(January - March 2004)
March 28, 2004: Martina is in Miami this week for the Nasdaq-100 Open. Lisa & she are the #4 seeds and take on Jennifer Embry & Mara Santangelo in their opening match. For the complete draw, click here.
March 28, 2004: Martina has been named to the United States Fed Cup team that takes on Slovenia next month. She joins Lisa Raymond, Serena Williams & Venus Williams on the team, led by non-playing captain Zina Garrison. The tie is scheduled to take place April 24-25 in Protoroz, Slovenia. The makeup of the Slovenian team is yet to be announced. For the official USTA press release, click here. To read the transcripts of Zina’s press conference – lots of references to Martina here – click here.
March 28, 2004: Last Monday, Martina was in Richmond, Virginia for an exhibition best-of-three singles match against Monica Seles. And she did not disappoint – Martina defeated Monica in straight sets, 6-4 7-6(3). Congratulations, Martina! For an article from the “Richmond Times-Dispatch” on the night’s proceedings, click here. Earlier that night, Martina took part in a pro-set mixed doubles match, teaming up with local pro Sean Steinour against Monica and another pro, Carl Clark. Seles & Clark won 8-5.
March 28, 2004: While in California, Martina spoke to the “Los Angeles Times” about the state of the current women’s game and the injuries that seem to be prevalent among the top-ranked women’s singles players. Said Martina, “That's our biggest problem — three out of the top 10 are healthy. Everybody else is laid up. That's never happened before…Two of the biggest stars — Venus hasn't done anything, and Serena hasn't played in eight months… You take away seven of the top 10 men's players and they're going to have problems. We're just in short supply right now. The top 10 is depleted. This is a coincidence? I just played doubles last year, and it was rough for me to get going into the next year again. I didn't have time to decompress.” Martina also talked about the distractions that exist today for some of the top-ranked players: ”Most of the top players, they all want to get into acting. Kournikova, Monica, that was once her goal. No, we were tennis players. Tennis is not a gateway to acting. But Venus took it to another plane with design, which is fine, but we've been talking about this for a couple of years now. You have to commit to the sport. You can't do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. You can't do a dual career, and excel in both of them."
March 28, 2004: For a nice interview with Martina from the latest issue of “Tennis Magazin” (German), click here. For help with translation, check out Google’s Language Tools page here. Don’t forget there is a second page of the interview too – click on the link “Weiter.” My special thanks go out to Tobias for alerting me to the interview and to Sky for providing the link.
March 28, 2004: The Laureus World Sports Awards nominations were announced earlier this month. Martina has received a nomination for “World Comeback of the Year.” Congratulations, Martina! For the complete list of nominations, click here. For a photo of Martina, along with fellow nominees Justine Henin-Hardenne & Roger Federer, in Indian Wells after the announcement, click here.
March 28, 2004: Unfortunately, Martina & Lisa did not have a good tournament at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells. They were upset in the second round by Anastasia Myskina and Verea Zvonareva 6-2 6-4. Our team put up a brave fight in the second set – at one point, they had been down 2-6 0-4 – but came up short in the end. Earlier, they had defeated Shinobu Asagoe & Alina Jidkova 7-6 4-6 6-4 in the first round, coming back from a break down in the final set.
March 28, 2004: Martina was flown to Cannes, France earlier this month where it was announced that Whirlpool will be taking over as premier sponsor of the WTA Tour in Europe. For a photo & article, courtesy of the tour website, click here.
March 28, 2004: Martina has entered the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Fla. which takes place April 5-11. She is expected to be partnered by Lisa. Martina will also take part in a special “Parade of Champions” on April 6 as the tournament marks its 25th anniversary. For the press release from the tournament website, visit their “News Releases” section here.
March 10, 2004: Martina is in California this week for the Pacific Life Open. Lisa & she are the #3 seeds and will take on Shinobu Asagoe & Alina Jidkova in their opening match. For the complete doubles draw in the form of a .pdf file, courtesy of the tournament website, click here.
March 10, 2004: For a recent column from Martina's hometown newspaper, 'The Sarasota Herald-Tribune,' click here. It appears Martina is planning on adding a few singles events to her 2004 schedule. My special thanks go out to Marilyn for alerting me to this article.
