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Chris Evert Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of tennis great Chris Evert, who won at least one Grand Slam singles championship 13 years in a row (1974-1986).


Birth date: December 21, 1954

Birth place: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Birth name: Christine Marie Evert

Father: James “Jimmy” Evert, pro tennis instructor

Mother: Colette (Thompson) Evert

Marriages: Greg Norman (2008-2009, divorced); Andy Mill (1988-2006, divorced); John Lloyd (1979-1987, divorced)

Children: with Andy Mill: Colton, Nicholas and Alexander

Other Facts

By age 14, she was the number one nationally ranked player in the Girls’ 14-under Division.

At 15, she beat the number one ranked player in the world at the time, Margaret Court.

Holds the highest winning percentage, male or female, in “Open Era” tennis history (.900).

Her rivalry with Martina Navratilova began in 1973 and lasted until 1988, and has been called the greatest in sports history. They faced each other in 14 major finals.

Ranked number one in the world for seven years: 1974-1978, 1980 and 1981.

Holds 157 singles titles.

In 52 of 56 Grand Slam tournaments over the course of her career, she reached at least the semifinals.

Holds 18 Grand Slam singles titles and three Grand Slam doubles titles, two of which are with Navratilova.


1971 – At 16 she reaches the US Open semifinals, losing to Billie Jean King.

December 21, 1972 – Turns professional on her eighteenth birthday.

1973 – Announces her engagement to men’s tennis star Jimmy Connors. They end their engagement in 1974.

March 22, 1973 – Faces Navratilova on the court for the first time, beginning a long lived professional rivalry and personal friendship. Evert defeats Navratilova (7-6, 6-3).

1974 – Wins the French Open, her first Grand Slam title.

November 1975 – Signs with the World Team Tennis (WTT) Phoenix Racquets.

1976 – Sports Illustrated names her “Sportswoman of the Year.”

1976 – Becomes the first female athlete to earn $1 million in career prize money.

January 1980 – Announces she will take an indefinite leave after fulfilling her upcoming tennis commitments, and plans to travel with her husband, John Lloyd.

May 7, 1980 – Five months after announcing her plans to take a break from tennis, she competes in the first round of the Italian Open. Evert defeats unseeded Adriana Vilagran of Argentina 6-0, 6-1.

1982 – Simon and Schuster publishes her autobiography “Chrissie: My Own Story.”

1983-1991 – President of Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

April 1985 – The Women’s Sports Foundation names her the “Greatest Woman Athlete in the Last 25 Years.”

1988 – Member of the US Olympic team.

September 1989 – Retires from professional tennis after the US Open tournament after her defeat in the quarterfinals by Zina Garrison.

November 11, 1989 – Becomes the first female athlete ever to host “Saturday Night Live.”

1989 – Launches Chris Evert Charities, Inc. to fight substance abuse and children born into drug addiction.

1990-2003 – Analyst with NBC Sports.

January 1991 – President George H.W. Bush appoints her to serve as a board member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

July 16, 1995 – Becomes a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She is only the fourth player to be elected unanimously.

1996 – Opens the Evert Tennis Academy with her father, Jimmy, and brother, John.

1999 – ESPN honors her as one of the “Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century.”

March 2001-2013Publisher of Tennis magazine.

2011-present – Commentator and analyst for ESPN.

November 2014 – Launches her tennis wear line, “Chrissie by Tail.”

July 11, 2015 – Stars as herself in the HBO tennis mockumentary, “7 Days in Hell.”

January 8, 2019 – The United States Tennis Association announces Evert has been appointed Chairwoman of the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors.

January 14, 2022 – Announces she has been diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer.

May 9, 2022 – Announces that she has completed her sixth and final chemotherapy session to treat stage 1 ovarian cancer.

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