Martina Navratilova, tennis player extraordinaire, took women’s tennis to a new level with her speed, determination and agility. She won the Wimbledon women’s singles title a record nine times and has been described by many as “the greatest singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived”. In all, Martina has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; in total she has won 59 Grand Slam titles. She still plays at all the Grand Slams where she takes part in the legends doubles.
Martina has been described as honest, feisty, self-deprecating, courageous, controversial and a Renaissance woman. She’s always told it from the heart, never flinching from an unpopular comment or cause if she believes it to be right. She is a global icon for lesbian and gay rights and is, as she describes it herself, a citizen of the world. In 2014 Martina married her long-time partner Julia Lemigova. They live in Miami with their two daughters and many animals.
When not playing tennis, Martina is involved with various charities that benefit animal rights, underprivileged children, LGBT rights and the environment. In February 2019, Martina also joined the cast of the ‘All New Monty’ to raise awareness of breast cancer; a subject which she had personal experience of as in 2010 she describes the ‘bombshell’ when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
In 2006, she wrote ‘Shape Your Self’ – a guide to health and fitness. In 1985 Martina released an autobiography, co-written with New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey, titled ‘Martina’ in the US and ‘Being Myself’ in the rest of the world. In 1982 she has also co-written a tennis instruction book with Mary Carillo titled ‘Tennis My Way’. She later co-wrote three mystery novels with Liz Nickles: ‘The Total Zone’ (1994); ‘Breaking point’ (1996); and ‘Killer Instinct’ (1997).
Martina now spends her time between being at home and broadcasting as a presenter/commentator for the BBC, Tennis Channel and BT Sport. In May 2019, Martina also opened the new Court No. 1 roof celebration at the All England Club.
In June 2019, following Martina’s call for an open debate about male to female transgender athletes competing in women’s sport which sparked global headlines, Martina presented a BBC documentary, ‘Trans Athletes: A Fair Playing Field?’, to get to the heart of this controversial topic by meeting a range of athletes, scientists and sporting officials.
Martina also travels the world extensively giving speaking engagements on a variety of issues and taking part in other corporate activities.
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