Navratilova's memento not a record-tying type She collects Court 1 sod, won't get 20th crown

July 08, 1996|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

WIMBLEDON, England -- Martina Navratilova won't get her record-tying 20th Wimbledon title this year. When the mixed doubles crown is contested -- possibly today -- Navratilova will be on the sidelines, having lost yesterday's quarterfinal match with partner Jonathan Stark.

Lindsay Davenport and Grant Connell, the No. 2 seeds, beat the defending champions and the No. 5 seeds, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-2).

There were no service breaks in the match, and Navratilova and Stark were up 5-0 in the first set tiebreaker. "I'm not playing for the record," said Navratilova after the loss. "I don't want that record. I wish it was 30 something, so we wouldn't even be talking about it.

Billie Jean King holds the record for Wimbledon titles with six singles, 10 doubles and four mixed titles from 1961 to 1979.

"I'm playing because I enjoy playing," said Navratilova, who added a piece of Court No. 1 turf to her Wimbledon collection. Already she has grass from Centre Court and a chair from the Royal Box. Now she says she wants a bench from Court 1.

"If I was playing for the record," she said, "I'd be playing women's doubles because I think I'd have a better chance of winning."

Extended play

The mixed doubles competition is so far behind that there are still two quarterfinal matches to be played today, as Wimbledon stretches into its third week.

First on today's card on Centre Court, however, will be the conclusion of the women's doubles final between Martina Hingis and Helena Sukova and Meredith McGrath and Larisa Neiland.

When play was called last night for darkness, Sukova and Hingis, 15, appeared on their way to victory with a 5-7, 7-5, 4-1 lead. It would be Hingis' first Grand Slam and Wimbledon title. Sukova won the 1992 mixed doubles crown here with Cyril Suk.

Once Neiland is finished with the women's doubles, she will play mixed with Mark Woodforde in their quarterfinal against Pat Galbraith and Baltimore's Pam Shriver, who have been waiting since Friday.

Reluctant Washington

When referee Alan Mills suggested that MaliVai Washington take a runner's-up stroll around Centre Court, he hesitated, even though the crowd was boisterously in his corner.

"There was no real reason why," Washington said. "I guess that was just my reaction. Believe me, if I had won the cup, I would still be parading around there. I just kind of, you know, it was Richard's time, you know. Let him show it off. That moment was kind of for him."

Spur of the moment?

The streaker who brightened the afternoon at Wimbledon was taken in stride by the All-England Club.

"We have never had a streaker on Centre Court before, so I suppose it was inevitable eventually," said a club spokesperson. "Whilst we do not wish to condone the practice, it did at least provide some light amusement for our loyal and patient supporters, who have had a trying time during the recent bad weather."

She was arrested and then released.

Pub Date: 7/08/96

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