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When Martina's Father used to say to her "just imagine winning on centre court at wimbledon " did she ever truly believe that she would one day lift it for a record breaking 9 times. Many of us dream of such triumphs but for few of us they rarely come through.
If there is a record in tennis, chances are Martina Navratilova has broken it. When she defected from Czechoslovakia to the United States in 1975, no one, not even Martina, could have envisioned that she would earn more titles than any player (woman or man) in tennis history.
She was named “Athlete of the Year” numerous times, and even “Female Athlete of the Decade” for the 80’s. In 2000, Navratilova was inducted into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. She has been named to such millennium lists as AP's "World's Greatest Athletes of the Century", "Sports Illustrated Top 100 Athletes of the Century" and ESPN's "Top 50 Athletes of the Century." At the age of 49 she continues to set a new standard for professional athletes, and has written a new book, SHAPE YOUR SELF, published by Rodale Press in April, 2006.
August 21 2006: Congratulations to Martina for winning her 177th doubles title! She and partner Nadia Petrova won against Cara Black (ZIM) and Anna-Lena Groenefeld (GER) 6-1, 6-2 in the Doubles Final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
photo Annie Leibovitz
Through its grant making program, the Rainbow Endowment has contributed nearly 2 million dollars to organizations that support HIV/AIDS and breast cancer research and services, as well as lesbian and gay arts, cultural and civil rights groups. To date, the Rainbow Endowment has funded over 80 non-profit organizations serving and empowering the LGBT community.
Working with the Rainbow Endowment, in 1996 Navratilova launched the Rainbow Card Credit Card Program. The Rainbow Card Credit Card Program is a fund raising tool that enables individuals to contribute to the LGBT community through the simple act of using a credit card. A portion of every credit card transaction from the Rainbow Card goes directly to the Rainbow Endowment and back into the LGBT community.
With more than a million members and supporters, PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Founded in 1980 www.peta.org
The Retirement Home for Horses
The Retirement Home for Horses gives lifetime care to horses seized by law enforcement; those rescued by the SPCA or Humane Societies; horses retired from government service
Save The Rhino International
Save the Rhino International works to conserve genetically viable populations of critically endangered rhinoceros species in the wild. www.savetherhino.org
The Chesed Foundation
The Chesed Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to matching unwanted dogs and cats with new owners.
The Sierra Club
Inspired by nature, the Sierra Club's members work to protect our communities and the plant, practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources.www.sierraclub.org
photo Annie Liebovitz
Other achievements include the 2002 Madrid tournament where Martina and partner Natasha Zvereva captured the title and her first tour match in over seven years, in Eastbourne, where, at 45, she became the oldest woman to win a singles match on this tour. In 2002 Martina also partnered with Serena Williams in the Tokyo Princess cup, being Williams’ first partner other than her sister Venus.
|In 2004 Martina she won her 174th doubles title in women’s doubles at Vienna, and made it to the quarterfinals in women’s doubles at the Olympic Games in Athens. With a record 168 titles in singles and 175 in doubles, Navratilova has won major pro tournaments before most of the current tennis stars were born. Her Grand Slam tally is 18 singles titles, 31 in doubles and nine in mixed doubles. |
In 1994 Navratilova retired from professional singles. At that time she ranked top five in the world, her matches and exhibitions were among the best attended in tennis history, and her tennis earnings topped $850,000. Still, Navratilova decided to take a break from tennis and in her retirement continued to master a myriad of leisure sports. These included downhill snow skiing, snow boarding, scuba diving and competitive ice hockey. She took up photography, flying, woodworking and even toured the country on her Harley-Davidson. Before long though, she was back on the tennis court better than ever. Commenting on her return to the court, Navratilova said, "I didn't come back only to try and take home trophies. It was to continually try and improve the way I play and first and foremost to have fun."
We’re all searching for a fitness program that will yield results we can see and feel. Even the most elite athlete must deal with a body that is constantly changing. Given that, who better than one of the most celebrated champions the world has ever known to share what a lifetime commitment to excellence has taught her about fitness?
Her storied career in professional tennis and the knowledge she gleaned over the years from a wide variety of sources provides the treasure trove of information she draws from in SHAPE YOUR SELF
|Her recent endorsements have included Under Armour, Salton, and Olivia Cruises. In 1996, she became “Dr. Navratilova,” receiving an honorary doctorate in public service from George Washington University. She was named to VANITY FAIR Magazine's “Hall of Fame,” and was honored as one of GLAMOUR Magazine's “Ten Outstanding Women of 1994.” Becoming an American citizen in 1981, however, is among her proudest moments. She has also published THE TOTAL ZONE (co-written with Liz Nickles), and two mystery novels featuring their character, Jordan Myles. |
On and off the court, Martina is known for her outspoken social activism on behalf of a number of causes in which she strongly believes and for her charitable work. Her activism encompasses many issues, including gay rights, organizations benefiting children, AIDS, the environment, animal welfare, and women's issues. She has been active in the WTA TOUR and has served as president of the WTA TOUR Players Association in 1979-80, 1983-84, 1994-95 and vice president in 1993-94, has been active in the Women's Sports Foundation and is an outspoken advocate of equal rights for everyone. Martina has always been known as one of the more interesting sports stars, and her interests off the court will assure she remains as committed to future projects as she has been to tennis.
OLIVIA is the premier travel and lifestyle company serving the lesbian community.
Under Armour is one of the world’s leading athletic apparel companies, Navratilova bought a few pieces of their clothing three years ago and started playing tennis in it
SPRI Products-Martina found the quality and reliability that they were looking for in SPRI which she endorses in “Shape Yourself”
Bosworth-Martina has been using Boswoth tennis rackets for the last year and a half
photo Annie Liebovitz
Read our review of Martina's Book
Buy Martina's Book at
VegfestUK welcomes everyone to their festivals and tickets to the biggest vegan festival of the year at London Olympia
photo Getty Images
By Mike Valverde