Virginia Slims -- Martina Navratilova lost to Chris Evert in the Australian Open semifinals, not the final as stated in Monday editions. (Published 2/23/88)
Top-seeded Martina Navratilova can be forgiven if she feels confident going into today's $300,000 Virginia Slims of Washington tennis tournament.
Navratilova has won the Washington tournament, which begins at 10 a.m. at George Mason's Patriot Center and continues through next Sunday, nine times. And she comes into this year's event hot, having won the Virginia Slims of California yesterday in Oakland in straight sets over Larisa Savchenko of the Soviet Union. Earlier this season, Navratilova crunched her doubles partner Pam Shriver, the No. 2 seed here, 6-3, 6-0, to win the Virginia Slims event in Dallas, and lost the Australian Open final to Chris Evert.
Navratilova won all five of her matches in Oakland in straight sets and lost only 16 games. Against Savchenko, she got 66 percent of her first serves in, including four aces.
This year's Washington tournament offers $150,000 more in prize money than last year's, making it one of eight Virginia Slims events with purses of $300,000. First prize in the tournament is $60,000, with a runner-up prize of $30,000. The doubles champions will receive $18,000 as a team.
Hana Mandlikova won last year's title with a straight-set victory over Barbara Potter. She is seeded fourth in the 32-player field behind Navratilova, Shriver and Gabriela Sabatini. Helena Sukova is the fifth seed, followed by Zina Garrison, Potter and Natalia Zvereva. Other players in the draw include Sylvia Hanika, Wendy Turnbull and Katerina Maleeva. All day sessions, up to the semifinal round, begin at 10. Evening sessions start at 7 p.m.
Both of Mandlikova's victories here (she also captured the championship in 1984) have come in years when Navratilova did not compete.
The tournament benefits the Washington Area Tennis Patrons Foundation, the same group that is the chief beneficiary from the Sovran/D.C. National tournament in the summer. It will be played on a Supreme surface, a movable tennis carpet that produces a relatively slow bounce.
Savchenko and the other two top Soviet women's players, Zvereva and Leila Meskhi, also will participate in the tournament, along with Natalia Bykova. No Soviet players were on the pro tour between 1977 and 1984, but the Soviet Tennis Federation, looking toward the Summer Olympics, when tennis will be competed as a demonstration sport, has returned to the circuit.
Zvereva, 16, is ranked 15th in the world. She won the junior titles at Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open last year, and reached the round of 16 at the U.S. Open before losing to Evert. In 1986, she won the USTA Circuit/Bethesda title, and she may get a wild-card berth into the Olympics.TODAY'S SCHEDULE
10 a.m. -- Akiko Kijimuta, Japan, vs. Leila Meskhi, U.S.S.R.; Lisa Bonder, Largo, Fla., vs. Natalia Zvereva, U.S.S.R.; Wendy White, Atlanta, vs. Nathalie Tauziat, France; Barbara Potter (7), Woodbury, Conn., vs. Natalia Bykova, U.S.S.R.; Helena Sukova (5), Czechoslovakia, vs. Kathrin Keil, Los Angeles.
7 p.m. -- Stephanie Rehe, Hyland, Calif., vs. Sylvia Hanika, Czechoslovakia; Mary Lou Daniels, Chicago, vs. Jeri Ingram, Silver Spring, and a doubles match to be announced.
. . .Player . . . . . . . . .Year.. . .W. . .L. . . Pct
1.. . .Martina Navratilova. . .1983. . .86. . .1. . ..989
2.. . .Martina Navratilova. . .1984. . .78. . .2. . ..975
3.. . .Steffi Graf. . . . . . .1987. . .75. . .2. . ..974
4.. . .Martina Navratilova. . .1982. . .90. . .3. . ..968
5.. . .Martina Navratilova. . .1986. . .89. . .3. . ..967
6.. . .Martina Navratilova. . .1985. . .84. . .5. . ..944
SOURCE: Inside Women's Tennis.