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On This Day: Navratilova Reaches No.1

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were everywhere, Gerry Rafferty was winding his way down on Baker Street, and Martina Navratilova was becoming a WTA legend.

Published July 10, 2014 12:13

On This Day: Navratilova Reaches No.1
Martina Navratilova

LONDON, England - It was Monday, July 10, 1978, when one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Martina Navratilova, rose to No.1 in the world on the WTA Rankings for the very first time.

And the timing couldn't have been sweeter. Navratilova's rise to No.1 came right after she won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, coming back from a set down three times en route to the title - against Barbara Jordan in the third round, Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the semifinals and then, of course, Chris Evert in the final. She had lost to the latter two players in her first two Grand Slam finals.

Navratilova was the WTA's third No.1, after Evert and Goolagong Cawley, and she would eventually spend 332 career weeks there, second only to Steffi Graf, who spent 377 weeks there in her career.

And though she retired from professional tennis in 2006, Navratilova still has a very strong presence in the tennis world, doing television commentary and playing legends events throughout the year, and she'll be heavily involved at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global this year, not just playing at the WTA Legends event but also collaborating with the WTA on the design of the newly named Martina Navratilova WTA Finals Doubles Trophy, to be awarded to the doubles winners.

But for now let's go back to the past - and not just to the top pop culture items from the US, but to the top pop culture items from the UK, since that's obviously where this milestone was created...

A few throwbacks to July 10, 1978...
No.1 song on Billboard Hot 100 singles: Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb
No.1 album on Billboard 200 albums: City To City by Gerry Rafferty
No.1 movie at US Box Office: Grease
No.1 song on UK Singles Chart: You're The One That I Want by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
No.1 album on UK Albums Chart: Saturday Night Fever (Original Soundtrack)
No.1 men's tennis player: Jimmy Connors
No.1 women's tennis player: Martina Navratilova

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