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Last Updated: Monday, 31 May, 2004, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Wimbledon legends: Chris Evert
Chris Evert
Born: 21/12/54
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Wimbledon titles: 1974, 1976, 1981
Runner up: 1973, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985
Grand Slam titles: 18
Prize money: $8,896,195
Mild-mannered Chris Evert was always the darling of the Centre Court.

But the American's game was more suited to the slow high-bouncing clay courts of Roland Garros, where she won the French Open seven times.

Despite this, her game had enough class to excel on all surfaces; she won at least one Grand Slam singles title in every year from 1974 to 1986.

At Wimbledon she was often overshadowed by Martina Navratilova, but still won three titles in 1974, 1976 and 1981.

She was number one in the world from 1975 to 1982 and never lower than fourth until her retirement in 1989.

Her double-handed backhand is one of the legendary shots of tennis, and when she and her then fiance Jimmy Connors both won Wimbledon with the shot in 1974, it set a fashion that became a trend around the world.

Her greatest rivalry came with Navratilova, a woman who was different to Evert in almost every way, but the pair remain friends.

There is no doubt Evert would have won many more Grand Slams had it not been for Navratilova.

They played 80 times. Evert won 11 of the first 12, but Navratilova eventually overtook her and finished with a record of 43-37.

They met in the Wimbledon final five times, Navratilova winning all of them.

Evert finally got her revenge in the French Open final in 1985. Navratilova had won all of their previous 13 matches, but this time Evert came through 6-3, 6-7, 7-5.

She said: "It was then I conquered the mental and psychological problems which I'd been having while playing her and also because it was such a see-saw match."

In total Evert played 10 Wimbledon finals. She lost her first to Billie-Jean King in 1973 before winning the following year against Olga Morozova.

In 1976 she beat Evonne Cawley, who she lost to in 1980 before lifting the Rosewater Dish for the third time a year later after getting the better of Hana Mandlikova.

Summing up her career, she added: "I always played to win. Losing hurt me. I was always determined to be the best."





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