Martina Navratilova

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Navratilova in 2006

Martina Navratilova (born October 18, 1956) is a Czechoslovakian and American former professional tennis player and coach. Widely considered among the greatest tennis players of all time, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women's doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles, for a combined total of 59 major titles, marking the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam titles won by a single player. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including for nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times (surpassing Helen Wills Moody's eight Wimbledon titles), including a run of six consecutive titles.

Navratilova was WTA world No. 1 in singles for a total of 332 weeks, second behind Steffi Graf, and for a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player, male or female, in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. Navratilova is one of the three female tennis players, along with Margaret Court and Doris Hart, to have accomplished a Career Grand Slam in women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles, called the career "Grand Slam Boxed Set".


  • People who are rich want to be richer, but what's the difference? You can't take it with you. The toys get different, that's all. The rich guys buy a football team, the poor guys buy a football. It's all relative.
    • Martina (Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), p. 210.
  • Whoever said, "It's not whether you win or lose that counts", probably lost.
  • Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.
    • Queer Notions, A Fabulous Collection of Gay and Lesbian Wit and Wisdom, 1996, p. 18.
  • I advocate eating nutritious food (I'm a vegetarian), working out, being in top form mentally and physically.
    • "Champion on Fair Play", in Ingrid Newkirk, One Can Make a Difference (Adams Media, 2008), pp. 172–73.
  • [On transgender athletes who have not transitioned and retain male genitals.] It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.

About Navratilova

  • [After The Sunday Times article dated 17 February 2019.] The media, terrified of being on the wrong side of history, responded predictably, and headlines said that Navratilova was "criticised over 'cheating' trans women comments", although this criticism came largely from a relatively unknown cyclist, Rachel McKinnon, with a history of incendiary remarks (such as that lesbians such as Navratilova should "get over their genital hang-ups" when it comes to choosing sexual partners). When Navratilova published a further blog last weekend, firmly restating her position, the headlines again suggested wrongdoing on her part, such as the BBC’s "Navratilova sorry for transgender 'cheat' language as she re-enters debate".
    What got notably less media attention was the support for Navratilova from other elite athletes, including Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes and Nicola Adams. Arguments about gender are now so vicious that most high-profile people would rather eat their hair than speak out.
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