Martina Navratilova got the good luck charm she wanted for Wimbledon by overcoming Helena Sukova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday to win the $200,000 Eastbourne (England) Championship for the fifth straight year.
There was only one service break in each set of Navratilova's first tournament victory since the Virginia Slims Championships in March. Since then, she has lost finals to Steffi Graf and Chris Evert Lloyd.
This was the sixth time Navratilova has won Eastbourne and on each previous occasion she went on to win Wimbledon.
"Yeah, as soon as I got to the final I knew I won Wimbledon," Navratilova said, adding, "Make sure you write I was only joking. I can be superstitious. I can get ridiculous sometimes and this has been a good omen for me."
For the second time in two weeks, Navratilova lost the opening set to Sukova. In the semifinals of the French Open, Sukova came within three points of winning the second set.
Sukova broke in the second game with a backhand cross-court volley and allowed Navratilova a single break point in the opening set, that in the third game.
In the second set, Navratilova was able to break in the eighth game when Sukova, with a setup smash, hit it into the net.
Navratilova achieved the decisive break in the third game of the final set with a forehand pass.
Sukova had three break points in the eighth game, but ended her chance by netting a backhand service return . . .
In Bristol, England, India's Vijay Amritraj won his first singles title in two years, beating top-seeded Henri Leconte, 7-6, 1-6, 8-6, in the final of the $126,000 Bristol Trophy tournament.
Amritraj, who has played just three Grand Prix events this year, said the victory swept away any ideas of retirement.
"I am enjoying my tennis so much and feel I still have the ability to entertain," he said. "I must carry on a while longer."