'I Didn't See My Mother for Four Years' - Martina Navratilova Narrates a Distressing Episode to Good-Friend Chris Evert

‘I Didn’t Feel Threatened’ – Martina Navratilova Recounts the Bitter-Sweet Experience of Her Homecoming in the 1986 Fed Cup

It was the 1986 Federation Cup final. The United States was up against Czechoslovakia in the summit clash. The finals took place at the Czech Lawn Tennis Club in Prague. It was an emotional moment for Martina Navratilova, United States’ star player.

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The legendary tennis player, born and brought up in Prague, moved to the USA in 1975 due to the unstable political situation in her home country. Further, she led the United States to the Fed Cup title in 1986, defeating Czechoslovakia 3-0. Martina Navratilova played in both singles as well as doubles. Moreover, she won all her matches in that tournament.

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Navratilova went on to become one of the most successful players the sport has seen. She has won an astonishing 59 Grand Slam titles across formats. While 18 major titles have come in singles, she has won 31 major titles in women’s doubles and 10 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. Recently, she opened up on her bitter-sweet homecoming in the 1986 Fed Cup final.

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Martina Navratilova talks about her visit to Prague in 1986

The legendary tennis player revealed her emotions while visiting her hometown to play in the 1986 Fed Cup final during a conversation with her former teammate, Chris Evert. She said, “The first time I was coming back since I was defected, so, 11 years have passed. The federation had to allow me in coz otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to have the Fed Cup. I didn’t feel threatened or anything but it certainly was odd coming in and then to see some of my best friends, my family. ”

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Further, she added, “I saw my grandmother on my way to the airport. It was the last time I saw her, she passed away two months later. I cried when the plane was taking off. Because I could get out of the country but people who lived there couldn’t the government gave them the ‘okay’ and I cried for all the people that couldn’t get on that plane. It was just a very bitter-sweet experience. ”

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The United States team was the favorite to win the Fed Cup title that year. Boasting the likes of Chris Evert and Pam Shriver apart from Martina Navratilova, they justified their favorites tag as they went on to win their 12th Fed Cup title.

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