It's a 'pet' peeve, of sorts, for Martina

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:55 PM ET

DESPITE MARTINA Navratilova's love of animals, she has not let her tennis game go to the dogs.

Late in the Rogers Cup doubles final yesterday, a fan at the Rexall Centre yelled out: "Martina, do it for Chloe."

Chloe is Navratilova's pet chihuahua.

"I had to keep my focus, but it cracked me up inside," Navratilova said in the post-match media conference, at which Chloe made a surprise appearance. "I thought to myself: 'You people know way too much about me.' "

Well, here is something else we know about the 48-year-old Navratilova: She and her doubles partner, 20-year-old Anna-Lena Groenefeld, are the Rogers Cup doubles champions.

Navaratilova and Groenefeld, the sixth seeds in doubles for the tournament, defeated third-seeded Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

The Spaniards jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third but Navratilova and Groenefeld came through with two service breaks and a hold for a 5-4 lead before the youngster served out the match.

Navratilova now has won 175 doubles titles in her illustrious career, to go along with 167 singles titles. That makes for a grand total of 342 tournament victories, but Navratilova still described the triumph yesterday as "sweet."

"We didn't expect it," Navratilova said. "They all are unexpected at this point."

Navratilova and Groenefeld won $57,500 US each. Martinez and Pascual earned $29,100 apiece.

When Navratilova addressed the crowd after the win yesterday, she said: "I want to apologize for lying to you two years ago when I said it was my last time playing in Toronto ... Who knows? I may see you again in two years."

The next time the women pros come to Toronto, she will be 50.

"Nothing, I say nothing," Navratilova said. "It's great to be here now. We're playing this week, and then at the U.S. Open next week, and that's it."

Yeah, right. See you in 2007, Martina.


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