Every tennis player has a place where they just seem to play well. It can be a court in your neighborhood park or at your local club. If, however, the place you play best is at one of the world’s most prestigious tennis venues and your best play just happens to take place during the biggest tennis tournament in that nation, then you must be Martina Navratilova and the place must be Wimbledon.
For decades Martina Navratilova quite literally ruled the courts of Wimbledon. While playing there intimidated many players, it seemed to ignite her to play better, push harder and win more. If she spends any time looking back on her career, I would imagine she looks back on the courts of Wimbledon with a smile.
Her first victory at Wimbledon was accomplished with a partner. She and Chris Evert (who would later go on to become her nemesis) won a doubles tournament there in 1976. She picked up her first single’s win at the tournament in 1978. The rest, of course, is tennis history. Some of Martina’s career highlights, at Wimbledon and beyond, include:
• 19 Consecutive Grand Slam Women’s Single Tournament Semifinal Appearances (no one else has bested this record)
• Won Thee Grand Slam Singles Events in Three Decades (Wimbledon 1978-1990)
• Six Consecutive Wimbledon & US Open Titles (1983 – 1984)
• Six Consecutive Singles Titles (Wimbledon 1982- 1990)
• Nine Consecutive Singles Titles (Wimbledon 1978 – 1994)
• Twelve Singles Finals Total (Wimbledon 1978 – 1994)
The ability to not only rise to a challenge but to face it down and overcome it sets great players apart from the merely good ones. Martina Navratilova’s track record at one of the world’s most honored and prestigious tennis events proved her to be one of the greatest players to ever play the sport.