Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Martina Navratilova

From: Czech Republic, United States: Florida
Fields: Sports
Key Words/Phrases: tennis
Navratilova, Martina (1956- ), Czech-American tennis player, who holds the women's all-time record for singles championships. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now in the Czech Republic), Navratilova was the national champion in her native country from 1972 to 1975 and won the Junior Girls Championship at Wimbledon in 1973. By the end of 1974 she had played in the singles finals of a number of major tournaments and, with American tennis player Chris Evert as her partner, had won several doubles championships. Frustrated by the Czechoslovakian Tennis Federation's interference with her career, Navratilova defected to the United States in 1975 and quickly became a leading player on the women's professional tennis tour. In 1976, with Evert, she won the Wimbledon doubles championship. An exceptionally strong player, Navratilova won the official women's tour and the Wimbledon singles championship in 1978 and again in 1979, when she finished the year as the world's top-ranked women's tennis player. From 1982 to 1987 she held the top ranking for all but 22 weeks of a 282-week period. She dominated Wimbledon from 1982 to 1987, winning six consecutive singles titles, and won again in 1990; she won the U.S. Open singles championship four times (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987). Her other major singles titles include the French Open (1982, 1984) and the Australian Open (1981, 1983, 1985). Navratilova also won fame for her doubles play, winning ten U.S. Open, eight Australian Open, seven French Open, and six Wimbledon titles with various partners. In 1992, Navratilova won her 158th professional tennis title-the Virginia Slims of Chicago-and set a record for career singles championships. In February 1993, with her victory over Monica Seles in the Paris Open, she established yet another record, becoming the oldest player to beat a number-one-ranked player in professional tennis. In August 1994 Navratilova was named president of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) TOUR Players Association. Later that year she retired from WTA TOUR singles competition. Her autobiography, Martina, was published in 1985.

"Navratilova, Martina" Microsoft® Encarta.
Copyright© 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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