Tokyo: The Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova dream team were out-fought and out-thought in the quarter finals of the doubles at the Toyota Princess Cup on Friday.
A determined Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Svetlana Kuznetsova ousted the wildcard pairing 7-5, 6-4, much to the obvious disgust of former world number one Navratilova.
The partnership between the 45-year-old Navratilova and current world No. 1 Serena had ignited extra interest in the $585,000 event, especially since she had previously only ever played doubles with elder sister Venus.
Despite their defeat, however, both players confirmed they would be interested in teaming up again in the future. “I wouldn’t mind — if her schedule isn’t already booked,” said Serena, to which Navratilova quickly replied: “I’ll open it up.”
“Playing with Martina you get to learn how she thinks a little more and how she operates. Hopefully I can be on this level one day,” said Serena.
Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 167 singles titles in total — more than any man or woman — clearly relished playing with Serena, who won the last three Grand Slams of 2002.
“I’m frustrated we didn’t win. It was a match we could have and perhaps should have won,” said Navratilova, who had been charging the net, pumping her fists and arguing line calls as if she were back in the 1980s.
“I just enjoyed my time out there. If anything, I’m just disappointed we won’t get the chance to do it again tomorrow. It was a great opportunity for me and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
“Obviously Serena and Venus will be playing the Grand Slams together but, perhaps at some other tournaments, we will have the opportunity again. It would be great,” said Navratilova.