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Martina’s no to mixed doubles sans Paes

New York, Aug. 23 (AP): Martina Navratilova won’t play mixed doubles at the US Open because her regular partner, Leander Paes, is hospitalised with a brain lesion.

They teamed to win two of the first three Grand Slam titles this year, at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. “I will not be playing mixed doubles at the US Open without Leander Paes because he is a true partner, and the special connection we share cannot be replaced,” Navratilova said on Friday. “Our bond was much more than winning titles, and my thoughts are with this wonderful man for a speedy and full recovery.”

Paes, 30, checked himself into a hospital near his Orlando, Florida, home on Sunday after having headaches for three days. A scan detected the lesion, and he was transferred to a cancer centre on Tuesday. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused his illness. “Leander has an amazing attitude and is such a positive person, and I know those attributes are working for him even at this difficult time,” Navratilova said. “He and I have promised each other we would team again as soon as he gets well, and I can’t wait.”

Their victory at the All England Club in July gave Navratilova a record-tying career total of 20 titles at Wimbledon from singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

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