CHRIS EVERT: First Lady of Tennis by Betty Lou Phillips

CHRIS EVERT: First Lady of Tennis

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Whether from indecision or by intent, Phillips presents a multi-faceted Chris Evert, a welcome improvement on the glossy-mag portraits of Sabin (1977) and Haney (1976). Quotes from Chris, father Jimmy, competitors Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King, and others build an iamge of an exceptionally controlled competitor whose aplomb extends from tennis into life. ""It's been drummed into Chris,"" says Rosie Casals, ""how to react on match point"" Evert, Forest Hills champion at sixteen--the youngest ever--and twice winner at Wimbledon, is the product of a drive for tennis perfection instilled by her father, manager and teaching pro of a Fort Lauderdale tennis club. Despite extensive publicity, Chris remains enigmatic: she is almost a Fifties type, fond of ribbons, jewelry, dresses, and shopping, but she also proved politically tough as president of the Women's Tennis Association. Phillips manages to play down the fanzine aspect of the Everts-Connors romance, but she can't resist a few burbles about Jack Ford (""Some people thought there was a Ford in Chrissie's future"") Overall, while Chris may be tagged ""the honey-haired Floridian,"" this thorough report brings out the strains imposed on the young champion as well as the business side of pro sports.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Messner