Martina Navratilova family raised her in Czechoslovakia before she left in 1975. Martina parents were ski instructors.
Growing up in a war-ravaged nation, Martina excelled in tennis from a young age. With her mother and grandmother being her inspiration, Martina took the tennis world by storm when she was only 18.
At the same age, she made the biggest decision of her life as she chose to defect and chose to become a citizen of the USA. She knew it meant sacrificing seeing her family for years, but she also knew if she wanted to further her career, she would have to take the next step.
Now at 66, the 18-time grand slam winner has said she was diagnosed with stage one throat and breast cancer. Even in these troubling times, the tennis legend continues to be positive and hopes for a favourable outcome as her treatment continues.
Martina Navratilova Parents Were Ski Instructors
Martina Navratilova parents Mirek Subert and Jana Navratilova are from Czechoslovakia. Mirek and Jana were ski instructors.
The tennis legend has lived her life the hard way. Having seen her parents divorce at a young age and her mother battered and bruised by her grandfather, Martina was raised in a household that had little to no respect for women.
Amidst all the chaos surrounding her life, Martina’s love for tennis pulled her through and took her across the Atlantic in the 70s. Navratilova’s father, Mirek Stubert, was a ski instructor who took his own life after knowing his partner had cheated on him.
Martina was only nine when she heard about it, and it was only later she knew the reason for it. Her mom, Jana Navratilova was an accomplished athlete. She was a ski instructor, gymnast and a tennis player like her.
After her divorce from Mirek, Jana married Miroslav Navratil, who also became the tennis coach for her daughter in her initial tennis career.
In 1975, Martina left the Iron Curtain at 18 to further her tennis career in the USA, it was a difficult choice. She didn’t see her mother for the next four years and didn’t even know whether they knew about her tennis achievements during those periods.
In 1978, Martina won the prestigious grand slam Wimbledon and with that win came the chance to talk to the Duchess of Kent, who presented her with the award, during which the Duchess asked if she could help Martina in any way.
A year later, the Duchess of Kent helped the tennis star meet her mother after talking to the Foreign Office, who obliged the Duchess’s order. The 18-time Grand Slam winner has always been grateful to the Duchess’s gesture having talked about it in the BBC1 Documentary.
Martina Navratilova Family Is From Czechoslovakia
Martina Navratilova left her Czech family in the war torn nation Czechoslovakia in 1975.
One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Martina didn’t reach the pinnacle of the sport as easily as many would like to believe. The 18-year-old girl who had to leave her family behind knew that if she returned to them, she could be behind bars for two years.
Her grandfather called her an idiot and questioned her choice after learning that she had defected from her homeland. Though a difficult decision, she had to do it. She knew that the ticket to America would help her grow as a tennis player and a person. Her grandmother, Agnes, was a tennis player and was once ranked no.2 among Czech women.
Martina didn’t even know she had a half-brother till she was 23. An illegitimate son that her father, Martin, had with a woman before he married her mother, Jana. They divorced shortly after her sister’s birth, who is also named Jana.
In her stepfather, Miroslav, Martina not only found a father for the second time but also a person who coached her and increased her love for the game. She took up his name later on.
Martina married her wife, Julia Lemigova, in 2015, a year after she proposed to her in the 2014 US Open. The two started dating in 2006. It was in 1981 that the tennis star came out, which caused a huge controversy.
The couple has made many public appearances together, even attending the premiere of the show The Politician, in which she starred in 2019. When asked about motherhood, the tennis legend has said she considers Julia’s two girls as her own and said it was amazing.
Martina Navratilova Sister Jana Navratilova Tried Her Hand At Tennis
Martina Navratilova sister Jana Navratilova followed in her footsteps as she tried to become a tennis player.
Martina also has an older half-brother. But only she knew about his existence when she was 23 and had already become a tennis star.
Jana, who is named after their mother, defected from Czechoslovakia to West Germany in 1986. It was reported by LA Times that Jana was married at the time and arrived in West Germany on a tourist visa with her fiance.
In an interview in 1986, Jana said she wanted to play tennis for West Germany and desired to make Germany her home. She also clarified if tennis didn’t work out for her within a year, she would focus on her studies.
In the end, Jana never became a tennis star like her sister and rather chose to live a life away from the public spotlight. She would frequent her Martina’s tennis games with her mother as they would cheer her on.
Jana was present in the crowd when she saw her sister lift the Wimbledon title for the seventh time. In 2016, Martina shared a photo of her and Jana playing golf in their homeland in Czechia near the Karlstejn Castle.
48 years after that trip to the Manhattan Immigration and Naturalization Service building, Martina faces another test in her life. Tennis fans worldwide would hope that the tennis legend once again emerges victorious from her battle.