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Christine Marie "Chris" Evert (born December 21, 1954) is a former world number 1 professional tennis player from the United States. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships, including a record seven championships at the French Openmarker and a record six championships at the U.S.marker Openmarker. According to the Women's Tennis Association, she was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, and 1981 and, according to many sources, in 1974 and 1978, also.

Evert's career win–loss record in singles matches of 1,309–146 (.900) is the best of any professional player in tennis history. In tennis writer Steve Flink's book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, he named Evert as the third best female player of the 20th century, after Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. Evert never lost in the first or second rounds of a Grand Slam singles tournament. She won 157 singles championships. In women's doubles, Evert won three Grand Slam titles and 29 regular tour championships. She is currently married to the Australian professional golfer Greg Norman, although the couple have announced their separation.

Tennis career

Evert began taking tennis lessons when she was five years old from her father, Jimmy Evert (a professional tennis coach who had won the men's singles title at the Canadian Championships in 1947). By 1969, she had become the No. 1 ranked 14-under girl in the United States. Evert played her first senior tournament in that year also, reaching the semifinals in her home town of Fort Lauderdale, Floridamarker, losing to Mary Ann Eisel 7–5, 3–6, 6–1. (For years, this was the record for the furthest a player had reached in her first senior-level tournament. That record was broken when another Floridian, Jennifer Capriati, reached the final of the tournament in Boca Raton, Floridamarker, in 1990 at the age of 13.) In 1970, Evert won the national sixteen-and-under championship and was invited to play in an eight player clay court tournament in Charlotte, North Carolinamarker. The 15 year-old Evert defeated Françoise Durr 6–1, 6–0 in the first round before defeating Margaret Court 7–6, 7–6 in a semifinal. Court was the World No. 1 player and had just won the Grand Slam in singles. These results led to Evert's selection for the U.S. Wightman Cup team, the youngest player ever in the competition.

Evert made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the 1971 U.S.marker Openmarker, aged 16, receiving an invitation after winning the national sixteen-and-under championship. After an easy straight-sets win over Edda Buding in the first round, she faced the American No. 4 Mary Ann Eisel in the second round. Evert saved six match points with Eisel serving at 6–4, 6–5 (40–0) in the second set before Evert went on to win 4–6, 7–6, 6–1. She made two further comebacks against Durr (2–6, 6–2, 6–3) and Lesley Hunt (4–6, 6–2, 6–3), both seasoned professionals, before losing to Billie Jean King in a semifinal (6-3,6-2). This defeat ended a 46-match winning streak built up through carefully selected participation in senior tour events.

Evert was the runner-up at the French Openmarker and the Wimbledon Tournamentmarker in 1973. A year later, she won both those events to claim her first Grand Slam singles titles and won 55 consecutive matches. Her fiancé at the time, Jimmy Connors, won the Wimbledon men's singles title that year and media attention surrounded the "Love Match" of tennis that summer (although this relationship proved to be short-lived).

Connors and Evert were also finalists in mixed doubles at the 1974 U.S. Open, although Evert rarely played that event. As time went by, Evert played women's doubles less frequently, preferring to devote her energies to singles tournaments.

For the next five years, Evert was the world's No. 1 player. In 1975, she won the French Open again and the first of four straight U.S. Open titles by defeating Evonne Goolagong Cawley in a three-set final. She also won Wimbledon again in 1976, again beating Goolagong in a three-set final. In all, Evert won 21 of her 33 matches with Goolagong. Evert's domination of the women's game and her calm, steely demeanor on court earned her the nickname of the "Ice Maiden" of tennis.

A new rival to Evert's dominance emerged on the scene in the later part of the 1970s in the form of Martina Navratilova. Though good friends off the court, their fierce on-court rivalry is remembered as one of the greatest in tennis history. Evert had the best of their earlier encounters, with Navratilova eventually gaining the upper hand during the 1980s.

