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Martina's Having a Grand, Old Time Here

June 28, 2003|Lisa Dillman | Times Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England — There are places you can go to feel young again at the All England Club. A few gray hairs don't seem too bad when there are venerable characters hanging around the nooks and crannies -- or is that nooks and grannies?

Martina Navratilova went to the balcony of the members' enclosure to scout some opponents. One member wandered over.

"He said, 'I'm still alive,' " Navratilova reported. "I said, 'I see that.' "

Navratilova said the member was almost twice her age. She felt young again. Mission accomplished. Who would have guessed she would be playing Wimbledon at 46?

"Slim and none and Slim just left town," she said. "I would have given you better odds than of [Ivo] Karlovic beating Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.... But stranger things have happened. We had Gordie Howe playing [hockey] in his 50s, George Foreman is talking about a [boxing] comeback. What is he, 53, 54? [He's 54.] I feel young."

Navratilova's doubles partner is a Russian youngster, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and they won their second-round doubles match Friday.


Holding Serve: Andy Roddick is managing to run up Pete Sampras-like serving numbers here. In Roddick's first three matches, he has held serve in 46 of 47 games, saving five of six break points.

The last time Sampras won at Wimbledon, in 2000, he held serve in 46 of 51 games, saving 15 of 20 break points in the first week. In 1998, in the opening week, he held in 44 of 45 games, saving 12 of 13 break points.


Wimbledon at a Glance

A look at what happened Friday on the fifth day at Wimbledon:

* Seeded winners -- Men: No. 4 Roger Federer; No. 5 Andy Roddick; No. 8 Sjeng Schalken; No. 9 Rainer Schuettler; No. 12 Paradorn Srichaphan. Women: No. 2 Kim Clijsters; No. 4 Venus Williams; No. 5 Lindsay Davenport; No. 13 Ai Sugiyama; No. 16 Vera Zvonareva.

* Seeded losers -- Men: None. Women: No. 7 Chanda Rubin, to Silvia Farina Elia.

* Statistic of the day -- Ivo Karlovic and Max Mirnyi made no unforced errors in the first set of their third-round match.

* Quote of the day -- "When I die, it's certainly not going to matter to me whether Billy Smith in 2223 knows how good a career I had." -- Todd Martin.

Today's featured matches

* Men: Andre Agassi (2) vs. Younes El Aynaoui (27), Morocco; Tim Henman (10), Britain, vs. Robin Soderling, Sweden. Women: Serena Williams (1) vs. Laura Granville (28); Jennifer Capriati (8) vs. Akiko Morigami, Japan; Jelena Dokic (11), Serbia-Montenegro, vs. Maria Sharapova, Russia.

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