Tue, Jul 08, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Navratilova wins Wimbledon title for the 20th time

AP , WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND

Martina Navratilova of the US celebrates beating Israel's Andy Ram and Anastassia Rodionova of Russia in the mixed doubles final on Sunday. Navratilova's partner was Leander Paes of India.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Martina Navratilova won her 20th Wimbledon title on Sunday, tying her with Billie Jean King for the most titles at the All England Club.

Navratilova teamed up with Leander Paes to defeat Andy Ram of Israel and Anastassia Rodionova of Russia 6-3, 6-3.

To reach the final, Navratilova and Paes played a semifinal on Sunday, defeating Leos Friedl and Liezel Huber 7-5, 6-4.

King has six singles titles, 10 in doubles and four in mixed. Navratilova has nine singles titles, seven in doubles and four in mixed.

Navratilova, 46, ranks second in career titles at all the Grand Slam events with 56: 18 in singles, 31 in doubles and nine in mixed doubles. The women's record is 62, held by Margaret Smith Court (24 singles, 19 doubles, 19 mixed).

"I can't think, I can't talk," Navratilova said, speaking on Centre Court. "I feel like Roger Federer a few hours ago."

"They're all special, but the last one was eight years ago and honestly I never thought I'd play here again. The best thing that happened to me was getting dumped by my mixed doubles partner, and Leander, the same thing happened to him.

"That's how we got together at the US Open last year, and here we are."

Paes drew a few laughs when he mentioned Navratilova's age. She played her first Wimbledon in 1973.

"For this little kid from India, it was a dream to be on Centre Court," Paes said. "When I was seven or eight years old I watched Martina play and she really inspired me to be out here."

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