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Martina Navratilova proposes to girlfriend Julia Lemigova at U.S. Open


Tennis great Martina Navratilova has proposed to her girlfriend on the big screen of Arthur Ashe Stadium between the US Open men’s semi-finals.

Tennis great Martina Navratilova (R) and her partner Julia Lemigova celebrate after getting engaged at the US Open. Photo: Reuters  Martina Navratilova proposes to girlfriend Julia Lemigova at U.S. Open Martina Navratilova

Tennis great Martina Navratilova (R) and her partner Julia Lemigova celebrate after getting engaged at the US Open. Photo: Reuters

Navratilova popped the question to Julia Lemigova in the Tennis Channel suite, drawing a loud cheer from the crowd.

“I was very nervous,” Navratilova said later. “It came off. She said yes. It was kind of an out-of-body experience. You’ve seen people propose at sporting events before, in movies, in real life. Here it was happening to me. It was like I was watching myself do it.”

The 57-year-old Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, a mark she shares with Chris Evert. Serena Williams will try to match it in Sunday’s women’s final.

Navratilova said somebody suggested she propose during a changeover in the first match between Kei Nishikori and Novak Djokovic, but she didn’t want to disturb the players in any way.

The only problem was that Navratilova was later scheduled to play a Champions doubles match with Jana Novotna against Tracy Austin and Gigi Fernandez. She tried unsuccessfully to get the start postponed without telling anybody why, so she was fretting that the Nishikori-Djokovic match would go five sets. Fortunately, it ended in four.



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After the triumph in her personal life, Navratilova was also victorious in doubles.

When Navratilova walked into the locker room to get ready for the match, Austin didn’t know anything about what had just happened. The two chatted for a few minutes before Navratilova mentioned the proposal in passing.

Austin then made her re-enact the whole thing.

Navratilova said she and Lemigova would prefer to get married in Florida, where they live. A federal judge ruled last month that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but Florida officials are appealing.

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