|Born||October 18, 1956 in Prague, Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia)|
|Class of HOF||2000|
|Height||5'8" (173 cm)|
|Weight||139 lbs (63 kg)|
|Coach||Miroslav Navratil, George Parma, Vera Sukova, Renee Richards (1981–1983), Mike Estep (1983–1986), Craig Kardon (1988–1994)|
|Bio||One of the greatest female athletes of all time, Martina Navratilova took women’s tennis to an entirely new level with her speed, aggression, and flexibility. A left-hander with a marvelously sculpted serve-and-volley style featuring a magnificent backhand volley and a superb overhead, she amassed a record nine Wimbledon singles titles in her prime years and secured 59 majors in total. In doubles, she was majestic, winning a record 177 titles across her career and recording her last major in mixed alongside Mike Bryan in 2006 at the US Open. She was 49.
Navratilova is a Czechoslovak-born American former 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 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 career "Grand Slam Boxed Set"; consisting of every senior Grand Slam title, a distinction she shares only with two others, 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 residence. At the time, Navratilova was told by the Czechoslovak Sports Federation that she was becoming too Americanized, 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.
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. Her father, Mirek (officially Miroslav Šubert), was a ski instructor.
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 seven. 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.
Navratilova won her first professional singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974, at the age of 17. Upon arriving in the United States, Navratilova first lived with former Vaudeville actress, Frances Dewey Wormser, and her husband, Morton Wormser, a tennis enthusiast.
Navratilova was the runner-up at two major singles tournaments in 1975. She lost in the final of the Australian Open to Evonne Goolagong and in the final of the French Open to Chris Evert over three sets. After losing to Evert in the semifinals of that year's US Open in September, the 18-year-old Navratilova went to the offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in New York City and informed them that she wished to defect from Communist Czechoslovakia. Within a month, she received a green card and in 1981 became a US citizen. Also, in 1975, Navratilova teamed with then world number one, Chris Evert, to win the French Open women's doubles title, Martina's first major title outside of mixed doubles. They teamed again in 1976 to win the women's Wimbledon doubles title over Billie Jean King and Bette Stove.
Navratilova won her first major singles title at Wimbledon in 1978, where she defeated Evert in three sets in the final and captured the world No. 1 ranking for the first time on the WTA computer, a position she held until Evert took it back in January 1979. Navratilova successfully defended her Wimbledon title in 1979, again beating Evert in the final in straight sets, and earned the World No. 1 ranking at the end of the year for the first time. Just before Wimbledon in 1979, Navratilova and Evert played possibly the highest scoring women's professional match ever in the Eastbourne final, in which Evert edged Navratilova 7–5, 5–7, 13-11 after facing match points herself. In April 1981, Evert defeated Navratilova in the finals of the Women's Tennis Association championships, held on clay at Amelia Island, 6–0, 6–0. It was Navratilova's only professional double bagel loss (one she later avenged with a crushing 6–2, 6–0 defeat of Evert in the finals of the same Amelia Island event in 1984). It was at this point that Navratilova began working with Nancy Lieberman to improve her fitness and toughen her mental approach to better compete with Evert and fulfil her true potential. In 1981, Navratilova won her third major singles title by defeating Evert in the final of the Australian Open. Navratilova also defeated Evert to reach the final of the US Open, where she lost a third set tiebreak to Tracy Austin. Navratilova won both Wimbledon and the French Open in 1982.
After adopting basketball player Nancy Lieberman's exercise plan and using Yonex isometric midsize graphite-fiberglass composite racquets, Navratilova became the most dominant player in women's tennis. After losing in the fourth round of the first major event of 1983, the French Open, she captured the year's three remaining major titles (the Australian Open was held in December at that time). Navratilova's loss at the French Open was her only singles defeat during that year, during which she established an 86–1 record. Her winning percentage was the best ever for a post-1968 professional tennis player. During 1982, 1983, and 1984, Navratilova lost a total of only six singles matches. This included a run of 13 consecutive victories over her closest rival and world-ranked No. 2, Chris Evert. Navratilova's reign from 1982 to 1986 is the most dominant unbroken spell in the professional era.
