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November 13, 2003

Martina Navratilova

Fed Cup

MICHELLE MARTINEZ: Welcome to the US Fed Cup team conference call with tennis legend Martina Navratilova. Martina has amassed 37 Grand Slam titles and is the winningest player in Fed Cup history with an undefeated record of 28-0 representing the US. As a contributor to the US Fed Cup team, Martina will help lead the US charge to an unprecedented 18 Fed Cup titles, more than any other nation in the competition's history. The US faces Belgium in the semifinals November 19th and 20th, and if it wins will face the winner of Russia versus France November 22nd and 23rd. The US leads the series against Belgium 2-0. The Belgians have named Els Callens, Caroline Meas, Elke Clijsters and Kirsten Flipkens to their team. Two singles matches will be played the first day, followed by two singles and one doubles match the second day. The US will play in Russia for the first time in the 30-year history of the Fed Cup. It's now my great pleasure to introduce Martina Navratilova.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Hello, everybody. Just wanted to say that I'm truly thrilled and surprised to be on this team, happy to hopefully contribute in any way that I can. Little did I know when I told Billie Jean King at the US Open, during the US Open, I said, "Billie, I just want you to know that I'm making myself available for the Fed Cup team," never thinking that I would be picked, certainly at least not for this tie. But the way things worked out, I got the e-mail from Billie, I'm on the team, and I'm just tickled pink to be there. Now we can turn it over to the Q&A.

Q. Are you hoping to play both singles and doubles or strictly doubles?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I am planning on playing only doubles. Hopefully the other women will stay healthy and they'll be playing the singles. Obviously, if there's nobody else to play there, I would play. They wouldn't want to be calling Billie Jean into duty (laughter). I'm certainly available but not planning on having to do that.

Q. You're planning on playing doubles with Lisa, as I understood, perhaps continuing on through the year 2004 with Lisa.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That's the plan. If we stay healthy, we'll be playing together all year next year.

Q. What is your most memorable Fed Cup memory personally?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, three stand out. The first time, when I played for Czechoslovakia then, with Renata Tomanova, and we won the whole thing. We beat the Australians in the finals. The Americans lost to the Australians in the semis. We ended up beating Evonne Goolagong, and Kerry Reid I believe played and Janet Young I think played for them. We beat them in Aix-en-Provence in France. That was 1975. Then I think most special one was really 1982, when I played for the first time as an American somewhere in California, Santa Clara I think it was played. I was on the team with Billie Jean -- I mean, with Chris Evert and Pam Shriver, Marty Riessen was the coach. Also one year we had a Romanian guy with us, but I think Marty was the coach with us that year, I'm not sure actually about the coach. But anyway, we won. I just got my citizenship, you know, a year before, and that was my first time representing the US. And then the last time I played Fed Cup that we won, when I still played singles, I played again with Chris, in Japan. That was her last time representing the US. And, of course, there's the one in Prague. Almost forgot that one. That was kind of ironic, going back to Prague, playing against the Czechs in the finals. So I have some really special tennis memories with Fed Cup, obviously, because these are some of the most memorable moments that I have in my career. Now going to Moscow, which again I have that history with the communist past, et cetera. So it's kind of ironic how it all kind of comings full circle.

MICHELLE MARTINEZ: That was 1982, was played in Santa Clara, California, and it was Chris Evert. Chris was the captain.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Chris was the captain. Who was the coach?

MICHELLE MARTINEZ: That was coach and captain, Chris.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I thought we had somebody there. I think was Morano (ph), a Romanian guy.

