Martina Navratilova born Martina Šubertová on October 18, 1956, was a retired Czech and American tennis player and coach.
Billie Jean King, former World No. 1 player, said in 2006 that Navratilova is “the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”
In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005.
She was year-end singles No. 1 seven times, including a record 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.
She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including 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 – the best performance by any professional player at a major event.
She and King each won 20 Wimbledon titles, an all-time record.
In women’s doubles, Navratilova and Pam Shriver won 109 consecutive matches and won all four major titles—the Grand Slam—in 1984. The pair set an all-time record of 79 titles together and tied Louise Brough Clapp’s and Margaret Osborne duPont’s record 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 all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Frank Sedgman and Serena Williams.
Navratilova took her last major title in 2006, winning the mixed doubles crown at the 2006 US Open, just short of her 50th birthday — 32 years after her first Grand Slam title in 1974.
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, although Evert maintained the number one ranking at the end of 1978.
She 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, which Evert edged 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.