Navratilova won the 1984 French Open, thus holding all four major singles titles simultaneously. Her accomplishment was declared a "Grand Slam" by Philippe Chatrier, president of the International Tennis Federation, although some tennis observers countered that it was not a true slam because the titles had not been won in a single calendar year. Navratilova extended her major singles tournament winning streak to a record-equalling six following wins at Wimbledon and the US Open. Navratilova's victory meant she became the first player to win majors on clay, grass and hard court on the same year. She entered the 1984 Australian Open with a chance of winning all four titles in the same year. In the semifinals, however, Helena Suková ended Navratilova's 74-match winning streak (a record for a professional) 1–6, 6–3, 7–5.
A left-hander, Navratilova completed a calendar grand slam in women's doubles in 1984, partnering right-handed Pam Shriver, a tall and talented player whose most noted stroke was a slice forehand, a shot virtually unheard of in the game today. This was part of a record 109-match winning streak that the pair achieved between 1983 and 1985. (Navratilova was ranked the world No. 1 doubles player for a period of over three years in the 1980s.) From 1985 through 1987, Navratilova reached the women's singles final at all 11 major tournaments held during those three years, winning six of them. From 1982 through 1990, she reached the Wimbledon final nine consecutive times. She reached the US Open final five consecutive times from 1983 through 1987 and appeared in the French Open final five out of six years from 1982 through 1987.
In 1985, Navratilova played in what many consider to be perhaps the best woman's match of all time, the French Open final against Chris Evert. Navratilova battled back from 3–6, 2–4 down to 5-5 all in the third set, before Evert hit a winning backhand passing shot on match point to defeat Navratilova 6–3, 6–7(4), 7–5. This was a major turnaround for Evert, who was so outmatched the year earlier in the final that Bud Collins remarked as a TV commentator that the sport needed to create a higher league for Navratilova to compete in. In outdoor matches against Evert, Navratilova led 10–5 on grass and 9–7 on hardcourts, while Evert was up 11–3 on clay. On indoor courts, however, Navratilova had a decisive 21–14 lead. At the end of what is widely regarded as the greatest rivalry in women's tennis, Navratilova led Evert 43–37 in total matches, 14–8 in Grand Slams and 10–4 in Grand Slam finals.
In the 1986, Evert defeated Navratilova in straight-sets in the finals of the French Open, but Navratilova responded by defeating Evert, also in straight-sets, in the finals of Wimbledon. At the U.S. Open, Navratilova prevailed over sixteen-year-old German Steffi Graf in a close semi-final winning 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8), before handily winning the final over Helena Sukova 6-3, 6-2. Navratilova, with partner Pam Shriver, also won the women's doubles title. Navratilova also defeated Graf in straight sets at the WTA Tour Championship and with an 89-3 record, earned the number-one ranking for the fifth consecutive year.
Graf dominated the first half of the 1987 season including defeating Navratilova in straight sets in the semi-finals of the Miami Open and in the final of the French Open, 6–4, 4–6, 8–6. However, Navratilova defeated Graf in straight sets in the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open (and at the US Open became only the third player in the Open Era, joining tennis legends Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, to win the women's singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles at the same event—the rare "Triple Crown"). Navratilova reached all four Grand Slam finals in 1987, winning two of them (she lost the Australian Open to Hana Mandlikova). Graf's two losses to Navratilova were her only losses of the year and with 11 tournament wins over the year versus four for Navratilova she was able to obtain year-end world No. 1 ranking ahead of Navratilova at No. 2. Graf eventually broke Navratilova's records of 156 consecutive weeks and 331 total weeks as the world No. 1 singles player but fell 60 short of Navratilova's record of 167 singles titles. Including doubles, Navratilova won almost three times as many titles as Graf with a record doubles/mixed/singles combined total of 344 titles to Graf's 118.
