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.”
Navratilova added that she would “fight with all I have got” during treatment in New York this month.
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.
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.
Who is Martina Navratilova?
Born in Prague in 1956, Navratilova first picked up a tennis racket when she was four years old, and by seven she was playing competitively.
She came from a sporting family – her grandmother had represented Czechoslovakia at tennis, and her parents were both ski instructors.
At the age of 15, Navratilova won the Czechoslovakia national tennis championship. In 1973, aged 16, she made her debut on the United States Lawn Tennis Association professional tour but did not turn professional until 1975.
Navratilova won her first professional singles title in Orlando, Florida in 1974, at the age of 17. By 1978, she had won her first major title – Wimbledon.
In 1975, Navratilova went to the offices of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in New York City and informed them that she wished to defect from Communist Czechoslovakia. Navratilova was 18 years old. Within a month, she received a green card.
In 1981, Navratilova became a US citizen.
Navratilova first publicly discussed her sexuality in 1981.
Navratilova is married to Julia Lemigova. They were married in 2014.x