Martina Navratilova facts for kids

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Martina Navratilova
Navratilova-PragueOpen2006-05 cropped.jpg
Navratilova at the Prague Open, in 2006
Country  Czechoslovakia
(1956–1975)
 United States
Residence Miami, Florida, US
Born October 18, 1956 (1956-10-18) (age 62)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Turned pro 1975
Retired 2006
Plays Left-handed (one-handed backhand), born right-handed
Prize money US$21,626,089
Singles
Career record 1,442–219 (86.8%)
Career titles 167 WTA, 1 ITF (Open era record)
Highest ranking No. 1 (July 10, 1978)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1981, 1983, 1985)
French Open W (1982, 1984)
Wimbledon W (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990)
US Open W (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)
Other tournaments
Championships W (1978, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986Mar, 1986Nov)
Doubles
Career record 747–143 (83.9%)
Career titles 177 WTA, 9 ITF (Open era record)
Highest ranking No. 1 (September 10, 1984)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989)
French Open W (1975, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
Wimbledon W (1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986)
US Open W (1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990)
Other Doubles tournaments
Championships W (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986Nov, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991)
Mixed Doubles
Career titles 15
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (2003)
French Open W (1974, 1985)
Wimbledon W (1985, 1993, 1995, 2003)
US Open W (1985, 1987, 2006)
Team Competitions
Fed Cup W (1975, 1982, 1986, 1989)
Coaching career (2014)
Paraguay stamp - Martina Navrátilová
1986 Paraguay stamp

Martina Navratilova; born Martina Šubertová; October 18, 1956) is a former Czechoslovak and later American professional tennis player and coach. In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1975 through 2005 and she is considered one of the best, if not the best, female tennis players of all time.

Navratilova was world No. 1 for a total of 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. She was year-end singles No. 1 seven times, including a record of five consecutive years, as well as year-end doubles No. 1 five times, including three consecutive years during which she held the ranking for the entire year.

She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women's doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles, combined marking the open-era record for the most number of Grand Slam titles won by one player, male or female. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including for nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times (surpassing Helen Wills Moody's eight Wimbledon titles), including a run of six consecutive titles, widely regarded as the best performance by any professional player at a major event. She and Billie Jean King each won 20 combined Wimbledon titles, an all-time record. Navratilova is also one of just three women ever to have accomplished a Career Grand Slam in women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles (called the Grand Slam "boxed set"), a distinction she shares only with Margaret Court and Doris Hart.

Navratilova holds the records for most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) in the Open Era. Her record as No. 1 in singles (1982–86) remains the most dominant in professional tennis to date. Over five consecutive seasons, she won 428 out of 442 singles matches, averaging fewer than three losses per year to 87 wins, for a sustained winning percentage of 96.8%. She holds the best season win-loss record in the open era, 86-1 (98.9%) in 1983, and four out of the top six open era seasons. She recorded the longest winning streak in the open era (74 consecutive matches) as well as three out of the six longest winning streaks in history.

She and Serena Williams are the only Open Era players to have won six major singles crowns without the loss of a set. Navratilova, Margaret Court and Maureen Connolly share the record for the most consecutive major singles titles (six). Navratilova reached 11 consecutive major singles finals, second all-time only to Steffi Graf's 13, and is the only woman ever to reach 19 consecutive major semifinals. Navratilova also won the season-ending WTA Tour Championships for top ranked players a record eight times and made the finals a record 14 times. She is the only player of either sex to have won eight different tournaments at least seven times. She was ranked in the world's top 10 in singles for a record 20 consecutive years (1975–1994), a span which included 19 years in the top 5, 15 years in the top 3, and 7 years as the world No. 1 ranked singles player. Navratilova is regarded by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time.

In women's doubles, Navratilova and Pam Shriver had one of the most successful partnerships in women's doubles and won 109 consecutive matches including all four major titles, the doubles Grand Slam, in 1984. The pair set an all-time record of 79 titles together and tied the record set by Louise Brough Clapp and Margaret Osborne duPont of 20 major women's doubles titles as a team. Navratilova also won the WTA Tour Championships doubles title a record 11 times. She is one of only five tennis players of all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matched only by Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Frank Sedgman and Serena Williams. Navratilova won her last major title in 2006, adding the mixed doubles crown at the 2006 US Open to her resume just a few weeks before her 50th birthday, 32 years after her first Grand Slam title in 1974.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, she was stripped of her citizenship when, in 1975 at age 18, she asked the United States for political asylum and was granted temporary residency. At the time, Navratilova was told by the Czechoslovak Sports Federation that she was becoming too americanised, and she should go back to school and make tennis secondary. Navratilova became a US citizen in 1981, and on January 9, 2008, she reacquired Czech citizenship. She stated she has not renounced her U.S. citizenship nor does she plan to do so, and that reclaiming Czech nationality was not politically motivated.

Early life and background

Navratilova was born Martina Šubertová in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Her parents divorced when she was three, and her mother, an accomplished gymnast, tennis player, and ski instructor, moved the family to Řevnice. In 1962, her mother Jana married Miroslav Navrátil, who became her first tennis coach. Martina then took the name of her stepfather (adding the feminine suffix "ová"), thus becoming Martina Navrátilová.