March 10, 2004: Martina's former doubles partner, Sveta Kuznetsova, had a few nice things to say about Martina recently. Sveta has been having a great start to 2004, having defeated both current #1 Justine Henin-Hardenne and former #1 Venus Williams in Doha & Dubai, respectively and has seen her singles ranking rise to #14 this week. Said Sveta, "Martina has also always been good to me. She taught me a lot, mainly to have a better attitude during matches and to be positive. She also told me to move more forward, and to come to the net, serve and volley. I try to do this now. Basically, she’s taught me to be more professional... I learned a lot from Martina - I learn and learn. She showed me lots of things. She explained what she thinks about my game and what I can do to get better."
February 21, 2004: Martina will not be in Dubai next week to defend her title at the Dubai Tennis Championships. It appears she is still in Australia. The tournament director, Salah Tourek, had this to say in an interview with 'Gulf News': "We would have loved to have Martina, but since she had prior commitments, it was not possible to have her among us for a second time running." The Qatar Total Open in Doha takes place the week after Dubai. The Qatar Tennis Federation President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Faleh Al Thani, had said last week that Martina was likely to play there. But right now, I'm not sure if she would return to the Middle East for just one event. Anyway, we can only wait and see at this point. I will keep you informed of the latest developments.
February 21, 2004: Former top-5 player, Zina Garrison, was named as the new United States Olympic tennis coach last week. In a press conference with the men's coach, Patrick McEnroe, Zina had this to say about Martina: "Who knows, we could even possibly have a Martina Navratilova at 40 something years old playing the Olympics." Considering Martina is the #1 American doubles player at the moment, we hope it is more than just a mere possibility that Martina will represent her country at the Olympics! For the transcripts of the press conference, visit the USTA website here.
February 19, 2004: Martina will be in Richmond, Virginia March 22 for two exhibition matches at the Stuart C. Siegel Center at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Together with Monica Seles, Martina will first play a mixed doubles pro-set with two local pros. Later, Martina & Monica will play a best-of-three set singles match. For articles on the match, click on the following links: Richmond.com, Richmond Times-Dispatch.
February 16, 2004: Martina has entered the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C. which begins April 10. She is likely to be partnered by Lisa. For a brief 'Associated Press' article, click here.
February 15, 2004: Martina got to kick off the 2004 BMW Sydney Charity Shield, an Australian rugby league match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St. George Illawarra Dragons. For those of us who have no idea what the above involves, a look at these photos might help: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four, Photo Five. For an earlier press release from the South Sydney Rabbitohs website, click here.
February 15, 2004: Martina is quoted in this 'Tennis Week' article on the tennis offseason, or the lack of one.
February 15, 2004: As most of you know by now, Martina & Lisa lost their semifinal match in Tokyo last week to Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs 2-6 6-3 6-4. For photos from the match, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four. For the post-match interview with Martina & Lisa, click here. My special thanks to the fan who translated the interview from the Japanese version of the tournament website. The day before the semifinal, Martina & Lisa got to see a sumo wrestling match and also got to meet the sumo wrestler. For photos, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two. Martina's next event is probably going to be the Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, which begins the week of February 23. At this point, I'm not sure with whom she will be playing doubles. She is also likely to play the Qatar Total FinaElf Open in Doha the following week.
February 5, 2004: Martina & Lisa won their quarterfinal match today, defeating Rita Grande & Janet Lee 6-2 7-6(4). They will next play the #3 seeds, Cara Black & Rennae Stubbs in the semifinals on Saturday.
February 5, 2004: As we know by now, Martina is a cricket fan so click here for an Indian article on Martina's encounter with the Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar.
February 4, 2004: Martina & Lisa won their first round match today, defeating Tina Krizan & Katarina Srebotnik 6-1 6-0. They will next play Rita Grande & Janet Lee in the quarterfinals tomorrow. That match has been scheduled last on Court 1.
February 2, 2004: The draw for Tokyo was announced today. Martina & Lisa are the top seeds and will take on Tina Krizan and Katarina Srebotnik in their first round match. For the complete draw, courtesy of the tournament website, click here.
