Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Sequera's Second Trip Stands Apart

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Sequera's Second Trip Stands Apart

Article excerpt


Milagros Sequera's return trip to the Bausch & Lomb Championships on Tuesday wasn't anything like her last visit.

In 2004, Sequera received a call on the morning of the first day, letting her know that she made it in the main draw as a qualifying lucky loser. Her opponent: Martina Navratilova.

"I was just shocked at the amount of people that were in the stadium," Sequera said. "Then when she walks out, the stadium nearly came down. It was like, 'Gosh, this is what I have to go through today.' They were just going, 'Mar-Tee-Na!' "

After losing the first set, Sequera rallied for a three-set victory against the tennis legend, who was making a rare singles appearance after officially retiring in 1994. Navratilova is still competitive in doubles, having won 174 titles. She reached the doubles final at the Nasdaq-100 Open last week in Key Biscayne.

"I get to say now I beat Martina Navratilova. Everybody is going to ask me when. Nobody needs to know when," Sequera said with a laugh.

After advancing through qualifying this year, Sequera lost her first-round match to Spaniard Antonella Serra Zanetti 6-2, 6-4. Sequera was sidelined by a right wrist injury early in 2005 and a left elbow injury that ended her season in September. She won an ITF tournament at St. Paul, Minn., in February.


Russian Vera Zvonareva's first set at Bausch & Lomb was as up and down as her 2005 season. She can only hope this year will be more like her dominant second set against Argentine Mariana Diaz-Oliva.

Zvonareva, who won her third title last year but withdrew from five events, needed five break points to win an important eighth game in the first set, then cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win. Zvonareva won 20 of the last 26 points to take the victory.


Lisa Raymond found the perfect way to honor the University of Florida's men's basketball national championship: a win and a Gator chomp. …

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