Czech-born tennis great Martina Navratilova diagnosed with cancer

The 66-year-old said in a statement that the diagnosis is a 'double whammy,' but that the cancer is treatable. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.01.2023 10:25:00 (updated on 03.01.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech-born tennis legend Martina Navratilova has announced that she has stage one breast and throat cancer, according to a statement released on the Women's Tennis Association website Monday evening.

“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” said the 66-year-old. “I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”

Navratilova was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 53 in 2010. She was given a clean bill of health following treatment.

The retired tennis great discovered an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, which was held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, according to CNN.

Navratilova, a dual Czech-American citizen, will undergo treatment in New York this month. A statement from her representatives said: “Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer. The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month."

The statement on the WTA site said the cancer is of the human papillomavirus (HPV) variety, one of the more treatable forms of the disease.

The tennis legend acknowledged the outpouring of support from fans on Twitter.

Among her supporters, another tennis great, Billie Jean King said: "Martina ⁩is as brave as she is strong. She has fought this battle before, and she is in our thoughts and prayers."

Widely considered one of the best tennis players of all time, Navratilova was named the greatest female tennis player for the years 1975-2005 by Tennis magazine. Her 59 combined major titles, including 18 Grand Slam singles titles, are an Open Era record for any player, male or female.

Navratilova retired in October 2006, at the age of 50, shortly after becoming the oldest Grand Slam winner in history in the mixed at the U.S. Open. Since then she has worked as a tennis commentator.

Born in Prague, she emigrated to the U.S. in 1975 and became an American citizen in 1981. She has long been an advocate of gay rights and a vocal opponent of the Republican party. She regained Czech citizenship in 2008.

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