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Martina Navratilova won an amazing 167 singles titles and 178 doubles titles during her professional career, more than any other woman or man, and she is widely acknowledged as one of the all-time greats of the game. During her career she won 59 Grand Slam titles, consisting of 18 singles championships (a record nine Wimbledons, four US Opens, three Australian Opens and two French Opens) plus 41 doubles titles. Only Australia's Margaret Smith Court won more, with 62. She also represented the United States in the Athens Olympics, at 47, playing in the doubles with Lisa Raymond.
Navratilova also captured a rare Triple Crown at the 1987 US Open: not only did she win the singles title, but she also lifted the mixed doubles with Emilio Sanchez and the women's doubles with her long-term partner Pam Shriver.
She broke Chris Evert's all-time record of 1,309 singles match wins in Milan during 1991 and she ended her first professional career in 1995 with a record 1,438 singles match victories. She was ranked No 1 in the world for 331 weeks.
In 2000 Navratilova was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and shortly afterwards she decided to return to competitive tennis. Her remarkable comeback reached a climax in November 2003 when she was selected to represent the United States in the Federation Cup, becoming the oldest player ever, at 47, to compete in the event.
It was a wonderful end to a magnificent year for Navratilova. In January 2003 she had won the Australian Open mixed doubles title with Leander Paes thus becoming only the third player (after Doris Hart and Margaret Court) to win every possible title (singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles) from the four Grand Slam tournaments, then in July her victory in the Wimbledon mixed doubles at 46 years and 261 days equalled one record and set another. She tied Billie Jean King's record of 20 Wimbledon titles and became the oldest winner of a Grand Slam event. She was also nominated that year by the world’s media for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. She retired for the second time after winning the mixed doubles at the US Open in September 2006 with Bob Bryan – her 59th Grand Slam title.
Despite being raised on the slow clay courts of Czechoslovakia, Navratilova's strength lay in her aggressive approach to the game. She was a supreme serve-and-volley player and liked to rush to the net whenever possible. Her rivalry with Chris Evert, which spanned 14 years, raised the women's game to a new level and proved that women could compete equally with men in attracting the crowds.
At times, Navratilova's dominance of the women's game was quite remarkable. She produced consecutive match-winning streaks of 74 (the women's record), 58 and 54 and she won six consecutive Grand Slam singles titles in a golden 14-month stretch between the 1983 Wimbledon and the 1984 US Open.