Q. Can you assess the team's chances of actually winning the whole thing, whether it's realistic or not? On top of that, can you just talk about both Meghann and Lisa playing singles, what you think they're going to have to do in that department?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it is a possibility. I mean, obviously we should beat Belgium. On paper, we're huge favorites. But in Fed Cup, strange things can happen. At least we don't have to deal with the Belgian crowd. We will be playing in sort of a neutral crowd. I'm sure the Belgians, they're pretty vocal, and they'll having some people waving the black, yellow and red flags of theirs. We should be okay, but you never know. In the finals, probably we'd be better off playing the Russians. I think they're more beatable than the French. And that match is a total toss-up with Mauresmo and Pierce. Pierce is sort of a wildcard. Mauresmo also, as you saw last week, she played brilliant tennis against Henin and couldn't put the ball in the court against Clijsters. And Mary Pierce has been sort of up and down as far as being healthy and playing good tennis. So she's sort of a wildcard there. But they could beat the Russians. And then the Russians, they're sort of nothing spectacular but really steady. Might be harder to beat in some ways. I think we have the edge in the doubles team. But can we get to 2-All in the singles against either one of those teams? Yes, we can. But Meghann Shaughnessy and Alexandra will have to play some great tennis, maybe Lisa will play singles. I saw her play Mauresmo in Philadelphia, and Lisa was dictating quite a lot of the play against Mauresmo that couldn't quite put the ball away when she needed to, hit the right shot. And I think that's where Billie Jean can really help her during the match, really coach her during the match, and really be specific about what works, what doesn't work, and help her that way, because Lisa's got the goods to beat anybody. And I think that's where Billie can really be helpful. It is a possibility. Obviously, the other two teams would be the favorites on paper. But I think it's doable, yeah.

Q. Can you talk more about just what you expect in terms of Billie Jean King as captain, inspiration, that type of thing.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I mean, Billie's inspiration is being there, because of the past and all the energy that comes with her. But most of all, I mean, the girls know her. I know her. That's not really what she's there for. I think what she brings the most is the knowledge, how to play the game. Technically she's a great help, but most of all during a match, she can really be helpful with how to play the match. You can prepare all you want before a match, but, you know, sometimes you forget everything you talked about or you're not really sure what works or doesn't. And it's her job to keep track of what's working during a match and can really I think help. That's where her biggest asset is, I mean, during the match, to figure out what you should be doing the same, what you should be doing differently.

Q. You had all but retired from the game, and now you're back in it. I was curious about your training to get back into it. And also how many months a year do you spend in Aspen? Are there any activities that you now sort of stay away from, like hockey and/or skiing?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Because of injury?

Q. Yes.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm not staying away from any activities by choice. In other words, I have not been skiing or playing hockey, not because I'm afraid of getting hurt, but because I've not had the time. I've not been in Aspen since January. But I moved to Florida this year. But I was in Florida for I think a total of six weeks this year. It's been a busy year for me. And next year will be just as busy. Training-wise, for example, I'm going to Australia early, before the Australian Open. My trainer is Australian, so instead of flying her back from Australia to the States for a couple weeks, I'm going to Australia early and just do the sort of training there, getting ready for the tournament. The training is not that intense in that I'm not spending as much time training as I used to in the '80s when I was in my 20s, early 30s. But it's very specific and very concentrated. I don't spend as much time, but I know everything that I do is very productive. And it has to be more frequent. When you get older, you can't just take a week off and pick up right where you left off. You have to really sort of keep at it.

Q. How many months do you spend in Florida now?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Like I said, I was only there for about six weeks this year. I'll be there for two and a half weeks after Fed Cup, then I go off to Australia. So it's a short time that I've been able to spend there. But, you know, next year, like I said, will be my last year. And after that I'll have much more time to spend both in Florida and in Aspen. I still plan on spending time there, as well. I'll be back with the Puckers (laughter).

Q. Playing for your country in the Fed Cup, how nationalistic, how patriotic a person are you?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, nationalistic and patriotic enough to take two weeks out of my schedule and go to Moscow, which is not one of my favorite places in the world to go to (laughter). What, with all the Lenin statutes and the sickle and hammer, neon signs that are still on the buildings, that does not bring good memories. But, obviously, how I feel about this country I think has been well-documented. I love this country. I love being an American. I love living here, which is why I speak up about some of the things that are going on that I don't like, which this past couple years, that's been called unpatriotic. I feel it's more patriotic to speak out when you feel something is not right rather than be quiet. And patriotic enough to put myself out there on the line and try to help out in any way that I can, whether it's just fetching water, that's what I will do. My ego's on the shelf. I'm going to do whatever it takes, whatever it helps to get the team to -- to make the team better, that's what I will do.

