Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with two forms of cancers, the tennis great said on Monday.
Navratilova, 66, has throat and breast cancer, though both were discovered in the early stages.
“This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I’m hoping for a favourable outcome,” Navratilova said in a statement. “It’s going to stink for a while, but I’ll fight with all I have got.”
The American won 16 grand slams overall including three Australian Open titles and seven at Wimbledon.
She is a staunch advocate for gay rights and called Margaret Court a “racist and a homophobe” in 2017 after the former Australian tennis champ turned pastor came out strongly against same-sex marriage. She has also called for Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed.
The news rocked the tennis world and left journalist Jose Morgado devastated: “The Navratilova news. F***.”
Navratilova previously had breast cancer in 2010, but was deemed cancer-free after a lumpectomy and six months of radiation, reported the New York Post.
Navratilova was in for a throat exam when both forms of the disease were discovered. She will begin treatment later this month.
The Czech-born Navratilova was one of the more dominant players in the 1970s and 80s, claiming 18 Grand Slam singles titles. She had a long-running rivalry with American Chris Evert, who recently battled ovarian cancer.
“I really didn’t talk much about breast cancer before I had it,” Navratilova previously told People.
“Now, I’m approached by women and we share our stories. It’s encouraging to see that there’s life after cancer.”
Parts of this story appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission.