Former world No. 1 tennis player Martina Navratilova said Monday she has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.
The 66-year-old is considered among one the greatest players of all time, winning a total of 59 Grand Slam titles across singles and doubles.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable,” Navratilova said in a statement to WTA.
“I’m hoping for a favorable outcome. It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”
Czech-born Navratilova, who became an American citizen in 1981, was also diagnosed and beat breast cancer in 2010.
Navratilova added the cancer was in Stage 1, and the prognosis are good, with treatments to begin next week.
Enlarged lymph node
The cancer was first discovered in early November during the WTA finals in Texas when Navratilova noticed a swelling in her neck that did not go down.
“Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth,” said Navratilova’s representative Mary Greenham. “When it didn’t do down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as Stage 1 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 of these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes.”
Greenham said Navratilova, who now works as tennis presenter on television and radio, will not travel to Melbourne for the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open but hopes to contribute to the broadcasts remotely.
“Martina won’t be covering the Aussie Open for the Tennis Channel from their studio but hopes to join in from time to time by Zoom,” said Greenham.