Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova: Career highlights

Martina Navratilova is one of the best known tennis players in the world. She was born in Czechoslovakia, but left the country just before she turned 18. She represented her country for two years, 1973 to 1975, at which point she was stripped of her Czech citizenship.

She had asked for asylum from the United States government, as she wanted to continue her tennis. In her home country, she was being asked to concentrate more on her studies and put tennis on the backburner, but she was in no mood to comply with such requests. After she was granted temporary residency in the United States, she turned professional. She met with immediate success.

In 1975, she was the runner-up in two Grand Slam events, the Australian Open and the French Open. Her first Grand Slam victory came a few years later, in 1978. She won her first Grand Slam singles event by defeating Chris Evert at Wimbledon, the very opponent who had cut short her French Open dreams.

Since then, she has held a number of records. She won the Wimbledon a record 9 times, and also holds the record for the maximum number of Grand Slam doubles titles, 31 in total.

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