MARTINA Navratilova can’t blame Steffi Graf for refusing to return to competitive tennis, but she is mightily disappointed she won’t get the chance to meet her on a mixed doubles court.
Two of the greatest women ever to have played tennis, the prospect would have been mouth-watering and looked feasible after Andre Agassi said in January he would cajole wife Steffi into joining him in the mixed doubles here at the French Open.
But Agassi and Navratilova’s plans were dashed when Graf fell pregnant with what will be their second child.
“I would have loved to play Andre and Steffi,” said Navratilova, who won her 57th grand slam title in January with the Australian Open mixed doubles crown.
“That was the first thing I heard when I saw that Steffi was pregnant. ’Boy, she really goes to great lengths not to play’. That’s exactly the quote Andre had.
“I think she really didn’t want to play. It’s funny, once you get into that comfort zone, the not having to get up emotionally for a match, it is like being on perpetual vacation, really truly.
“No matter what you do, you don’t have to get your head into that state. I don’t think she wanted to do that.
“It would have been fun, though. I know we would have played them if they had played. That would have been the match of the tournament I think.”
Navratilova is in Paris with Indian doubles partner Leander Paes.
Earlier this year, 29 years after winning her first grand slam title, Navratilova swept to her 57th, collecting the only remaining jewel missing from her crown.
She teamed up with Paes to win in Australia at the age of 46 years and three months to become the oldest grand slam champion. – Reuters