|Martina Navratilova Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||October 18, 1956|
Martina Navratilova is a Czech-American former professional tennis player who is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, tennis players of all time, male or female. Over the course of an illustrious career, at Grand Slam events, she won 18 singles titles (the Australian Open thrice (1981, 1983, 1985), the French Open twice (1982, 1984), the Wimbledon Championship 9 times (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990), and the US Open 4 times (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)); 31 women’s doubles titles (the Australian Open 8 times (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989), the French Open 7 times (1975, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988), the Wimbledon Championship 7 times (1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986), and the US Open 9 times (1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990)); and 10 mixed doubles titles (the Australian Open once (2003), the French Open twice (1974, 1985), the Wimbledon Championship 4 times (1985, 1993, 1995, 2003), and the US Open 3 times (1985, 1987, 2006)). Martina’s haul of 31 Grand Slam doubles titles, as of February 2023, was a record for any player, male or female. Her combined (singles+doubles+mixed doubles) haul of 59 Grand Slam titles (18+31+10), as of February 2023, was also a record for any player, male or female, in the Open Era. Including the Open Era, that haul of 59 titles has only been exceeded by 1 player – the peerless Margaret Court (64 titles). Martina was inducted into the ‘International Tennis Hall of Fame’ in 2000. She retired from competitive tennis in 2006.
Navrat the Brat
Prague, Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia)
Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States
She holds dual nationality.
Professional Tennis Player (Retired)
- Father – Miroslav Šubert aka Mirek Šubert (Ski Instructor) (Deceased)
- Mother – Jana Navratilova (Gymnast, Tennis Player, Ski Instructor)
- Siblings – Jana (Younger Sister)
- Others – Agnes Semanska (Grandmother) (Tennis Player), Miroslav Navrátil (Stepfather) (Tennis Coach). She has an older paternal half-brother. Her father-in-law was a colonel in the Red Army (the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and, after 1922, the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)).
Left-Handed (One-Handed Backhand)
Martina Navratilova’s net worth had been $25 million according to CelebrityNetWorth.com.
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
65 kg or 143.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Martina has dated –
- Rita Mae Brown (1979-1980) – Martina began dating American feminist writer Rita Mae Brown in 1979. The pair bought a horse farm in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1980 and lived together until their breakup over Martina’s concern that coming out would hurt her application for American citizenship. In 1981, shortly after becoming an American citizen, Martina came out as bisexual in an interview wherein she also revealed the details about her past relationship with Rita. Martina had asked the interviewer to not publish the article until she was ready to come out publicly. However, the article was published on July 30, 1981.
- Nancy Lieberman (1981-1982) – She started dating basketball star, and her roommate at the time, Nancy Lieberman in 1981. In the latter half of that year, Martina started to reidentify herself as a lesbian. The couple parted ways in 1982.
- Judy Nelson (1984-1991) – Between 1984 and 1991, Martina was in a relationship with American author Judy Nelson. They had first met in 1982 when Judy was married with 2 children. Their split in 1991 resulted in a palimony (the division of financial assets and real property on the termination of a personal live-in relationship wherein the parties are not legally married) lawsuit which was settled out of court.
- Cindy Nelson (1992)
- Danda Jaroljmek (1994-1995, 1997-1999)
- Hunter Reno (1995-1997)
- Toni Layton (2000-2009) – Martina started dating Toni Layton in 2000 and an unofficial wedding ceremony was held for them a few months later. Martina abruptly ended their relationship in 2009 and Toni sued her in June 2009. About a year later, Martina settled the bitter legal battle for an estimated USD 3 million.
- Julia Lemigova (2009-Present) – Martina started dating Russian TV personality, former model, and former beauty pageant contestant Yulia Alexandrovna Lemigova aka Julia Lemigova in 2009. Julia had won the Miss USSR title in 1990 and was the 2nd runner-up at the Miss Universe event in 1991. On September 6, 2014, Martina proposed to Julia and they got married in New York on December 15, 2014. Martina has 2 stepdaughters named Emma Lemigova and Victoria Lemigova – from Julia’s 2 separate former relationships. Julia also had a son named Maximilien Stern (b. 1999, d. March 2000) who died of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ (also known as abusive head trauma, the leading cause of fatal head injuries in children younger than 2 years) while in the care of a new nanny.
