Martina Navratilova: Wimbledon's most successful female champion

Martina Navratilova Wimbledon

Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and naturally, it has seen many winners over the years.

Since the womens’ singles started in 1884, more than 100 players have lifted the famous Venus Rosewater Dish, following impressive undefeated runs on the grass courts.

But despite the many winners over the years, no one has won more titles at the All England Club than Martina Navratilova.

The Prague-born tennis legend, regarded as one of the best players to ever grace the court, boasts an unrivalled nine Wimbledon titles.

Her legacy — including six consecutive title wins across 1982—1987 — surpassed Helen Wills’ previous record of eight.

Navratilova’s impressive Wimbledon trophy tally adds to her 59 major titles — the most won by a single player in the Open Era.

The start of a record-breaking career

Succeeding at Wimbledon is something that came extremely naturally to Navratilova right from the off. After initially representing Czechoslovakia, she adopted the US flag to compete under before gaining American citizenship.

From a young age, Navratilova enjoyed success on the grass surface in both the singles and doubles tournaments.

After striking up a partnership with Chris Evert, the duo won the French Open in 1975, followed by Wimbledon the next year.

However, their success as a partnership soon turned to a competitive rivalry in the singles game and Navratilova found herself repeatedly on top.

Martina Navratilova wins Wimbledon
7th July 1978: American tennis player Martina Navratilova receiving the Ladies Singles Trophy from the Duchess of Kent after winning at Wimbledon. (Photo by Mike Stephens/Central Press/Getty Images)

In 1978, she won her first ever Grand Slam singles title after defeating Evert at Wimbledon. A thrilling three-set final set the Czech star up for an historic career on the grass, one that to this day, has not been matched.

Navratilova retained her title in 1979 after a straight set win — once again over Evert — and captured the world number one status for the first time in her career.

Becoming a Wimbledon legend

Navratilova went two years without another Wimbledon title after 1979, but did enjoy winning the Australian Open for the first time in 1981.

However, at the 1982 tournament at the All England Club, the Czech really kicked her performances up a gear.

She won back her title — once again beating Evert — and embarked on an impressive six-year unbeaten streak, cementing herself as the most successful woman to grace the courts of Wimbledon.

Navratilova then defeated Andrea Jaeger, Hana Mandlíková, Steffi Graf, and Evert twice more to complete her iconic winning streak.

Martina Navratilova in action at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON – July 3: Martina Navratilova of the USA in action during their mixed doubles match against Anna Kournikova of Russia and Jonas Bjorkman of Swedenat the All England Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, England, on July 3, 2002. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

In 1990, while tied with Wills’ impressive record of eight Wimbledon titles, Navratilova won her final Grand Slam singles title of her career. But this didn’t stop her from raking in more silverware on the doubles stage.

She went on to win three mixed doubles titles during the noughties, including two triumphs at Wimbledon alongside Jonathan Stark in 1995 and Leander Paes in 2003.

Throughout her stunning career, Navratilova inspired new generations with her talent on the court. In her glittering trophy cabinet lies nine singles titles, seven doubles and four mixed doubles titles, all from Wimbledon.

The only player still currently active who comes close to Navratilova’s singles record is Serena Williams with seven. If the former world number one cannot catch the illustrious nine-time record during the final years of her career, it’s highly likely no player of this generation ever will.

1 of 16

Who won the 2021 Australian Open?

News Now - Sport News