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Navratilova to make singles comeback

May 14, 2004 16:17 IST

Martina Navratilova will play singles at a Grand Slam event for the first time in 10 years at the French Open later this month, almost 20 years since she last triumphed in the final at Roland-Garros.

French Open organisers on Thursday said they had awarded a wild card to the 47-year-old American, who made her singles comeback last month in Amelia Island.

"The request came from her, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her last victory and ten years after her last appearance," French Open sports director Stephane Simian told Reuters.

"It seemed to us that given her past record and her current level of play, since she's till competitive in doubles, she deserved a wild card," he added.

"We had no hesitation. It could have been a problem if she had taken somebody else's place but it was not the case."

Navratilova, who holds 167 singles titles, more than any other player in history, lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Milagros Sequera of Venezuela in her first WTA singles match in almost 10 years on April 6.

She later lost to Amy Frazier in the first round in Charleston.

Czech-born Navratilova won the French Open twice in 1982 and 1984 and played her last singles match at a Grand Slam event in the 1994 Wimbledon final which she lost to Conchita Martinez.

Overall, she won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 58 Grand Slam titles, including doubles and mixed doubles.

The most outspoken figure in women's tennis has continued playing doubles on the WTA Tour since giving up her singles career in November 1994.

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