Action Replay: 1986 Virginia Slims Championships


Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:02

There are legends and then there are legends. Cast your eye down the WTA Tour Championships roll of honour (the 2008 version of the event, the Sony Ericsson Championships, is taking place this week in Doha) and one name will jump off the page.

Martina Navratilova dominated womens tennis and dominated the WTAs end-of-year extravaganza like no other player before her or since. She ended her singles career with eight titles and 14 appearances at the prestigious end-of-year WTA Championships and is the only woman to have won five years in succession with an unbeaten run of titles between 1983 and 1986.

Of the eight players in Qatar this week, only Serena Williams has experience of winning the event

The Czech-born US citizen began her ownership of the tournament as early as 1978 when she beat Evonne Goolagong-Cawley for the $50,000 first prize (the same amount the reserves get in Doha just for turning up this week!).

She added titles number two and three in 1979 and 1981 and in 1983 Navratilova bagged the first of her record-breaking run of five when she won the Virginia Slims Championships, as it was then known, with a 6-2, 6-0 demolition of Chris Evert in the final.



Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.