February 1, 2004: Martina has entered the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo which begins tomorrow. She is expected to play doubles with Lisa. This will mark Martina's first appearance at this event since 1994.
February 1, 2004: Sadly, Martina & Leander lost in the mixed doubles final today to Nenad Zimonjic & Elena Bovina 6-1 7-6(3). Our team put up a brave fight. At one point, they were down 1-6 2-4. But at 3-4, they came back from 0-40 on Bovina's serve to win 5 straight points to tie the match. Up 5-4, they were two points away from winning the second set at 15-30 on Zimonjic's serve but were unable to capitalize. Despite the defeat, I'm sure we can all look at this result favorably - considering it was Leander's first tournament back since August of last year and especially since he had not touched a racket until just 10 days before the tournament. I am sure they will be better prepared next time. For the transcripts of Martina's & Leander's post-match press conference, click here. For photos, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four, Photo Five, Photo Six, Photo Seven, Photo Eight, Photo Nine, Photo Ten, Photo Eleven, Photo Twelve, Photo Thirteen, Photo Fourteen, Photo Fifteen, Photo Sixteen, Photo Seventeen, Photo Eighteen. For articles, click on the following links: Associated Press, International Herald Tribune.
January 30, 2004: Martina & Leander are scheduled to play their final match on Sunday against Nenad Zimonjic & Elena Bovina on the Rod Laver Arena. It will be the day's first match.
January 30, 2004: Martina & Leander won their semifinal match today, defeating Jonathan Erlich & Liezel Huber 6-4 6-4. In Sunday's final, they will meet Nenad Zimonjic & Elena Bovina. For a brief Australian Associated Press article, click here. For photos from today's match, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three. For the transcripts of Martina's post-match press conference, click here. For an article from the tournament website on Leander's recovery from neurocysticercosis, click here and click here for one by Reuters. The Indian press has also paid much attention to our team's progress to the finals: Indian Express, The Calcutta Telegraph, The Times of India, Mid-Day Mumbai.
January 29, 2004: Martina & Leander will take on Jonathan Erlich & Liezel Huber in their semifinal match at the Australian Open tomorrow. That match has been scheduled second on the Rod Laver Arena.
January 29, 2004: Martina is quoted in this 'USA Today' article on the women's singles final between Justine Henin-Hardenne & Kim Clijsters.
January 29, 2004: Lisa is to be featured in the Tennis Channel's new series "No Strings," a behind-the-scenes look at both ATP & WTA tours. Footage of Lisa training with Martina at the adidas International in Sydney will be shown. This episode is scheduled to debut on March 21 this year at 7:30 p.m., Eastern time. For more from the press release, click here.
January 28, 2004: Martina & Leander won their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open today, defeating Paul Hanley & Trudi Musgrave 6-3 3-6 10-7. The final set was a super tie-break, the first ever played by Martina & Leander together. For photos from the match, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two. They will next play Jonathan Erlich & Liezel Huber in the semifinals, which will probably take place on Friday. Their opponents are very confident about playing them as this article from the Israeli newspaper 'Ha'aretz' indicates.
January 26, 2004: Lisa talked about Martina in both her previous two press conferences. For more, click on the following links: January 24, January 26.
January 25, 2004: Martina & Leander received a walkover to the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles today from their opponents, Lucas Arnold & Angelique Widjaja. This is the first walkover Martina has received at a Grand Slam event since the 1987 U.S. Open semifinals when Steffi Graf & Gabriela Sabatini pulled out of their semifinal against Martina & Pam. Martina & Leander will next play Paul Hanley & Trudi Musgrave.
January 25, 2004: Martina wrote an informative & heart-felt opinion piece for 'The Sunday Times' today. The article is only available to paid subscribers on the Times website, but my special thanks go out to Stephen for posting the article on the message boards. To go right to the article, click here.
January 25, 2004: Martina & Lisa lost their second round match on Friday, going down to Lindsay Davenport & Corina Morariu 6-3 6-0. It was their second straight defeat to this team in as many weeks. I'm not sure what their next tournament together will be. Lisa is committed to the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo the week after next but I am not sure at this point if Martina will be there as well.
