Paes-Navratilova close in on title

Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova have reached the Australian Open mixed doubles final. They will play Australian Todd Woodbridge and Eleni Daniilidou of Gre

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Melbourne:Seven years after winning her last title at a Grand Slam tournament, Martina Navratilova is one victory away from lifting her career total to 57. The 46-year-old teamed with Leander Paes for a 6-3, 6-1 victory over defending champions Kevin Ullyett and Daniela Hantuchova in the Australian Open mixed doubles semifinals. They will play Australian Todd Woodbridge and Eleni Daniilidou of Greece for the championship on Sunday. Navratilova scrambled for difficult chances, leaped for overheads and volleyed with accuracy as she and Paes broke Ullyett, from Zimbabwe, once in the first set and twice in the second. They also broke Hantuchova, from Slovakia, once in each set. Navratilova was broken once in the first set. Paes won the last two points with a forehand volley and a serve return down the line that forced a volley miss by Ullyett. Navratilova, who retired from singles competition in November 1994, has 18 singles, 31 doubles and seven mixed doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments. The most recent was the 1995 Wimbledon mixed doubles championship with Jonathan Stark. In all, she has a record 167 singles championships and 166 in doubles, the most recent coming with Natasha Zvereva at Madrid last May. Paes has won two French Open and one Wimbledon doubles titles. (AP)

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