SUGAR LAND, Texas -- Martina Navratilova played her longest match of the week Sunday in defeating doubles partner Elise Burgin 6-4, 6-1, to win a $150,000 tennis tournament.
Navratilova, ranked No. 1 in the world, earned $27,500 for the victory. In the doubles final, Navratilova and Burgin defeated Manuela Maleeva and Helena Sukova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
The tournament is known as the Virginia Slims of Houston.
Navratilova, whose longest match of the week had been 52 minutes, needed an hour to oust Burgin, who considered pulling out of the tournament because of a groin injury.
'How can I not be?' Navratilova said when asked if she were pleased with the victory. 'I've won two tournaments and I haven't lost a set. I couldn't be happier. I feel I'm playing better every match.'
However, Navratilova found herself in the midst of battle through seven games of the first set with Burgin leading 4-3.
But Navratilova ran off eight straight points, holding serve and then breaking Burgin for the first time. Navratilova then went up 40-love in the 10th game before giving up two points and won the set when Burgin's return off a serve was wide.
'It took the pressure off once I broke her serve,' Navratilova said. 'I was holding serve fairly easily and I was able to handle her serve. She was not out on the offensive as much after that.'
Navratilova, who had been plagued by Burgin's passing shots in the first set, took control, winning the first two game of the second set, giving up on one point.
Burgin held serve in the third game. Navratilova came back to take a 3-1 lead by shutting Burgin out and went to deuce in the next game before hitting a passing shot and forcing Burgin to hit into the net to take a 4-1 lead.
In the sixth game, Burgin could not handle Navratilova's serve, and Navratilova wrapped up the set with a cross-court shot, a smash, a ball that hit the net but rolled over and Burgin's double-fault that ended the match.
'In the first set, it was a combination of things,' Burgin said. 'I played well and she made some mistakes. But she serves so well and I had a lot of difficulty returning. Then once I gave up a break, she took it. I let up and made some errors and she took it.
'I just didn't get my rhythm on her returns. I wish I could have gotten into a groove earlier.'