Chris Evert

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Chris Evert

Chris Evert in the 1970s.
Country United States
ResidenceBoca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Born(1954-12-21) December 21, 1954 (age 57)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight57 kg (126 lb)
Turned pro1972
Retired1989
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career prize money$8,895,195
Int. Tennis HOF1995 (member page)
Singles
Career record1309–145 (90.05%)
Career titles157
Highest rankingNo. 1 (November 3, 1975)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1982, 1984)
French OpenW (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)
WimbledonW (1974, 1976, 1981)
US OpenW (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982)
Other tournaments
ChampionshipsW (1972, 1973, 1975, 1977)
Doubles
Career record117–39 (75.0%)
Career titles32
Highest rankingNo. 13 (September 12, 1988)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1988)
French OpenW (1974, 1975)
WimbledonW (1976)
Last updated on: August 14, 2006.
 
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Chris Evert

Chris Evert in the 1970s.
Country United States
ResidenceBoca Raton, Florida, U.S.
Born(1954-12-21) December 21, 1954 (age 57)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Height1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight57 kg (126 lb)
Turned pro1972
Retired1989
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career prize money$8,895,195
Int. Tennis HOF1995 (member page)
Singles
Career record1309–145 (90.05%)
Career titles157
Highest rankingNo. 1 (November 3, 1975)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (1982, 1984)
French OpenW (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)
WimbledonW (1974, 1976, 1981)
US OpenW (1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982)
Other tournaments
ChampionshipsW (1972, 1973, 1975, 1977)
Doubles
Career record117–39 (75.0%)
Career titles32
Highest rankingNo. 13 (September 12, 1988)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1988)
French OpenW (1974, 1975)
WimbledonW (1976)
Last updated on: August 14, 2006.

Christine Marie "Chris" Evert (born December 21, 1954) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States. She won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and three doubles titles. She was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981. Overall Evert won 157 singles championships and 29 doubles titles.

Evert reached 34 Grand Slam singles finals, more than any player, man or woman, in the history of professional tennis.[1] She reached the semifinals or better, in singles, of 52 of the 56 Grand Slams she played, including the semifinals or better of 34 consecutive Grand Slams played from the 1971 U.S. Open through the 1983 French Open.[2] Evert never lost in the first or second round of a Grand Slam singles tournament. In Grand Slam singles play Evert won a record seven championships at the French Open and a record six championships at the U.S. Open.

Evert's career winning percentage in singles matches of 90.05% (1309–145) is the best in the history of professional tennis, man or woman.[3] On clay courts her career winning percentage in singles matches of 94.05% (316–20) remains a WTA record.

Evert has been president of the Women's Tennis Association on two separate occasions. She was awarded the Philippe Chartier award and inducted in to the hall of fame. In later life Evert was a coach and a commentator and had three children.

Contents

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, Florida, 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.[citation needed] That record was broken when another Floridian, Jennifer Capriati, reached the final of the tournament in Boca Raton, Florida, 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 Carolina. 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.[4]

Evert made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the 1971 U.S. Open, 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 junior tour events.

In 1973 Evert was the runner-up at the French Open and the Wimbledon Tournament. A year later, she won both those events during her then record 55 consecutive match win streak, which included eight other tournament wins. She ended the year with at 100–7 match record, winning 16 tournaments including two Grand Slams (French and Wimbledon) and was a finalist in her first Australian Open, and for a fourth straight year, reached the semi-finals at the U.S. Open. She was chosen as the year-end number one over her closest rivals, Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong, each of whom had 6 titles including a Grand Slam (King the U.S. Open and Goolagong the Australian), by the leading experts and authorities of the day, except Bud Collins.

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. They partnered in the mixed doubles event at the 1974 U.S. Open, finishing as runners-up. Their engagement was short-lived, as the marriage was called off later in the year. However, their on-again off-again relationship continued over the next couple of years.

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. Also in November of that year the official WTA computer ranking system was instituted, with Evert being the first No. 1. In total, Evert logged 260 weeks at number one (third all-time behind Graf and Navratilova respectively). She also won Wimbledon again in 1976, again beating Goolagong in a three-set final. In all, Evert won 26 of 39 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.[5] Throughout her career, Evert was ranked number one in the world at the end of seven different years by Tennis Magazine, by World Tennis Magazine and as well as a majority of other major tennis experts from 1974 through 1978, and in 1980 and 1981. In addition, Evert had by far the overall best match record in each of those seven years.

