First reactions After Martiina Navratilova Announces She Has Cancer
First reactions After Martiina Navratilova Announces She Has Cancer

Billie Jean King led the support for Martina Navratilova tonight as she called the tennis legend 'as brave as she is strong' following her throat and breast cancer diagnosis.

Navratilova, Wimbledon's greatest ever singles champion, announced that doctors had diagnosed her with two forms of cancer after she discovered a swollen lymph node in her neck in November.

Following her revelation, former American tennis champion, Billie Jean King has shared support for her fellow athlete. She wrote on Twitter: '@Martina is as brave as she is strong. 

'She has fought this battle before, and she is in our thoughts and prayers.'

Czech-born American Navratilova, who is married to former Russian beauty queen Julia Lemigova, 50, said: 'I'm hoping for a favourable outcome. It's going to stink for a while but I'll fight with all I have got.'

The former tennis world number one's diagnosis comes after she was given the all-clear from a non-invasive form of breast cancer in 2010 following radiation treatment.

Navratilova, who won 59 grand slam singles and doubles titles in her 40-year career, will not travel to this month's Australian Open, where she was intending to work as a TV pundit. 

But a statement from her representative described the prognosis as 'good'.

'Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with stage one throat cancer,' read the statement. 'The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month.'

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