Q. I just wondered what your feelings were on Kim's decision to withdraw from the Belgian team and her criticisms of the scheduling of the event in Moscow?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I'm not sure what all -- I haven't read anything. So, you know, both Justine and Kim have their reasons. The way the schedule works these days, it is really, as you know, tennis has no off-season, it's a very, very short off-season, you have very little time to recharge your batteries, unwind and get going again. And there's a lot of demand on the time for the top players. Kim played more tournaments and matches than anybody this year, singles and doubles. She must be exhausted. And to go to Moscow, you know, that takes away two weeks of her time. Like I say, it takes away two weeks of my time. But the demands on my time are much less compared to what Kim -- what everybody wants of Kim Clijsters. I'm not surprised at all that she just said, "Enough is enough, I can't do this." Because you have to think about next year. If she had January, February off, if the tennis season didn't start till March, I would guarantee you she would be there. But it's just too much. You cannot do it all. And then Moscow on top of, that it's played on a surface that is extremely dangerous in that it's very sticky, and you sort of slide into the ball. As you know, Kim slides a lot into her shots. She does these splits. She would not be able to do that. It would be such an adjustment for her to play on that surface. We had a couple sprained ankles on it. My back was sore. I just played a long doubles match. My back, my knee, my Achilles hurt. Like, I don't want to play on this surface again. Then I find out I'm picked for Fed Cup and have to go back in a month. I'm just playing doubles, I'm fine, I can adjust to that. But for a singles player, I tell you, I would have my reservations playing on that surface, especially when it's at the end of the year, you're tired, you just want to unwind and relax. You know, sooner or later you have to say enough is enough. That's what Kim had to do.

Q. Even though this tie is a huge tie, it's the semifinals of the Fed Cup.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It's always huge. You have to get there. So it was big just to get there. They play that, they get to the semifinals, it's a lot of demand on your time. And, again, you're playing so many more tournaments now. I played 16 to 18 tournaments and one week of Fed Cup. Now they're playing 20 to 23 tournaments, and two to four weeks of Fed Cup. Next year, got the Olympics. You have to think. It's all cumulative, you see. You burn yourself out at the end of this year, it's going to catch up with you in April or June or August next year. It's going to catch up. You can't keep doing that. You can't keep going to the well. You know, sooner or later it's going to run dry. You have to make sure you have enough left in the tank. I think Kim is smart. I think Kim played too much tennis this year. If she played Fed Cup, I would say, "You're absolutely crazy." I mean, it's too bad for Belgium, but Belgium has to be lucky that she is who she is. You know, you have to look at it in a positive way and look what those two women have done for the country of Belgium. You can't have it all.

Q. I just wondered, following on from that, the Fed Cup, is it struggling to find its niche in the game?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: The ideal format would be the same as the Davis Cup. But, again, that's four more weeks. It's that much more demanding. It would be the best way to promote the sport in the countries that don't really see top tennis, top professional tennis otherwise. But the calendar's already so rough. It's just difficult to find the right format. This way it works great for the Russians. They get to play at home, you know. But it's only one of the four countries that's happy. Everybody else has to schlep over to Moscow. It's tricky. And then you got the Olympics every fourth year, which throws the calendar into another loop. Who knows what the right format is. I like the one that you play just in one week, you play all the countries, you get to see all the girls. But for the game of tennis, that's not necessarily the best format. For the tennis players themselves, that's probably the easiest. But then also I love playing in the different ties. You play them in either their country or you play hopefully half of them at home. So you get to be at home and get the support of the home crowd. You know, there's so many pros and cons for everything. Right now this is the format we have, and I guess for the planning next year, how long this will keep going, I don't know. It's difficult to get established because you need the time to get established. But if things don't work out, then you change the format and you have to reestablish that again. That's a tricky situation.

Q. I'm wondering, you mentioned the Belgians, talking about them. Can you talk about as you look ahead to next year, the Williams sisters coming back, how do you see the game shaping up next year?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think it's going to be the story next year, to see if Serena and Venus can recapture the 1 and 2 spots. Will they both be playing, just one? How far will they go? How fast will they play great tennis again? It's going to be a fascinating story because neither one has played since Wimbledon. If they're not rusty, then I'm the Queen of Sheba. It will be interesting to see how quickly they get back into tennis shape and match shape. So I'm just as fascinated by that as you. Who knows what will happen. Obviously, the talent is there. If they stay healthy, it should be a fantastic year. I just hope they both play because that's the intrigue of the game. You know, we were saying, "Oh, we're tired of Serena and Venus playing each other in the finals." Now we have Kim and Justine, two Belgians going at it, which is practically the same as the Williams family going at it. It would be just the best thing for the game of tennis if both the Williams sisters come back, and we'll have the rivalries to renew, and we'll see how the women respond. I think whenever you leave the game, you come back, it's gotten a little better, you know. It does improve while you're away.

