Raising the gold plate above her head, Martina Navratilova turned to the packed stands and the cheers of Wimbledon.
She had just defeated Chris Evert, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, to win the world's most prestigious tennis championship. At 21, she reigned atop women's tennis.
Only one thing marred the occasion yesterday. In her hour of triumph, Navratilova's family could not be with her.
Since she defected from her native Czechoslovakia three years ago. Navratilova - who now owns a home in Dallas - has not been allowed by the Prague government to visit her parents or her younger sister.
Nor has the government permitted the family to leave Czechoslovakia to visit her. Her parents, she could only hope, may have seen her Wimbledon triumph by driving from their home in Revnice, outside Prague, to a town near the border where the match could be picked up on West Germany television.
"I'm just sorry they can't share this with me," Navratilova told reporters following the match yesterday.
She clearly hoped, however, that her win at Wimbledon would force Prague - which has not allowed her name to be mentioned in the Czechoslovak press since 1975 - to publicly report her triumph to her countrymen.
For though she has petitioned the U.S. Congress to waive the five-year residency requirement for citizenship, Navratilova made it plain yesterday that in her heart she remains a Czech.
"I will always be Czech," she proudly declared following her victory, "no matter what country I am a citizen of."