Quotations From MARTINA NAVRATILOVA
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I came to live in a country I love; some people label me a defector. I have loved men and women in my life; I've been labelled "the bisexual defector" in print. Want to know another secret? I'm even ambidextrous. I don't like labels. Just call me Martina.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), Czech-born U.S. tennis player. Martina NavratilovaBeing Myself, ch. 1 (1985).
I've been in the twilight of my career longer than most people have had their career.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in the New York Times, p. B19 (September 30, 1993). Once ranked the best woman tennis player in the world (and often judged the best in history), she had slipped to a number three ranking. She had been playing singles tennis competitively for twenty-one years and was easily old enough to be the mother of some of her opponents.
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When I get all these accolades for being true to myself, I say, "Who else can I be? I can't be Chris Evert."Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in the New York Times, sect. 9, p. 4 (August 1, 1993). Referring to gays' and lesbians' praise of her openness about her lesbianism. Evert, a former tennis star and Navratilova's good friend and frequent opponent on court, was notably heterosexual. The veteran of several affairs with well-known men and of one failed marriage to a professional tennis player, she was by this time retired, remarried to a former Olympic skier, and the mother of a baby.
I shouldn't say I'm looking forward to leading a normal life, because I don't know what normal is. This has been normal for me.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in the New York Times, p. B19 (September 30, 1993). Announcing her decision to retire from professional tennis at the end of the 1994 season, which would be her twenty-second year of competitive singles play.
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I think it beats the heck out of life after death, that's for sure.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in People magazine, p. 116 (September 13, 1993). On how she envisioned life after tennis. A competitive player for twenty-one years, she was planning to retire.
This is reality, not a dream.Martina Navratilova (b. 1957), U.S. tennis player; born in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in USA Today, p. 3C (June 29, 1994). On advancing to the women's singles semifinal round at Wimbledon, the world's oldest and most prestigious major international tennis tournament. Navratilova had won the Wimbledon singles title a record nine times, but at this point, she had slipped from top ranking, and she was clearly in the twilight of her career. She had already announced that she would retire at the end of the year. She went on to win the semifinal round and lose in the final, performing far better than most people had expected.
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The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), Czech-born U.S. tennis player. Guardian (London, June 21, 1989).
It felt dark. It felt like midnight.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born and raised in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 27 (July 15, 1991). After failing, for the first time in fourteen years, to advance at least as far as the semifinal round at Wimbledon, the world's most prestigious tennis tournament and one that she had already won a record nine times. Strained by her former lover's recent suit for half the assets she had accumulated during their relationship, and distracted by an overnight rain delay, Navratilova had just lost to teenager Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals.
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If I feel strongly, I say it. I know I can do more good by being vocal than by staying quiet. I'd have a whole lot more money if I lied, but I wouldn't enjoy spending it.Martina Navratilova (b. 1956), U.S. tennis player; born in Czechoslovakia. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 61 (December 2, 1991). On losing lucrative endorsement contracts because of her openness about, among other things, being a lesbian.
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