Q. Is there anybody that you see jumping up that maybe we haven't thought of? Is it going to be Myskina's year?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Myskina would have to get a better serve and a better attitude. She's still too up and down wither had attitude. She gets too down on herself too easily. Although, she's a huge fighter, as well. But she can be more negative than she needs to be. And her serve is too much of a cannon fodder for these big hitters eventually that will catch up to her. She has to work harder.

Q. Anybody you see?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Sharapova is a good talent. She's had a lot of ink. She's been backing it up this year. She made great improvements, big shots on both sides, and a big serve to go with it, and a big grunt to go with that. That's another new face that I think will be fun to watch and follow the progress. But somebody else that could threaten for No. 1, other than what we have at the Top 5 or 6, not really. Mauresmo I think, I'm still hoping that she will do better than she does. She got to the finals, which was great, played great tennis against Henin, but then disappointed again with Kim Clijsters in the finals. So it will be interesting to see if somebody can -- if, for example, Mauresmo can turn it up another notch. If she can, then she'll be a threat. Kim and Justine are already there. I don't see anybody coming out of nowhere to threaten the No. 1 spot, no. I don't see that in men's tennis either.

Q. I'd like to follow up briefly on one of the previous questions about changing the format for Fed Cup to make it more maybe popular outside of tennis fans, like, say, World Cup with soccer. Do you see that being advantageous maybe every two years?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Oh, God. Well, every two years? Which two years? You still got the Olympics. The tennis calendar needs some revamping, and this would be another sort of spoke in the wheel. So every two years, no, then I think you lose something if you don't have it. You know, The Ryder Cup, for example, that's every two years, and they keep writing about it for the whole time. But it does build up. You have a buildup. I think it's better to keep things on an annual basis really, otherwise it's too long in between competitions and people sort of lose interest.

Q. Are you satisfied with the amount of interest in the media and with the fans in general?


Q. Regarding the Fed Cup as it is now.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: You know, it's the same old, same old. The Davis Cup has been there a lot longer. It's in many, many more countries that are participating. Most of the media in most of the those other countries are men. So what do they write about? Men. It's the same old, same old with always trying to break down barriers, social barriers, time barriers, and break through into the psyche of the writers so they can write about it. Then the public, if they read about it, you know, they will sort of get it. But I think the media support is not obviously as great as it is for Davis Cup. I think if you count the writers that are there for every Davis Cup tie compared to the Fed Cup, you know, we're behind. But we're catching up. In the '60s, when the Fed Cup was going on, nobody even no it was going on. And Davis Cup was a huge deal then. Fed Cup hardly got any attention whatsoever. People didn't know what it was. Now at least we're getting the name recognition, and people go, "Oh, Fed Cup." The fact I'm on the team, I've gotten more interest myself for that than I did for winning Wimbledon this year. So it's a lot better than it was. It's still not as great as it can be or as it will be, but it's certainly going in the right direction. I know from my personal standpoint, I've gotten a lot of attention for the fact that I'm just on the team, and I haven't even played yet. So it's going in the right direction, but it's going to take some time, because, again, we're breaking down some barriers here.

Q. Finally, choosing Lisa for a doubles partner, is part of that gearing up for the Olympics in 2004?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, Lisa asked me if I would want to play. I think her thinking was that she wanted to get to the Olympics. If we're an established American team, we have a much better chance of getting picked than if she plays with a non-American player. But also I think, you know, I earned it with my play and my ranking. She thought that perhaps I would be the best partner for her regardless of where I was from. But it also happened that I was an American. I never played in the Olympics. That intrigued me. It just worked out for both of us in the best possible way, that this happens to be an Olympic year. We might have been playing together anyway, but I was having serious doubts whether I wanted to play next year. This sort of pushed me over the edge, the possibility of playing in the Olympics, and it just worked out with Lisa on every level. So we're both very, very happy, very thrilled with the partnership, and looking forward to next year very much. But most of all looking forward to next week. Lisa has been going crazy, shopping and getting ready for the trip. I keep getting e-mails from her, how excited she is about going there. Should be a good trip.

