Martina Navratilova has revealed she is ‘cancer free’ after she was ‘worried she won’t see Christmas next’ following a devastating dual diagnosis. The former world number one, who won 18 Grand Slam titles during her long career, revealed last January that she had been diagnosed with throat cancer and breast cancer.
The 66-year-old has yet to undergo preventative radiation therapy but revealed in an interview with Piers Morgan due to air Tuesday night on TalkTV that she would then be “good for duty”. “As far as they know, I don’t have cancer,” Navratilova said, in quotes reported by the British press.
Navratilova, who has won 59 major singles and doubles titles, revealed her diagnosis left her fearing the worst. “I was completely freaked out for three days thinking maybe I wouldn’t see next Christmas,” she said in this TV interview. “The to-do list came into my mind, with everything I wanted to do. And it may sound very superficial, but I thought to myself, ‘What luxury car do I really want to drive if I live a year?’”, she revealed.
Navratilova, who was previously treated for early-stage breast cancer in 2010, saw a doctor after noticing an enlarged lymph node in her neck, and tests later confirmed she had cancer. “It was the first week of December, (I told myself) that I will see this Christmas, but maybe not the next”. But doctors told her that her throat cancer was “extremely treatable” and she had a “95%” chance of a full recovery.
Navratilova, born in Czechoslovakia and naturalized American in 1981, brought a new physical dimension to women’s tennis, her powerful serve and agility at the net making her the dominant player of her era. She won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 1978 and has lifted the trophy a total of nine times, which is a record for both men and women. Navratilova retired after winning mixed doubles with American Bob Bryan at the 2006 US Open, shortly before her 50th birthday.