The tennis legend Martina Navratilova (57) and the Russian beauty queen Julia Lemigova (42) have been lovers since 2006. Their dating came to an end on Saturday, September 6, 2014, when Navratilova proposed marriage to Lemigova on the big screen of Arthur Ashe Stadium between the US Open men’s semi-finals.
When Navratilova popped the question, a teary Lemigova said, “yes,” and the crowd cheered loudly.
Later, Navratilova said:
“I was very nervous. It came off. She [Lemigova] 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.”
Navratilova once said that during 1981 US Open finals when the crowd gave her a long ovation as the runner-up when she lost to Tracy Austin, it was the first time she felt accepted as a new American citizen and a gay woman.
This time the legend said:
“What’s been amazing is the outpouring of support from everywhere, including when I was walking through the stadium afterwards with people saying, ‘Congratulations,’ people on the street saying, ‘Congratulations,’ and the Twitter outpouring has been unbelievably supportive.”
Today, in the United States, gay couples can marry in 19 states and in the District of Columbia. Navratilova said she and Lemigova prefer to get married in Florida, where they live. Last month, a federal judge in Florida ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, but Florida officials are appealing.
By the way, Julia Lemigova is not the first lover of Martina Navratilova.
- Martina Navratilova proposes to girlfriend at US Open (itv.com)
- Martina Navratilova Proposes to Girlfriend Julia Lemigova at US Open – Photos! (justjared.com)
- Tennis legend proposes on big screen at US Open (sports.inquirer.net)
- Martina Navratilova Proposes To Girlfriend Julia Lemigova At US Open (ontopmag.com)
- Martina Navratilova proposes on big screen at U.S. Open (cbsnews.com)
- Tennis legend Martina Navratilova proposes to girlfriend at US Open (pinknews.co.uk)
- Navratilova proposes on big screen at US Open (nbcsports.com)
- Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Proposes to Girlfriend on Jumbotron at U.S. Open (towleroad.com)
- Martina Navratilova to marry long-term partner Julia Lemigova after proposing during US Open semi-final (telegraph.co.uk)