In 1988, Graf won all four major singles titles, beating the 31-year-old Navratilova 5–7, 6–2, 6–1 in the Wimbledon final, their only match of the year, recovering from a set and a break down. Navratilova did not reach the finals of any of the other Grand Slam events but did win nine tournaments enabling her to claim the No. 2 ranking behind Graf.
In 1989, Graf and Navratilova met in the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open, with Graf winning both encounters 6-1 in the third set. Graf also defeated Navratilova in the finals of the WTA Tour Championships their third and final match of the year. Navratilova, who skipped the French Open that year, did win eight titles and was able to capture the No. 2 ranking behind Graf for the third straight year. Despite the 13 year age difference between the two players, and Graf's comparative lack of investment in doubles and mixed doubles, Navratilova won 9 of the 18 career singles matches with Graf and 5 of the 9 major singles matches with her. At age 34, Navratilova defeated Graf the last time they played in a major in the semifinals of the 1991 US Open 7–6(2), 6–7(6), 6–4, to end their Grand Slam rivalry 5-4 up, although it is noteworthy that all 4 of Graf's Grand Slam victories over Navratilova came in the finals of a Slam. This is reflected in the Grand Slams Finals chart below.
Navratilova's final Grand Slam singles triumph was in 1990. In the final at Wimbledon, the 33-year-old Navratilova swept Zina Garrison 6–4, 6–1 to claim an all-time record ninth Wimbledon singles crown. She won four other tournaments that year, although she did not participate in the Australian or French Opens, and finished the year ranked No. 3 in the world, narrowing edge out by sixteen-year-old Monika Seles for the No. 2 spot. Though that was her last major singles title, Navratilova reached two additional major singles finals during the remainder of career: in 1991, she lost in the US Open final to the new world No. 1, Monica Seles; and, in 1994, at age 37, Navratilova reached the Wimbledon final, where she lost in three sets to Conchita Martínez. In November that year, after losing to Gabriela Sabatini in the first round of the WTA Tour Championships, she retired from full-time competition on the singles tour. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 2000, Navratilova returned to the tour to mostly play doubles events, while rarely also playing singles. In her first singles performance in eight years, at Eastbourne in 2002, she beat world No. 22, Tatiana Panova, before losing in the next round to Daniela Hantuchová in three sets. In 2003, she won the mixed doubles titles at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, partnering Leander Paes. This made her the oldest ever major champion (aged 46 years, 8 months). The Australian Open victory made her the third player in history to complete a "boxed set" of major titles by winning the singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles at all four majors. The Wimbledon win allowed her to equal Billie Jean King's record of 20 Wimbledon titles (in singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles combined) and extended her overall number of major titles to 58 (second only to Margaret Court, who won 62). Despite being criticized for receiving a wildcard, Navratilova won a singles match over Catalina Castaño 6–0 6–1 at the first round of Wimbledon in 2004, aged 47 years and eight months, to make her the oldest player to win a professional singles match in the open era. Navratilova then lost her second round match with Gisela Dulko in three sets.
On Thursday, July 6, 2006, Navratilova played her last matches at Wimbledon, with partner Liezel Huber losing a quarterfinal match in women's doubles to fourth seeds and eventual champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie, and later in the same day with partner Mark Knowles losing in the third round of mixed doubles to eventual champions Andy Ram and Vera Zvonareva. She had said that her last Wimbledon wasn't about breaking her record shared with Billie Jean King of 20 championships. In an interview, Navratilova was quoted as saying, "People keep saying that, but it so wasn't. I just wanted to win one more title here, period."
Navratilova capped off her career by winning the mixed doubles title, her 41st major doubles title (31 in women's doubles and 10 in mixed doubles) and 177th overall, at the 2006 US Open with American doubles specialist Bob Bryan. At the time, she was only about a month shy of her 50th birthday and broke her own record as the oldest ever major champion (aged 49 years, 10 months).
