Scroll To Top

final pro tennis match a winner

final pro tennis match a winner


Even in her final pro match, Martina Navratilova was eager to get going.

Even in her final pro match, Martina Navratilova was eager to get going. "Anytime, darling," she told the chair umpire before he signaled for play to start. A month shy of her 50th birthday, Navratilova closed out her competitive career Saturday night in fitting fashion: a mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open for her 59th Grand Slam title. Navratilova teamed with Bob Bryan to beat Kueta Peschke and Martin Damm 6-2, 6-3, before an appreciative crowd that stood and cheered throughout the final game. "See, if you play long enough, good things happen," she told the fans. "I should know." "It's been quite a run," she said. The mixed doubles final was played at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York right after Maria Sharapova beat Justine Henin-Hardenne for the women's singles title. The lower bowl was mostly filled as the match went past 11 p.m., with fans eager to see one of tennis' greats. She made it worth their wait. "It's just nice to go with a win," she said. "I knew I was going to play great tonight." Navratilova said she thought she could've played another five years at a top level, adding, "I'm quitting because I want to, not because I have to." Navratilova left the sport in 1994 after winning 167 singles titles. She returned for doubles in 2000, and insisted before this tournament that it would be her last. "This is the last match. This is definite. Not allegedly," she said. "This is a closed chapter. It's past midnight. It's past my bedtime." Damm and Peschke are both from the Czech Republic. Navratilova defected from Czechoslovakia in 1975, announcing it during the U.S. Open. Navratilova won six straight Wimbledon singles titles from 1982-87. She teamed with the likes of Billie Jean King and Chris Evert in doubles over the years. Navratilova recalled her first pro win, in singles at a tournament in Orlando in 1974. "I didn't have anyone to hug, because I didn't know anyone. I hugged a light pole next to the umpire's chair," she said. "I won $10,000 and had to give it to the Czech federation." Bryan and Navratilova won $150,000 for this final victory. When they were presented the ceremonial check, Bryan handed it to Navratilova. "All yours," he said. (Ben Walker, AP)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff