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Wimbledon Champion Martinez Enters L.A. Women’s Tournament

After losing four of its top players, the Virginia Slims of Los Angeles got a boost Saturday when Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez of Spain entered the tournament, which begins Monday at the Manhattan Country Club.

Martinez gives the event some much-needed depth after Kimiko Date, Lori McNeil, Gabriela Sabatini and Natalia Zvereva dropped out last week because of injuries.

Martinez, ranked third in the world, is the tournament’s top-seeded player, followed by Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotna.

Martinez stopped Navratilova from winning her 10th singles title in a memorable three-set final at Wimbledon in July. She also reached the semifinals of the French Open before losing to eventual winner Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open where she lost to Date.

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Qualifying matches will end today with the tournament starting at 9 a.m. Monday. The top eight seeded players drew first-round byes.


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