With the 2023 tennis season just kicking off, I’m certain that this sort of news is less than favorable for fans across the globe. 66-year-old tennis great Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat and breast cancer. Her agent, Mary Greenham, notified CNN on Monday by email.
While commentating at the WTA Finals in Forth Worth, Texas — the former world number one athlete discovered an enlarged lymph node in her neck. While undergoing a biopsy, a “suspicious form” was also discovered in her breast. The results of that biopsy unfortunately lead to her being diagnosed with two types of cancer. The WTA Finals was held from October 31 to November 7. Navratilova has battled cancer once before, beating the disease in 2010.
Despite the unfortunate news, the tennis legend seems optimistic. Being diagnosed with HPV cancer (human papillomavirus), leaves hope for Navratilova as it is one of the more treatable cancers. In a statement to the WTA website, she said she’ll “fight [the cancer] with all have I got.”
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable. I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all have I got.”
-Martina Navratilova, WTAtennis.com
Navratilova, who dominated women’s tennis for much of the 1970s and 1980s, won 59 Grand Slam titles (across singles, doubles and mixed doubles) and 344 titles in total. Alongside her longtime partner Julia Lemigova, she has recently been appearing on The Real Housewives of Miami. The two have been married since December 2014. Martina is still very active in the tennis community, working for the Tennis Channel as a tennis analyst and commentator and occasionally coaching.