Though successful on all surfaces, it was on clay courts where Evert was most dominant. Beginning in August 1973, she won 125 consecutive matches on the surface, with a loss of only 7 sets, a run which continues to stand as the record among both men and women players. The streak was broken on May 12, 1979, in a semifinal of the Italian Openmarker, when Evert lost to Tracy Austin 6–4, 2–6, 7–6(4) after Evert lost a game point to go up 5–2 in the third set. Evert said after the match, "Not having the record will take some pressure off me, but I am not glad to have lost it." Evert then won 72 consecutive matches on clay before losing in a semifinal of the 1981 French Open to Hana Mandlikova. Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling had a similar run of clay court dominance from 1935 through 1939, winning the French Championships three consecutive years (not playing there the other two years) and incurring only one loss on clay during that five year period.

Evert won the French Open singles title a record seven times. Three of her victories came in three-set finals against Navratilova. In 1975, Evert defeated Navratilova to defend her title from the previous year 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. In 1985, Evert prevailed 6–3, 6–7, 7–5, a win that saw her capture the World No. 1 ranking for the fifth and final time. And, in 1986, the 31 year-old Evert won her last Grand Slam title by beating Navratilova 2–6, 6–3, 6–3.

George Bush and Chris Evert playing tennis at Camp David
Evert retired from the professional tour in 1989. During her career, she won 157 singles titles and eight doubles titles. Her record in finals was 157–72 (.686). She reached the semifinals in 273 of the 303 tournaments she entered. Evert won the WTA Tour Championships four times and helped the United States win the Fed Cup eight times. Evert's last match was a 6–3, 6–2 win over Conchita Martínez in the final of the 1989 Fed Cup.

Evert won at least one Grand Slam singles title each year for 13 consecutive years, from 1974 through 1986. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles during her career: seven at the French Open, six at the U.S. Open (three on clay and three on hard surfaces), three at Wimbledon, and two at the Australian Open (both on grass). She reached the finals in 34 and the semifinals in 52 of the 56 Grand Slams events she entered. Between September 1971 (her Grand Slam debut at the U.S. Open) and June 1983 (her twelfth visit to Wimbledon), Evert never failed to reach at least the semifinals of the 34 Grand Slam singles events she participated in. This is an unparalleled record of consistency in the world's biggest tournaments. This record ended in the third round at Wimbledon in 1983, when the All England Club refused Evert's request to delay her match with Kathy Jordan to recover from food poisoning. This defeat also ended her attempt to be the holder of all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously. (Evert was then the holder of the Australian, U.S., and French titles.)

Evert's overall record in Grand Slam events was 297–38 .887 (72–6 at the French Open, 94–15 at Wimbledon, 101–13 at the U.S. Open (most singles match wins in history), and 30–4 at the Australian Open). She reached the finals all 6 times she entered the Australian Open. Evert faced Navratilova in the final of 14 Grand Slam events, with Evert losing 10 of those encounters. (Navratilova defeated Evert at least once in the final of each of the four Grand Slam events, whereas three of Evert's four wins were at the French Open and the fourth was at the Australian Open.) Evert defeated Navratilova in the semifinals of the U.S. Open (1975), Wimbledon (1976 and 1980), and the Australian Open (1988) but lost to Navratilova in the semifinals of the U.S. Open (1981), Wimbledon (1987 and 1988), and the French Open (1987).

During her career versus selected rivals, Evert was: 40–6 against Virginia Wade, 37–43 against Martina Navratilova, 26–13 against Evonne Goolagong Cawley, 24–0 against Virginia Ruzici, 23–1 against Sue Barker, 22–0 against Betty Stöve, 22–1 against Rosemary Casals, 21–7 against Hana Mandlikova, 20–1 against Wendy Turnbull, 19–7 against Billie Jean King (winning the last 11 matches with a loss of only 2 sets), 19–3 against Pam Shriver, 18–2 against Kerry Melville Reid, 17–2 against Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, 17–2 against Helena Suková, 17–3 against Andrea Jaeger, 16–3 against Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat, 15–0 against Olga Morozova, 13–0 against Françoise Durr, 9–4 against Margaret Court, 8–9 against Tracy Austin, 7–0 against Mary Joe Fernandez, 6–3 against Gabriela Sabatini, 6–5 against Nancy Richey Gunter (winning the last 6 matches), 6–8 against Steffi Graf (losing the last 8 matches), and 2–1 against Monica Seles.

