Yana Navotna 

The first memory is of that final at Wimbledon against Steffi Graf in 1993, she had almost won. In my head she was serving for the match in the second set. But in reality, she had lost the first to Graf, won the second, was 4-1 up in the third. I cant recollect which other match I’m confusing this with. I thought it could be that quarterfinal between Venus and Hingis at Wimbledon in 2000. It is not that match either. But Hingis sure did take the second set that time after losing the first to Venus, was it a match point save, I may need to go back and watch the highlights. Could be that as she won it 6-4 after which she went on to lose to Venus in the third .. that year Venus won Wimbledon against Davenport. It was also a special year at Wimbledon, need to go check that too. 

When the news of her death flashed, the first person I pinged were my folks, (my mother is this crazy tennis buff who skips social functions to watch matches.) But the thing with technology these days is, everyone is on the same page. All of us, my mother, my brother and me had the same memory of Yana crying on the shoulders of the Duchess in 1993. I was/am a big time Graf fan, but I don’t recollect now whether I was sad Yana lost that day. 

The second person I pinged was a friend from school as we had discussed this tearing part recently. But since India was unexpectedly bowling well in the final session against Sri Lanka in the first test match at Eden, we drifted quickly to wishing the boys could take 3 more wickets for a win. The lights played spoil sport! But who’d expected India to bowl this well? 

Her match with Graf lingers on. I didn’t know we shared a connection. Strange, but there is a bit of me upset that she is no more today. 

Thank you, Yana for all the excitement and the memories.  

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2 thoughts on “Yana Navotna ”

  1. You have some memory! I don’t remember this but I’m quite sure it evoked a similar reaction. At one time I too used to watch grand slam tennis matches with great attention but sadly these days have given up watching anything….

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