Martina Navratilova became the most successful player in the history of women's tennis when she beat Czechoslovakia's Jana Novotna in the final of the Virginia Slims tournament in Chicago on Sunday (February 16).
1. NAVRATILOVA BEATS GREER STEVENS AT WIMBLEDON, JUNE 27 1975 (VISNEWS)
2. LOSES TO CHRIS EVERT IN THE FRENCH OPEN FINAL, 14 JUNE 1975 (NBC)
3. SPEAKING OF DEFECTING TO THE UNITED STATES SEPTEMBER 7 1975 "IN SOME WAYS I'M NOT VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT, LIKE I WON'T BE ABLE TO SEE MY FAMILY AND THINGS LIKE THAT, BUT IT'S GOT MORE PROS THAN CONS I GUESS" (NBC)
4. BEATS EVERT LLOYD IN LIONS LADIES TOURNAMENT IN JAPAN NOVEMBER 22, 1981 (VISNEWS)
5. BEATS MANUELA MALEEVA IN WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT TO WIN HER 100TH CAREER VICTORY, JANUARY 16 1985 (NBC)
6. EMOTIONAL RETURN HOME TO PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA WITH THE US FEDERATION CUP TEAM AFTER AN ABSENCE OF 11 YEARS (JULY 20, 1986) SAYING "I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT, AND I THINK IT SHOWS THAT THE PEOPLE HERE STILL REMEMBER ME, AND STILL LIKE ME" (NBC)
7. BEATING STEFFI GRAF TO WIN A RECORD EQUALLING 8TH WIMBLEDON TITLE JULY 6, 1987 (BBC)
8. BEATING ZINA GARRISON TO WIN AN 11TH VIRGINIA SLIMS TITLE IN CHICAGO ON FEBRUARY 17, 1991. SAYING "I CAN JUST REALLY ENJOY HITTING THE BALL AND RUNNING AFTER EVERYTHING, AND IT'S A TOTAL BONUS FOR ME JUST TO BE PLAYING AT THIS AGE". (WMAQ-TV)
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Background: Martina Navratilova became the most successful player in the history of women's tennis when she beat Czechoslovakia's Jana Novotna in the final of the Virginia Slims tournament in Chicago on Sunday (February 16).
Her 7-6(7-4),4-6,7-5 victory earnt the 35-year-old Czech-born American citizen her 158th singles title, one more than another American, Chris Evert, who retired in 1989. .
Navratilova won her first singles title in her native Czechoslovakia in 1973. She has since gone on to become the highest money winner of all-time with more than 17-million dollars in prize money adding another 70,000 dollars to the total with her record-breaking victory. She says she doesn't remember the details of all her triumphs, among them 18 Grand Slam titles.
A supreme player on grass - many experts believe the best ever - half of her Grand Slam titles have been Wimbledon championships.
She first won the event in 1978, retained the title the following year, and set a record by winning it for six successive years between 1982 and 1987. She won Wimbledon again in 1990. Three victories in Australia, two in France and four in the United States complete her Grand Slam collection.
Navratilova said the record total required such a long, consistent run it would likely last a very long time.
"It's a kind of record that won't be broken," Navratilova said. "You have to essentially win 12 tournaments a year for 13 or 14 years to equal that. People don't play that many tournaments any more. I used to play 20 tournaments a year."