Evert was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year on four occasions and received Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportswoman of the Year" award in 1976. In April 1985, she was voted the "Greatest Woman Athlete of the Last 25 Years" by the Women's Sports Foundation. Evert served as President of the Women's Tennis Association from 1975–76, and from 1983 to 1991. In 1995, she was the fourth player ever to be unanimously elected into the International Tennis Hall of Famemarker following a worldwide ballot of 185 sports journalists whilst 1999 saw Evert rated No. 50 among North American athletes of the 20th century. In 2005, TENNIS Magazine named her fourth on its list of TENNIS Magazine's 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS Era.

Personal life

Evert was born in Fort Lauderdale, Floridamarker, to Colette Thompson and Jimmy Evert. Jimmy was a professional tennis coach, and tennis was a way of life in his family. Chris and her sister Jeanne Evert became professional tennis players, and their brother John Evert attended Auburn Universitymarker, in Auburn, Alabamamarker, on a full athletic scholarship for intercollegiate tennis. Evert is a 1973 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High Schoolmarker in Fort Lauderdale.

Early in her career, before she won her first Grand Slam event, Evert signed a contract with Puritan Fashions Corp. to endorse a line of sportswear. Company president Carl Rosen thought so highly of her that he named a yearling racehorse in her honor. The horse Chris Evert went on to win the 1974 U.S. Filly Triple Crown, be voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Filly, and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Evert's romance with the top men's player Jimmy Connors captured the public's imagination in the 1970s, particularly after they both captured the singles titles at Wimbledonmarker in 1974. Evert and Connors also occasionally played mixed doubles together. In 1974, they were the runners-up at the U.S.marker Openmarker. They got engaged, but the romance did not last. A wedding was planned for November 8, 1974, but it was called off.

In 1979, Evert married the British tennis player John Lloyd and changed her name to "Chris Evert-Lloyd." This marriage, as Evert-Lloyd, ended in divorce in 1987.

In 1988, Evert married two-time Olympic downhill skier Andy Mill. They have three sons – Alexander James (born October 12, 1991), Nicholas Joseph (born June 8, 1994), and Colton Jack (born June 14, 1996). On November 13, 2006, Evert filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized on December 4, 2006, with Evert paying Mill a settlement of U.S. $7 million in cash and securities.

Evert and Australian golfer Greg Norman were married on June 28, 2008, in the Bahamasmarker. On October 2, 2009 they announced they were separating after only 15 months, saying in a statement that they "...will remain friends and supportive of one another's family."

Current work

Evert operates a tennis academy bearing her name in Boca Raton, Florida. She also helps coach the Saint Andrew's Schoolmarker high school tennis team. She is also currently (2009) a contributor to Tennis Magazine.

Career statistics


  • These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Grand Slam Years Record accomplished Player tied
1988 Australian Open 1973-88 34 Grand Slam finals overall Stands alone
French Openmarker 1974-86 7 titles overall Stands alone
French Open 1973-86 9 finals overall Steffi Graf
French Open 1983-86 4 consecutive finals Martina Navratilova
Steffi Graf
U.S.marker Openmarker 1975-82 six titles overall Stands alone
U.S. Open 1975-78 four consecutive titles Stands alone
U.S. Open 1975-84 nine finals overall Stands alone
U.S. Open 1975-80 six consecutive finals Stands alone

See also


  1. Johnette Howard (2005). The Rivals. Yellow Jersey Press. ISBN 0-22407-505-5
  2. CHRISSIE THE GREAT: Match Results and Records
  3. Family tree of Chris Evert
  4. People Magazine Chris Evert Files for Divorce from Andy Mil, November 17, 2006
  5. Chris Evert divorce calls for tennis great to pay hubby $7 million, December 5, 2006.
  6. Chris Evert and Greg Norman Wed in Bahamas
  7. Norman, Evert say they have separated, Associated Press

Further reading

External links

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