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Martina Navratilova honored at US Open ceremony honoring “those who dream, succeed and inspire.”

PhotoNice to see Martina Navratilova honored during opening ceremonies of the US Open last night.

It was so fitting to honor Martina on a night in which organizers celebrated “those who dream, succeed and inspire.”

Martina battled breast cancer this year and seems to have defeated it. She talked about her attitude through that and other tough times she called “nasty curveballs.”

“It’s the positive attitude that gets you through life and it is a choice,” she said. “I’ve always been too much of an optimist where I sort of ignore bad stuff until it sits right there in front of me. I’m saying nothing is going to go wrong and, when it does, that’s when I deal with it. That’s how I’ve gotten through life. I think it’s done me pretty well.”

Martina, a four-time US Open singles champion, received a rousing welcome inside Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.

Martina also talked about coming out publicly the year she made it to her first US Open final just after becoming an American citizen.

“In 1981, I came out as a gay woman,” she said to strong applause. “That was not a good thing to do back then. There were a lot of doors that were shut in my face because of that, but you know what, I could still play tennis, no matter what.”

And play she did with courage and skill.

Her famous on-court rivalry with friend Chris Evert is the subject of a new ESPN documentary, Unmatched, which will premiere September 14. See yesterday’s post about this legendary pair.

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Tennis

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