Tennis Prose



Biofile with Chris Evert

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Tennis Hall of Famer. Publisher of TENNIS Magazine. Owner and operator of EVERT Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, FL.

Ht: 5-6 Wt: 125

DOB: December 21, 1954 In: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Tennis Inspirations: My father Jimmy. I looked up to and respected him a lot.

Early Tennis Memory: I was at a clinic with Maureen Connolly when I was 10. I got to hit with her. She commented on my game in front of everyone. That left a big impression on me. It motivated me even more to get involved in tennis.

Childhood Ambition: School teacher.

First Job: Teacher’s helper/teacher’s pet. There was an ad on the bulletin board in school to correct tests and papers. I wanted to be a teacher. It made me feel responsible.

Favorite Movie: The Sound Of Music. I think I played it like 200 times when I was growing up. Very uplifting. I love musicals. I’m very corny so far [smiles].

Hobbies/Interests: My sons – they are my life. Skiing. Hiking. Going to the movies.

Musical Tastes: Soft rock, Elton John, Whitney Houston.

Favorite Book: Prince Of Tides – I just couldn’t put it down. Ken Follet books.

Favorite TV Shows: Prime Time. I’ve always liked Diane Sawyer. They always find something that people don’t know, alarmingly. Melrose Place. Sisters. Soap operas. I watch TV to gain information and to lose myself.

First Car: My first tournament (age 18). I won a car. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was blue.

Favorite Food: Anything chocolate. Milk chocolate. 

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios. 

Greatest Sports Moment: I guess I’ll say the 1985 French Open. When I beat Martina in the finals 63 67 75. I had lost to her 14 times in a row. I just never expected in a million years to beat her. It was very dramatic, a back and forth, see-saw match. (With the win, Chris regained #1 ranking for the first time since 1981.)

Favorite Sports To Watch Outside Tennis: Figure skating, downhill skiing in the Olympics.

Closest Tennis Friends: Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver.

Funniest Players Encountered: Ilie Nastase, Vitas Gerulaitis. They really knew how to entertain. Very funny.

Toughest Competitors: Billie Jean King – really driven, very intense. Monica Seles – steely, determined concentration.

Favorite Tennis Players To Watch: John McEnroe. Opposite of me. His touch, his feel, his artistry, his volleying. Great to watch.

Interesting Fact: I’m very sensitive and emotional. I think my image is that I’m not.

Favorite Athletes To Watch: Michael Jordan, like everyone. Fred Couples – I think he’s cool. I like his attitude. Joe Montana – I like unpretentious champions, who are great but don’t act like they’re great. They talk to everybody. Down-to-earth. I feel I could have a nice conversation with them. If my husband would let me [smiles]. These are good questions.

People Most Admired: Billie Jean King –  her leadership. Visionary aspect. She had a big effect on me. George Bush. I know President Bush very well. I think, as a person, I have the highest respect for him. He’s very unassuming, very giving. Hilary Clinton. She’s really proven herself. I like the way she’s handled adversity. And I like how intelligent and nurturing she is with her daughter.

Future Ambitions: Since retiring (in 1989), my ambitions have sort of died. I’d like maybe to have a bigger family. I sort of sacrificed my life for tennis. My ambitions are more personal, private now.

Family: Sons, Alex, Nicholas, Colton.

Career Accomplishments: Inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995; Won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and three in doubles; Won 154 career singles titles, eight in doubles; Former #1 player in the world (for 262 non-consecutive weeks); 1988 U.S. Olympian.

(Chrissie Evert painting by LeRoy Neiman.)

Facing Chrissie Evert feature by Scoop Malinowski

Chrissie Evert painting by LeRoy Neiman

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