Tennis star Navratilova regains Czech citizenship

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London, Mar.12 : Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has regained her Czech citizenship more than 30 years after fleeing that country to live in the United States.

"I lost it at the time I defected. I got it back on Jan 9," Navratilova, 51, told reporters during a visit to Tokyo.

According to The Telegraph, she said she would maintain dual nationality.

Born in Prague, Navratilova fled to the United States in 1975, at the height of the Cold War, because the authorities refused to allow her to play in America, where the majority of tournaments were held.

She was stripped of her citizenship and became a US citizen six years later.

Last year, she said that while she was once ashamed of the politics of Czechoslovakia, she was now ashamed of the United States under President George W Bush.

During her tennis career, Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles - nine at Wimbledon.

She retired in 1994 but returned to play doubles in 2000, again winning several tournaments.

She definitively hung up her racket in December 2006 after winning in mixed doubles at the US Open, the 354th tournament of her career.

ANI

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