AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Martina Navratilova lost her first
singles appearance in the United States in more than 10 years,
falling to Milagros Sequera 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 Tuesday at the Bausch &
the last four games of the second, and lost her serve twice to fall
behind 3-0 in the third. She rallied to 3-2 down, but was broken
again in the seventh game.
"I lost it mentally," Navratilova said. "I was in and out the
last two sets."
Afterward, she received a standing ovation.
"It was sweet," Navratilova said. "The people were obviously
excited. It was great to be out there."
Sequera was a last minute replacement for Kristina Brandi of
Puerto Rico, who withdrew because of a left foot injury.
"She's a legend," Sequera said of Navratilova. "I was a bit
intimidated to play her."
Top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne battled past a stubborn Dinara
Safina, 6-4, 7-6 (6).
Henin-Hardenne overcame 12 double faults, including eight in the
second set, and won in 1 hour, 52 minutes.
"I wasn't at my best for sure," Henin-Hardenne said. "But you
need this kind of match to get used to the (clay) surface here."
Amy Frazier recorded the only upset, ousting No. 11 Jelena Dokic
of Serbia, 6-4, 7-5.
In other matches, former champions Lindsay Davenport and Mary
Pierce advanced with straight-set victories.
After a first-round bye, Davenport beat Tian Tian Sun of China
6-2, 7-5. Davenport won here in 1997 and was runner-up last year.
Pierce beat Meghann Shaughnessy 6-1, 6-2..
Pierce, a three-time finalist here before finally winning in
1998, hasn't played for two months and next faces second-seeded
Serena Williams, who won the Nasdaq-100 Open on Sunday following an
Navratilova, the winner of 18 singles and 31 doubles Grand Slam
events, took this event three times during the 1980s -- including
the tournament's first title 25 years ago. She accepted a wild-card
entry to help her doubles game, and to inspire others.
She came pleased by her performance, especially her serve. It
was consistently in the 90s and topped 100 mph a handful of times.
"I did it without even trying to go for the big bomb," she
She had not played singles in this country since 1994. She
played in Eastbourne, England, two years ago, but that was only
because she lost a bet with her trainer. Navratilova defeated
Tatiana Panova in one of two matches to become the oldest player to
win a WTA Tour singles match (45 years, eight months).
Other results: eighth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia defeated
Tina Pisnik of Slovenia 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, No. 9 Paola Suarez of
Argentina downed Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-2, 6-3, No. 10 Silvia
Farina Elia of Italy beat Elena Likhovtseva of Russia 6-4, 6-4 and
No. 12 Patty Schnyder routed Marie-Gayanay Mikaelian 6-1, 6-0.