Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova is battling breast cancer.

The 53-year-old – who won nine Wimbledon singles titles during her tennis career – has revealed she is being treated for the disease, which was first detected in February following a routine mammogram.

Doctors say that Martina’s prognosis is good partly because her tumour was found at an early stage, according to reports in US magazine People.

Martina has already had the lump removed and will begin six weeks of radiation therapy in May.

Martina told the magazine that she had cried after finding out, adding: “I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it’s completely out of my hands.

But, she said, she had been lucky because she had left it four years since her last check-up.

“I let it slide. Everyone gets busy, but don’t make excuses,” she told the magazine. “I stay in shape and eat right, and it happened to me. Another year and I could have been in big trouble.”

Prague-born Martina – who came second in ITV1’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2009, still plays tennis and competes in triathlons.

She played her last Wimbledon tournament in July 2006.