In 2008, Navratilova's mother died aged 75. Navratilova has a sister, Jana, and an older paternal half-brother. Her grandmother, Agnes Semanska, was a tennis player for the Czechoslovak Federation before the Second World War and had a ranking as high as No. 2 among Czech women during her amateur career.

When Navratilova was four, she was hitting a tennis ball off a concrete wall and started to play tennis regularly at age 7. In 1972, at the age of 15, Navratilova won the Czechoslovakia national tennis championship. In 1973, aged 16, she made her debut on the United States Lawn Tennis Association professional tour but did not turn professional until 1975. Although perhaps most renowned for her mastery of fast low-bouncing grass, her best early showing at majors was on the red clay at the French Open, where she would go on to reach the final six times. In 1973, she made the quarterfinals where she lost 6–7, 4–6 to Evonne Goolagong. She made the quarterfinals the next year and lost to Helga Masthoff (née Niessen), after again losing the first set in a tiebreak.

Career statistics

Grand Slam Singles finals: 32 (18–14)

By winning the 1983 US Open title, Navratilova completed the Career Grand Slam. She became only the seventh female player in history to achieve this.

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1975 Australian Open Grass Australia Evonne Goolagong 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 1975 French Open Clay United States Chris Evert 6–2, 2–6, 1–6
Winner 1978 Wimbledon (1) Grass United States Chris Evert 2–6, 6–4, 7–5
Winner 1979 Wimbledon (2) Grass United States Chris Evert 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1981 US Open Hard United States Tracy Austin 6–1, 6–7(4–7), 6–7(1–7)
Winner 1981 Australian Open (1) Grass United States Chris Evert 6–7(4–7), 6–4, 7–5
Winner 1982 French Open (1) Clay United States Andrea Jaeger 7–6(8–6), 6–1
Winner 1982 Wimbledon (3) Grass United States Chris Evert 6–1, 3–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1982 Australian Open Grass United States Chris Evert 3–6, 6–2, 3–6
Winner 1983 Wimbledon (4) Grass United States Andrea Jaeger 6–0, 6–3
Winner 1983 US Open (1) Hard United States Chris Evert 6–1, 6–3
Winner 1983 Australian Open (2) Grass United States Kathy Jordan 6–2, 7–6(7–5)
Winner 1984 French Open (2) Clay United States Chris Evert 6–3, 6–1
Winner 1984 Wimbledon (5) Grass United States Chris Evert 7–6(7–5), 6–2
Winner 1984 US Open (2) Hard United States Chris Evert 4–6, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1985 French Open Clay United States Chris Evert 3–6, 7–6(7–4), 5–7
Winner 1985 Wimbledon (6) Grass United States Chris Evert 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1985 US Open Hard Czechoslovakia Hana Mandlíková 6–7(3–7), 6–1, 6–7(2–7)
Winner 1985 Australian Open (3) Grass United States Chris Evert 6–2, 4–6, 6–2
Runner-up 1986 French Open Clay United States Chris Evert 6–2, 3–6, 3–6
Winner 1986 Wimbledon (7) Grass Czechoslovakia Hana Mandlíková 7–6(7–1), 6–3
Winner 1986 US Open (3) Hard Czechoslovakia Helena Suková 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1987 Australian Open Grass Czechoslovakia Hana Mandlíková 5–7, 6–7(1–7)
Runner-up 1987 French Open Clay West Germany Steffi Graf 4–6, 6–4, 6–8
Winner 1987 Wimbledon (8) Grass West Germany Steffi Graf 7–5, 6–3
Winner 1987 US Open (4) Hard West Germany Steffi Graf 7–6(7–4), 6–1
Runner-up 1988 Wimbledon Grass West Germany Steffi Graf 7–5, 2–6, 1–6
Runner-up 1989 Wimbledon Grass West Germany Steffi Graf 2–6, 7–6(7–1), 1–6
Runner-up 1989 US Open Hard West Germany Steffi Graf 6–3, 5–7, 1–6
Winner 1990 Wimbledon (9) Grass United States Zina Garrison 6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 1991 US Open Hard Yugoslavia Monica Seles 6–7(1–7), 1–6
Runner-up 1994 Wimbledon Grass Spain Conchita Martínez 4–6, 6–3, 3–6

Performance timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)

Singles

 Czechoslovakia  United States
Tournament 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995–2003 2004
Australian Open A A F A A A A A SF W F W SF W F SF QF A A A A A A A
French Open QF QF F A A A A A QF W 4R W F F F 4R A A A A A 1R A 1R
Wimbledon 3R 1R QF SF QF W W SF SF W W W W W W F F W QF SF SF F A 2R
US Open 1R 3R SF 1R SF SF SF 4R F QF W W F W W QF F 4R F 2R 4R A A A

Records

  • These are Open Era tennis records.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.

Awards

Recognition

In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005, directly over Steffi Graf. Billie Jean King, a former World No. 1 player, said in 2006 that Navratilova is "the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived." In 2008, tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time."

In 2006, Martina Navratilova was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the LGBT History Month.

Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century (1999), named her as the second best female player of the 20th century, directly behind Steffi Graf.

In June 2011, she was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time.

In March 2012, The Tennis Channel named Navratilova as the second greatest female tennis player of all times, behind Steffi Graf, in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all times.

On August 2, 2013, Navratilova was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

On May 12, 2016, Navratilova was made an honorary fellow of Lucy Cavendish College of the University of Cambridge.

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