Nelson's help is more subtle. "Judy gave me Passages by Gail Sheehy," says Navratilova. "I realized I've gone through all the stages of life other people do, but at the wrong times. I'm dealing with stuff now that most people do at 20. At 20, I had middle age."
Long resistant to self-analysis, Navratilova is softening. "I've finally started wanting to know why I do things," she says. "I'd get headaches on certain days. Once I said, 'Judy, what's this from?'
" 'What's tomorrow?' she said.
" 'Tennis practice starts. Aha.' Once I realized the connection, the headaches went away."
Navratilova and Nelson seem so well expressed by this house that it comes as a jolt to learn that they're planning to move. They have bought 100 acres in Aspen, Colo., where Navratilova has long had a second home.
The move is for horses and for the mountains Navratilova has loved since her childhood on skis. "The Rockies are it for me," she says. "That's where I'll spend the rest of my life."
But first there is Wimbledon, and a deep breath, and an attempt to generate just the optimum pressure and channel it into the old unconscious, abandoned play. "She'll be fine," says Shriver.
"You'll see her play inspired tennis," says Kardon.
"For a year and a half, she's been struggling to finish on an up," says Nelson. "To not leave the career until the last step is taken."
Could the last step be Wimbledon? "Some things," Nelson says, "you just feel."