Wimbledon’s greatest ever singles champion Martina Navratilova announced on Jan. 2 that she’s been diagnosed with two forms of cancer. The 66-year-old, who also appears on The Real Housewives of Miami alongside wife and Russian beauty queen Julia Lemigova, 50, revealed she was diagnosed with throat and breast cancer after discovering a swollen lymph node in her neck in November.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” Martina told TENNIS.com. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all I have got.” Martina’s new diagnosis comes after she was given the all-clear from breast cancer in 2010 after undergoing radiation treatment.
While the news is somewhat frightening, Martina’s rep told the Daily Mail that the tennis star’s prognosis is good. “Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer. The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month. The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment. Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth. When it didn’t go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as stage one throat cancer,” the rep said in a statement.
The rep continued, “At the same time as Martina was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer. Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes. Martina won’t be covering the Australian Open for Tennis Channel from their studio but hopes to be able to join in from time to time by Zoom.”
Martina, who was born in Revnice, Czech Republic, and was one of the first openly gay sports figures, is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She was ranked No. 1 in the world for 332 and won 59 major titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles competitions, including a record nine Wimbledon singles titles between 1978 and 1990, and 18 total Grand Slam titles.
In 2006, she retired from professional tennis after her final Grand Slam, and has since become a prominent commentator in the sport. Martina also married her wife Julia Lemigova in 2015 after nine years together.
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