Martina Navratilova is a Czech-American tennis player and coach who is considered to be among the best female tennis players of all time. Martina Navratilova has a net worth of $25 million. She has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles.
During her career, Martina earned round $20 million in tournament prizes alone. After adjusting for inflation, that’s the same as around $33 million in today’s dollars. She also earned tens of million from endorsements.
Navratilova was born on October 18, 1956 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her parents divorced when she was only three and her mother, who was an accomplished tennis player and all-around athlete, took the family to live in Revnice. In 1962, her mother remarried to Miroslav Navratil and Martina took his last name. He also became her first tennis coach. She began regularly playing tennis at the age of seven and by the age of 15, in 1972, she had won the Czechoslovakia national tennis championship. The following year, shen she was 16, she made her debut on the United States Law Tennis Association but did not yet become professional.
Navratilova won her first professional singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974. The following year, she was runner-up at the Australian Open and the French Open. She made the decision to defect from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 and received her green card from the United States. She later became a U.S. citizen in 1981.
Navratilova experienced early success playing in doubles matches. She teamed up with the world number one player, Chris Evert, to win the French Open women’s doubles title in 1975. The duo won again at Wimbledon in 1976. In 1978, she won her first major singles title at Wimbledon when she defeated Chris Evert, making her the number one ranked player by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). She retained the ranking the following year when she again beat Evert at Wimbledon in 1979. Two years later, Evert beat her in the WTA championships and Navratilova decided to begin working with basketball player Nancy Lieberman in order to improve her fitness and mental approach to the game.
In 1981, she won her third major singles title by winning over Evert in the Australian Open. In 1982, she also won the French Open and Wimbledon. Thanks in large part to the training she was doing with Lieberman, Navratilova became the most dominant female player in the game. In 1983, she captured three of the four major titles, losing only the French Open. In all of 1982, 1983, and 1984, she lost a total of only six singles matches, making her winning percentage the best ever for a post-1968 professional player. She maintained a run of 13 consecutive victories over rival Chris Evert and she is still remembered for her complete dominance in women’s tennis during the early and mid-1980s.
In 1985, she played in the French Open against Evert in what many to consider to be one of, if not the, best women’s matches of all time. Evert ended up defeating Navratilova, symbolizing a turnaround for her after years of losing to her rival. However, Navratilova still maintained her dominance on grass, hard, and indoor courts.
Navratilova’s dominance in the sport was challenged in the mid-1980s when sixteen-year-old German Steffi Graf came onto the scene. Graf dominated the late 1980s, though Navratilova remain competitive and was often the number two ranked spot behind Graf in the world rankings. Her final Grand Slam singles triumph was in 1990. She soon after retired from full-time competition. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. She returned to tennis in 2000 to mostly play in doubles matches, though she occasionally competed on the singles circuit as well. She became the oldest ever major champion after winning mixed doubles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon with partner Leander Paes.
In total Navratilova has won 167 top-level singles titles and 177 doubles titles. She holds a number of records in the tennis world, even today, and is still widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
In 1981, Navratilova came out as bisexual in an interview she gave with New York Daily News reporter Steve Goldstein. Despite her request not to mention it until she was ready to publicly come out, the article was published anyway. She subsequently gave an interview with the Dallas Morning News in which she confirmed that she was bisexual. She has since come out as being a lesbian.
From 1984 until 1991, she was in a long-term relationship with Judy Nelson. Their break-up in 1991 was highly public due to the fact that their palimony lawsuit was televised. Later, Navratilova began dating Julia Lemigova. She proposed to her in September of 2014 at the US Open and the couple got married in December.
Navratilova has been vocal about a number of different causes. She has gotten involved in LGTBQ rights and was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign in 2000. She is also vocally opposed to Communism and has made a number of public statements about it.
She did get involved in controversy over remarks she has made regarding transgender athletes. An LGBTQ athlete advocacy group, Athlete Ally, removed her from their advisory board because of her criticism regarding allowing trans women to compete in women’s sports. In 2021, she became a leader in the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, which was formed in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order that mandates blanket inclusion for trans women athletes.
|Date of Birth:
|Oct 18, 1956 (65 years old)
|5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
|United States of America