>The second Hit for Haiti was held today in Indian Wells, the follow up to Federer’s brainchild on the eve of the Australian Open. The event raised a guaranteed $1 million for Haiti, who was struck by a 7.0 earthquake on January 12th leaving over 200,000 dead and a country crippled by the aftermath.
Today’s event featured the ladies in the opening match, and 94 Grand Slam titles between them. It was a double match, first to 8 games to lead by 2, no Ad scoring with Justine Henin and Martina Navratilova taking on Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport. Justine had lost earlier that day but in her second round match against Gisela Dulko, but had said that there was no way she would withdraw from the charity event. However, she was fairly quiet throughout play with Navratilova stealing the spotlight from her younger counterparts.
Navratilova is arguably the greatest doubles player of all time, and the greatest women’s volleyer ever but was still nervous at the start of the match, even though she’s more active that Graf or Davenport. Davenport, mother of two, responded to questions about a comeback by saying “Better left for the charity matches.”
The ladies got off to a comedic start with Navratilova complaining that Graf hits the ball too hard and Graf joking to the male official who helped her gaffa tape her microphone to the inside of her skirt “Oh you’re gonna get it from Andre”. Henin and Navratilova got off to a flying start, breaking Graf to take a 4-1 lead with Navratilova unbeatable at the net. It was the first time in the tournament history that the night match session had been sold out.
After Navratilova cheekily told a lines person to be quiet after they called a fault on her serve, Davenport found her range and touch to get back on serve at 5-4. As the match continued Graf’s signature forehand was on display with Navratilova showing the world one more time why she is hailed on of the best volleyers in the world.
Navratilova’s dominance was too much for Graf and Davenport, with Navratilova and Henin taking the tie 8-6. Martina was satisfied with her performance, saying “It’s not about winning, it’s about not embarrassing yourself.”
When Graf was asked to go into more detail about what she had said earlier in the match about her children (with Andre Agassi) showing no real interest in tennis she explained that, particularly for eldest child Jaden who saw the tail end of dad’s career that they were put off by their parents careers and preferred baseball and horse riding. “They just haven’t showed any interest in it… His association with tennis was that it took Daddy away, so he never really had a good association with it.”
Martina Navratilova Steffi Graf
Age: 53 Age: 40
Turned Pro: 1975 Turned Pro: 1982
Titles: 167 Titles: 107
Weeks at number 1: 332 Weeks at number 1: 377
Grand Slams: 18 Grand Slams (singles): 22
Career Prize $: $21,626,089 Career Prize $: $21,891,306
Win-Loss: 1442-219 Win-Loss: 902-115
Justine Henin Lindsay Davenport
Age: 27 Age: 33
Turned Pro: 1999 Turned Pro: 1993
Titles: 41 Titles: 55
Weeks at number 1: 117 Weeks at number 1: 198
Grand Slams (Singles): 7 Grand Slams (Singles): 3
Career Prize $: $20,352,606 Career Prize $: $22,144,735
Win-Loss: 503-109 Win-Loss: 753-194