Martina Navratilova moved closer to her 19th Wimbledon title Tuesday when she and Jonathan Stark advanced to the semifinals of mixed doubles with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Rick Leach and Natasha Zvereva.
The 38-year-old Navratilova, making her 23rd Wimbledon appearance in a row, has won the singles title nine times, the women’s doubles seven times and the mixed doubles twice.
Though retired from singles, the left-hander was to have teammed with Steffi Graf in the women’s doubles until Graf pulled out to avoid aggravating a back injury.
But, Navratilova and Stark, seeded third, have made swift progress through the mixed doubles, gaining the last four without losing a set in three matches.
Fines pile up
There was more bad news for Jeff Tarango on Tuesday.
In the wake of a lengthy investigation, he has been fined $5,000 for tempestuous behavior at the French Open in Paris last month.
Tarango lost his first-round match to Jim Courier and angrily stormed off the court. Officials said as he made his way to the locker room, he elbowed a spectator out of his way. Tarango earned $27,000 for his third-round appearance at Wimbledon, but he has now been fined a total of $20,500 for indiscretions in the last two Grand Slams.
There is growing speculation that once the evidence of Tarango’s Wimbledon outburst has been studied, he will face a $100,000 fine and possible suspension from Grand Slam tournaments.
Meanwhile, there was a reaction from Dick Gould, Tarango’s coach at Stanford from 1987-89.
“I loved the guy,” said Gould. “Yes, he’s fiery on court, but he was a great team player for us. He probably should have let his racket do the talking instead of his mouth at times, but he’s one of the quickest guys to smile I ever knew. We had a great relationship.”
Australian Davis Cup teammates Pat Rafter and Todd Woodbridge had to be separated by officials in the dressing room after a bitter doubles match.
Title holders Woodbridge and Mark Woodford beat Rafter and Mark Philippousis 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6, but Woodbridge was angered by the energetic and vocal cheering of Rafter’s English girlfriend, Alexandra Dixon.
Woodbridge gestured to her several times and pointed his racket at her as he told her to “shut up” and she left in tears.
At the end of the match, a furious Rafter followed Woodbridge off court without taking his bags and shouted, “Don’t you ever talk to my girlfriend like that.”
The dispute continued as they walked to the dressing room where officials stepped in.
Wimbledon officials are unlikely to take action because there were no code violations during the match and the row was in private.
Graf odds shorten
The odds on Steffi Graf winning her sixth Wimbledon title dropped to 4-1 today after she made the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Mary Joe Fernandez.
The 26-year-old German, topseeded even though Conchita Martinez is defending champion, has yielded only five games in her last three matches and now ha a streak of 30 victories in a row.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes rate Martinez the 7-2 second favorite with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 6-1. Jana Novotna is the 14-1 outsider.
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