NEW YORK -- Pam Shriver performed one of her last official acts as president of the Women's Tennis Association Tour Players Association last night, presenting the Player of the Year award to Steffi Graf.
It was one of her final duties because, while Shriver was re-elected to the players association board of directors, she lost her bid for a fourth consecutive term as president, to Martina Navratilova.
Navratilova also served as president in 1979 and 1980 and again in 1983. But this will be the first time since 1989, the year Chris Evert retired and served out her term, that a nonactive player will be the association's president.
"It's better than what it could have been," Shriver said.
"I was 1-for-2. I think it is quite amazing and the tour is fortunate to have one of its greatest, or its greatest, player of all time willing to do this work.
"Martina has come out with a commitment to spend a lot of time, and it will be a major commitment for her. She wants to be on the women's pro council, and that is even more work. That's where a lot of politics are at work and where a lot of business is done."
The vote evidently was not an easy one. Shriver and Navratilova sat outside the meeting room for more than 40 minutes while the organization's members debated the presidential race and finally voted.
"It was the longest visit Martina and I have had since we stopped playing doubles," Shriver said. "We covered a lot of things. Tennis, personal stuff, a little about my summer and play, her house in Aspen. We just caught up on each other."
Shriver will continue to act as president through the U.S. Open and will continue on the search committee for the organization's new CEO until one is found.
Today, she is scheduled to begin play at the Open against Beate Reinstadler of Austria.
Navratilova, who will retire as a player at the end of this season, has decided not to play here for the first time in 22 years.