Former tennis star Chris Evert announced that she has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Evert currently works with ESPN as a broadcaster and revealed that she will be working from home during ESPN’s upcoming Australian Open coverage in order to undergo treatment.
“I wanted to share my stage 1 ovarian cancer diagnosis and the story behind it as a way to help others. I feel very lucky that they caught it early and expect positive results from my chemo plan,” Evert said in a statement. ” … And thanks to all of you for respecting my need to focus on my health and treatment plan. You will see me appear from home at times during ESPN’s coverage of the Aussie Open.”
Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, was unanimously inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. Her singles titles included two Australian Open championships, seven French Open titles, three Wimbledon victories and a six US Open titles. Included in the 18 Grand Slams were three back-to-back championships (1974-75, 1979-80, 1985-86) at the French Open and four straight championships at the US Open (1975-78). Evert also won three Grand Slam doubles titles during her professional tennis career.
“I’ve lived a very charmed life,” Evert, 67, said in an article co-written with fellow ESPN tennis commentator Chris McKendry. “Now I have some challenges ahead of me. But, I have comfort in knowing the chemotherapy is to ensure that cancer does not come back.”
Evert’s stage 1C ovarian cancer is in the early stage and was discovered following a preventive hysterectomy. Cancer has not been detected elsewhere in her body and this week, she began her first of six rounds of chemotherapy.
Chris’ younger sister, Jeanne, died from ovarian cancer in February 2020 at the age of 62. Jeanne was also a professional tennis player during the 1970s.
“When I go into chemo, she is my inspiration,” Evert said. “I’ll be thinking of her. And she’ll get me through it.”