No.1 Spotlight: Chris Evert
Published April 15, 2013 12:00
Chris Evert was just 16 when she burst onto the tennis scene with a thrilling run to the semifinals of the 1971 US Open. Over the next two decades, the all-American girl's blend of grace, glamour and grit would win her a place in the tennis public's heart - and a Hall of Fame-worthy trophy haul.
Raised on the green clay of Fort Lauderdale in southern Florida, it was on the dirt that she enjoyed her greatest successes. Between August 1973 and May 1979, Evert won 125 consecutive matches on the surface - losing just eight sets in that time - a record that to this day stands as the benchmark for consistency in the sport.
But, while Roland Garros, where she triumphed a record seven times, was her fortress, she was far from a one-trick pony. Her tenacious attitude, relentless baseline attack and trend-setting double-handed backhand helped her to 11 further majors and a staggering 1,309 match wins.
• Winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, including a record seven at Roland Garros; also six US Open, three Wimbledon and two Australian Open titles. Also won three Grand Slam doubles titles
• Won at least one Grand Slam per year for 13 years (1974-86); one of 10 women in history to complete career Grand Slam, doing so at 1982 Australian Open
• Reached SF 52 times in 56 Grand Slams (including record 34 consecutive); only failed to reach SF once in first 49 Slams (1983 Wimbledon)
• Won 101 matches at the US Open, more than any other player, male or female
• Winner of 154 WTA titles, the second most of the Open Era
• Was No.1 on first WTA computer rankings in November 1975; spent 260 weeks at No.1 (third all-time)
• Always ranked in Top 4 during her career, including six years in Top 2
• First player male or female to record 1,000 match wins (occurred at 1984 Australian Open); has highest win-loss percentage in Open Era history for a man or woman (0.8996)
• Has longest win streak on any single surface (125 matches on clay from Aug 1973 to May 1979)
• Has second-longest single-season win streak with 55 straight matches won in 1974
• Has record for fewest games conceded en route to a WTA title in a 32-58 size draw with just seven games lost at 1981 Lugano. Also tied for record for fewest games conceded en route to a WTA title in a 16-28 size draw with just eight games lost at 1974 Indianapolis
• Played on a record eight Fed Cup title teams (57-4 record)
• Unanimously inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995
• Was voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year four times and was the first female athlete to be Sports Illustrated's sole recipient of Sportswoman Of The Year Award in 1976
• Won the WTA's Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award in 1979
• Won the WTA's Player Of The Year Award in 1981
• Won the WTA's Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award in 1985 and 1987
• Founded Chris Evert Charities in 1989, and has raised over $20 million to fight drug abuse and to assist neglected, drug-exposed and abused children