Martina Navratilova Wins, Plans to Say Goodbye
August 23, 2006, 2:58 am
Filed under: gay and lesbian

Out tennis star Martina Navratilova won her 177th doubles title with her 24-year-old partner Nadia Petrova at the Rogers Cup earlier this week. Navratilova, who turns 50 this October, is the second female tennis star after Billie Jean King to come out of the closet as a lesbian. Unfortunately, as a result of this, she has not gotten the endorsement deals that an athlete of her caliber and celebrity deserves. Her only endorsement deal is with the lesbian themed travel agency Olivia Cruises.

In the height of her career, Navratilova was often pitted by the media against Chris Evert in a battle of good verses evil. Though Navratilova was by far the better tennis player, beating Evert 9 out of 10 times at Wimbledon, Evert was the media darling and the proverbial girl next door. Navratilova was depicted in contrast as a brute foreigner. Press photos of her were often unflattering and accentuated her muscular physique in a mannish way.

Besides winning the women’s singles title at Wimbledon a record 9 times, Navratilova has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 40 Grand Slam doubles titles (31 women’s doubles and 9 mixed doubles).

She is set to compete in the doubles contest at the US Open in New York on August 28. This is to be her final going away US Open before retirement. “I have one more to write and then it will be done,” she recently told the press. “It’s been great to be able to defend the title and do it in great style.”


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