After Stefan Edberg, the Federazione Italiana Tennis e Padel will award the “Golden Racket” (Racchetta d’oro) 2023 to Martina Navratilova. This prestigious recognition will be handed by Federal Counsellor Giulia Soresina just before the men’s singles final of Sunday on Campo Centrale.
AN ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY – The incredible sports history of Martina Navratilova is tied to a just as remarkable personal story, worthy of a best-seller. After being stripped of the Czechoslovakian citizenship by the communist regime, Navratilova obtained the US passport after a few years as a country-less. In 1981, she became the first professional player to make a public coming out. Having always been involved in social works, there are countless successes for her on both her sports and private life, above all the victory over two cancers.
THE RECORDS OF A LEGEND – Lefty, with a beautiful one-handed backhand, her aggressive style of tennis was characterized by the constant research of the net, including a serve and volley that hardly anyone ever did better. Few players could pose a challenge to Navratilova, especially on faster surfaces, so it does not surprise that Wimbledon soon became her favourite stage.
She is the only player to have ever completed the “Boxed Set”, meaning having won all Grand Slam titles in all categories, and to have won the WTA Finals and Fed Cup too. Navratilova still holds three all-time records: most titles (344), most singles’ titles (167) and most doubles’ titles (177).
Her 59 Slams are also a record, split among 18 in singles, 31 in doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. Her 9 Wimbledon titles in singles and the 11 in doubles at SW19 are a record too.
Among WTA players, Navratilova holds the record of most consecutive victories (74!) and with 331 weeks as world number one, she is second only to Steffi Graf (who stayed there for 377).
The Revnice-born champion was also the oldest player to have ever won a Slam: together with Bob Bryan, she conquered the mixed doubles’ titles at the US Open 2006, only weeks before her 50th birthday, when she called it a career.