18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova (Bio) has committed to the 2014 World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide next January, stating that she is excited to return to one of the most “welcoming crowds in tennis.” Martina, who turns 57 in 6 days, is looking forward to participating in the tournament where she and Martina Hingis entertained the crowd at the beginning of the year.
“There was something really special about it,” Navratilova said. “Especially playing both with the older players that I know well but also the younger ones that are on tour.
And the crowd welcomed us with open arms.”
Navratilova won 167 WTA titles over the span of her illustrious career, 18 of which were Grand Slam singles titles and won her last Grand Slam mixed doubles title at the US Open in 2006. Her rivalry with Chris Everts goes down as one of the biggest rivalries in women’s tennis, having played each other a total of 80 times, with Navratilova leading the series 43-37.
Martina, a US citizen for well over three decades now, dedicates a significant portion of her time to her causes, such as supporting environmental issues, gay rights issues as well as animal rights abuses.
“I spent about half of the year on the road,” she said.”Part of the work I do is to travel for my causes. I’ve been very involved in environment causes, animal right and gay issues.”
While this may be the case, Navratilova insists that she still trains for tennis competition to remain healthy, and while she may not have retained all her skill and power, she is certainly still capable of entertaining crowds on the court. She has managed to find a happy medium between spending time with her family and dedicating time to the things she is passionate about such as tennis.
“What do I do? Right now, I give most of my time to my partner; we have a family,” Navratilova said. “I do what I’m passionate about, I play some tennis and I’m a writer.”