Race / Ethnicity
She is of Czech descent.
- Toned physique
- Side-parted, neck-length, straight hair
- Cheerful smile
Martina Navratilova Facts
- Martina’s parents got divorced when she was about 3 years old after which her mother moved the family to Řevnice, a town in the Prague-West district in the Central Bohemian region of the Czech Republic.
- In 1962, when she was about 5 years old, her mother got married to Miroslav Navrátil who became Martina’s first tennis coach. She later took the surname of her stepfather and added the feminine suffix – ova, becoming known as Martina Navratilova.
- She started to play tennis regularly at the age of 7. In 1972, aged 15, she won the national tennis championship of Czechoslovakia. She was stripped off her Czechoslovakian citizenship in 1975 when, aged 18, she requested political asylum in the United States.
- This meant that she represented the United States after 1975. Martina was granted temporary residence there and became an American citizen in 1981.
- She won the prestigious Fed Cup (the premier international team competition in women’s tennis) 4 times (1975, 1982, 1986, 1989). The 1975 title was with Czechoslovakia (the country’s 1st such) while the last 3 of those titles were with the United States (the country’s 11th, 12th, and 13th such).
- Martina won the WTA Finals, a prestigious annual tournament reserved for players at the top of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) rankings, 8 times ((1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 (March), 1986 (November)) in the singles format and 13 times (1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 (November), 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991) in the doubles format – both records by a difference of 3 titles over the next most successful player, as of February 2023.
- She won the ‘WTA Player of the Year’ award 7 times (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986) during her career. As of February 2023, only she, Steffi Graf (8 times), and Serena Williams (7 times) had won this award 7 or more times.
- In the calendar year 1983, Martina racked up an 86-1 win-loss record (a win percentage of 98.85). It was the best professional single-season match-winning percentage of all time. The record was intact, as of February 2023. In September 1984, she co-wrote a tennis instruction book titled Tennis My Way.
- In 1984, she won the singles title at the French Open, the Wimbledon Championships, and the US Open. This made her the first player to win a Grand Slam title on clay, grass, and hard courts in the same year. Martina entered the 1984 Australian Open (the tournament was played in mid-December from 1982 to 1985 and was moved to the mid-January slot only in 1987) with a chance of winning all 4 Grand Slam (the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon Championships, and the US Open) titles in the singles format in the same year. In the semi-final of that tournament though, Helena Suková ended Martina’s Open Era record 74-match singles winning streak. As if to compensate for the near miss in the singles format, she won the women’s doubles title at all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in 1984.
- All 4 of those titles were in partnership with Pam Shriver and the matches won in those tournaments were part of a record 109-match winning streak that the pair achieved between 1983 and 1985. Martina and Pam went on to win 20 Grand Slam titles as a doubles pair, the joint record by a pair, male or female, as of February 2023.
- In 1985, she released an autobiography, titled Martina. Outside of the United States, it was published with a different title – Martina Navratilova: Being Myself.
- At the 1987 US Open, she became only the 3rd player in the Open Era – after Margaret Court and Billie Jean King – to have achieved the rare ‘Triple Crown’ (the feat of winning the title in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles formats at the same tournament).
- When Martina won the singles title at the 1990 Wimbledon Championships, she became the first player in history to have won a Grand Slam singles title in 3 different decades (the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s).
- She has co-written 3 mystery novels titled The Total Zone (1994), Breaking Point (1997), and Killer Instinct (1997).
- In 2000, Martina was honored with the ‘National Equality Award’ by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest American LGBTQ advocacy/lobbying group.
- In 2003, she won the mixed doubles titles at both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships. The latter win made her the oldest (aged 46 years and 8 months) Grand Slam champion at that time.
- The former victory made Martina just the 3rd player, male or female, in history to have completed a ‘Boxed Set’ (the feat of winning all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles formats over the course of a player’s career). As of February 2023, only 2 other players had achieved this incredibly rare feat – Doris Hart and Margaret Court.
