- Category : Tennis Player
- Type : ME
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Limitation 2
Martina Navratilova (born October 18, 1956, in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a former World No. 1 woman tennis player. Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived." Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the second best female player of the 20th century, directly behind Steffi Graf. Tennis magazine has selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam womens doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record 9 times. She is one of just three women to have accomplished a career Grand Slam in singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles. She holds the open era record for most singles and doubles tournament wins (167 and 177 titles respectively). She also recorded the longest winning streak in tennis history (74 matches in a row) and three of the top six longest winning streaks in women's tennis history. Navratilova, Margaret Smith Court, and Maureen Connolly Brinker share the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam singles tournament championships (six).
Originally from the former Czechoslovakia, she defected to the United States in 1975 at the age of 18 and became a U.S. citizen in 1981.
In the 1980s, Navratilova came out as bisexual. She later clarified that she was a lesbian. In an interview with Gaysports.com, she said, "It was a little difficult because I had previously been with a guy. But once I had a lesbian experience I realized that although I liked guys and still do like guys emotionally I could only be attached to women."
In her autobiography, Being Myself, Navratilova says that she had romantic crushes on teachers of both sexes and, later, felt strongly attracted to other female tennis players. But she did not realize that these attractions had a sexual dimension until she was 18 years old, when she had her first gay relationship.
However, her parents — especially her father — were disturbed by the news of her sexual orientation, which her father characterized as a "sickness." During one of the many arguments that followed Navratilova's coming out, her father said that he would have preferred for her to have been a prostitute. Navratilova said she feared her sexual orientation might disrupt her application for American citizenship following her defection from Czechoslovakia, a country in which, she points out, "gays were sent to insane asylums and lesbians never came out of the closet."
In 1981, shortly after being granted U.S. citizenship, Navratilova came out publicly about her sexual orientation. From 1983 to 1991, Navratilova had a long-term relationship with partner Judy Nelson. Their split in 1991 included a much-publicized legal wrangle. Navratilova was featured in a WITA (Women's International Tennis Association) calendar, shot by Jean Renard with her Wimbledon trophies and Nelson's children in the background.
Navratilova also made a humorous guest appearance on the gay-themed NBC sitcom Will & Grace in a 2000 episode in which a flashback revealed that she had been a heterosexual until a 1985 relationship with Karen Walker turned her gay .
Navratilova released an autobiography, simply entitled "Martina", in 1985 and also co-wrote three mystery novels in the 1990s.