Tennis great and ESPN analyst Chris Evert announced she has been re-diagnosed with cancer and will not be part of the network’s coverage of the 2024 Australian Open.
“Since I was first diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I’ve been very open about my experience. I wanted to give all of you an update. My cancer is back,” Evert said in a statement on Friday.
Evert, who won 18 grand slam singles titles and three grand slam doubles titles during her career, had previously announced she had been diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer in January 2022. The former world No. 1 revealed that she had completed her treatment following her sixth and final chemotherapy session in May 2022.
“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, and I have begun another round of chemotherapy,” Evert said.
“I will be unable to join my colleagues when ESPN makes its return to Melbourne for the Australian Open next month. But I’ll be ready for the rest of the Grand Slam season! 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 younger sister, former professional tennis player Jeanne Evert Dubin, died from ovarian cancer in 2020 at the age of 62.
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1954, Evert went on to become one of the greatest players in the sport’s history, winning a women’s record seven French Open titles and a record six US Open titles. She became the first player to win 1,000 singles matches and the first female athlete to earn $1 million in career prize money.
When she was 15, she defeated the No. 1-ranked player in the world at the time, Margaret Court, in a tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She was the first female athlete to host “Saturday Night Live” in 1989, the same year she retired. Six years later, Evert became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the fourth player to be elected unanimously.
Evert holds 157 singles titles and was the year-end world No. 1 for seven years: 1974 through 1978, 1980 and 1981.
She became a commentator and analyst for ESPN in 2011, a role she still holds today. Evert has three sons: Colton, Nicholas and Alexander.
CNN’s Christina Maxouris contributed reporting.
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