- Martina’s win in the first round of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships made her the then-oldest player (aged 47 years and 8 months) to have won a top-tier singles match in the Open Era.
- Her last Grand Slam title, the mixed doubles event at the 2006 US Open, arrived more than 32 years after her very first Grand Slam title (the mixed doubles title at the 1974 French Open). The win meant that she had broken her own previous record of being the oldest (aged 49 years, 10 months) Grand Slam champion.
- The win also meant that Martina became the first player in history to have won Grand Slam titles in 4 separate decades (the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s). As of February 2023, no one else had emulated this feat. Later in 2006, she published a health and fitness book titled Shape Your Self: My 6-Step Diet and Fitness Plan to Achieve the Best Shape of Your Life.
- Over the course of her playing career, she won 167 top-tier singles titles, 177 such women’s doubles titles, and 15 top-tier mixed doubles titles; the first 2 of those being, by quite a distance, Open Era records. Her career’s combined (singles+doubles+mixed doubles) titles (359), singles matches played (1,661), and singles matches won (1,442) were all records, as of February 2023, in the Open Era.
- During her career, Martina was ranked the world number 1 player in the singles format for a total of 332 weeks (only exceeded by Steffi Graf (377 weeks)) and a record 237 weeks in the doubles format. As of February 2023, she was the only player in history to have held the number 1 position for more than 200 weeks in both the singles and doubles formats. During her career, she won the title in both the singles and doubles events at the same tournament a record 84 times.
- In January 2008, she acquired Czech citizenship, becoming a dual citizen, as she did not renounce her American citizenship.
- In September 2008, she released another book titled Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America.
- In November and December 2008, Martina participated in the 8th series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! (a British survival reality TV show). She finished as the show’s runner-up.
- In 2009, Martina was honored with the ‘Philippe Chatrier Award’ for her contributions to tennis both on and off the court. It is the highest accolade awarded by the ITF (International Tennis Federation), the governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis, and beach tennis. The award is named after the French former tennis player, journalist, and sports administrator Philippe Chatrier who served as the president of the ITF between 1977 and 1991.
- In April 2010, she revealed that she was being treated for breast cancer. She had the tumor surgically removed a month earlier and began receiving radiation therapy in May 2010.
- In December 2010, Martina was hospitalized after developing high-altitude pulmonary edema. This happened while she was attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world.
- In August 2013, she was among the first class of inductees into the ‘National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame’ which was established in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
- In January 2023, Martina was diagnosed with both throat and breast cancer after she discovered a swollen lymph node on her neck.
- As of February 2023, she had held the record for winning the most singles titles (9), male or female, at the Wimbledon Championships; the most women’s doubles titles (7), male or female, at the French Open; the joint-most (tied with Billie Jean King) combined (singles+doubles+mixed doubles) titles (20), male or female, at the Wimbledon Championships; and the most consecutive years (5, 1982-1986) ended at the world number 1 rank in the women’s singles format.
- As of February 2023, Martina was the only player, male or female, to have won every Grand Slam title in the same-sex doubles format at least 7 times – the Australian Open 8 times, the French Open 7 times, the Wimbledon Championship 7 times, and the US Open 9 times.
- As of February 2023, she and Serena Williams were the only players, male or female, to have won a Grand Slam title in the singles format 6 times without losing a set. Martina had done so at the Wimbledon Championships (1983, 1984, 1986, 1990) and the US Open (1983, 1987).
- Martina was the sole owner of this record in the women’s doubles format (7 times) having done so at the Australian Open (1984, 1987, 1988), the French Open (1988), the Wimbledon Championships (1986), and the US Open (1978, 1984).
- As of February 2023, she, Maureen Connolly, and Margaret Court were the only female players to have won 6 consecutive Grand Slam titles in the singles format. Martina’s streak started at the 1983 Wimbledon Championships and ended at the 1984 US Open.
- As of February 2023, she held the record of being the only player to have won at least one title on the WTA Tour for 21 consecutive years.
- In March 2023, Martina revealed that she was cancer free.
Featured Image by Martina Navratilova / Instagram