Navratilova standing on Wimbledon Center Court. Tim Ireland (AP)
Martina Navratilova, one of the racket’s great legends, confirmed this Monday that she was diagnosed with breast and throat cancer last November, both in the first stages of their development. In 2010, the 66-year-old tennis player overcame breast cancer after just six months of treatment and a lumpectomy. “This double whammy is serious but still curable. Hope everything goes well. Even if it’s going to be annoying for a while, I’ll fight with everything I have,” said the Czech-American.
Winner of 18 major singles and number one for 332 weeks – surpassed only by Germany’s Steffi Graf (377) – Navratilova found out she had a ganglion cyst in her neck while working out during the last edition of the WTA Finals in Texas ( UNITED STATES). Medical assessments revealed the doubles condition the former player – also a winner of 31 majors in doubles and 10 in mixed – is facing with the same determination she’s always shown on and off the slopes.
Navratilova is one of tennis’s great historical icons, a stalwart symbol of gender parity on the circuit and involved in various social causes. In an interview with that newspaper in November 2021, she explained: “I fight for women to have more power, be it in politics, in business or in the media (…). I think sport has long been leading the social front, breaking down barriers and driving social issues. We do that”.
The tennis player officially retired in 2006 at the age of 49 while still competing in doubles; before that, at the age of 37, he sealed his individual career. Between the 1970s and 1980s, she and American Chris Evert played in the great historical rivalry on the WTA circuit – 80 duels, 43-37 in favor of Navratilova – and one of the most prestigious in tennis. Both are currently working as ambassadors for the Finals, which bring together the eight best players of the year at the end of the year.
Originally, Navratilova – nine Wimbledon title winners, left-handed, technical and physical marvel – was due to travel to Melbourne in the next few days to act as a commentator, a job she’s also been doing for a long time, but finally she’s going to rest.
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