Tennis great Martina Navratilova said Monday that she has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame will start treatment this month and her prognosis is good, her representative said in a statement.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favorable outcome,” the 66-year-old Navratilova said. “It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all have I got.”
She said she noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck while attending the season-ending WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas, in November, and a biopsy showed early stage throat cancer. While Navratilova was undergoing tests on her throat, she said, the unrelated breast cancer was discovered.
Navratilova was diagnosed with a noninvasive form of breast cancer in 2010 and had a lumpectomy.
She won 59 Grand Slam titles overall, including 31 in women’s doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. The last was a mixed doubles championship with Bob Bryan at the 2006 U.S. 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.
Navratilova was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000. She has worked as a TV analyst in recent years.
The statement issued Monday said Navratilova would not be a regular part of Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Australian Open later this month “but hopes to be able to join in from time to time” via video conference.
Navratilova is married to “Real Housewives of Miami” star and former Russian model Julia Lemigova, 50. The duo became the first lesbian couple featured on the Bravo franchise’s 11 incarnations when Lemigova joined the cast in 2021. (Bravo is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)