Christine Marie Evert (born December 21, 1954) is an American former world No. 1 tennis player, known as Chris Evert Lloyd, from 1979 to 1987. She won 18 championships in Grand Slam singles and three titles in doubles.
In 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981, she was the end-of-year world No. 1 singles player.
Evert won, all in all, 157 singles championships and 32 doubles titles.
Evert has reached 34 singles Grand Slam finals, more than any other player in professional tennis history. She holds the distinction of winning at least one Grand Slam title for the most consecutive years (13). Evert reached the semifinals in singles or better in 52 of the 56 Grand Slams she contested, including the semifinals or better in 34 straight Grand Slams from the US Open of 1971 to the US Open. Through the 1983 French Open.
In the first or second round of the Grand Slam singles tournament, Evert never lost and lost twice in the third round. Evert won an unprecedented seven championships at the French Open in Grand Slam women’s singles competition and a co-record six titles at the US Open (tied with Serena Williams).
Evert’s career winning rate in single matches of 89.97 percent (1309-146) is the best in Open Era tennis history for men or women. Her career winning percentage in singles matches 94.55% (382-22) remains a WTA record on clay courts.
For the 11 calendar years, 1975-76 and 1983-91, Evert served as president of the Women’s Tennis Association. She was honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Philippe Chatrier Award. Evert was a mentor in later life and is still an ESPN analyst and has a line of tennis and active clothes.
In the first round of the 1980 Italian Open, Chris Evert had just defeated Adriana Villagran, 6-0, 6-1, at the ForoItalico in Rome. Yet, the storyline was stronger. It was the first WTA match since January for Evert. She was just on the way back from the first big hiccup of her career at the time, a crossroads moment that had begun 12 months earlier in Rome.
Evert was beaten in the 1979 Italian Open semis by Tracy Austin, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6. (4). The defeat broke evert’s stunning 125-match clay-court winning streak. The balance of Evert’s 1979 was disappointing, but she would go on to win the title at Roland Garros in June.
Summer started with Martina Navratilova’s loss in the Wimbledon Finals. It ended with something much more troubling, with Evert losing to Austin again, this time in the US Open final.
It was one thing for Evert to be beaten by a professional attacker such as Navratilova on the turf. But Austin posed a far more convincing challenge. Like a better version of Evert, she emerged: a centered, consistent pitbull of a baseliner. Evert decided to take a sabbatical after losing four more times to Austin in late 1979 and early 1980. Even rumblings were there that she would retire.
The universe has long noticed the emotional determination of Evert. She will often cite her intellect as her greatest strength. Undoubtedly, Evert’s cognitive acumen helped her continue to win Rome. Roland Garros in that seminal 1980 beat Navratilova in the semis of Wimbledon, defeat Austin in the US Open’s semis, and then reclaim the title there, too. On a familiar note, Evert again completed No. 1. A year that had begun with distress on a friendly reminder.
But tennis is not passive, as remarkable as Evert’s brainpower was. The American was a tremendous sportsman. Evert herself often downplays her athletic prowess, which is perhaps rational, considering that Navratilova, one of the most qualified athletes in all sports history, was her most significant competitor.
An easy way to describe athleticism is to applaud the athlete who can turn up at a company picnic and display possible proficiency in various sports, perhaps without any previous experience. It typically shows itself in America through the ability to drive a pitch, throws a football, fire a basketball, sprint fast, or raise a considerable weight. Alleged athleticism can also be conferred by height; tell A guy who stood at least six feet high.
But why is our concept of athleticism restricted to those raw physical qualities that are readily apparent? Is athleticism, like skin color, purely innate? Perhaps, instead of supposed skill, we should perceive agility as the manifestation of ability, honed, exhibited, and, most revealing of all, maintained by those talents.
Although Evert’s physical ability was less evident than our theoretical picnic attendee, considering her astonishing endurance throughout rallies and entire career, it turned up again and again and again. Second, her remarkable equilibrium was continually demonstrated by an ability to reach, keep and sustain perfect balance on a par with an Olympic gymnast.
Evert flailing at the ball from an uncomfortable, weak location is hard to imagine. Wedded to this was an unusual movement. Was Evert a scrambler in Gael Monfils’s way? Oh, no. She didn’t have the desire for haste. Celebrities such as hockey player Wayne Gretzky or basketball legend Larry Bird’s fans will wonder why hurry when you can be there? Rarely did Evert come to the ball late.
Then another athletic talent came into being: hand-eye coordination. The skill of Evert to follow the ball was excellent. See her in motion, and you can see someone exquisitely coordinated with a laser-like concentration and, when touch nears, feet, body, and head. An Evert mishit was the only thing rarer than an Evert flail. It is quick to picture her breaking one line drive after another in a batting cage.
Attach balance, mobility, and hand-eye coordination, and you have someone who has been appropriately positioned to use her entire body to take a proficient hit, that is, build a strike zone on the run, as well as any player in tennis history. Evert is a game-changer, having harnessed all this physical potential.
In the early 1970s, when most players were net-rushers, she emerged, graced with brilliant volleys, but rarely exceedingly strong from the baseline. Evert produced the heavy, solid, loaded with balance, action, vision, and a new type of whole-bodied wave.
Incessant groundstrokes have not been seen since Maureen Connolly’s days back in the early 1950s, especially her then-revolutionary two-handed backhand. Name this the fourth physical ability of Evert: a new deployment of gross motor abilities.
Evert didn’t just sit steady. She’s been forceful. “As Julie Anthony, a longtime coach who competed against Evert in the 1970s, said, “It was like watching someone stiff-arms you in the face, just pushing you back, playing Chrissie. She hasn’t run you over, so you can’t go on.
All this makes Evert the ancestor of today’s reliable, baseline-based tennis brand. Her stylistic heirs include an array of champions, including Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, GarbineMuguruza, and SimonaHalep, including Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce, and Jennifer Capriati.
Fortitude mentally? This Evert was possessed by Monica Seles, Rafael Nadal, and Jimmy Connors, if not unsurpassed. But it must still take into consideration Evert’s athleticism. Taking the SAT is one thing. Another is to be ranked for almost 20 years in the top four players in a human, elite, global sport.