Sports Speaker Chris Evert is widely considered as one of the greatest American female athletes of all-time. Her prowess on the tennis court was astounding and she regularly competed against her closest rivals Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova for Grand Slams Titles. As is the case with many tennis players, Evert started her pro career as just a teenager reaching her first US Open semifinal at the tender age of 16 in 1971.
Sports Speaker Evert became one of the signature figures of women’s tennis throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. By the end of the 1974 season Evert had won her first two Grand Slam Titles; the French Open and Wimbledon and was ranked as the world’s #1 player. She remained at the #1 ranking for 5 straight years. Throughout the 1970’s she won 9 Grand Slam Titles and frequently competed against her domestic rival Billie Jean King. By the late 70’s her biggest rival became Navratilova, and they went on to dominate the female tennis scene in the 1980’s. By the time Chris Evert retired in 1989, she had amassed 18 Grand Slam titles, which ties her for 4th all-time. Her career was highlighted by the sheer domination that she showed on the clay courts at Roland Garros. At one point in her career Chris won 125 consecutive clay court matches, which played a major role in her 7 French Open Championships. Those 7 titles were the most of any player, man or woman, until Rafael Nadal broke the record.
Since retiring, Sports Speaker Chris has operated the “Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic” in Tampa, FL. Beginning in the 1989, the year of her retirement, the charity has raised over $21.9 million to fight child neglect and drug abuse in the state of Florida. In addition to her charity work, Evert is also a tennis analyst for ESPN and contributor to Tennis magazine.