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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: MARTINA NAVRATILOVA - TENNIS LEGEND

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OK, I'm a lousy tennis player, but I've always been a tennis fan and enjoy watching a good Grand Slam tournament. I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of Wimbledons and US Opens though it has been many years. So I'm in bed this weekend with a cold and my laptop and my new high def television watching the US Open matches. And I'm reminded of a US Open match I went to several years ago where I was lucky enough to be in the stands and watch the great Chris Evert play her final match ever against Zina Garrison, also a great American tennis player. Evert's famous rival for nearly two decades, Martina Navratilova, also was playing in that tournament and made it to the finals where she lost against the legendary Steffi Graf (who I'm sure I'll profile in a later post).



Martina is arguably the greatest tennis player of all time. She won an astounding 59 Grand Slam titles in Women's Singles (18), Women's Doubles (31) and Mixed Doubles (10).  Despite playing in an era with greats like Evert, Graf, Monica Seles and Billie Jean King, Navratilova set a record winning 74 matches in a row. Navratilova played an amazingly long career only retiring last year at Wimbledon just a month shy of her 50th birthday. Most of her opponents and even some of their parents were not even born when Navratilova was winning tournaments.



Navratilova's immigration story is not dissimilar to other athletes from Eastern Bloc countries. She was a citizen of Czechoslavakia and defected to the US in 1975 when she was just 18 years old. She became a naturalized US citizen in 1981.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous's Avatar
    Doesn't Anna Kornikova deserve mention ;-)
  2. TX's Avatar
    I was a huge fan of Martina's......glad to see you mention her, she truly is a legend.

    Get well soon Greg.
  3. JBK's Avatar
    Kournikova doesn't deserve a mention. She never won anything worth writing about.

    Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander also live in the US.
  4. Cary Sutton's Avatar
    Navratilova retired from tennis after winning the mixed doubles title at the 06 US OPEN with Bob Bryan, her 177th doubles title tier 1 or higher. Also Kournikova IS a GRAND SLAM WINNER of the 99 and 02 Australian Open Doubles title with the other Martina (Hingis)
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