Chris(tine Marie) Evert

(b. 1954) American tennis player

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(1954– )

US tennis player who dominated the game from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s.

Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Chris Evert was instructed by her father, a tennis coach. In 1971 she became the youngest player to reach the semifinals of the US Open and the following year she turned professional. In a phenomenally successful career she took at least one Grand Slam singles title each year for an unprecedented thirteen years (1974–86). She won Wimbledon three times (1974, 1976, 1981), the US Open six times (1975–78, 1980, 1982), the French Open seven times (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986), and the Australian Open twice (1982, 1984); during her 1984 Australian campaign she achieved her thousandth victory in singles matches. She was also undefeated in twenty-six Wightman Cup singles matches (1971–82) and won thirty-five of thirty-seven singles matches in the Federation Cup (1977–87).

Dubbed the ‘Ice Maiden’ for her cool temperament on court and widely respected for her sportsmanship, Evert built her success on a steady backcourt game; her trademark stroke, the two-handed backhand volley, was taken up by other players. During her career she maintained a competitive but good-natured rivalry with Martina Navratilova, whom she met in thirteen Grand Slam finals. Evert retired in 1989, having appeared for the eighteenth successive year in the Wimbledon championships and for the nineteenth consecutive year in the US Open. She has since devoted much of her time to charitable work. While married (1979–87) to British tennis professional John Lloyd (during which time she was known as Chris Evert Lloyd), she co-authored with him Lloyd on Lloyd (1985).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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