A champion on and off the court, Martina Navratilova is not only a tennis legend, but an inspirational leader who demonstrates wit, candor, and sheer motivation. Arguably the best tennis player ever to play the game, Navratilova has amassed an unmatched number of professional records during a career that spanned an amazing four decades, while proving herself to be one of the most intriguing, outspoken, and respected figures of the 20th century—and now the 21st century. Read More >
During her career, Navratilova won an astonishing 59 Grand Slam titles, including 18 singles, 31 women’s doubles, and ten mixed doubles. She is one of only three people who have won all three titles (singles, doubles, and mixed doubles) at each of the four Grand Slam events.
Navratilova is a staunch supporter of women’s issues, gay rights, ethical treatment of animals, environmental protection, and AIDS research. She was also the founder of the Rainbow Card credit card program and the non-profit Rainbow Endowment, which was one of the strongest supporters of gay and lesbian charities in North America, having given grants in excess of $2 million dollars. In 2015, she headed a campaign for equal future as an ambassador for Anz, Most recently, she is the ambassador for the WTA Finals in Singapore and has launched the 1st human rights conference for mega sporting events.
Through her television appearances, speaking engagements, and tennis commentaries, Navratilova has become as popular for her humor as for her forthrightness and determination. When she’s not attending the grandslams as a broadcaster for both the Tennis Channel, BBC and BT Sport, she spends much of her time traveling the world for speaking engagements. In addition, she is an accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She recently wrote her first opinion editorial piece for NYT online on election week, and she is the author of Shape Your Self, a guide to personal fitness and healthy living. She has also recently co-created Art Grand Slam, a collection of unique contemporary art inspired by tennis, in collaboration with the artist Juraj Kralik.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Navratilova has always proved herself to be fearless about her views and beliefs, as she demonstrated in 1975, at 18 years old, when she defected to the US in order to flee the repressive regime then in power. She displayed unequalled courage, candor, and conviction in 1981 when she became one of the first international sports figures to openly state that she was gay. Through her honesty, integrity, and courage, she has inspired countless others to do the same.
Beyond her Grand Slam titles, she won a total of 167 singles and 178 doubles titles, both all-time records for tennis players, male or female. Her 74-match singles winning streak and 109-match doubles winning streak are both professional records as are the nine Wimbledon singles titles and six consecutive Grand Slam titles that she won during the 1980s. After her 2000 induction into The Tennis Hall of Fame, Navratilova continued to play and win on the WTA Tour through October 2006, when she retired after winning the US Open mixed doubles a month before her 50th birthday.
Over the years, Navratilova has received numerous accolades, including Tour Player of the Year (seven times), Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Year, and Female Athlete of the Decade by the National Sports Review. She was named Sportswoman of the Year (three times) by Women’s Sports Foundation and was listed on Sports Illustrated’s Top 40 Athletes of All-time for her overall contributions to the world of athletics. BBC recently honored Navratilova with a documentary, “Just Call Me Martina,” focusing on her life and career, featuring commentary from some of her biggest fans, including Sir Elton John and other legendary tennis stars. Read Less ^