Julia Lemigova Marries Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova

Pam WrightLife

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Julia Lemigova and tennis great Martina Navratilova are married.

The 58-year-old Tennis Channel analyst and fiancée Julia Lemigova said "I do" in front of family and friends at New York's Peninsular hotel on Monday.

The ecstatic tennis hall of famer spoke to the BBC following the nuptials to talk about their big day.

"It's just really odd," she said. "I'm 58 years old and I got married for the first time. It's about time, right?

Navratilova, who came out as a lesbian in 1981, said she was feeling the gambit of emotions, admitting to feeling both "terrified and relieved."

"Growing up as a gay woman you just don't think about that, but then about 10 years ago I thought, 'In about 10 years, gay marriage will be legal,' and here we are," she said.

Navratilova, who has won 18 Grand Slam titles, was decked out in a white turtleneck top, white pants and a sparkling silver jacket for her special day.

Lemigova and Navratilova have been dating since 2006. In September, the tennis champion, who entertained fans with her rivalry with Chris Evert in the 1970s and 80s, publicly proposed on air to Lemigova at this year's US Open.

Russian model Lemigova, who has two daughters from a previous relationship, said the proposal came out of the blue.

"I was so overwhelmed and surprised," she told the BBC "But by proposing and marrying in such a public I way, I hope we'll give inspiration to families like ours, that they too can be married legally one day."

Navratilova said times have changed since she first came out as a lesbian in the 1980s, but said there are still those, particularly in the sports arena, who keep their sexuality a secret.

"I'm surprised more players haven't come out," said Navratilova. "Particularly no male players. They're so far in the closet, I don't even know who they are."

Pam Wright