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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova revealed she's battling both throat and breast cancer.
But her outspoken defiance, vowing to 'fight with all' she has, is very much what we've all come to expect from one of the sport's decorated athletes.
The 66-year-old Navratilova won 59 Grand Slam titles over the course of a career that spanned an amazing four decades, including 31 in women's doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. The last was a mixed doubles championship with Bob Bryan at the 2006 US Open, a month shy of her 50th birthday.
Navratilova originally retired in 1994, after a record 167 singles titles and 331 weeks at No. 1 in the WTA rankings. She returned to the tour to play doubles in 2000 and occasionally competed in singles, too.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced she has throat and breast cancer on Monday
She won 59 Grand Slam titles in a 40-year career. Pictured with Wimbledon trophy in 2004
Navratilova was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. She has worked as a TV analyst in recent years. There was a time, however, when one of the most dominant players in tennis history would shock the world with her views and sexual orientation, particularly in the 1970s and 80s.
After all, Navratilova was one of few outspoken, openly gay women who would have her romantic partners sit courtside at championship matches without anyone in the crowd necessarily knowing about it.
She was also vehemently criticized by LGBTQ+ advocates when she published an opinion piece in the Sunday Times of London in February 2019 against rules that would support transgender female athletes competing against other women, saying they would 'reward cheats and punish the innocent.'
'Clearly that can't be right. You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,' she also said in a 2019 tweet that's now been deleted.
'There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.'
Last year, Navratilova also blasted the NCAA for giving 22-year-old University of Pennsylvania trans swimmer Lia Thomas its Woman of the Year award, tweeting: 'Not enough fabulous biological women athletes, NCAA?!? What is wrong with you?!!!!!!!?'
Navratilova has never been shy of sharing her opinion and is a vocal critic of the GOP's policies
Last year, Navratilova reacted angrily at UPenn's trans swimmer Lia Thomas winning the NCAA Woman of the Year award
UPenn's 22-year-old trans swimmer Thomas was put up for the prestigious collegiate award
Subsequently, Navratilova was cut from a nonprofit LGBTQ athletic advocacy group based in the US, called Athlete Ally. Nonetheless, the 66-year-old still wishes that social media platforms were around when she was still professionally touring around the world.
'I lived behind the Iron Curtain,' she once told the New York Times. 'You really think you are going to be able to tell me to keep my mouth shut?'
Raised in Prague, Navratilova would regularly keep herself briefed on current events by reading the daily newspaper and believes her awareness of societal issues around the globe has helped her turn into one of the loudest athletes on the planet.
She left Czechoslovakia at only 18 and claims living freely as a gay professional athlete in the US with her two daughters and Russian model wife, Julia Lemigova, has liberated her.
Navratilova also isn't shy of expressing her thoughts and opinions, often sharing them through her Twitter profile, no matter what subject of conversation.
'What really aggravates me, among other things, is when Republicans claim to be the party of Lincoln, as if they agree with him and would want to free the slaves etc,' the tennis star tweeted in May 2021. 'The party of Lincoln would be the modern day Democratic Party, so STFU about Honest Abe already.'
In another tweet from June of last year, Navratilova further expressed her criticism of the Republican party after Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) accused ex-US President Donald Trump of provoking violence in the 2021 storming of the US Capitol and said he 'does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward'.
'With their cancelling Liz Cheney, don't the republicans, a.k.a. GQP, recognize they are now a totalitarian party? All have to be in lockstep with one guy- same guy who lost them the presidency the house and the senate?!? #wrongsideofhistory,' she tweeted.
In May 2021, Navratilova criticized the GOP for sticking with President Donald Trump after the 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol
Navratilova's pictured with her 50-year-old wife & former Russian model, Julia Lemigova (left)
Navratilova doubled-down against the GOP, saying 'the party of Lincoln would be the modern day Democratic Party' in a 2021 tweet
The tennis star has donated more than $25,000 to Democratic campaigns, according to CampaignMoney.com.
Roughly 27 years after gaining US citizenship, Navratilova criticized the political system of her adopted country in a 2002 interview with then-CNN anchor Connie Chung, who told the tennis star her criticisms were 'un-American' and 'unpatriotic.'
She even suggested Navratilova should 'go back to Czechoslovakia' (which had dissolved nine years earlier) rather than use her status as a professional athlete to gain a platform for her complaints.
When Navratilova asked why it was 'unpatriotic' to speak out, Chung said: 'Well, you know the old line, love it or leave it.'
'She was always opinionated, and