Christine Marie "Chris" Evert (born December 21, 1954), known as Chris Evert-Lloyd from 1979 to 1987, 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.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Women with most tennis Grand Slam finals appearances )〕 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 entered from the 1971 US Open through the 1983 French Open.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Chris Evert WTA Player Profile )〕 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 at the US Open (since tied by Serena Williams in 2014).
Evert's career winning percentage in singles matches of 89.96% (1309–146) is the highest in the history of Open Era tennis, for men or women. On clay courts, her career winning percentage in singles matches of 94.55% (382–22) remains a WTA record.
Evert has served as president of the Women's Tennis Association during eleven calendar years, 1975–76 and 1983-91. She was awarded the Philippe Chatrier award and inducted into the Hall of Fame. In later life Evert was a coach and is now an analyst for ESPN.
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 under-14 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. 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 Dürr 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.〔Johnette Howard (2005). The Rivals. Yellow Jersey Press. ISBN 0-224-07505-5〕
Evert made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the 1971 US 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 at one stage serving at 6–4, 6–5 (40–0) in the second set - before going on to win 4–6, 7–6, 6–1. She made two further winning 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 a variety of professional and junior tour events. This winning streak included her first matches with and wins over King, Virginia Wade and Betty Stöve.
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 winning streak, which included eight other tournament wins. She ended the year with a 100–7 match record, winning 16 tournaments including two Grand Slams (French and Wimbledon), having been a finalist in her first Australian Open, and having for a fourth straight year reached the semi-finals at the US Open. She was chosen as the year-end number one by the leading tennis experts and authorities of the day - except Bud Collins - over her closest rivals, King and Evonne Goolagong, each of whom had six titles including a Grand Slam (King the US Open and Goolagong the Australian Open).
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 US Open, finishing as runners-up. Their engagement was short-lived as it was called off later that 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 her second French Open and the first of four straight US Open titles by defeating 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). Until February 2013 she held the record of the oldest woman to be ranked number 1, achieving that distinction after reclaiming the spot for the final time during the week of November 24, 1985, at the age of 30 years and 11 months. This was ten years and three weeks after she had first achieved the number one spot. That record stood for 27 years and three months until Serena Williams surpassed it in 2013.
The following 1976 season holds a unique distinction for Evert, as this was the only time in her career where she won both Wimbledon and the US Open titles in the same year. She defeated Cawley in a thrilling three-set final on the grass 6-3, 4-6, 8-6 and then dismantled her on the clay at Forest Hills 6-3, 6-0. In all, Evert won 26 of 39 matches with Cawley. Her 1976 performance earned her Sports Illustrated's title of Sportsman of the Year, one of only three occasions that the award has been given to a tennis player.
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.〔 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.
1977 and 1978 saw Evert continue to dominate the women's game, winning two more US Opens, the final one played at Forest Hills on clay (1977) and the inaugural one on hard courts at Flushing Meadow (1978). She won 18 of 25 tournaments, with a 126-7 match record, failing only once to reach at least the semi-finals during that span. Of particular note is that Evert skipped the French Open during these years (as well as 1976) to play in King's World TeamTennis. Many tennis historical experts believe that had she not skipped the tournament, she would have reigned supreme, winning in all three years and pushing her total French Open titles to 10. This feat would have seen her finish alone in third place on the list of all-time Grand Slam singles winners, with 21 titles (behind only Margaret Court with 24, and Graf with 22). The other noteworthy event was Evert's 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 loss to Wade in the semi-finals of the 1977 Wimbledon. It was Wimbledon's centenary year, coinciding with Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee as monarch.
