5 of 10
Eleven years after defecting to the United States, Martina returned to Czechoslovakia for the first time to play in the 1986 Fed Cup. With her teammate Chris by her side, Martina set foot on the court as a member of the American team. "When they brought Martina out, we were interested to see how the crowd would react," Chris says. As it turns out, Chris says the crowd gave Martina a standing ovation. "And I thought to myself, 'I am so honored to be here and experiencing this because this transcends tennis,'" Chris says. "'This is bigger than hitting a tennis ball and winning a trophy.'"

Between defecting to the United States and being an openly gay athlete, Martina has been placed under scrutiny more than once and has become a role model for many. Chris says she knew Martina had guts from the moment she met her. "You lived your truth and you had a clear conscience and you felt great about yourself, so that is the most important thing," Chris says.
FROM: Sports Legends Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Vivian Stringer
Published on December 01, 2008


Next Story