Martina Navratilova health: cancer free comments in Piers Morgan interview - who is her wife Julia Lemigova?

Martina Navratilova is one of the most successful players in Wimbledon history with a record nine singles titles

Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with cancer. (Getty Images)Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with cancer. (Getty Images)
Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with cancer. (Getty Images)

Tennis icon Martina Navratilova has revealed that she is now cancer free.

Navratilova was diagnosed with both breast and throat cancer earlier this year and feared not “seeing next christmas” after her devastating diagnosis.

Navratilova is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. The 66-year-old was a dominant force in women’s tennis throughout the 1970s and 1980s - winning a combined total of 59 major titles.

Navratilova began her treatment in New York in January and explained that both cancers had been caught at an early stage.

But who is Martina Navratilova and what is the latest on her condition?

Here is everything you need to know.

What has Martina Navratilova said about her diagnosis?

Martina Navratilova has disclosed that she is currently in remission after her throat and breast cancer diagnosis.

The tennis icon opened up about her battle during an emotional interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV. Navratilova described her early emotions when the diagnosis was revealed and explained that she had postponed plans to adopt a child with her wife Julia Lemigova.

Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd were the dominant forces of tennis in the 1970s and 1980s. (Getty Images)Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd were the dominant forces of tennis in the 1970s and 1980s. (Getty Images)
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd were the dominant forces of tennis in the 1970s and 1980s. (Getty Images)

She said: “I was in total panic for three days thinking I may not see next Christmas. The bucket list came into my mind of all the things I wanted to do. And this may sound really shallow, but I was like, OK, ‘which kick-ass car do I really want to drive if I live like a year.”

Martina Navratilova explained that she felt an enlarged lymph node in her neck whilst attending a tennis match in November.

A subsequent diagnosis revealed that she was suffering from stage one of throat cancer, during the tests it was later discovered that she had a lump in her breast which was diagnosed as an unrelated form of breast cancer.

Navratilova said at the time of her diagnosis: “The double whammy is serious, but fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”

Navratilova told Piers Morgan that she was “very up and down” during the illness and described the radiation treatment as the hardest things she has ever done.

The tennis icon was previously diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and went public with the news in a bid to help other women suffering from similar health issues.

When is the Martina Navratilova interview?

Martina Navratilova’s emotional interview with Piers Morgan airs on the UK television programme TalkTV on Tuesday 21 March at 8pm. (UK time)

TalkTV is available on channel 526 if you are a sky customer, channel 606 with Virgin Media and channel 237 if you are a freeview customer.

You can also stream the interview through YouTube and via the TalkTV app, which can be downloaded on your mobile phone or tablet device.

Who is Martina Navratilova?

Martina Navratilova is a Czech-American tennis player who played professionally from 1974 until 2006. She is widely considered to be one of the most talented players of her generation.

Navratilova was hugely successful in the world of tennis and dominated the sport alongside her greatest rival Chris Evert.

The 66-year-old broke a number of records during her distinguished career in the sport. She won six consecutive major titles across 1983 and 1984 while simultaneously winning Grand Slam doubles.

Navratilova is also the most successful female player in Wimbledon history and has won the singles title nine times, including six times in a row between 1982 and 1987.

In total Navratilova won 18 major singles titles, 31 major women’s doubles titles and 10 major mixed doubles titles.

Following her retirement from tennis, Navratilova has been an advocate for animal rights, underprivileged children and gay rights. In 2008, she also appeared on the UK version of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here and finished as runner-up to Joe Swash.

How have people reacted to the news?

A number of high profile figures in tennis have sent their well-wishes to Martina Navratilova after her remission.

Former American tennis player Billie Jean King said: “Such wonderful news from my dear friend @Martina. We are so happy for you!”

A number of other users also expressed their delight at the news of Navtatilova’s recover. One user tweeted: “Martina is a class act - best wishes for a full recovery.”

Another added: “What a fantastic lady. Had many happy memories watching her over the course of her career.”

Is Martina Navratilova married?

Martina Navratilova has been openly lesbian since 1981. She proposed to her long-time girlfriend Julia Lemigova in September 2014 and they married later that year in December.

Who is Julia Lemigova?

Julia Lemigova is a Russian model who won Miss USSR in 1990. The 50-year-old was also the runner-up of Miss Universe in 1991.

Lemigova was a cast member of The Real Housewives of Miami in 2021, making her the third former Miss Universe to join the series.