Martina Navratilova – WOMAN of ACTION™

 

A Celebration of Women™

has been inspired to Celebrate the Life of this definite leader, a woman that rose above challenges, excelled in her career and took action for her human rights, as well as the rights of athletes, the gay & lesbian community; as well as animals.

 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

 

Martina Navratilova

 
 
 
Martina Navratilova (Czech: Martina Navrátilová; born Martina Šubertová; October 18, 1956) is a retired Czech American tennis player and coach, and a former World No. 1. Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, “She’s the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”

Navratilova was born Martina Šubertová in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her parents divorced when she was three, and in 1962 her mother Jana married Miroslav Navrátil, who became her first tennis coach.

Martina then took the name of her stepfather (adding the feminine suffix “ová”), thus becoming Martina Navrátilová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmarcɪna ˈnavraːcɪlovaː] ( listen)). Her father Mirek remarried and divorced.

When she was eight, he committed suicide.

In 2008, Navratilova’s mother died of emphysema, aged 75. Navratilova has a sister, Jana, and an older paternal half-brother.

In 1972, at the age of 15, Navratilova won the Czechoslovakia national tennis championship. In 1973, aged 16, she made her debut on the United States Lawn Tennis Association professional tour but did not turn professional until 1975. She won her first professional singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974, at the age of 17. Upon arriving in the United States, Navratilova first lived with former Vaudeville actress, Frances Dewey Wormser, and her husband, Morton Wormser, a tennis enthusiast.

Navratilova was the runner-up at two Grand Slam singles tournaments in 1975. She lost in the final of the Australian Open to Evonne Goolagong Cawley and in the final of the French Open to Chris Evert. After losing to Evert in the semifinals of that year’s US Open, the 18-year-old Navratilova went to the offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in New York City and informed them that she wished to defect from Communist Czechoslovakia. Within a month, she received a green card.

Navratilova won her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1978

She defeated Evert in three sets in the final and captured the World No. 1 ranking for the first time. She successfully defended her Wimbledon title in 1979, again beating Evert in the final, and retained her World No. 1 ranking. In 1981, Navratilova won her third Grand Slam singles title by defeating Evert in the final of the Australian Open. Navratilova also reached the final of the US Open, where she lost a third set tiebreak to Tracy Austin. Navratilova won both Wimbledon and the French Open in 1982.

After adopting basketball player Nancy Lieberman’s exercise plan and using graphite racquets, Navratilova became the most dominant player in women’s tennis. After losing in the fourth round of the first Grand Slam event of 1983, the French Open, she captured the year’s three remaining Grand Slam titles (the Australian Open was held in December at that time). Navratilova’s loss at the French Open was her only singles defeat during that year, during which she established an 86–1 record. Her winning percentage was the best ever for a post-1968 professional tennis player.

During 1982, 1983, and 1984, Navratilova lost a total of only six singles matches.

Navratilova won the 1984 French Open, thus holding all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously. Her accomplishment was declared a “Grand Slam” by Philippe Chatrier, president of the International Tennis Federation. Many tennis observers, however, insisted that it was not a true Grand Slam because the titles had not been won in a single calendar year. Navratilova extended her Grand Slam singles tournament winning streak to a record-equalling six following wins at Wimbledon and the US Open. She entered the 1984 Australian Open with a chance of winning all four titles in the same year. In the semifinals, however, Helena Suková ended Navratilova’s 74-match winning streak (a record for a professional) 1–6, 6–3, 7–5.

Martina Navratilova – 18 times Grand Slam single titles winner has also authored several fiction books.

According to Billie Jean King,

“She’s the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived”

A left-hander, Navratilova won all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles in 1984, partnering right-handed Pam Shriver, a tall and talented player whose most noted stroke was a slice forehand, a shot virtually unheard of in the game today. This was part of a record 109-match winning streak that the pair achieved between 1983 and 1985. (Navratilova was ranked the World No. 1 doubles player for a period of over three years in the 1980s.)

From 1985 through 1987, Navratilova reached the women’s singles final at all 11 Grand Slam tournaments held during those three years, winning six of them. From 1982 through 1990, she reached the Wimbledon final nine consecutive times. She reached the US Open final five consecutive times from 1983 through 1987 and appeared in the French Open final five out of six years from 1982 through 1987.

Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times. She and King each won 20 Wimbledon titles, an all-time record.

Navratilova is one of just three women to have accomplished a career Grand Slam in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles (called the Grand Slam “boxed set”) a record she shares with Margaret Court and Doris Hart. She holds the open era record for most singles titles (167) and doubles titles (177). She recorded the longest winning streak in the open era (74 consecutive matches) and three of the six longest winning streaks in the women’s open era. Navratilova, Margaret Court and Maureen Connolly share the record for the most consecutive major singles titles (six). Navratilova reached 11 consecutive major singles finals, second all-time to Steffi Graf’s 13.