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 frequent doubles partners, and 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, at one point holding a 30–18 edge. However, in late 1982 Navratilova overhauled her game and fitness to begin a 13 match win streak that culminated in dramatic fashion at the 1984 U.S. Open (tennis), on what came to be known as Super Saturday. They entered the final with 30 match wins a piece. In a thrilling three set win, Navratilova overcame a first set deficit and a decidedly pro-Evert crowd to win 4–6, 6–4, 6–4. Eventually the Evert-Navratilova rivalry saw a final match record of 43–37, in favor of Martina.

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 8 sets; a run which continues to stand as the benchmark among both men and women players.[6] The streak was broken on May 12, 1979, in a semifinal of the Italian Open, 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 rebounded with another clay court streak that reached 64 matches (including titles at the 1979 and 1980 French Open) before ending with a semi-final loss to eventual winner Hana Mandlíková at the 1981 French Open (a record of 189 victories in 191 matches on clay from 1973 to 1981). 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 women's 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 computer 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. Evert beat Navratilova en route to her last grand slam final in the Australian Open in 1988, at the age of 33.

Evert retired from the professional tour in 1989. During her career, she won 157 singles titles and 32 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.

Perhaps of all of Evert's records and accomplishments, what may be her greatest single achievement is her record of having won at least one Grand Slam singles title a year for 13 consecutive years, from 1974 through 1986: '74 French, Wimbledon; '75 French, US Opens; '76 Wimbledon, US Open; '77 US Open, '78 US Open; '79 French Open; '80 French, US Opens; '81 Wimbledon; '82 US, Australian Opens; '83 French Open; '84 Australian Open; '85 French Open; '86 French Open. This is an unparalleled record of consistency in the world's biggest tournaments, made even more impressive when it's realized that Evert did not even participate in the Australian Opens held in 75–80, 83 or the French Opens in 76–78, thereby further reducing the number of chances to win one of the sport's four crown jewels.

In fact, between September 1971 (her Grand Slam debut at the U.S. Open) and June 1983 (her twelfth visit to The Championships Wimbledon), Evert never failed to reach at least the semi-finals of the 34 Grand Slam singles events she entered. This stunning string, however, was broken 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, as Evert was then holder of the '82 Australian, U.S., and the '83 French titles. In 56 Grand Slam singles events entered from 1971 to 1989, Evert fell short of the semi-finals a mere 4 times (1983 Wimbledon 3rd round; 1987 US Open quarter-final; 1988 French Open 3rd round; 1989 US Open quarter-final).

In total, Evert reached a record 34 Grand Slam finals, winning 18 Grand Slam singles titles during her career: seven at the French Open (a record), six at the U.S. Open (an open era record), three at Wimbledon, and two at the Australian Open (both on grass). In addition, Evert won three grand slam doubles titles, at the French in 1974 with Olga Morozova, and 1975 with Navratilova, and again with Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1976.

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 (never failing to reach the final). 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.) In their 8 semi-final clashes, their record stands at four wins a piece. Evert defeated Navratilova in the semi-finals 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). An interesting footnote, in those semi-final rounds, each player won twice on grass, once on hard, and once on clay.

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 Mandlíková, 20–1 against Wendy Turnbull, 19–7 against Billie Jean King (winning the last 11 matches with a loss of only two 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 eight matches), and 2–1 against Monica Seles.

Evert was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year on four occasions and was the first female athlete to be Sports Illustrated magazine's sole recipient of "Sportswoman of the Year" award in 1976.[7][8] 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.[9] In 1995, she was the fourth player ever to be unanimously elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame following a worldwide ballot of 185 sports journalists whilst 1999 saw Evert rated No. 50 among North American athletes of the 20th century.[5][10] In 2005, TENNIS Magazine named her fourth on its list of TENNIS Magazine's 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS Era.[11] In 2012, Tennis Channel conducted a poll of players and experts to determine the 100 greatest players of all-time, in which Evert ranked ninth overall, and fourth highest among women (finishing behind Graf, Navratilova, and Court respectively.)

Personal life

Evert was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Colette Thompson and Jimmy Evert,[12] and raised in a devout Roman Catholic family.[13] She is partially of Luxembourgish ancestry. 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 University, in Auburn, Alabama, on a full athletic scholarship for intercollegiate tennis. Evert is a 1973 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

Early in her career, before she won her first Grand Slam event, Evert signed a contract with Calvin Klein to endorse a line of sportswear[citation needed]. 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 Wimbledon in 1974. Evert and Connors also occasionally played mixed doubles together. In 1974, they were the runners-up at the U.S. Open. They got engaged, when she was only 19, 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." After Evert's affair with British singer/actor Adam Faith, the couple separated,[14][15][16][17] yet the couple reconciled and chronicled their marriage in a biography Lloyd On Lloyd co-authored by Carol Thatcher.[18] The marriage ended in divorce in 1987.

