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Tennis Hero Martina Navratilova

Women's Sport Report Celebrates "Martina's 50th Birthday"
On the 18th of October Martina celebrated her 50th Birthday, WSR wanted to dedicate the October feature to her. We were privileged to be able to conduct a phone interview with Martina as part of the feature. We asked her about the new ventures she is undertaking and ones that she already has in her life as well as her time in and around Tennis.

Read The live Interview on WSR


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.


photo Annie Leibovitz
Martina’s career has been an inspiration for many athletes and fans. In the past few years she has continued to raise the bar in professional tennis through her outstanding achievements.

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.

Going out in style: On the 9th
September 2006 Martina and partner Bob Bryan (USA) won against Kveta Peschke (CZE) and Martin Damm (CZE) 6-2, 6-3 in the Finals of Mixed Doubles at the U.S. Open! Congratulations on her 178th doubles title, and retiring from the professional circuit winning another grand slam title.

 

photo Annie Leibovitz

Rainbow Card and the Rainbow Endowment
One of the Charities that Martina feels very strongly about is the Rainbow Endowment.With less than 2% of all philanthropic dollars in the United States targeted specifically to lesbian and gay causes, the Rainbow Endowment has emerged as one of the nation's top funding source to the LGBT community.

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.
www.rainbowendowment.org
Charitable Involvement
PETA- People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
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
www.millcreekfarm.org

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.
www.chesed-rescue.org

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

   
In 2003, Martina competed in Australia for the first time since 1989. She began by winning the doubles title at the Gold Coast with Svetlana Kuznetsova, which, at 46, earned her the honor of being the oldest player to win a WTA tour title. Soon after, in her first Grand Slam since “retirement,” Martina won the mixed doubles championship at the Australian Open with Leander Paes and became the third woman ever to win singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles in all four Grand Slam tournaments.

That summer, Martina and Paes also won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon, bringing her a total of 20 Wimbledon titles, a record long held by Billie Jean King. Additionally, Martina won the women’s doubles title at Dubai, Sarasota and the Italian Open, where she and partner Kuznetsova grabbed the win, which placed the team at number 18 on the doubles Top 20 for the first time since 1995.

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."

Martina's new book "Shape Your Self"

THE FITNESS SECRETS OF A CHAMPION
WHO IS SETTING WORLD RECORDS AT AGE 49!


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
“My formula, lifestyle, philosophy, or whatever else you want to call it has evolved from more than 30 years of trial and error, fortunately more successful trial than error,” she says. “I’ve worked with nutritionists, trainers, coaches, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, homeopaths, and kinesiologists. You name it, I have probably tried it! Through my many years of experimentation and application, I’ve found what I believe is the best way to get in the shape of your life, inside and out.”
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.

Martina has partnerships with :
The Juiceman by Salton-Navratilova was introduced to Salton’s juicing products a few years back and has been an avid supporter and endorser of their products since.

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

Facts about Martina
Holds 168 singles titles, more than any other player, male or female and 178 doubles titles
She won The Australian Open Mixed Doubles title in 2003, the only Grand Slam title that had eluded her during her career, and became the oldest player ever to win a Grand Slam event and only the second player ever to have won all grand slam titles, Margaret Court being the other one
Ranked No. 1 in the world for seven years
Holds a record nine Wimbledon singles championships
Won singles and doubles titles at the same event a record 84 times
In 1984, set the record for the longest consecutive match win streak at 74
Won 2003 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles title, tying Billie Jean King’s record 20 Wimbledon titles
Won seven WTA Tour doubles titles in 2003, beating women less than half her age, and becoming the oldest woman to ever win a WTA event



Read our review of Martina's Book
Buy Martina's Book at
www.martinanavratilova.com


 

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