Navratilova won 167 top-level singles titles (more than any other player in the open era) and 177 doubles titles. Her last title in women's doubles came on August 21, 2006, at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she partnered Nadia Petrova. Navratilova won 18 major singles titles: nine at Wimbledon, four at the US Open, three at the Australian Open, and two at the French Open. Her overall record in 67 major singles events was 306–49 (120–14 at Wimbledon, 89–17 at the US Open, 51–11 at the French Open, and 46–7 at the Australian Open). Some observers argue that the very few singles matches she played in her forties should be counted separately in her career statistics. She is the only player to have won at least one tour event for 21 consecutive years and won the singles and doubles at the same event a record 84 times. She was ranked in the world top 3 in singles for 15 years between 1977 and 1993. Her career singles match win total of 1,442 is the most during the open era.
In September 1992, the 35-year-old Navratilova played 40-year-old Jimmy Connors in the third Battle of the Sexes tennis match at Caesars Palace in Paradise, Nevada. Connors was allowed only one serve per point and Navratilova was allowed to hit into half the doubles court. Connors won 7–5, 6–2. She played for the Boston Lobsters in the World TeamTennis pro league through the 2009 season.
Navratilova had an attacking serve and volley. Under Renée Richards, she improved her game tactics.
Evert said that "Martina revolutionized the game by her superb athleticism and aggressiveness ... She brought athleticism to a whole new level with her training techniques — particularly cross-training, the idea that you could go to the gym or play basketball to get in shape for tennis."
In December 2014, it was announced that Navratilova had joined Agnieszka Radwańska's coaching staff. However, in April 2015, after Radwańska struggled in the first half of the season, the pair decided to part ways.
|Misc||From 1975 she became US citizen.
In 1985, Navratilova released an autobiography, co-written with The New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey, titled Martina in the U.S. and Being Myself in the rest of the world. She had earlier co-written a tennis instruction book with Mary Carillo in 1982, entitled Tennis My Way. She later wrote three mystery novels with Liz Nickles: The Total Zone (1994), Breaking Point (1996), and Killer Instinct (1997). Navratilova's most recent literary effort was a health and fitness book entitled Shape Your Self, which came out in 2006.
|1973||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1973||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1973||US Open||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1974||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1974||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1974||US Open||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1975||Australian Open||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1975||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1975||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1975||US Open||Women's Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1976||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||Czechoslovakia (TCH)|
|1976||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1977||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1977||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1978||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1978||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1979||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1979||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1980||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1980||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1980||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1981||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1981||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1981||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1981||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1982||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1982||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1982||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1982||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1983||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1983||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1983||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1983||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1984||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1984||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1984||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1984||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1985||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1985||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1985||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1985||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1986||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1986||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1986||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1987||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1987||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1987||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1987||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1988||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1988||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1988||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1988||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1989||Australian Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1989||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1989||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1990||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1990||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1991||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1991||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1992||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1992||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1993||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|1993||US Open||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1994||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|1994||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|2004||Roland Garros||Women's Singles||United States (USA)|
|2004||Wimbledon||Ladies' Singles||United States (USA)|
|All-time||Amateur era||Open Era|
|3||GS Appearances Representing The Same Nation||56||9||10||19||18||0||0||0||0||0||56||9||10||19||18|
|4||Represented different nations||2||2||2||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||2||2||2|
|5||Years Between 2 GS Appearances||10||5||10||10||1||0||0||0||0||0||10||5||10||10||1|
|6||Years Between The First And Last GS Appearance||31||14||31||31||20||0||0||0||0||0||31||14||31||31||20|
|7||Decades Between The First And Last GS Appearance||3||1||3||3||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||3||3||2|
|8||GS Final Appearances||32||6||6||12||8||0||0||0||0||0||32||6||6||12||8|
|9||GS Final Appearances Representing The Same Nation||30||5||5||12||8||0||0||0||0||0||30||5||5||12||8|
|10||Represented different nations in the GS Finals||2||2||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||2||1||1|
|11||Years Between 2 GS Final Appearances||3||6||7||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||6||7||4||2|
|12||Years Between The First And Last GS Final Appearance||19||12||12||16||10||0||0||0||0||0||19||12||12||16||10|
|13||Decades Between The First And Last GS Final Appearance||1||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1||1||1|