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WIMBLEDON NOTES

They Went to Great Lengths

July 06, 2006|Diane Pucin | Times Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England — It took 6 hours 9 minutes. It took two days. It took 87 games. But finally, as darkness approached, Daniel Nestor of Canada and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas won the longest doubles match in Grand Slam history, 5-7, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 23-21, over Simon Aspelin of Sweden and Todd Perry of Australia.

The teams had left the court Tuesday night tied, 11-11, in the fifth set.

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The U.S. named a team of 30-year-old Mashona Washington, 31-year-old Jill Craybas, 19-year-old Jamea Jackson and 17-year-old Vania King of Long Beach to the Federation Cup team that will play in Belgium in the semifinals July 15-16. The Belgians list Wimbledon semifinalists Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne along with Kirsten Flipkens and Caroline Maes. Henin-Hardenne, though, said this week that her appearance would depend on how she was feeling after Wimbledon.

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Wimbledon semifinalist Maria Sharapova as well as Venus and Serena Williams have committed to the 2006 JPMorgan Chase Open tournament Aug. 7-13 at the Home Depot Center. Venus Williams was upset at Wimbledon in the third round by Jana Jankovic, and Serena, nursing a sore knee, hasn't played since the Australian Open in January.

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Martina Navratilova, who turns 50 in October and who is trying to win her 21st Wimbledon title, is still alive in women's doubles and mixed doubles. She and her partner, Liezel Huber, had split sets with the Chinese team of Zheng Jie and Yan Zi, winning the first set, 6-4, and losing the second, 6-4.

Officials wanted to begin the third set, but Navratilova put a towel over her knees and said, "I want to play, but I don't want to play in the dark. It's a done deal. I'm not seeing the ball." After some consultation, the match was suspended.

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