SPORTS

History on both sides of the net

Greece’s fast-rising tennis player Eleni Daniilidou, currently ranked 20th in the women’s rankings from 320th two years ago, became the country’s first ever player to reach a Grand Slam tournament final yesterday, at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Daniilidou, paired with Australian Todd Woodbridge in the mixed doubles, reached the tournament’s final, but the couple lost 6-4, 7-5 to the Czech-born American tennis legend Martina Navratilova and India’s Leander Paes. For the 46-year-old Navratilova, who retired from singles in 1994 and came out of retirement three years ago to play doubles just for fun, the day was also historic, for two reasons. Besides becoming the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title, Navratilova’s latest feat completed an impressive career of at least one title each in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles at all four major tournaments. The mixed doubles crown in Melbourne was Navratilova’s 57th title at a Grand Slam event. «When I was growing up, I wanted to be the youngest to win something, not the oldest,» said a beaming Navratilova afterward. In a junior final, Cyprus’s Marko Baghdatis, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, defeated Romania’s Florin Mergea, 6-4, 6-4 in the boys’ singles.