Martina Navratilova lifts the Venus Rosewater Dish, 5 July 1987.
© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library
Martina Navratilova celebrates during a Ladies Wimbledon match. Former world number one, Navratilova has won a total of 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 40 Grand Slams doubles titles. During her career Navratilova won the Ladies Wimbledon singles title a record nine times the first in 1978 and the last in 1990. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1956, Navratilova became a US citizen in 1981, shortly afterwards she came out as a lesbian in response to speculation about her relationship with Rita Mae Brown. In 1991 her split from partner of 9 years Judy Nelson was much publicised in the media. In 1994 Navratilova retired from the singles tour and was introduced into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. She is the oldest ever Grand Slam champion having won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon mixed doubles titles in 2003 aged 46 years and 8 months.