Navratilova is one of the most successful tennis players of all time. In addition to 31 grand slam doubles titles and 11 grand slam mixed doubles titles, she has 18 grand slam singles titles.
Martina Navratilova, a tennis legend, revealed in a statement posted to the WTA website on Monday that she has throat cancer and has experienced a relapse of breast cancer, which she was initially diagnosed with earlier in 2010. “This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” the 66-year-old opened up in the statement. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”
Navratilova is one of the most successful tennis players of all time. In addition to 31 grand slam doubles titles and 11 grand slam mixed doubles titles, she has 18 grand slam singles titles. In 2000, she was admitted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, per ABC.
Martina Navratilova, one of the greatest athletes in history, has been diagnosed with Stage 1 throat cancer.— TENNIS (@Tennis) January 2, 2023
In addition, an unrelated form of breast cancer was discovered during exams. Both cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes.
Thinking of you, @Martina ❤️
The tennis player is a total fighter. In 2010 at the age of 53, Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even then, after digesting the information, the sport went on to battle cancer courageously and never gave up. Navratilova recalled to the WTA that she wept for “about 15 seconds” after she received her initial breast cancer diagnosis. She then said, “OK, what do we do? What’s the next step?”
She tweeted, in response to all the support she has been receiving from her fans, writing, "Needless to say my phone and Twitter are both blowing up so I will say again- thank you all for your support and I am not done yet."
Navratilova discovered an enlarged lymph node in her neck in November at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the WTA statement. Doctors soon after identified stage 1 throat and breast cancer during tests. Specifically, it is human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the more treatable cancers, per the statement. The first round of cancer treatment will start the following week, largely in New York City. Navratilova has recently worked as a tennis instructor and commentator, sharing her ideas with fans and players. The Australian Open will not have Navratilova as part of Tennis Channel's coverage, but the WTA noted that she intends to appear online on Zoom shortly.
Needless to say my phone and twitter are both blowing up so I will say again- thank you all for your support and I am not done yet:)— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) January 2, 2023
Navratilova notified her close friend Pam Shriver some weeks before the official announcement. Playing doubles alongside Navratilova, Shriver, a Tennis Channel and ESPN broadcaster, has 79 victories, including 21 majors. “You look at your skills as an athlete, to compete,” Shriver said from her home in California, “and in her case to compete and be the best while leaving no stone unturned -- as far as finding things out, researching and understanding how to put together the best team. She was one of the first in tennis to have a team. Some of those traits will serve her well once again.” Shriver added, “You’ve got to put together quite the collaborative medical approach, and there will be no question that she’ll put together the best team. And that gives all of us great assurance. And the way she competes, the way she relies on your ability to roll up your sleeves and compete.”
Navratilova, who has long been outspoken on social and political issues, made history in 1981 when she came out as queer, becoming one of the first well-known sports celebrities to do so. In 2014, she married her partner, Julia Lemigova, a former model who was Miss USSR in 1990 and a cast member of The Real Housewives of Miami. Navratilova also makes frequent appearances on the show.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Dan Istitene