Martina Navratilova Returns for Singles at the 2004 Family Circle Cup
Four-time Family Circle Cup champion Martina Navratilova will be returning to the Cup this year to compete in both singles and doubles. One of the greatest players in the history of professional tennis, Navratilova has accepted the tournament's wild-card invitation into the main draw, which will start on Monday, April 12th. The Family Circle Cup, the oldest all-women's Tier 1 event in the United States, is scheduled for April 10-18, and will be played at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina. Navratilova will be joining a Grand Slam player field including some of today's biggest stars in women's tennis such as Justine Henin-Hardenne, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati and Venus Williams.
"When you think of great champions in professional sports, Martina Navratilova's name is certainly at the top of the list," said Frankie Whelan, Executive Director of the Family Circle Cup. "She knows the role of a champion and has played it well over the past three decades. We are thrilled that she has decided to participate in singles as well as doubles here in at the Family Circle Cup."
In a singles career that spanned 22 years, Navratilova amassed records and titles that will forever solidify her place as one of the greats in professional tennis. She leads all players, both male and female, with 167 singles titles. She won at least one tour event every year for 21 consecutive years. In Grand Slam competition her record speaks for itself, winning 58 Grand Slam championships (18 singles, 31 doubles and 9 mixed). When she retired in November of 1994, she had won 1,438 singles matches, an achievement that is one of the most remarkable records in all of professional sports. She officially retired from singles competition in 1994, but eight years later decided to compete in singles once more. In 2002 she entered a tour event in Eastbourne, England where she reached the second round before losing to Daniela Hantuchova in a tough three set battle. With her first round victory, she became the oldest woman ever to win a WTA Tour singles match (45 years, eight months) and extended her career singles match wins to 1,439. The 2004 Family Circle Cup will be her first Tier 1 clay court event since 1994 Italian Open where she reached the finals before losing to Conchita Martinez.