A new rival to Evert's dominance emerged on the scene in the second half 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 winning streak that culminated in dramatic fashion at the 1984 US Open, on what came to be known as Super Saturday. They entered the final with 30 wins apiece. In a thrilling three-set victory, 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, who also led 14-8 in Grand Slam matches and 10-4 in Grand Slam finals. An examination of their record against each other shows that in outdoor matches, Navratilova led Evert 10-5 on grass and 9-7 on hardcourts, whereas Evert was up 11-3 on clay to give her a 23-22 edge outdoors. She also defeated Navratilova more times on Evert's own "weakest" surface, grass, than Navratilova did Evert on her own "weakest", clay. Evert also led their head-to-head three-set match wins 16-14 but trailed Navratilova 14-21 in indoor encounters, arguably Evert's least-favorite court venue. They were tied 19-19 in non-Grand Slam finals. Once Evert served Navratilova a double bagel (6-0, 6-0) loss, a fate the latter could never reciprocate.
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 clay, losing only eight sets throughout; a run which continues to stand as the benchmark among both men and women players.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=CHRISSIE THE GREAT: Match Results and Records )〕 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 in three consecutive years (not playing there the other two years) and incurring only one loss on clay during that five-year period.
Evert's record of seven French Open singles titles stood for 27 years until being broken in June 2013 by Rafael Nadal. She still holds the record for women players and the record for most Clay Court Grand Slam titles, male or female with 10 (7 French Open and all 3 US Opens played on clay in 75-76-77). 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.
For Evert, beating Navratilova in any slam represented beating the best player, which provided her with two of her most satisfying "final time" wins: The 1986 French Open, where at the age of 31 years, she won her last Grand Slam title defeating Navratilova 2–6, 6–3, 6–3 and the 1988 Australian Open where she handily dispatched Navratilova in the semi-finals 6-2 7-5 to reach her 34th and last Grand Slam final at the age of 33.
Perhaps of all of Evert's records and accomplishments, what may be her greatest single achievement is her unequaled record of having won at least one Grand Slam singles title a year for 13 consecutive years, from 1974 through 1986. They are as follows: '74 French, Wimbledon; '75 French, US Open; '76 Wimbledon, US Open; '77 US Open; '78 US Open; '79 French Open; '80 French, US Open; '81 Wimbledon; '82 US, Australian Open; '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 from 1975 to 1980 and in 1983, or the French Opens from 1976 to 1978, as previously noted; thereby further reducing her number of chances to win one of the sport's four crown jewels.
In fact, between September 1971 (her Grand Slam debut at the US 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 four times (1983 Wimbledon 3rd round; 1987 US Open quarter-final; 1988 French Open 3rd round; 1989 US Open quarter-final). In exchange for this consistency, she never exhibited the in-season Grand Slam dominance of her historical rivals; while Court, Graf, and Navratilova each won three Grand Slam singles titles in a season at least twice in their careers, Evert never managed the feat once during her own career.
In total, of the record 34 Grand Slam finals reached, Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles titles: seven at the French Open (record for female), six at the US Open (an open era record, male or female, tied with Serena Williams), 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, there in 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 US Open (the record for most singles match wins in history, male or female), 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 eight semi-final clashes, their record stands at four wins apiece. Evert defeated Navratilova in the semi-finals of the US Open (1975), Wimbledon (1976 and 1980), and the Australian Open (1988) but lost to Navratilova in the semifinals of the US Open (1981), Wimbledon (1987 and 1988), and the French Open (1987). An interesting footnote, in those semi-final rounds, is that each player won twice on grass, once on hard, and once on clay.
Evert retired from the professional tour in 1989. During her career, she amassed 18 Grand Slam singles titles (at the time, an open era record, male or female), won 154 singles titles (at the time, the record for male or female) and 32 doubles titles, she held the most. Her record in finals was 154–72 (.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.
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 Dürr, 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's .900 winning percentage (1,309-145) is the best in professional tennis history, male or female.
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. 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 during 1975–76, and from 1983 to 1991.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 publisher=International Tennis Hall of Fame )〕 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 ESPN's Greatest North American athletes of the 20th century. In 2005, ''TENNIS Magazine'' named her fourth on its list of 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS Era. 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 in that order.) In June 2013 Evert was awarded a special merit from the International Tennis Hall of Fame. They presented her their gold ring in recognition of her outstanding achievements both on and off the tennis court.
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