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King says WTA Tour needs more female coaches

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Top female tennis players may be doing themselves a disservice by hiring male coaches instead of women, according to former great Billie Jean King. The American said she was baffled why players on the WTA Tour are never tempted to break the mould and tap into the vast knowledge of the likes of Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert or even herself for that matter.

Tennis: I can do better still, says Melbourne champion Li Na

Li Na, the Chinese star who won her second Grand Slam title last month and will earn a world number two ranking this week, believes the best is yet to come. The 31-year-old has top seed status at this week's Qatar Open, the $2,440,000 event which is her first since her Australian Open triumph two weeks ago. "I don't think this is the best moment of my career - the year is only just beginning. I can't just say I did well in the first one," Li insisted, referring to the Melbourne success. "There's another ten months in the year.

Tennis: WTA boss says women 'ready, willing' for five sets

Women's tennis boss Stacey Allaster Tuesday insisted her players were "ready and willing" to play five sets at Grand Slams after Andy Murray became the latest to call for equal match lengths. Allaster, chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, said female competitors would be quite happy to play for as long as the men if asked by the Grand Slam tournaments. "Ready, willing and able -- all you have to do is ask us," she told AFP in an interview, adding that the major stumbling block was the length of time it would take at Grand Slams.

Tennis: Venus pep talk fires Serena's Wimbledon charge

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has revealed a pep talk from her sister Venus is the driving force behind her bid to win the title for a sixth time. For the first time since making her Wimbledon debut in 1998, Serena has travelled to the All England Club without Venus, who was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a back injury. Venus's absence is a blow to Serena's morale given the world number one's close relationship with her older sister.

Tennis: Forty years on, King's people battle doubters

On June 20, 1973, Billie Jean King and 62 of her fellow players gathered at London's Gloucester Hotel to deliver a pre-Wimbledon bombshell -- the formation of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). Forty years on, their contemporaries, most of whom are already multi-millionaires, are still battling to convince the doubters that their cause was just. "Has it really been 40 years?" asked King. "What started as a few women and a dollar has grown to thousands, living the dream -- our dream.
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