"I think the key is for women not to set any limits." ~Martina Navrátilová
Martina sensed the freedom in America and admired its women for doing what they wanted to do, making decisions, being professionals. Several made ever lasting impressions on her such as Billie Jean King, the great player who turned women’s tennis into a big-time event. Martina also liked the food. Growing up on traditional Czech dishes spread out over the course of a day, Martina was slim growing up but, indulging on Big Macs and fries, she struggled with her weight when she got to the US. Still, Martina won her first major singles title at Wimbledon in 1978, defeating her greatest rival Chris Evert in three sets in the final and captured the World No. 1 ranking for the first time. Martina defended her Wimbledon title in 1979, again beating Evert. However, after Evert crushed Martina in 1981 in the finals of the Women’s Tennis Association championships, Martina began working with basketball’s “Lady Magic,” Nancy Lieberman, who helped Martina overhaul her fitness. She also teamed up with a coach, Renee Richards, who helped with her mental focus.
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Martina Navrátilova winning Wimbledon in 1978