Tennis star Martina Navratilova diagnosed with throat and breast cancers

Martina Navratilova, wearing a purple top, speaks during a conference at the WTA finals.

Tennis star Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with both throat and breast cancers.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion announced that she was diagnosed after medical professionals found an enlarged lymph node on her neck in November during the WTA finals in Fort Worth.

After a biopsy test was performed, it was diagnosed as stage one throat cancer.

Later tests subsequently found a further growth in her breast, which is said to be in its early stages.

In a statement, the 66-year-old said: “This double whammy is serious but still fixable. I’m hoping for a favourable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while.”

She added that the Wimbledon athlete would “fight with all I have got” during treatment in New York this month.

You may like to watch

In 2010, the athlete was similarly diagnosed with early breast cancer after a routine mammogram.

After undergoing surgery, she told BBC Sport that she felt “good as new” and soon returned to tennis.

Martina Navratilova standing in a Tennis court, next to an individual wearing a blue blazer and holding a microphone.
A representative for Martina Navratilova said the cancers are in their early stages. (Getty)

A representative told outlets that the initial diagnosis meant treatment could be effective in combatting the growth.

“The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment,” they added. “Both these cancers are in the early stages with great outcomes.”

Navratilova will reportedly miss the Australian Open as a result of the diagnosis, but is aiming to join Tennis Channel in its coverage over Zoom from time to time.

The Czech-American player is one of the most successful players in Wimbledon history, having won nine singles titles during her time competing in the championship.

She has also won four US Opens, three Australian Opens and two French Opens as a singles competitor.

She retired in 2006 following a mixed doubles title win in the 2006 US Open with professional athlete Bob Bryan

Since then, she has worked in and around the sport as a coach, representative and spokesperson.

Martina Navratilova came out as bisexual in 1981 during an interview with New York Daily News, revealing she was in a relationship with feminist writer Rita Mae Brown. She asked the publication not to publish the interview until she came out publicly, but the New York Daily News went ahead and published it anyway. Navratilova later came out as a lesbian.

Her views on trans women competing in elite sporting categories have been routinely criticised in the past.

After claiming it is a form of “cheating” for trans women to compete in women’s sports in 2019, several groups said they were “devastated” to hear of the athletes’ views.

In response, she said that she deplored “what seems to be a growing tendency among transgender activists to denounce anyone who argues against them and to label them as ‘transphobes'”.

Please login or register to comment on this story.