In women’s doubles, Navratilova and Pam Shriver won 109 consecutive matches and won all four major titles in 1984, i.e. the Grand Slam. Also the pair set an all time record of 79 titles together and tied Louise Brough Clapp’s and Margaret Osborne duPont’s record of 20 major women’s doubles titles as a team. In addition she won the season ending WTA Tour Championships a record 8 times and made the finals a record 14 times and won the doubles title a record 11 times. Navratilova is the only person of either sex to have won eight different tournaments at least seven times.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, she was stripped of her citizenship when, in 1975 at the age of 18, she asked the United States for political asylum and was granted temporary residency. At the time, Navratilova was told by the Czechoslovakian Sports Federation that she was becoming too Americanized and that she should go back to school and make tennis secondary.

Navratilova became a US citizen in 1981, and on January 9, 2008, she had her Czech citizenship restored.

In 1981, shortly after becoming a United States citizen, Navratilova came out publicly about her sexual orientation.

During the early 1980s, she was involved with author Rita Mae Brown.

From 1984 to 1991, Navratilova had a long-term relationship with Judy Nelson.

Their split in 1991 included a much-publicized legal wrangle. Navratilova was featured in a WITA (Women’s International Tennis Association) calendar, shot by Jean Renard with her Wimbledon trophies and Nelson’s children in the background.

In 1985, Navratilova released an autobiography, co-written with The New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey, titled Martina in the U.S. and Being Myself in the rest of the world.

She had earlier co-written a tennis instruction book with Mary Carillo in 1982, entitled Tennis My Way.

She later wrote three mystery novels with Liz Nickles: The Total Zone (1994), Breaking Point (1996), and Killer Instinct (1997).

Navratilova’s most recent literary effort was a health and fitness book entitled Shape Your Self, which came out in 2006.


On April 7, 2010, Navratilova announced that she was being treated for breast cancer.

A routine mammogram in January 2010 revealed that she had a ductal carcinoma in situ in her left breast, which she was informed of on February 24, and in March she had the tumor surgically removed; she received radiation therapy in May.

After six weeks of radiation therapy, Martina happily reported in late September that she is cancer free.

In December 2010, Navratilova was hospitalized after developing high altitude pulmonary edema while attempting a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

She stated she has not renounced her U.S. citizenship nor does she plan to do so and that the restoration of her Czech citizenship was not politically motivated.

Navratilova is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

She also serves as the Health and Fitness Ambassador for AARP in an alliance created to help AARP’s millions of members lead active, healthy lives.
 
When not playing tennis, Navratilova is involved with various charities that benefit animal rights, underprivileged children, and gay rights. She filed a lawsuit against Amendment 2, a 1992 ballot proposition in Colorado designed to deny gays and lesbians legal protection from discrimination.

In the same year, she spoke before the National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.

In 2000, she was the recipient of National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian activist/lobbying group.

 
 
A vegetarian, Navratilova appeared in ad campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In an April 2006 interview, however, she said she had recently begun eating fish again because she found it hard to get enough protein while on the road; which would make her a pescetarian not a vegetarian; nevertheless in 2008 she described herself as vegetarian.

Navratilova in September 2011

She has spoken out on a number of volatile political issues, including tort/litigation reform, but perhaps her most consistent theme—aside from gay and lesbian rights—has been her unstinting opposition to Communism, and unrelenting opposition to the former Eastern Bloc power structure that she believes compelled her to flee her native Czechoslovakia.

She has denounced the Soviet Union’s control over Czechoslovakia, maintaining that she refuses to speak Russian to this day because of the Soviet Union’s former hegemony over Eastern Europe.

“Whenever people go into politics and they try to say that Communism was a good thing, I say,
‘Go ahead and live in a Communist country then, if you think it’s so great.’

 
She was at the peak of her legendary tennis career when most women settle down to become mothers.

But at the age of 55 and after a string of tempestuous love affairs, Martina Navratilova has finally embraced motherhood.

She has become a parent to her girlfriend’s two young daughters, an arrangement she referred to as her ‘instantaneous family’. Miss Navratilova has been in a relationship with former Russian beauty queen Julia Lemigova, 41, since 2006, and the couple were first pictured together in 2009.

On motherhood, Miss Navratilova said: ‘It’s difficult, two girls, but it’s fun, it’s amazing.’

The star, who has had difficult relationships with ex-girlfriends including Toni Layton which ended in a legal battle, as well as another beauty queen, former Miss Texas Judy Nelson, admitted: ‘I am looking to change my life a little bit where I don’t have to travel so much. It’s instantaneous family. It’s strange because you get into a relationship and there are two kids.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173436/Martina-Navratilova-55-finds-joy-instant-family-parent-girlfriends-daughters.html#ixzz28l4z56CF
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 
 
 

A Celebration of Women

embraces this life, one of Taking Action for positive change in our world. We are elated to offer this tribute here today, and welcome her into our Alumni with open arms.

 

 

Brava Martina!

 

Speak Your Mind

*

Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care