“In tennis, you can control a situation a lot better, in this type of thing you can’t control it, thousands and thousands of people have cancer, I’m just like everybody else” – Chris Evert

“In tennis, you can control a situation a lot better, in this type of thing you can’t control it, thousands and thousands of people have cancer, I’m just like everybody else” – Chris Evert


When Chris Evert announced in January that she was diagnosed with deadly ovarian cancer, tennis fans around the globe were saddened to hear the news since not many survive the disease. The 18-time Grand Slam Champion has since endured six rounds of chemotherapy.

HBO’s Real Sports recorded Evert’s journey towards recovery and asked the Hall of Famer if her experience on the tennis court helped in her battle with cancer. Evert replied by saying tennis matches were within her power of control, but cancer was different.

“In tennis you can control a situation a lot better, in this type of thing you can’t control it, thousands and thousands of people have cancer, I’m just like everybody else,” Evert said.

On the tennis court, @ChrissieEvert was a dominant force, defining a new era in women’s sports. Today, she’s facing a different kind of battle: ovarian cancer. Evert sits down with Mary Carillo for an exclusive interview on this month’s #RealSports airing tonight on @HBOMax https://t.co/akBaXOXyy4

The good news is that doctors believe the 67-year-old will survive. However, Evert lost a very special person in her life to ovarian cancer.

Her sister Jeanne Evert, also a former tennis player, died of the disease in February 2020 at the age of 62. Doctors immediately advised Evert to have herself examined, since ovarian cancer is known to be genetic. Evert credits her sister for detecting the cancer at an early stage.

She also spoke about how her sister was her “inspiration” during chemotherapy sessions.

“My sister’s death saved my life. When I have chemo, she is my inspiration, I always think of her, she will carry me through there,” Chris Evert said.

“I wish I had Martina Navratilova’s vein right at this moment” – Chris Evert

Martina Navratilova in action at the Wimbledon Championships

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“I wish I had Martina Narvarilova’s veins right at this moment, Martina where are you when I need you,” Chris Evert said.

Evert and Navratilova enjoyed one of the fiercest rivalries in tennis in the 1970s and 80s, squaring off an astonishing 80 times. While Evert dominated the early part of the rivalry, Navratilova ruled the second half, which ended 43-37 in her favor. Incredibly, 60 of the pair’s meetings were in finals, with Navratilova winning 36 of those.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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