During her career, Martina won an astonishing 59 Grand Slam titles, including 18 singles, 31 women’s doubles and 10 mixed doubles. She is one of only three people who have won all three titles at each of the four Grand Slam events. Beyond this, Martina won a total of 167 singles and 178 doubles titles, both all-time records for tennis players, male or female.
Her 74-match singles winning streak and 109-match doubles winning streak are both professional records as are the 9 Wimbledon singles titles and 6 consecutive Grand Slam titles that she won during the 1980’s.
After her 2000 induction into the tennis hall of fame, Martina continued to play and win on the WTA Tour through October 2006, when she retired after winning the U.S. Open mixed doubles a month before her 50th birthday.
Over the years, Martina has received numerous accolades, including “Tour Player of the Year” (7 times), Associated Press’ “Female Athlete of the Year,” and “Female Athlete of the Decade” by the National Sports Review. She was named “Sportswoman of the Year” (3 times) by Women’s Sports Foundation and was listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Top 40 Athletes of All-time” for her overall contributions to the world of athletics.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Martina has always proven herself to be fearless about her views and beliefs, as demonstrated in 1975 when she defected to the U.S. in order to flee the repressive regime then in power. She displayed unequalled courage, candor and conviction in 1981 when she became one of the first international sports figures to openly state that she was gay. Through her honesty, integrity and courage, Martina has inspired countless others to do the same.
Martina is a staunch supporter of women’s issues, gay rights, ethical treatment of animals, environmental protection and AIDS research. She is also a founder of the Rainbow Card credit card programme and the non-profit Rainbow Endowment.
Since its inception in 1995, the Rainbow Endowment has been one of the strongest supporters of gay and lesbian charities in North America, having given grants in excess of $2 million dollars.
Through her television appearances, speaking engagements and tennis commentaries, Martina has become as popular for her humour as for her forthrightness and determination. In addition, she is an accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction, her most recent book, ‘Shape Your Self’ is a guide to personal fitness and healthy living.
In November 2008, Martina appeared on ‘Series 8 of I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!’ where she finished as runner-up to Joe Swash.
On 7 April 2010, Martina announced that she was being treated for breast cancer after being diagnosed in February of the same year. Eight months later, she was hospitalized after developing high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) whilst attempting a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya!
Martina is truly an inspirational woman whose stories and speeches are perfect for a variety of events.
The ever-quotable Martina:
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.”
“I don’t like labels. Labels are for clothing. Just call me Martina.”
“The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed.”
“Whoever said, ‘It’s not whether you win or lose that counts’, probably lost.”
“The mark of great sportsmen is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst.”
Previous organizations and corporations spoken for:
World Outgames, Montreal
Deloitte and Touche
1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation
Martina is a fantastic speaker for a variety of events.
What it takes to become a champion
Setting and achieving goals
Redefining aging as a Baby Boomer
Healthy lifestyle and fitness
Human rights and equality