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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, January 3

Thinking about Martina Navratilova

Southampton F.C. Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

good morning everyone. Prayers up for Damar Hamlin <3


Tennis legend Martina Navratilova announced on Monday that she has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.

Navratilova said a biopsy undertaken last year showed she had early-stage throat cancer. Doctors discovered the breast cancer, unrelated to her throat cancer, while undergoing tests on her throat.

If we know anything about Navratilova, it’s that she doesn’t give up. After all, that kind of trait is what made her one of the greatest athletes of all time.

In her 32-year tennis career Navratilova amassed more than 1,400 singles wins, 167 singles titles (an Open Era record), 18 Grand Slam singles titles and 8 Tour Finals titles. Plus an additional 41 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles, more than 800 wins and 177 doubles titles altogether (another Open Era record).

During that time she changed the game with her style of play, bringing in that huge left-handed serve of hers that dominated the tour for generations. And she revolutionised how players prepared for matches by spending copious amounts of time at the gym and bringing her entourage to tournaments with her.

All this while fleeing communist Czechoslovakia and battling homosexual stereotypes.

Navratilova has overcome health problems before. In 2010 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had undergone radiation therapy. Later that year she was forced to abandon her attempt to clim Mt Kilamanjaro (after having raised $60,000 for a sporting charity) due to a high altitude pulmonary edema.

She unfortunately will miss covering the Australian Open while she undergoes treatment, the announcement said. I’m sure throughout it all she will receive all the support in the world, not least from her great rival Chris Evert.

Navratilova has long been one of my tennis heroes - along with Andre Agassi and Althea Gibson. I never watched her live, but I so admired her fighting spirit as a tennis player and activist. I hope she recovers quickly.

Fitzie’s track of the day: Bird’s Lament, by Moondog

And now for your links:

Alasdair Gold’s scathing talking points following that performance from Sunday

If you can’t get enough of Alasdair Gold: Here’s his latest video (and equally scathing)

Rangers and Celtic draw 2-2 in the Old Firm Derby

A quick EFL Championship recap for you lower-tier lovers