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Clijsters and Sugiyama thwart Navratilova

Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Japan's Ai Sugiyama denied 46-year-old Martina Navratilova a chance of a 20th Wimbledon title on Friday.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2003 19:08 IST

Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Japan's Ai Sugiyama denied 46-year-old Martina Navratilova a chance of a 20th Wimbledon title on Friday, beating the veteran and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the women's doubles quarter-finals.

Navratilova, nine singles crowns, seven women's doubles and three mixed doubles successes to her name, was playing an astonishing 300th match at the All England Club since her 1976 debut.

She came here hoping to go level with Billie Jean King, whose 20 crowns are a Wimbledon record, comprising six singles wins, 10 doubles and four mixed triumphs between 1961 and 1979.

But Navratilova, a Czech-born naturalised American, was unable to match an aggressive showing by her rivals on this occasion as Clijsters and Sugiyama moved through to a meeting with American fourth seeds Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond.

That match was due to take place later in the day with rain in the second week having produced a backlog in the doubles schedule.

Clijsters put Sugiyama out of the singles last week but crashed out in the semi-finals on Thursday evening to Venus Williams.

Navratilova and Kuznetsova, just 18, broke their rivals' serve on four occasions in a close encounter but dropped their own five times in sliding out.

First Published: Jul 04, 2003 19:08 IST