January 25, 2004: Martina & Leander won their first round mixed doubles match Friday, defeating Chris Haggard & Emilie Loit 6-3 7-6(3). For articles, click on the following links: Australian Associated Press, Rediff.com, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press (Scroll to middle of page and subheading "Paes Returns"). For photos, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four. Martina & Leander will next play Lucas Arnold & Angelique Widjaja in the second round.
January 22, 2004: Martina gets to play on the Rod Laver Arena tomorrow. Her first round mixed doubles match with Leander against Chris Haggard & Emilie Loit is the final match scheduled on that court. Unfortunately, Leander lost in the first round of the men's doubles today so hopefully, he will have better luck with Martina in the mixed. In an earlier statment made to members of the Indian press, Leander said, "It is great to be back at the Australian Open to defend my mixed doubles title. It is an honour to once again pair up with Martina. We always have fun on the court and in the process end up winning a few titles as well. The former Indian Davis Cup captain, Naresh Kumar, wrote a short piece for 'The Calcutta Telegraph,' which is specked with a few anecdotes about Martina too, so click here for more.
January 21, 2004: Martina & Lisa won their first round match today defeating Seiko Okamoto & Ryoko Takemura 6-0 6-1. Our team won the first 11 games of the match before their opponents were finally able to hold. They have an extremely difficult second round match ahead of them against Lindsay Davenport & Corina Morariu, the same team that beat them in Sydney last week. For the transcripts of Martina's post-match press conference, click here. For photos from the match, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four, Photo Five, Photo Six, Photo Seven.
January 21, 2004: The mixed doubles draw was announced today. Martina & Leander are the #4 seeds and are scheduled to take on Emilie Loit & Chris Haggard in their opening match. For the complete draw, courtesy of the tournament website, click here.
January 20, 2004: Martina & Lisa are expected to play their first round match tomorrow against Seiko Okamoto & Ryoko Takemura. It is the fourth match scheduled on Court 3.
January 19, 2004: Martina will be commentating for Channel 7 in Australia over the course of the Australian Open. This is her first commentating assignment since Wimbledon 2002.
January 18, 2004: The Australian Open draw was announced today. Martina & Lisa are the #2 seeds and have the toughest draw of all the top seeds. They will meet Seiko Okamoto and Ryoko Takemura in the first round. For the complete draw, courtesy of the tournament website, click here. The #2 seeding is Martina's highest seeding at a Grand Slam women's doubles event since the 1991 U.S. Open when she was also seeded second with Gigi Fernandez. Martina is playing mixed doubles with Leander as expected. Leander only got to Melbourne on Friday. The mixed doubles draw has not been announced as yet.
January 18, 2004: Martina's first WTA Tour event of the year was the adidas International in Sydney earlier this week. Martina & Lisa, the top seeds, lost in the quarterfinals to Lindsay Davenport & Corina Morariu 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3. In the first round, they had defeated Ruxandra Dragomir-Ilie & Nicole Pratt 6-0 6-2. For the transcripts of Martina's press conference following their first round victory, click here. For photos from the first round match, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four, Photo Five, Photo Six.
January 18, 2004: Martina opened 2004 playing mixed doubles at the Watson's Water Champions Challenge in Hong Kong with Roger Federer. In their opening match, Martina & Roger lost to Elena Dementieva & Martin Verkerk 8-5 (pro-set). However, Martina & Roger were allowed to play the finals as a courtesy to the fans and ended up winning the tournament, defeating Venus Williams and Max Mirnyi in the finals 6-4 6-2. Congratulations, Martina & Roger! For a few photos from Hong Kong, click on the following links: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three. The last photo is from Roger Federer's official website and was the only photo I could find of the winning team with their trophies.
January 18, 2004: For exerpts of an interview with Martina in the most recent edition of "The Advocate," click here. My special thanks to Andee for alerting me to this link.
January 18, 2004: Martina was interviewed by Tennis magazine for their January/February edition. To read the interview, click here. Again, my special thanks go out to Andee for the link.
January 18, 2004: For an interview with Martina by Eurosport, featuring links to four video clips, click here. Again, I have to thank Andee for the link.