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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Martina bows out of Wimbledon
Leander Paes (left) and Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova says she will not return to Wimbledon after missing out on a record 21st title.

The 47-year-old missed the chance to break Billie Jean King's record after losing the women's doubles semi-final.

"I won't be playing (next year)," she announced, with media attention deflected by 17-year-old Maria Sharapova's victory in the singles.

"The way it ended was pretty anti-climactic. It ended on a definite weird note, to say the least."

The 47-year-old nine-times Wimbledon singles champion won her record-equalling 20th title 12 months ago when she lifted the mixed doubles crown with India's Leander Paes.

This time it was not to be as a 7-6 (7/4) 7-5 defeat with Lisa Raymond (to Liezel Huber and Ai Sugiyama) followed a third-round exit in the mixed doubles on Friday.

The Americans had raced into a 3-0 lead but Navratilova, who has won a total of 167 singles titles and 173 doubles title, twice dropped her serve to let her opponents back in the set.

When Huber held in the 11th game, it was the first time the third seeds had been behind and they let slip a 4-3 lead in the tie-break to lose it 7-4.

The way it ended was pretty anticlimatic
Martina Navratilova

Navratilova and Raymond were a break down in the second set when rain forced a 35-minute delay.

Although they got the break back on serve, Navratilova produced a double fault on match point to concede the match and with it her chance to create history.

"I did not play as well as I did yesterday and the day before. The nerves got to me a little bit," said Navratilova.

"The way it ended was pretty anti-climactic and this is pretty anti-climactic."

Navratilova, who first retired from the WTA tour in 1995, will play on to the end of the year with one ambition left - the Olympic Games in Athens next month.

"Our goal for this year was always the Olympics and we've still got that to look forward to."




SEE ALSO
Doubles gloom for Martina
02 Jul 04  |  Tennis



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