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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Navratilova set for SW19
Martina Navratilova in action in Paris last month
This is not about being in the limelight
Martina Navratilova has accepted a wild card at Wimbledon and will play in the singles for the first time since 1994.

There had been some doubt about the 47-year-old's fitness and after losing in Eastbourne qualifying, she complained of niggling ankle and knee injuries.

But Navratilova took the decision to play on Wednesday despite a poor show at the French Open last month.

"I will play singles at Wimbledon," she said: "I was sore at the French, but as I played a few matches it got better."

Navratilova strongly denied she was returning to Grand Slam singles competition for publicity.

"I don't have to prove anything to anybody," she said.

"I'm trying to make myself a better player. My goal is to do well at Grand Slams in doubles and mixed.

"If playing singles will help that, I'll do it. This is not about being in the limelight.

"If I didn't have the game, I wouldn't be here. I have too much to look forward to in life - I'm not bored."

Navratilova, who won nine singles titles at Wimbledon, last played in the event in 1994 when she lost the final to Conchita Martinez.

She has spent the past few years playing mixed doubles with Leander Paes but made her singles comeback in April.

She returned to playing singles at a Grand Slam at the French Open but lost to Gisela Dulko 6-1 6-3.

And after beating Italy's Mara Santangelo, Navratilova fell 6-4 6-2 to Elena Likhovtseva in the second round of qualifying at Eastbourne.

"I've had a bum knee and then my ankle gave out on me in the middle of the game against Likhovtseva," said Navratilova.

"It just got jammed and the trainer fixed it but I have to loosen these bones."

Interview with Martina Navratilova about Wimbledon

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