Q. 20 years ago when you were asked what you were going to be doing when you were 46, 47, you said you know you would be involved in politics, maybe sports politics. You said you wanted to be in politics. I'm quoting you directly.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Who did I say it to?

Q. World Tennis when it was still around.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: They quoted me pretty correctly. I can't fault them.

Q. Then it says, "I want to help women, people on the wrong side of the tracks, people down on their luck." So you've pretty much done a lot of that already. What do you see yourself doing when you're 67?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: That I have no idea. Hopefully I'll have my feet up somewhere on some tropical paradise and just the only time to get up would be to take the mangoes off the tree so I can have lunch. But I don't know. I did say I would get involved in politics, probably sports politics. I still may get involved in the world of tennis politics after I'm done playing. I talked about getting into the political world in the state of Florida one day since that's where I live now. But I said one day. I don't know when that would be. I know I have to put in some time and really get to know the issues and the concerns and everything. But the tennis world I know pretty well, so I think I could make contribution there first. So I will probably do that first.

Q. Larry Scott said he was planning on moving The Championships after next year. Do you think that's a good idea, to move championships around every few years? Billie Jean thinks it's better to try to stick championships in one market for, say, five years to try to build up a tournament.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I would agree with Billie Jean there. I mean, look how much better it was this year in LA than it was last year. I think next year will be even stronger. They should have never left the Garden, said that was a mistake from the get-go. They missed Germany by about 10 years. That's water under the bridge. You know, you can make it a big event, in some countries, even there. But, you know, these people really do not have the sense of what it takes to get there and the history of it. I would rather see it in one place. I think we should go back to the Garden. That's where it was at last time where it was really a happening thing. You have 18,000 people going crazy for a women's match. That's hard to capture somewhere else. Yeah, you might get 10,000 people going crazy in Shanghai or Antwerp or something. But to move it around, it's hard to build up that same kind of feeling. I think all the great events, you have it in golf, they move around, like the US Open, but the Masters is still the biggest event, and that's because it's in the same place. So I think to get the sense of history and greatness, it's not the name of the tournaments, it's where it is, where you really build it up. So I'd rather see it in one place. I agree with Billie.

Q. I was thinking about you playing singles. If you had a smoother, lower bouncing surface than what you have in Moscow, would that give you a lot better chance?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it doesn't bounce that high, but it's very slow, which is fine. It's similar to the surface I played in Paris when I actually beat Monica Seles. What was the year? '91 I think. No, '93 is when I beat Monica in Paris. When I first hit on that court, I was ready to cry. The balls were heavy, the court was really slow. I thought I had no chance. I adapted my game to it, I was fine. I could play on it. It's the footing on this court that's really difficult. You have to adjust your footwork so much because you can't just sort of slide into the ball, you have to pick up your foot, otherwise you trip and you fall. So that takes some getting used to. I haven't played any singles points even since, I don't know, I played maybe a few games in the summer. So that would be a big adjustment for me. I'll probably play some singles points just in case, but I'm really definitely not planning on playing singles. I think the women that we have will definitely do better at this point in time. The court I would be okay with. I can adapt to that. It's just not having played any singles.

Q. What do you think of the credibility of the event with having the two Belgians missing, the No. 1 and 2 players in the world?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Does it hurt Davis Cup when Sampras and Agassi said no?

Q. Well, there's a little more depth in the men's.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: A little more depth? Well, depth in the men, in the US or in Belgium?

Q. Generally in the whole world. You're missing your two top players is more recognition of the top women players.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: We're missing our top four players, Serena, Venus, Justine and Kim. So that's the problem. No, it doesn't hurt the credibility of the event. The event is an event because of the name. You don't have to have the top names for the people that are there to get excited about their country winning. I think this is the least name-dependent event that we have in tennis because the nations are playing one another. So I would really not look at it that negatively. For us, it gives us a better chance to win, so I'm looking at it from a selfish point of view. Obviously it would be better for the game, period, if everybody played all the time. But that can't be done. You can only play so much.

