Former Number One Tennis Player In The World Shares Sad News

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In 2021, tennis star Chris Evert was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In January 2023, Evert announced the good news that she was cancer-free. She shared at the time, “Today, I’m cancer-free, and there’s a 90% chance that the ovarian cancer will never come back.”

Unfortunately, less than a year after making that announcement, Evert has announced the sad news that her cancer has returned. In a statement released through ESPN, Evert shared:

“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.”

“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.”

Unfortunately, her recovery will impact her life for the time being, but she is hopeful about the future. She explained:

“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!”

Evert ended her statement by encouraging everyone to advocate for their own health. She stated:

“I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself. Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season.”


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A post shared by Chris Evert (@chrissieevert)

Ovarian cancer took Evert’s sister’s life, and that made Evert proactive about her health. Back in January 2022, Evert explained that her sister Jeanne had BRCA-related ovarian cancer. She explained, “Jeanne wasn’t BRCA positive, but genetic testing revealed she had a BRCA-1 variant that was of ‘uncertain significance.’ The doctors didn’t recommend genetic testing for me or my siblings, and we stayed focused on Jeanne’s treatment.”

Evert believes she and her siblings “should have been tested” for BRCA. Instead, Evert scheduled a hysterectomy just as a precaution, and that’s when she found out that she had Stage 1 ovarian cancer. She said, “When my pathology report came back, my doctors and I were stunned to find that I had malignant cells and a tumor in my left fallopian tube.”

Evert developed a rich and deep friendship with another former tennis number one player in the world, Martina Navratilova. The Washington Post profiled their relationship in an article written by Sally Jenkins back in July of 2023:

“They have known each other for 50 years now, outlasting most marriages. Aside from blood kin, Navratilova points out, “I’ve known Chris longer than anybody else in my life, and so it is for her.” Lately, they have never been closer — a fact they refuse to cheapen with sentimentality. “It’s been up and down, the friendship,” Evert says. At the ages of 68 and 66, respectively, Evert and Navratilova have found themselves more intertwined than ever, by an unwelcome factor. You want to meet an opponent who draws you nearer in mutual understanding? Try having cancer at the same time.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Evert’s cancer battle when she was battling it the first time around.