Navratilova steals the show

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 January, 2004, 12:00am

Martina Navratilova says she may go into politics one day. The legendary 47-year-old better make it sooner rather than later if she wants same-sex marriages in the United States.

Navratilova, who got the biggest cheer of the star-studded cast at the Watsons Water Champions Challenge players' party at Vong on Wednesday night, complained about the 'inequality' of same-sex marriages, saying gay couples should have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

The greatest women's player, who is openly gay, says same-sex marriages are still not being accepted in the US, although Europe 'was moving in the right direction'.

Asked what advice she would give to the gay community in Hong Kong, Navratilova, who will retire for good at the end of this year, said: 'I have no idea what the government is doing here [in Hong Kong], but in the States, of course I am all in favour of whatever you call it - same-sex union.

'We should have the same rights if we are in a committed relationship as heterosexual couples have.'

The Czech-born American, has 58 Grand Slam titles (singles, doubles and mixed doubles), 167 tournament wins in singles and 172 wins in doubles.

Elsewhere in the party, Venus Williams, by far the wittiest of all the players, managed to woo the media but not her fellow players. Some catty looks were flying round the room while she was speaking to reporters.

All we know is that she was practically the first one out the door. It could be because she just got off the plane, or perhaps she could not be bothered to hang out with the crowd.

Maria Sharapova, the little darling who is always compared to Anna Kournikova and who admittedly looks much more impressive in the flesh, was too busy downing desserts to pose for a photo with her father.

Her father seemed a bit embarrassed as she stormed the dessert buffet. When asked what her focus will be for the year, she candidly said: 'I do not have any focus.'