home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 25, 2003

Martina Navratilova


MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Martina Navratilova for you. Questions.

Q. You've played with so many wonderful doubles partners over the years. You spoke highly of Leander. What quality of any of your partners really stands out as the foremost quality?


Q. No, in the whole span of your career. One or two qualities of the different partners that stands out as unique.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Good friendship most of all. I was friends with all the people that I played with for a longer period of time, particularly Pam Shriver, of course, Billie Jean. Now Svetlana is becoming a friend. I'm sort of a mother hen for her. It's fun. It's fun watching her grow and get better. But most of all I think friendship. That's why you want to play with people. I never wanted to play with people that I didn't like. If there's some people I don't like, they could be the only person I could win a Wimbledon title, I wouldn't be playing with them. The most important thing is you like the person you're playing with. That's what it's about, being a team, supporting each other on the court when things aren't going right, which is what we did today, and it's why we won.

Q. The other day Alexandra Stevenson talked about how much Wimbledon changed since she first came here four years ago.


Q. Do you look around and say it's the same or different Wimbledon?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Court 3 is still the same, yeah, and Court 2. Except now, Centre Court is different because there was a reflection coming from the sun that was hitting -- they have some new windows up there. There was the sun, real sun, and there was a reflection off Centre Court that I've never seen before. Then the score board is different, as well. There was a reflection of the sun off the score board on the other side of the court. I'm like, "This is new." So things are changing.

Q. Is there anything you really miss from X years ago when you first came here?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think sitting on Court 1, sitting down below. You were so low to the ground. It was the vantage point you don't get anywhere else. It was hard to see where the ball landed, but it was fun. Sort of a worm's view of the match. It was a different perspective. I think I miss that more than anything.

Q. Back to 1983, the shortest and one-sided final you appeared in against Andrea Jaeger. Do you have memories of that?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It was 1-3, I remember the score. It wasn't that short. It was a good win. What can I say? I think Andrea was kind of resigned to the fact she wasn't going to beat me on grass. Also, there were some difficulties she had with her father, particularly that Wimbledon. It was not an easy time for her to be on the court. But probably for her, for all of us, I think the court was sort of a refuge in bad times. That all changed with Monica Seles', stabbing because all of a sudden you weren't even safe there. I think that's what was such a shocking thing for Monica and the tennis world, sports world of course, but tennis world, "Wait a minute, you're not even safe on the court." But back then, it was sort of a safe haven. No matter what was going on in your life, that's where you could get away from it and hopefully play well, despite it all. Nobody can get you on the court. Sadly, that was the case with some of the women, you know, with abusive fathers, it was the only place they were safe - until the match was over. I think it was a difficult match for Andrea because of that.

Q. Are there any problems in playing one-sided matches? Is it just a walk in the park?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, I never had a problem with it (smiling). I did worry sometimes if I was up 6-Love, 4-Love, I started thinking, "Should I give her a name or not?" You don't want to be obvious, but you don't want to open the door either. Things can happen. I did worry about whether it was a good match for the spectators. In a final at Wimbledon, you don't care, you just want to slam the door shut. You don't worry about hurting somebody's feelings. Regular matches, yeah, that would get through their head, are the people getting their monies' worth in the tournament - the promotor, spectator, sponsor. You know too much, so you sort of have to shut it down and think about what you have to do, which is win the match. I always worried about not being respectful to the opponent. Most of all, I wanted to be a good sport about it all.

Q. Your role in America goes beyond forehands and backhands. Recently your comments to the London Times were printed in the United States where you said you felt real bad about what happened to the Dixie Chicks in terms of their records and so forth. Your comments have brought on some responses from people who said that Americans were simply expressing their own freedom of speech. You said that people shouldn't have to toe the line, but now you're saying they have to toe the line and not express themselves in terms of that group.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Expressing their views is one thing. When the people burn their CDs, I guess they have a right to do that. But when radio stations boycott their music and don't play their music because of what somebody says, that's censorship. There goes your freedom of speech. And when the disc jockeys get fired because they despite the owner's request to not play their music, they get fired. There's something wrong. I was saying that freedom of speech, okay, so freedom of speech only goes as far as -- if everybody agrees with you, then you're free to say what you think. If they don't agree with you, you get in trouble. What's that about? That's note freedom of speech anymore.

Q. You are in no way saying that people should toe the line to your views or thoughts?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Disagree with me, please, but don't not play somebody's music because of what they say. If you don't want to watch me play, fine. But if the TV station doesn't broadcast my matches because of what I said, obviously that's censorship. That was my point. Rush Limbaugh says a lot of things I don't agree with, but he's got a right to say them. I'm not saying he shouldn't have a job. I won't listen to the radio station, but the radio station should broadcast what he says. That's the only point.

Q. You're not going to burn his book?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No. I just won't buy it. That's what freedom is all about. You know, I wouldn't going burning somebody's book. Please, you know. Then we go back to Nazi Germany when they were burning books. Burning things, destroying things, doesn't solve the problem.

Q. In doubles, momentum is so important. With the Bryans winning the French, do you think they're in a position to become a dominant team?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I haven't seen them play enough. I've sort of seen them from a distance. I know they get all pumped up. When they came out of college, people didn't think that would fly. They have great attitude, they've worked very hard, and they play doubles properly. I mean, they got that big serve, good enough returns. They're big, cover the net. They're fun to watch. If nothing else, it's fun to watch them for how hard they try. They're always ready to go, play every point like it's the match point. That's what it should be like.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297