Martina Navratilova Marries Her Long-Term Partner Julia Lemigova In New York

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Martina Navratilova has married her long-term partner Julia Lemigova in a ceremony in New York on Monday.

The Czech-born tennis legend and her Russian partner of eight years tied the knot three months after Martina popped the question during a surprise on-camera proposal at the US Open.

martina navratilova

Martina Navratilova and her partner Julia Lemigova married in New York

Speaking after the ceremony, Martina told the BBC: “I’m 58 years old – I got married for the first time! It’s about time. Growing up as a gay woman you just don’t ever think about that.

“And then about ten years ago I thought ‘You know, I think within 10 years gay marriage will be legal – and here we are 10 years [later], making it legal.”

The 18-time Grand Slam winner - who has two daughters, Victoria and Emma - revealed she was bisexual in 1981, at a time when it was virtually unheard of for a professional athlete to do so - especially one at the height of her career.

martina navratilova

Martina with her daughters Victoria and Emma, and wife Julia Lemigova

The tennis ace has since said she remains surprised that no male tennis players have ever come out as gay.

“They’re so far in the closet I don’t even know who they are.

“It’s funny, sport has been at the forefront of so many civil rights issues, but it’s been not great on the gay rights issue.”

During her incredible career, Martina won a total of 59 grand slam titles in singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles - the second most of any player.

She also holds the record for the longest winning streak (74 matches) and is tied with Billie Jean King for most Wimbledon titles (20).

She retired from singles in 1994 but played doubles on the pro tour until 2006 when she retired shortly before her 50th birthday.

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