Q. Following up on the Olympics. Given the depth of the American women in tennis right now, can you assess your chances of making that team, making it to Athens?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think because they're picking, from what I understand, four singles players and a doubles team, so it could be six different players. The doubles team is not necessarily the singles players. I'd say our chances are very good because we should be the top doubles team, given the fact that Serena and Venus really don't play that much. When they played together, it's only at Grand Slams, and that's about every other Grand Slam they're playing. I think we have a very good chance of making it.

Q. Hope this doesn't sound facetious. When you were talking earlier about going into politics back in Florida, I wondered if you followed Schwarzenegger's progress in California? Are you seriously considering or feel you could go into high political office?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, that would be way down the road. Again, I would have to graduate to that. I wouldn't dare jump into that head first without really having put in any time, because you do need to know the ropes a little bit, as much of an outsider -- it seems that outsiders are very popular these days. But, you know, how much of an outsider when you really have no idea what's going on and you're cramming for the exam, so to speak, which is what he was doing. But he managed to do it. He won on name recognition rather than his politics. You know, that's pretty much what happened with George W. Bush. High office? One day, maybe. But not now. Politics, you know, it's a difficult arena because you really have to be very political and diplomatic in what you say and how you say it. I'm not very good at that. I pretty much say exactly what I think, what I feel. As much as people like hearing that on the gut level, then when it comes to the bottom line, they say, "Oh, wait, this is not a good idea. We can't really raise taxes." They go with the possibilities rather than realities. So, anyway, as far as the California election was concerned, I was against the recall. If I was in California, I would have been voting against the recall. I think that's a bad idea. The man was just reelected a year ago. If you don't like him, don't vote for him next time around, but don't yank him out of office. That's a dangerous precedent to set. Unless you do something criminal, you get impeached, you serve out your term and reelect someone else.

Q. When you see people like Schwarzenegger getting elected on their name, that must strike a chord with you and make you feel you could perhaps make a difference legitimately not on your name perhaps.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I mean, the name helps obviously. But I would feel that you really need to know your stuff. Arnold was very strong, he surrounded himself with some very strong people, non-partisan seeming people that gave him instant credibility. And he already had a lot -- he struck the right chord with the people obviously. Whether I would be doing, that I have no idea. That's so far down the road, that's such a remote possibility at this time, that's kind of a moot point. I would like to put in my time first on the tennis scene because that's what I know best, and that's I think where I can make the most difference at the moment.

Q. Andre Agassi was talking the other night about having the need for a commissioner in tennis. I don't know if that's something you'd be interested in doing. What do you think of the idea? What changes do you think tennis overall might need? Is there more need for working better between the two tours and international officials?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: We do need better cooperation between the men and the women and the associations and the ITF. The ITF to me still holds too much power. The Grand Slams hold too much power. And they're a bit high-handed in their dealing with us, with the men and women. I think it would be good if there was one overriding power that would sort of oversee everything and decide, "Okay, this is really good for tennis." Right now we have too many factions going at it. A commissioner might be thhe best way to go eventually. Would I be interested in that position, absolutely.

Q. You'd probably be a very good one. Given your experience, given your ties to so many players over the years, do you think you would be able to forge that kind of alliance that is needed maybe than people coming in from the business world?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I would hope so. I think my experience and my past speak for themselves. I think with me, people would not question what I'm in it for. I would only be in it for the good of the game. I would not have an ulterior motive for myself, to get my name in the paper, to become more rich or famous or anything like that. I would have no axe to grind. I would really only want what is best for the game. I think that's where I hopefully would be able to make a difference in trying to get a consensus in moving the right direction from not just the players but the promoters and the ITF, et cetera. This is not maybe that much in the future. I mean, this is a few years down the road. But that would set maybe a possibility.

Q. Do you see this as a realistic possibility, that the sides that have the power would yield a little bit and go in that direction?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, they've not been willing to yield at all. They've drawn their line in the sand, they've stuck their feet in it and they're tugging on that rope, they're not letting go at all. It would be a rough road to take. But I think it can be done. I would rather get it done with consensus, and everybody sort of hopefully wants the same thing in the long run, which is a better, healthier game overall worldwide, not just in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or Leipzig, but what's good for the game. We can get it done the nice way or it can certainly be done the nasty way. It's much better to go about it the nice way.

MICHELLE MARTINEZ: Thanks again to everyone for joining us on the conference call today. Special thanks to Martina for taking the time.

End of FastScriptsâ?¦.

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