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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 06:51 PM   #1
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Navratilova: "I'm still that d@#! good"

Navratilova: I'm still good enough to compete

Posted: Friday December 31, 2004 1:31AM; Updated: Friday December 31, 2004 1:31AM




Martina Navratilova was eliminated by Gisela Dulko in the second round at Wimbledon last summer.
AP


GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) -- Martina Navratilova said Friday she's still on the tennis circuit because she's good and continues to work hard to improve her game.

The 48-year-old Navratilova, entered in the doubles draw at the Australian hardcourt championships at Royal Pines, also took issue with critics who say her longevity is due to the lack of depth in women's tennis.

"I've been asked that question for the past five years and frankly I consider it an insult," Navratilova said at a news conference. "Women's tennis is really strong and all I can say is I'm that damn good.

"I'm sorry but I really have to blow my own horn here -- I'm still that good. The ball doesn't know how old you are."

Navratilova, winner of 58 Grand Slam titles, accused the media of double standards when reporting on male athletes coming back from retirement and playing well.

"[Ice hockey's] Mario Lemieux came back after two years and started scoring goals and all the reporters were saying, 'wow he's really good,' but when a woman does it, they question the standard of competition she's playing in," said Navratilova, who retired earlier this year.

"You wouldn't ask John McEnroe that question would you?"

She said she has worked hard on her flexibility to keep her game in touch.

"Since 1984 I haven't lost a match from being tired and I might be playing some singles events this season depending on the surface," she said.

"The main problem is movement but I've worked on that and I feel I really have time to hit the ball. I have changed my grip a lot with both shots and worked hard on my flexibility."

Navratilova returns to competition Sunday on the same courts where she teamed with Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the Australian hardcourt doubles title in 2003. It was Navratilova's first appearance in Australia in 14 years.

This year, she is playing with defending tournament singles champion Nathalie Dechy of France.

Elsewhere, Lindsay Davenport of the United States has been replaced by Meghann Shaughnessy in the American team at the Hopman Cup mixed team event at Perth, Australia. Davenport and James Blake, who is returning on the American team, won last year's title.

The Americans play their first match Tuesday against the winner of Saturday's qualifying match between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.



Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.




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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 07:09 PM   #2
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 07:12 PM   #3
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Of course she is good enough. Wait youll see she and Dani will win the Aussie Open!
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 08:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
"[Ice hockey's] Mario Lemieux came back after two years and started scoring goals and all the reporters were saying, 'wow he's really good,' but when a woman does it, they question the standard of competition she's playing in," said Navratilova, who retired earlier this year.
I have to agree with this comment.I was watching a men's hockey tournament,and the commentators were marvelling at how a player had made it to a european elite league after playing in a hick league{ever seen the movie SlapShot} in Quebec.The guy is now doing well in this european "elite" league.Neither commentator questioned the level of play in the european league...even though the the guy came from a"slapshot" league.
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 08:26 PM   #5
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 08:39 PM   #6
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 09:06 PM   #7
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She isn't the most irritating player ever....oh wait, yes she is. You NEED to retire, Martina.
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaSlam588
You NEED to retire, Martina.

why does she need to retire??? If she can still play tennis, why should we complain?
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 11:06 PM   #9
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She isn't the most irritating player ever....oh wait, yes she is. You NEED to retire, Martina.
You need to retire from posting.
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 11:08 PM   #10
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You need to retire from posting.

I agree
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Old Jan 1st, 2005, 11:11 PM   #11
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I don't mind her playing, I like it... but I remember her saying that 2004 was going to be her absolute last year?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 12:41 AM   #12
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Why can't she just retire when she says she's going to?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 12:49 AM   #13
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The gal's the closest thing to an intellectual on the tour, and one of the few, truly charismatic players. The game desperately needs her...I almost wept at the stultifying US Open Final last year, contested by two banal uggers; the only high point of that match was seeing Martina N. in the stands.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 12:52 AM   #14
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I'm so happy that she is playing again. Maybe she will break steffis money record(which she should already have) and win another GS
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Old Jan 2nd, 2005, 02:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaSlam588
She isn't the most irritating player ever....oh wait, yes she is. You NEED to retire, Martina.
Why?! She is THAT good!

January, 2004 - W/Paes, as Australian Open mixed doubles defending champions, l. in final to unseeded first-time pair Bovina/Zimonjic

February - With Raymond, as No. 1 doubles seeds at Tokyo [Pan Pacific], upset in SF by eventual champions Black/Stubbs

March - With Raymond, as No. 4 doubles seeds at Miami, l. SF to No. 2 seeds Kuznetsova/Likhovtseva

April - Returned to Charleston and reached doubles final with Raymond as No. 2 seeds, l. to top-seeds and defending champions Ruano Pascual/Suárez; member of US Fed Cup team that d. Slovenia 4-1 in 1r (won doubles rubber w/Raymond)

May - At Vienna, as No. 1 seeds in doubles w/Raymond, won first 2004 doubles title (second as a team) by d. No. 2 seeds and three-time 2004 finalists Black/Stubbs; reached Roland Garros doubles SF w/Raymond as No. 5 seeds, l. to No. 2 seeds Kuznetsova/Likhovtseva

June - Returned to Wimbledon seeded No. 3 in doubles w/Raymond, l. SF to No. 5 seeds Huber/Sugiyama

July - Reached San Diego SF w/Raymond, l. to No. 2 seeds and eventual champions Black/Stubbs

August - At Athens Olympics, the first Olympics competition of her career, competed in doubles w/Raymond, as No. 3 seeds, l. QF to No. 5 seeds Asagoe/Sugiyama of Japan; w/Raymond in New Haven doubles (as No. 3 seeds), eliminated top-seeds Black/Stubbs in SF, but l. to No. 2 seeds Petrova/Shaughnessy in final; w/Paes, as No. 8 seeds in US Open mixed doubles, was upset in SF third-set tie-break by unseeded Molik/Woodbridge

I'd say that's pretty damn good and reason enough to continue playing.
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