Tennis Star Chris Evert Has Stage I Ovarian Cancer: 'I Feel Very Lucky That They Caught It Early'

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chris evert
chris evert

Legendary tennis player Chris Evert is opening up about her recent cancer diagnosis.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles winner, 67, tweeted a message sharing her cancer journey on Friday along with a link to an article co-authored with ESPN journalist Chris McKendry in which they describe Evert's experience in detail.

"I wanted to share my stage one ovarian cancer diagnosis and the story behind it as a way to help others," Evert wrote in her tweet. "I feel very lucky that they caught it early and expect positive results from my chemo plan."

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"Thanks to all of you for respecting my need to focus on my health and treatment plan," she later added, going on to say that she will occasionally appear from home during ESPN's coverage of the Australian Open starting on Monday.

In the ESPN article, McKendry recalled learning of Evert's cancer diagnosis: "It was short, simple and yet so damn complicated."

Noting that she received a text from Evert that she had a "malignant tumor" in her fallopian tube, the journalist wrote that her friend would have to undergo surgery before receiving chemotherapy, which she began this week.

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"I read the text five times before it sunk in," McKendry said.

"At first, [Evert] needed more information. She needed privacy to process it. And she needed to physically recover from two surgeries," she continued. "Then, she needed to tell her story. In good times and bad, Chrissie has always owned her story. So, here we are."

According to McKendry, Evert has stage 1C ovarian cancer that is in "an early stage." The cancer, she added, was found following a preventive hysterectomy. "Cancer has not been detected elsewhere in her body," she noted.

Evert also told McKendry that her annual exams, "including tests for the amount of cancer antigen 125 protein in her blood, her ultrasounds and MRI with contrast were all negative," per the ESPN story.

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"I've lived a very charmed life. Now I have some challenges ahead of me. But, I have comfort in knowing the chemotherapy is to ensure that cancer does not come back," said Evert. "As someone who has always had control over my life, I have no idea how I'll respond to chemotherapy. I have to give in to something higher."

Evert, whose sister Jeanne Evert Dubin died from ovarian cancer in February 2020 at age 62, added: "Be your own advocate. Know your family's history. Have total awareness of your body, follow your gut and be aware of changes. Don't try to be a crusader and think this will pass."

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Evert currently holds 157 singles titles and was previously ranked No. 1 in the world for seven years from 1974 through 1978, 1980 and 1981. She retired from tennis is 1989.

She is also a mother and has three sons — Colton, Nicholas and Alexander — whom she shares with ex-husband Andy Mill.

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