Tennis: Navratilova is beaten by qualifier: Former Wimbledon champion berates umpire at DFS Classic before losing in three sets to Australian ranked No 179 in the world

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The Independent Online
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, who still believes she can win Wimbledon at the age of 36, suffered arguably the most surprising defeat of her career when she was beaten by Kristine Radford, an Australian qualifier ranked No 179 in the world, in the third round of the DFS Classic at Edgbaston yesterday, writes Richard Eaton in Birmingham.

Navratilova, who had struggled against another qualifier, Maria Strandlund, the day before, lost 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 and ended by refusing to shake hands with umpire Mike Morrissey, whom she berated loudly. Her anger with him boiled over during the penultimate game, when he called a fault on her first serve at 30-40.

'What are you doing? You haven't overruled before. It's the most important point of the match and you decide the linesman doesn't matter,' she bellowed. However, 30 seconds of arguing probably did her more harm than good.

Navratilova returned to deliver a weak second serve, then stayed on the baseline and, under pressure as Radford came in, followed it with a forehand drive into the net.

Radford, who led Navratilova by a set and a break at Wimbledon in 1989, then served out for the match. Earlier, Navratilova had been a set and 3-1 up, but for the second successive day had problems with her serve, which she lost three times from the clubhouse end. 'That's what I'll be working on before Wimbledon,' she said.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 39

(Photograph omitted)

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