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Martina Navratilova: I made a lifelong friend on 'Dancing with the Stars'

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/28/2012 

Martina Navratilova says although her time on Dancing with the Stars was brief, she came out of the competition with a new enduring friendship.

"It's been too short, but I've made a lifelong friend," the tennis legend said of professional partner Tony Dovolani, whom she appeared alongside during Wednesday morning's broadcast of Good Morning America.  

Dovolani apparently grew very close to the tennis star because he spent a lot of time with her outside of rehearsals, as the pair -- who were the first couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' fourteenth season during Tuesday night's live results show -- participated in activities such as skiing and playing tennis. 

"I was pretty devastated last night. I was very devastated last night because I wanted America to get to know her like I did. She's an amazing woman," Dovolani explained, adding that working with Navratilova was enjoyable because she had the qualities of a true athlete.

"It was great. She understands what it takes to be good at something. She understands that she has to practice a lot and I never really had to tell her to go to start position because she was already there. She practiced all the time at home, and so she never came unprepared."

In addition, Dovolani handicapped the competition and picked his favorites amongst Dancing with the Stars' 11 remaining contestants.

"Personality-wise, Sherri Shepherd. I absolutely love Sherri. I think she just brings so much joy. She has such a beautiful smile; She lights up the ballroom when she's dancing. Katherine Jenkins, I mean, wow! I don't think we've ever had a better dancer on the show. She's an amazing, amazing performer," Dovolani said.

"It's funny because of course for the boys, the room is deafening for us to even hear the music when William Levy's dancing. (Laughs) And of course, I absolutely think that [Jaleel White] and [Donald Driver] are doing a great job... I just think that this entire field is amazing, amazing. I don't think we've ever had a more competitive season ever."

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