NEW YORK, SEPT. 3 -- Martina Navratilova was still in a funk today after her fourth-round upset loss to Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, who had never beaten her before. Navratilova and partner Gigi Fernandez, seeded No. 2, lost the first set of their doubles match by 6-0 before recovering.
Navratilova and Fernandez went on to defeat No. 16 Katrina Adams and Laura Gildemeister, 0-6, 6-2, 6-2. But first Navratilova smashed her ceramic racket to pieces. She was warned for racket abuse at 1-0 in the second set.
"I'd been wanting to break a racket since last night," she said. "I finally did it."
Navratilova still is sorting out her feelings about the loss. She had difficulty working up enthusiasm for the Open after capturing her record ninth Wimbledon title. "Once we got into it, it was okay," she said. "I had to get fired up myself. It was difficult to do. It had to come from within."
Navratilova and Maleeva-Fragniere agreed the atmosphere on Stadium Court for their match was strange and unemotional. They took the court early in the evening after waiting through John McEnroe's 4-hour 20-minute, five-set victory over Emilio Sanchez to reach the quarterfinals.
"It was weird," Navratilova said. "It was not good."
Interestingly, Navratilova's loss was similar to one earlier this season to Maleeva-Fragniere's sister, No. 7-ranked Katerina Maleeva. They met in the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Houston. Navratilova lost a three-setter that lasted late into the night, delayed by rain.
"I thought of my sister's match," Maleeva-Fragniere said. "That went through my mind." A First in Spanish
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario became the first Spaniard to win on Stadium Court of the National Tennis Center, built in 1978, when she defeated Barbara Paulus to reach the quarterfinals. . . .
Jennifer Capriati, the 14-year-old Floridian, will stay the rest of the week at the Open despite her fourth-round loss to Steffi Graf. Asked if she wasn't supposed to start school this week, Capriati said, "Um, I don't really know." In fact, she is to begin ninth grade at St. Andrews School in Boca Raton next week. . . .
Graf broke Jimmy Connors's record for longest reign as the No. 1 player in the world today. Graf began her 160th week at No. 1 on the computer. The previous record for women was 156 weeks, by Navratilova. Connors was No. 1 for 159 weeks.