilova noted the success of players from her native Czechoslovakia -- Ivan Lendl and Tomas Smid on the men's tour, and a host of young players on the women's tour, headed by Hana Mandlikova.
"I've helped because they can do whatever they want to," she said.
When she was the promising young star, Navratilova felt she could not reach her full potential because the Czechoslovak government refused to allow her to compete full-time on the tour.
"I would leave the country to play a couple of tournaments, then I would have to return home," she said. "There was nothing between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, except maybe the European championships."
After the 1976 U.S. Open, Navratilova defected and became an American citizen in 1981. Since her defection, the Czechoslovak players have received far greater freedom. Last year, Lendl, who is now ranked No. 2 in the world on the Association of Tennis Professionals computer, earned a record $2 million.
Although they have to give a percentage of their earnings to the Czechoslovak Tennis Federation, the players are allowed to keep a large portion of their money. Lendl and Mandlikova have purchased homes in Florida.
Navratilova takes pride in that. Now, she hopes to give something back to the game with the creation of the Martina Youth Foundation.
"The purpose of the Martina Youth Foundation is to motivate underprivileged children to learn about a sport that can have a positive effect on all aspects of their lives," she said.
"I like kids. Basically I'm for the underdogs -- women, old people, minorities. Through tennis, the kids can get tennis scholarships, go to school and get a better education.
"Right now, we are really just beginning to get the Martina Youth Foundation on its feet. Once we get it going, the possibilities are endless."
Although Navratilova is currently providing the sole financial backing for the foundation, she plans to organize such fund-raising efforts as dinners, exhibitions and auctions of tennis equipment donated by players.
"I know I have to feel I'm making a contribution," Martina said.