SBD/22/Sports Media

YEAR 21 OF HBO AT WIMBLEDON KICKS OFF THIS MONDAY

     In a preview of their coverage of the Wimbledon
Championships, HBO introduced analysts Billie Jean King and
Martina Navratilova to discuss the upcoming Grand Slam event.
Among the highlights:  Navratilova expressed her opposition to
Slazenger and Wimbledon taking air out of the ball to slow down
the game.  Martina says she has seen arm problems and shoulder
problems for women in the last week that has been caused by
practicing with the slower ball.  Navratilova: "It is a short
term solution to a long term problem."  She said the problem is
really one of technology, with today's racquets being too
powerful.  King and Navratilova both spoke on the state of the
game.  Both said Monica Seles' comeback would be a great benefit
to the women's game, and King responded to last year's talk that
tennis was "dying."  King:  "Tennis is not dying.  It has been
through some crisis, but I think the WTA and ATP have responded
appropriately and positively.  Women are giving more and more
time off the court."  King stressed the game has to be looked in
two parts -- both professional and recreational, and both sides
need attention by the governing bodies.  She also suggested
comparing interest in Europe, Asia, and Australia, with that of
the U.S.  King:  "Things do go in cycles, but I think the players
have responded ... I would like to see more continuity with U.S.
grass roots programs.  We are trying to figure out ways that we
can all be on the same page, same direction."  King said the game
was at its "peak" in '78 (THE DAILY).
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ATP, HBO, Media, Time Warner

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