Martina Navratilova has announced she has been diagnosed with stage-one throat and breast cancers.
The 18-time grand slam singles champion and most successful player in Wimbledon history said she will “fight with all I have got” after an enlarged lymph node was found in her neck in November.
Tests subsequently led to a suspicious form being discovered in her breast, but both cancers – unrelated to one another – are said to be in the early stages.
Navratilova underwent treatment for her first bout of breast cancer 13 years ago, where she was given the all-clear.
The 66-year-old said: “This double whammy is serious but still fixable. I’m hoping for a favourable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while but I’ll fight with all I have got.”
Navratilova, who is a dual Czech-American citizen, will undergo treatment in New York this month.
A statement from her representatives said: “Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer. The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month.
“The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment. Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth. When it didn’t go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as stage one throat cancer.
“At the same time as Martina was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer.
“Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes.”
Navratilova was due to cover this month’s Australian Open from the Tennis Channel studio in Melbourne, but the statement from her representatives added that instead that Navratilova “hopes to be able” to make some occasional remote appearances “by Zoom”.
Renowned for her longevity after a professional career lasting 32 years from 1974 to 2006, Navratilova won nine singles titles at Wimbledon, the most in the open era. She also collected four US Opens, three Australian Opens and two French Open championships. The former world number one was also a prolific doubles player and is one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Her 59 grand-slam titles– including 18 singles titles and 41 doubles and mixed doubles trophies – remain a record.