Published January 21, 2013
MELBOURNE, Australia – Martina Navratilova says only a "big ego" could have driven Lance Armstrong to lie about doping for so many years, and she thinks he should never be allowed to compete in any sport again.
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion said she didn't watch Armstrong's TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which he admitted to doping while winning seven Tour de France titles, because she'd already made up her mind about him.
"There is no justification for what he did," Navratilova said. "Lying about it with such conviction for so many years, suing people and winning and just denying it so many times. I mean, it takes some serious ego to be able to do that. Clearly, he has a big ego.
"He should never be able to compete anywhere at any level. If it was just a one-time deal, OK, but every year he raced, he was cheating. It's unimaginable."
Navratilova is in Melbourne to play in the Australian Open legends doubles event. She's confident tennis is a clean sport, but thinks anti-doping authorities should be giving players blood tests on a more consistent basis.
When told that men's No. 1 Novak Djokovic said he hadn't received a blood test in six months, Navratilova said: "He shouldn't be slipping through the cracks that much."
"Some people may be tested once a month and then some get tested maybe once or twice a year," she said. Anti-doping authorities "need to figure that out a little bit better, but overall I think tennis is in pretty good hands."
Navratilova is teaming with that other famous Martina, five-time major winner Martina Hingis, in the legends doubles event.
The Martinas beat Lindsay Davenport and Cara Black in a single set 7-6 (4) on Monday.
NEW ATTITUDE: Jeremy Chardy, the surprise men's quarterfinalist at the Australian Open, is starting to feel differently about Melbourne Park now that he's finally winning here.
The 36th-ranked Frenchman defeated No. 21-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the fourth round Monday, a couple days after registering the biggest upset of the tournament thus far against former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
For Chardy, this is uncharted territory. He'd only won one match in five previous trips to the season's first major.
"Normally I play always bad in Australia. It's the first time I play good, so I'm happy," he says.
Chardy partly attributes his success to the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, the tennis center outside Paris where Serena Williams has also been training since last year.
"I think it's very important for me because when I'm at the academy, I feel really like I'm at home," he says. "I like my coach very much. It's like a friend, a brother."
He joined Williams and other players for a Mouratoglou training camp in Mauritius before the Australian Open — and has even spent some time practicing with the 31-year-old American.
"Now I understand why she won very easily many matches," he says.
Williams joked after her fourth-round win over Maria Kirilenko that Chardy should be giving her all the credit for his recent success: "I think obviously I'm the reason why he's doing really well."
Next up for Chardy is a slightly more difficult challenge in current U.S. Open champion Andy Murray. He has a 1-4 record against the Scotsman, but beat him in their most recent match in Cincinnati last year.
"I have nothing to lose," he says. "It's always easier when you have to play with nothing to lose."
FOUND IN TRANSLATION: Korean junior tennis player Lee Duck-hee may not be able to hear the ball come off his opponent's racket or the line judge calling a ball out.
But the 14-year-old Lee doesn't believe being deaf is a disadvantage on the tennis court.
"Actually, I don't think about this kind of disability all the time," Lee said after losing his second-round boys singles match at the Australian Open on Monday.
He spoke to reporters through two translators — his coach read his lips as he spoke in Korean and then explained his meaning to a translator who could speak English.
"For me, my coach and my parents, we don't want to say anything about my disability to other people like the umpires," he said. "I really want to get over it by myself."
On the court, it's tough to tell Lee is hearing impaired. During doubles matches, he communicates with his partner by reading lips.
Because he can't hear the line calls, he just continues playing points until he receives a visual signal that the ball is out.
Lee's father introduced him to the game when he was 7. The following year, he got a chance to hit with Roger Federer in South Korea and he excitedly pulled out his phone to show off a picture of himself with Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Even though he lost early at Melbourne Park, it wasn't his biggest disappointment of the week. He was more upset that Federer passed him on the grounds and didn't recognize him — six years after they met in Korea.
"I really wanted to take a picture with him. I really regret that," he said.