By Nicholas J. Walz, USOpen.org
THE BUZZ: A month shy of her 50th birthday, Martina Navratilova and partner Bob Bryan – who wasn’t yet born when Navratilova won her first US Open doubles title in 1977 – hoisted the mixed doubles trophy together inside Arthur Ashe Stadium after defeating Czechs Kveta Peschke and Martin Damm, 6-2, 6-3. The win provided tennis writers a prime opportunity to reflect on 59 Grand Slam titles, in total, for the enduring Hall of Famer, who retired for good thereafter.
THE IMPACT: Navratilova’s 33 years between her first Open appearance (1973) and her last will be just one of the many records that should endure for generations of players to come. Fitness and a Spartan diet played a role in Navratilova’s longevity, as did a mental break when she deemed it necessary to step away from the game in 1997. (She came back in 2000, playing primarily in doubles.) "You can do great things regardless of your age if you just believe and, you know, go for it," she said after the last of her 16 US Open titles. "Don't get limited by people that say, 'No, you can't do that because you're too old or because you're heavy or you're not an athlete.' Whatever your limitations might be, don't let them define you. I didn't let it define me."
THE QUESTION: Which current player, male or female, would have the best chance to win a Grand Slam at the age of 50 if they were to play that long?