Martina Navratilova wins opening match at Prague Open
After more than 20 years away from competitive play in Prague, Martina Navratilova has won her opening doubles match at the Prague Open. Navratilova and Barbora Strycova defeated Olga Blahotova and Ahsha Rolle 6:2, 6:3 in just over one hour of play.
There's no doubt about Martina Navratilova's sense that on Tuesday afternoon, the crowd at Prague's Stvanice arena was out in full force to see her play. She'd played here as a teenager, before emigrating to the United States in 1975 at age 19, and then again in 1986 when she helped the Americans to victory at the Fed Cup in Prague. But on Tuesday, Martina Navratilova appeared on centre court at the Prague Open and proved to everyone that at 50, she's still the queen of what tennis pros call the "chip and charge" technique. Martina Navratilova and Barbora Strycova have advanced to the second round in doubles play, and they are definitely the home-town favourites. After the match, I caught up with Martina Navratilova:
The match took just over one hour today, 6:2, 6:3, and you looked great out on the court today. How did you feel?
Your doubles partner, Barbora Strycova, is also very impressive. Some of us didn't know what to expect from her. How did you find her and do you plan to play with her again?
"I've played with her and I've practiced with her last year, and I know her pretty well. I know she can play doubles—she has a pretty good ranking—and I played against her just a few weeks ago, so I know she can play and I had no doubt that she would be a good partner."
One last obvious question: it's been twenty years since you played at Prague's Stvanice—how did it feel out there today? The crowd loved you...
Good luck in the rest of the tournament.