In 1984 she had a home at the Sunrise Country Club[19] in Rancho Mirage, California.[20]

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.[21] The divorce was finalized on December 4, 2006, with Evert paying Mill a settlement of U.S. $7 million in cash and securities.[22]

Evert and Australian golfer Greg Norman were married on June 28, 2008, in the Bahamas.[23] 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."[24] Their divorce was final on December 8, 2009 after 18 months of marriage.

Current work

Evert operates a tennis academy bearing her name in Boca Raton, Florida. She also helps coach the Saint Andrew's School high school tennis team. She is also a contributor to Tennis magazine in 2009. In June 2011 she joined ESPN as a tennis commentator.[25]

Career statistics

Records

See also

Notes

  • a Evert's consecutive Grand Slam semifinals record was attained in non-consecutive Grand Slam tournaments; she skipped 14 Grand Slam tournaments during her streak. Martina Navratilova holds the all-time consecutive Grand Slam semifinals record at 19.
  • b All-time record for both male and female players.
  • c This is the all-time record for consecutive match victories on a single surface for both male and female players.

References

Notes
  1. ^ "Women with most tennis Grand Slam finals appearances". http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/news?slug=ycn-9098313. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Chris Evert WTA Player Profile". http://www.wtatennis.com/player/chris-evert_2257889_2188. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ranking the top-10 women's tennis players of all time". http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/blog/busted_racquet/post/Ranking-the-top-10-women-s-tennis-players-of-all?urn=ten,256242. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Johnette Howard (2005). The Rivals. Yellow Jersey Press. ISBN 0-224-07505-5
  5. ^ a b Larry Schwartz. "Evert: grit, grace and glamour". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00014187.html. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  6. ^ "CHRISSIE THE GREAT: Match Results and Records". Chrisevert.net. http://chrisevert.net/CE-Records.html. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "Chris Evert to Replace Martina Navratilova at Gibson-Baldwin Grand Slam Jam". University of Texas Frank Erwin Center. April 14, 2004. http://www.uterwincenter.com/press/2004/0414gsj.html. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  8. ^ "1976 Sportsman of the Year". Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1996/sportsman/past/1976.html. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  9. ^ International Tennis Hall of Fame "International Tennis Hall of Fame profile". http://www.tennisfame.com/hall-of-famers/chris-evert International Tennis Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  10. ^ Larry Schwartz (January 23, 1999). "No. 50: Chris Evert". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00014189.html. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  11. ^ Peter Bodo. "40 Greatest Players of the Tennis Era (1–4)". TENNIS Magazine. http://www.tennis.com/features/40greatest/40greatest.aspx?id=194. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  12. ^ "Family tree of Chris Evert". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~battle/celeb/evert.htm. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  13. ^ The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/tennis/tennis-great-chris-evert-finds-new-life-on-the-court/2012/01/17/gIQAhvME8P_print.html.
  14. ^ Hamilton, Fiona. The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1117876.ece.
  15. ^ http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00014187.html
  16. ^ http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20087089,00.html
  17. ^ http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~msmith03/adam/adamnews_archive.htm
  18. ^ Lloyd on Lloyd. Chris Evert & John Lloyd with Carol Thatcher. Beaufort Books 1986. ISBN 978-0-8253-0374-6
  19. ^ Sunrise Country Club
  20. ^ von Sorge, Helmut (April 30, 1984). "Palm Springs – das Goldene Kaff" (in German). Der Spiegel. http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13510614.html. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  21. ^ People Magazine Chris Evert Files for Divorce from Andy Mil, November 17, 2006
  22. ^ Sun-Sentinel.com Chris Evert divorce calls for tennis great to pay hubby $7 million, December 5, 2006.
  23. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (June 28, 2008). "Chris Evert and Greg Norman Wed in Bahamas". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20209402,00.html. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  24. ^ Norman, Evert say they have separated, Associated Press[dead link]
  25. ^ http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/2011/06/02/chris-evert-joins-espn%E2%80%99s-tennis-team/
  26. ^ a b "US Open Most Championship Titles Record Book". US Open. http://www.usopen.org/pdf/Record_Book_Most_Championship_Titles.pdf. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "US Open Singles Record Book". US Open. http://www.usopen.org/pdf/Record_Book_Singles_Records.pdf. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
Further reading

External links