Pic: (‏@TennisChannelPR / Twitter)

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has proposed to her girlfriend during the US Open men’s semi-finals on Saturday.

The 57-year-old lesbian icon went down on one knee, holding up a box with a ring, in a suite at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Her proposal to Julia Lemigova was shown live on the big screen in the stadium to cheers and applause from the crowd.

Lemigova, 42, is a Russian businesswoman and former beauty queen. The two woman have been together for around five years.

Speaking to AP later, Navratilova said: “I was very nervous. 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,” she said.

Navratilova went on to win a “Champions” doubles match with Jana Novotna against Tracy Austin and Gigi Fernandez at the stadium later that day.

Taking to Twitter, the tennis star said: “Thanks everyone for your good wishes- I am very happy, so is Julia and our whole family:)”

Navratilova is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest tennis players. She came out in 1981 and retired from the sport in 2006.

In 2010, she settled a two-year-long bitter lawsuit with former partner of eight years, Toni Layton, with a reported $3 million payout.

Navratilova was accused of hypocrisy at the time by claiming in court that her partnership to Layton was not legal under the law and thus Layton shouldn’t be entitled to a share of her fortune.

In 1991, Navratilova paid out a rumoured $3.5 million to former girlfriend Judy Nelson, also after an eight year relationship.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend