Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova is, in the words of Billie Jean-King “the greatest singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived”. She took women’s tennis to a new level with her fitness, speed, determination and agility.

After losing the US Open semi-final in 1975 she walked into the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service in New York City and informed them she wanted to defect from Soviet controlled communist Czechoslovakia, Martina was 18 years old.

Career

Martina is the only tennis player to have spent more than 200 weeks as world number one in both singles and doubles. She holds the record of nine Wimbledon singles titles, half of her 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

In women’s doubles she won 31 Grand Slam titles complemented by 10 mixed doubles titles. Martina completed is one of only three women to win singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at each of the four Grand Slams Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open and the French Open. Her last Grand Slam victory was in the 2006 US Open mixed doubles a month shy of her 50th birthday.

In her 33-year professional tennis career Martina won 354 titles, 167 of them in singles. 

Martina has made a number of television appearances including I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, Dancing with the Stars, the Netflix series The Politician, Will and Grace and in a 1983 episode of Hart to Hart.

Martina now spends her time between being at home and broadcasting as a presenter/commentator for the BBC, Tennis Channel and Amazon Prime Video. She also travels the world extensively giving speaking engagements on a variety of issues and taking part in other corporate activities.

Books

As well autobiography ‘Martina Navratilova: Being Myself’, Marina has written ‘Tennis My Way’, an instruction guide in tennis for women and “Shape Your Self: My 6-Step Diet and Fitness Plan to Achieve the Best Shape of Your Life’.

She has written about the mental health of gay American teenagers in ‘Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America.’

Martina has also written three mystery thrillers featuring fictional former tennis champion Jordan Myles, ‘The Total Zone’, “Killer Instinct’ and ‘Breaking Point’.

Awards

Martina was named Women’s Tennis Association Player of the Year seven times, International Tennis Federation World Champion six times and Associated Press Female Athlete of the year twice. 

For her campaigning activism Martina was the recipient of the national Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States. 

In 2003 she was presented with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2006 was given the Czech Sport Legend Award.

In 2009 Martina was awarded the International Tennis Federation’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, for her contributions to tennis both on and off the court.

In 2016 Martina was made an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.

Personal Life

Martina lives on a small family farm in Florida with her wife and their two daughters.