Re: Dutch Treats - A Thread to Remember Dutch Players
Miriam Oremans' most memorable win:
TENNIS; Thwack! Navratrilova Exits Paris Angrily
By ROBIN FINN,
Published: May 24, 1994
PARIS, May 23— After her wet noodle of a performance sent a damp-eyed Martina Navratilova from her last French Open with her first-ever first-round loss here, she launched her most vehement stroke of the afternoon. The angry veteran took a final baleful look at the high-tech widebody racquet that failed her so miserably, and then rendered it a pretzel by smashing it into her hardwood chair.
This was, in every way, no way to say goodbye.
In the French Open's only major upset on this pristine opening day, Navratilova absorbed a 6-4, 6-4 defeat at the unusually capable hands of 54th-ranked Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands, a player who had won just a single match this year. The 21-year-old Oremans, the sturdy daughter of a Dutch butcher, pronounced herself delighted over today's improvement on her 0-2 record against the 37-year-old Navratilova, a vegetarian who prides herself on being lean and mean without benefit of meat.
"But I can imagine she doesn't like it that she lost in the first round," said Oremans, who couldn't help hearing the racquet-splitting crash that served as the retirement-bound Navratilova's final comment on her final singles match here. Sorry, Folks
Navratilova later apologized for the tantrum that brought about her racquet's demise so quickly after her own.
"I've never done it before and I hope I never will again, but at that point I was too disappointed to care about anything," said Navratilova, who dropped her serve five times and never seemed able to shake off her defensive jitters.
The two-time French Open champion hadn't played here in five years and made this sentimental visit against the wishes of her coaches, Billie Jean King and Craig Kardon. They felt her mental and physical energies should be trained on Wimbledon, where she holds a record nine titles and where her final appearance will no doubt be fraught with drama and trauma.
But Navratilova wanted to pay her respects to Roland Garros before leaving her profession, and she reiterated today that she had no regrets about her decision to compete. She only wished she didn't have to rely on ladies and mixed doubles to get her onto Center Court one last time. 'I Thought I Should Quit'
"I finally won the fans over and now I can't get past the first round," said Navratilova, who played in Chris Evert's shadow here during their heyday. Navratilova admitted this loss had her questioning the wisdom of continuing with her plan to play a full schedule for the remainder of the year regardless of results.
"For one brief moment, I thought that I should just quit right now and not have to worry about getting ready for another match, but that lasted for about one quarter of a second," she said. "No, this doesn't change my career or the way I'll end it."
For Navratilova, it was only her fourth first-round defeat in 64 Grand Slams, and her first since 1976. She played and won her first match here in 1973 and went on to claim the title in 1982 and '84.