Davenport, Hingis Win Invitation Doubles
Published July 03, 2011 08:03
LONDON, England - A 'new' rivalry has emerged in women's tennis, after Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis beat Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna to win the Ladies Invitation Doubles at Wimbledon on Sunday - four weeks after the American-Swiss duo defeated their former tour colleagues to win the Trophée des Légendes Dames at Roland Garros.
On the clay courts the score had been 61 62, but the grass at the All England Club seemed to give Navratilova and Novotna - two of the best serve-and-volley exponents the game has seen, but still giving away 31 years to their opponents - a boost. On this occasion the scoreline was 64 64, watched by a packed crowd on the showcourt Court 18.
Both finalist sides - comprising four Wimbledon singles champions - had come through their four-team round robin pools undefeated. In Group A, Navratilova and Novotna scored straight sets wins over Annabel Croft and Samantha Smith, Conchita Martínez and Nathalie Tauziat, and Helena Sukova and Andrea Temesvari, who managed to push them to a tie-break in the first set.
Meantime, with their mix of power and finesse Davenport and Hingis were even more dominant in Group B, conceding just 11 games as they swept aside Tracy Austin and Kathy Rinaldi, Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, and Magdalena Maleeva and Barbara Schett.
In fact, just one match went to three sets across the entire event, with Fernandez and Zvereva edging past Austin and Rinaldi, 63 57 119. Austin and Rinaldi remained winless, as did Croft and Smith, but Martínez and Tauziat won two of their three matches in Group A, while Schett and Maleeva achieved the same in Group B.
With four former singles No.1s and seven former doubles No.1s participating, there was no shortage of 'history' in the stellar line-up. For instance, a 17-year-old Zvereva upset Navratilova on her way to the final in Paris in 1988; Martínez surprised Navratilova in the final at Wimbledon in 1994; Hingis and Novotna won three Grand Slam titles as a unit; and Novotna beat Tauziat in the final at Wimbledon in 1998.
Davenport and Hingis played 25 times across 11 years on the WTA, with the American edging the Swiss Miss in the final count, 14-11. They met in two Grand Slam finals, Davenport winning the US Open in 1998 and the Australian Open in 2000.