Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Navratilova-Graf dream team not to be

The women's doubles team of Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, scheduled to make its debut today, has withdrawn, due to Graf's back injury.

"She didn't want to further aggravate her back," WTA TOUR spokesman Jim Fuhse said. "She wasn't injured today, but her back is tentative at best. It probably wasn't a good idea for her to play singles and doubles. I think it was overambitious of her to sign up for the doubles in the first place."

The Navratilova-Graf team was seeded third and today's match was highly anticipated. Graf rarely plays doubles, and Navratilova, who retired from singles competition last year, was looking forward to playing at Wimbledon, where she won nine singles titles.

Welcome to the '90s

In addition to extensive construction going on around the grounds, Wimbledon now will subject competitors to drug testing.

The International Tennis Federation announced it will conduct anti-doping tests on about 100 players throughout the world's most prestigious tennis tournament. Random testing will be done the first week with all quarterfinalists tested during the second.

If a player refuses to be tested, he or she will be immediately and permanently suspended, according to the ITF. Testing will be done for drugs ranging from diuretics to steroids to caffeine.

Leconte's goodbye

Henri Leconte, one of the great showmen of tennis, bade a poignant farewell to Wimbledon, which he hailed as "the temple of tennis."

After falling to Javier Frana 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, the mercurial 31-year-old Frenchman admitted the years had caught up with him: "I think that is goodbye to Wimbledon. I think it will be my last."

Leconte, whose swashbuckling style gave him some famous victories over greats like Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl, was in a philosophical mood as he reflected on the joys of Wimbledon.

"This will always remain as a monument for players. It is the temple of tennis," he said.

New balls, please

Complaints were rare on the second day of play with new, slower balls. Designed to put more rallies into the slugfest Wimbledon has become, the new balls have shown little difference so far, though should cold, damp weather come, they could slow noticeably.

When Andre Agassi was asked if he thought the balls were an advantage, he recited his score against Andrew Painter: "Well, you know, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 today, so far so good. I like the balls."

What are the odds?

London bookmaker William Hill estimates more than $8-million will be bet on Wimbledon. Among the most unusual types of bets available are 4-to-1 odds on a streaker racing across Centre Court during the men's singles final.