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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wimbledon was Navratilova's cake, now comes the icing

Wimbledon was Navratilova's cake, now comes the icing

July 10, 2003 11:40 IST
Martina Navratilova says from now on whatever she achieves will be the icing on the cake after equalling Billy Jean King's record of 20 Wimbledon titles with her mixed doubles trophy at the weekend.

Sunday's victory, with partner Leander Paes, was her first Wimbledon title since her return to international tennis three years ago and many had wondered why the 58-times Grand Slam winner kept going.

"Whatever I do now is icing on the cake. When we won that title, it wasn't icing on the cake, it was the cake," 46-year-old Navratilova said in a conference call on Wednesday.

"Now there is no doubt in people's mind that I should keep playing but there was never any doubt in my mind that I should keep playing when I wasn't winning anything."

After joking she might play until she is a pensioner, she said she would decide at the end of the season whether to continue a career which has spanned four decades.

"It is very tempting to play at Wimbledon next year but it is also very tempting not to," the Czech-born American said.

"It would be amazing to finish at Wimbledon on a winning note but, who knows, I really have no plans for it at the moment."

Even after retiring, Wimbledon's oldest champion said she would not be bored, instead she would turn to her hobbies of woodwork and flying small planes.

"Bored is not in my dictionary, never was, never will be. I did not get into tennis or back into it because I was bored."

Navratilova said she enjoys inspiring people.

"People seem to get motivated by what I still do out there. It's not having to excel at a world level, it's at whatever your level is," the nine-times Wimbledon singles champion said.

"Most of us could do better, I'm not just talking about athletics, I'm talking about life and people get that motivation from me.

"I have a lot more experience than anybody else out there and I'm very happy to share that.

"But I feel like an older woman playing tennis which is exactly what I am," she said.

Source:
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