American tennis legend Chris Evert, who will turn 69 on December 21, announced that her ovarian cancer has returned.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion, International Tennis Hall of Famer, and former World No. 1 beat her initial Stage 1 ovarian cancer diagnosis and was in remission in 2022. Chris Evert later said there was a 90 percent chance the ovarian cancer would not return.
Evert has been very candid about her diagnosis. She is sharing the news at this time because her ongoing treatment will keep her stateside and unable to participate in ESPN’s coverage of the 2024 Australian Open beginning in mid-January.
She said: “While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it was caught early. Based on a PET CT scan, I underwent another robotic surgery this past week. Doctors found cancer cells in the same pelvic region. All cells were removed.”
Chris Evert is thankful it was caught early
Offering further perspective, she said: “I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself. Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season.”
Evert’s sister Jeannie died after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer in 2020. Her family history and self-advocating prompted Chris to test for and learn that she carried the BRCA gene. A preventive hysterectomy later revealed the ovarian cancer.
Chris Evert is an ambassador of women’s tennis and a champion both on and off the court. She also is a good enough person that she and Martina Navratilova became lifelong friends during the time they were the biggest names and most successful players on the women’s tour. This is in comparison to the recent Big 3 on the men’s side – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal – who seem to many times avoid one another.
Of course, Chris Evert also is one of the best commentators on tennis and takes a big role in the year-end WTA Finals event. Our thoughts and prayers are with her.