NEW YORK (AP) -- Six years after she quit playing the WTA Tour, Martina Navratilova is still winning titles. Her latest is Hall of Famer.
The left-hander will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 15 in Newport, R.I. Joining her in the Class of 2000 are Australian Davis Cupper Malcolm Anderson and former U.S. Lawn Tennis Association president Robert Kelleher.
''Martina was the greatest all-around player to ever play our game,'' fellow Hall of Famer Billie Jean King said Tuesday during a news conference to introduce the new inductees. ''She just did it all.''
She set records with her 167 singles titles, 165 doubles crowns and 1,438 singles match wins.
''An extraordinary record for an extraordinary person,'' said Jane Brown, the Hall of Fame president.
Navratilova's most lasting accomplishment might have been raising the athleticism of women in sports.
''She brought women's tennis to another level,'' former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna once said. ''She was the first player to get into fitness and work out with weights. She played a different kind of game than anybody else, and she was so good and in such great shape. All the other players had to become better in order to compete.''
Navratilova, who retired from singles play in 1994, recently got her pilot's license and did her first solo flight in November. She works with gay and lesbian groups and speaks on behalf of animal rights.
Navratilova is deeply grateful to tennis and says she wants to stay involved in the sport.
''I've not given back as much as tennis has given to me,'' she said.
In the age of baseline bashers, Navratilova ruled with a peerless serve-and-volley game.
''They don't copy Martina because they can't,'' said Kelleher, who was instrumental in moving tennis into the Open era. ''They don't volley that well. They don't serve that well.''
She did both, winning 18 career Grand Slam tournament singles titles and teaming with Pam Shriver to win 109 consecutive doubles matches. In 1983, she posted a remarkable 86-1 record, her only loss coming in the French Open. The next year, she lost just twice.
''Martina always wanted to get better, was always in the pursuit of excellence,'' said King, who teamed with Navratilova to win the Wimbledon doubles title in 1979 and later coached her.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Navratilova defected to the United States during the 1975 U.S. Open. She became an American citizen in 1981 and won her first U.S. Open two years later.
She dominated on the grass courts of Wimbledon, winning nine singles titles, including a record six straight from 1982-87. In 1994, she reached the title match at Wimbledon for the 13th and last time.
Her rivalry with Chris Evert was among the greatest in sports. From 1973 until 1988, they met 80 times, with Navratilova winding up with a 43-37 edge.
''A one-on-one confrontation over a span of 15 years or more, and we were one and two in the world,'' Navratilova once recalled. ''The two greatest players of all time on the court at the same time going at it.''
Evert, who was inducted into the Hall in 1995, said of Navratilova:
''She brought fresh new honesty to the game. She wore her heart on her sleeve and she was never afraid to speak out and say what she felt.''
Martina Hingis, the current No. 1 player on the tour, was named for Navratilova, who said, ''It was because I defected, not because of tennis.''
Kelleher shepherded the United States into the Open era as USLTA president. Now a U.S. District Court judge in California, Kelleher was captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team in 1962-63.
In 1957, Anderson became the first unseeded player to win the U.S. Championships. He won the French doubles in 1957, the Australian doubles in 1973 and the Australian mixed doubles in 1957, then turned pro in 1959.
After the Open era began, Anderson reached the Australian Open final in 1972.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.