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adidas International

January 12, 2004

Martina Navratilova


THE MODERATOR: First question for Martina, please.

Q. Was it always the plan to come here, or were you going to bypass Sydney and go straight on to Melbourne?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, it was always the plan.

Q. You got a wildcard. I assumed maybe you had not decided...

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Got a wildcard? How did we get a wildcard?

Q. Didn't you get a wildcard into the doubles?

THE MODERATOR: It's direct entry.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, it's direct entry. I don't need a wildcard. You sign in at Saturday before noon. You have to sign in, that's it.

Q. Was it always your plan to go to Sydney and then on to Melbourne?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah, always the plan. I haven't needed a wildcard in a long time.

Q. Can you talk about your partnership with Lisa.


Q. How do you see it going through the year?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I think we'll just keep getting better and better. We've started off pretty well. We played in Philly last November, which was the first time -- well, only the second tournament we ever played, one being Eastbourne in '96. That was Lisa just getting started, and I was finished. Now I'm sort of finishing again. But we won Philadelphia without losing a set, played really well. It's easy playing with somebody that really knows how to play doubles. So I expect we'll get to know each other even better and become a little more bold out there. We just play solid doubles and, you know, should be good for a lot of wins hopefully.

Q. What's the process like each time you have a new doubles partner? Is it like moving into a now house, you really have to get to know all the ins and outs?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, if it's meant to be, it happens pretty quickly. If it's not, if you're struggling then -- sometimes you put two good doubles players together and it just doesn't work out for one reason or another; it doesn't mesh. Just like relationships. Sometimes you have two people and they should be good together, and it doesn't work. With Lisa and me, it really worked out from the start. It's been meshing. We have so much respect for each other that, you know, we'll always be trying our best, obviously. Attitude is not a problem. Knowing what to do is not a problem. And, most of all, hitting the ball to the right place makes a big difference in doubles, so you always end up in the right position, you don't put your partner in the wrong place. So it makes life really easy. So, yeah, we've meshed very well from the start. That's not a problem, no.

Q. We've read about you and Lisa possibly playing at the Olympics together.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, we're playing the whole year together, so we should end up as the No. 1 U.S. team unless Serena and Venus decide to play more than just the Grand Slams together. So, you know, we should get the nod. But, obviously, we have the ranking for it. Lisa is 5; I'm 6. We're the top-ranked two American doubles players. But you never know. Somebody could come out of the woodwork, another team. But, you know, that's the plan. We should get it.

Q. Is it just by solid ranking, doubles?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah. What else would it be? Singles is based on ranking, doubles is based on ranking. Of course you have to play together, which is why Lisa sort of got the short end of the stick four years ago when she was the No. 1 player in the world, but she was playing doubles with Rennae Stubbs, who is Australian. So ended up Serena and Venus playing together, even though they really didn't play that much. That's not going to happen this time around.

Q. What is your anticipation of the Olympic experience?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I'm just looking forward to going to Greece. I was in Mykonos. Has been my only Greek experience. I've always wanted to go to Athens and see how far it really is from Marathon to Athens (smiling). Being part of the Olympics would be pretty cool. I wanted to do it as an athlete. I didn't know tennis was gonna happen. I remember speaking about it to Philippe Chatrier and Juan Antonio Samiranch way back. They were asking me if thought it was a good idea. I said, "Yes, of course. Tennis should be in the Olympics. It's an international sport. I don't know why it stopped being in the Olympics, quite frankly, back in the '20s." We have some rather obscure sports that are in the Olympics. This is one of the mass ones; it should be there.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, it's not -- for a tennis player, growing up, you don't dream of winning the Olympics. You dream of winning Wimbledon or the US Open or the French Open or the Australian Open or being No. 1 in the world. The Olympics is, to me, that would be like the sixth Grand Slam. For me, personally, since I never played in it, this would sort of complete the career. If tennis was never in the Olympics, I wouldn't have thought about it, I still probably would be playing this year. It's just sort of the icing on the cake. It's just a little extra. Some players, I think they feel more nationalistic about playing in the Olympics. It's a chance to win another medal for your country rather than an individual thing, which is what tennis is most of the year, other than Davis Cup and Fed Cup. It's very individual. So it's nice to be on a team and just do something different. That's okay, you know. For some, it's the pinnacle of their career. For most players, they'd take Wimbledon over the Olympics any time.

Q. What's your take on the Greg Rusedski situation?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don't have a take. I just, you know, know what I read in the papers. Who knows how many players have tested positive. There's all kinds of rumors going around, but I'm not going to comment on those. So, hopefully, whatever it was that he took, it will be shown that he didn't know what it was, or maybe it was the ATP stuff he was taking. Who knows? I don't know how long this stuff stays in your blood. And elevated levels, what elevation, you know? It's like you go to the doctor, you get your blood taken, your calcium might be a little low. Well, do you need to start taking calcium, or is it just a little bit below? What's norm for one -- what's his blood level all the time, compared to the other blood tests would be my big thing. Everybody's level of steroids is different. It can actually differ within the day or within the week, depending on how you work out, what exactly you have in your system. So that stuff is very fragile, those numbers. And, yeah, what might be elevated for one -- you might have two players taking exactly the same thing, and one tests positive and the other one is within the norm, so you never know. He's the only one that really knows whether -- he knows what he was taking or not.

Q. How do you actually view the testing? You've been around for a long time. You've seen a lot of changes in the testing procedures. What's your view?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, they test a lot more now. You have to do it, obviously. Because there's too much money involved. If people will find a way to get around the system, they will. They do it in all the other sports. Why tennis should be different, I don't know. But I think our testing that we have in place is very, very good and seems very accurate. Certainly, it's tamper-proof, what I've seen. The way they seal those damn things, you can't get in them. Nobody could do that. I know my trainer is very careful when she mixes my drink that she keeps it with her all the time. Then she hands it to me, and I keep it with me all the time. I don't leave it laying around. When you come back for it and drink it, you never know if somebody has it in for you personally, or just, you know, "This would be fun. Let's see who will test positive, you know. I will spike it." You have to be very careful with that. Me, I don't have to worry because really I just take this one powder that I've been taking for 10 years, and it's been fine - even though it's not the one that's approved. The one that's approved, I get an upset stomach so I can't take that one. But you can't even take vitamins, really, without possibly taking a chance. My diet, I don't have to worry. I really don't eat things I don't know what they are. I know exactly what I'm eating. I eat a lot of fresh foods, so not processed stuff. But you really are at the mercy of an odd thing happening once in a while. So, yeah, it's so easy to take something that would show up positive. So you have to be careful, you know.

Q. Do you have the same mentality, this is finally your last year?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, you know, I don't feel that kind of pressure that I did playing singles at all. I have such a great group of people with me, Stefan, my full-time coach, Giselle still is with the fitness. I have two fantastic partners to play with. I mean, life is good. And today, I played a match I didn't miss a return. I think that's the first time in my career that I didn't miss a return the whole match. Go figure (laughing).

End of FastScripts….

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