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Exclusive - Martina Navratilova on love, adoption and life after cancer

4 October 2010
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Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova has told HELLO! she is looking to the future after beating breast cancer this year – and reveals she’s still looking for a lasting relationship.

"Absolutely," she tells us. "But maybe it's not meant to be. We'll see. I always thought I would grow old with one person, one woman - as it turns out - but it hasn't worked out that way. Some people just fall in love with the right person when they are 25 and some do it at 55 and some never do it." 

Her 2008 split from girlfriend-of-eight-years Toni Layton was acrimonious to say the least, resulting in a court battle and a reported $3 million payout. She is now reportedly engaged to former beauty queen and entrepreneur Julia Lemigova. 

She also says that while it's "too late" to have children naturally - "I wanted to be in a good relationship and I just wasn’t with anybody long enough" - adoption is "possible".


"But you know, I have two nieces (Martina, 13, and Jana, 6), so I feel I have two kids… I don't feel that there is anything missing in my life right now. But if a ten-year-old showed up on my doorstep, I'm sure I would take care of her or him."

It has certainly been an eventful year for the 53-year-old. "First, I broke my arm in January playing ice hockey… Then my tooth fell out as I was flying to Europe with my arm in a cast. It was really comical," she reveals.

"Then I get cancer and it was only February, and I'm like, oh my God, maybe I should stay in my house and not do anything, this is not looking so good. But the arm healed up, the tooth is fine and I'm cancer-free. But it's been a trying year to say the least."

Martina, who refused to let her diagnosis affect her work schedule over Wimbledon fortnight this year, has also opened up about one of the devastating side-effects of cancer treatment. "I couldn’t find a pair of jeans one morning and I started crying. I thought what the Hell is the matter with me?... I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

"And then I felt empathetic to people who have depression because now I know what they go through. Only I’m sure it’s much much worse because I did get out of bed, I did play tennis and I was working, but for me, I wasn't myself. I was flat as a pancake (emotionally); I just didn’t care."

"I'm still under the assumption that I have 30 years or more, and at the moment, I'm very happy with what I am doing and where I am going... I’ve always been grateful but am even more so now."

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