Doubles champion, singular joy Shriver's title with Zvereva is 'one more great moment'

September 09, 1991|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK -- Finally, Pam Shriver won a women's Grand Slam doubles title without Martina Navratilova.

It happened yesterday in the final of the U.S. Open, with Shriver and Natalia Zvereva outlasting Jana Novotna and Larisa Savchenko, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"I feel now like I don't have to do another darn thing," said Shriver, 29, of Lutherville. "I had to get one on my own."

For nearly a decade, Shriver and Navratilova ruled women's doubles, winning 20 Grand Slam championships. They split three years ago, and Shriver, who won a 1987 mixed doubles championship with Emilio Sanchez at the French Open, began playing with a series of new partners.

"When I came back at age 28, I thought I had one more great moment left in me," Shriver said. "That's what you live for as an athlete -- to hug somebody and to cry and to have that moment when you're on top of the world looking down on everybody else. This is one of the great moments of my career.

"Three or four of the doubles titles with Martina meant something; there was the 1988 Olympic gold medal in doubles with Zina Garrison; there was this; and there was the first time I beat Martina, and the first time I beat Chris [Evert]."

Shriver received encouragement from Navratilova before yesterday's final.

"Martina said to me, 'It's about time you win one without me,' " Shriver said. "That was so nice. She told me a couple of things about the other team, and she was really cheering for me to win. That was very special."

L Shriver also was delighted to be part of a U.S.-Soviet team.

"It sort of crossed my mind that maybe it would be sort of a special time to play together and team together," Shriver said.

Zvereva and Savchenko won the Wimbledon doubles title, but decided to switch partners for the Open. Zvereva, 20, said the political implications of competing with an American never crossed her mind.

"It is not that I am not interested in this stuff," she said, "but I think I am too young for it."

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