Tennis Legend Chris Evert

Chris Evert

Evert was born in 1954 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Colette (née Thompson) and Jimmy Evert, and raised in a committed Catholic household.

She is a 1973 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale.

Evert’s father was a professional tennis coach, and tennis was a way of life in his family. Chris and her sister Jeanne became professional tennis players; their brother John played tennis on scholarship at the University of Alabama and later at Vanderbilt University, and their brother Drew had a tennis scholarship to Auburn University.

Their youngest sister Clare played scholarship tennis at Southern Methodist University.

Chris, John, Jeanne, and Clare, all won titles at the prestigious Junior Orange Bowl in Florida.

Evert began taking tennis lessons from her father Jimmy Evert when she was five years old. He was 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 under-14 girl in the United States.

Evert played her first senior tournament that year also, reaching the semifinals in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, losing to Mary-Ann Eisel in three sets.

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 at Boca Raton in 1990.

In 1970, Evert won the national 16-and-under championship and was invited to play in an eight-player clay-court tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The 15-year-old Evert defeated Françoise Dürr in the first round in straight sets before defeating Margaret Court 7–6, 7–6 in a semifinal. Court was the world’s 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 as the youngest player ever in the competition.

Before she won her first Grand Slam event, Evert signed a contract with Puritan Fashions 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, was voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Filly, and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

In the 1970s, Evert’s romance with the top men’s player Jimmy Connors captured the public’s imagination, particularly after they both won the 1974 singles titles at Wimbledon. Evert and Connors also occasionally played mixed doubles together. They became engaged when she was 19 and a wedding was planned for November 8, 1974.

The romance did not last, and the wedding was called off. In May 2013, Connors wrote in his autobiography that Evert was pregnant with their child and she decided to terminate the pregnancy. Evert replied that she was “extremely disappointed that he [Connors] used the book to misrepresent a private matter”.

In 1979, Evert married British tennis player John Lloyd and changed her name to Chris Evert Lloyd.

After her affair with British singer and actor Adam Faith, the couple separated, but reconciled and chronicled their marriage in a biography Lloyd On Lloyd co-authored by Carol Thatcher.] The couple divorced in April 1987.

In 1988, Evert married American downhill skier Andy Mill, who had been introduced to her by Martina Navratilova. They have three sons.

On November 13, 2006, Evert filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized on December 4, 2006, with Evert paying Mill a settlement of US$7 million in cash and securities.

On June 28, 2008, Evert married her third husband, Australian golfer Greg Norman in the Bahamas.

On October 2, 2009, they announced they were separating after 15 months. Their divorce became final on December 8, 2009.

In 2021, Evert became a supporter of the new Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, formed in opposition to President Joe Biden’s executive order that mandates blanket inclusion for all transgender female athletes.

Evert’s sister, Jeanne, died of ovarian cancer following a two-year illness.

Chris Evert underwent a preventative hysterectomy after learning she carried the BRCA gene mutation. Cancer was uncovered in her resected Fallopian tubes in 2022.

In May 2022, it was reported that Evert had completed chemotherapy treatment for her ovarian cancer.

She stated her doctor told her there was a 90% chance the cancer would never return due to it being diagnosed early. In December 2023, she announced she had been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and is undergoing treatment again.

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