HomeSportsTennis Legend Chris Evert Reveals Health Update One Year After Announcing Cancer Diagnosis

Tennis Legend Chris Evert Reveals Health Update One Year After Announcing Cancer Diagnosis

by Nick Geddes
Chris Evert
(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for International Tennis Hall of Fame)

Women’s tennis legend Chris Evert revealed in an ESPN op-ed Tuesday that she is cancer-free after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November 2021.

Evert, 68, said there’s a 90% chance the ovarian cancer will never come back. Doctors initially detected the disease early due to the “genetic road map my sister left behind.” Evert’s sister, Jeanne, died of ovarian cancer in February 2020. She was 62.

“Jeanne wasn’t BRCA positive, but genetic testing revealed she had a BRCA-1 variant that was of ‘uncertain significance,’” Evert wrote. “I got a call saying they had reclassified her BRCA variant — the significance was no longer uncertain, it was now very clearly pathogenic, and we should be tested. I was shocked, I didn’t even know that was possible.”

Tests revealed that Evert had the identical BRCA-1 variant that her sister did. In addition, Evert’s pathology report found malignant cells and a tumor in her left fallopian tube.

“It is only because of the genetic road map my sister left behind and the power of scientific progress that we caught my cancer early enough to do something about it,” Evert wrote. “My doctor said if left undiscovered, in four months’ time I would probably have been Stage 3 like Jeanne, with very few options. Instead, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, and I immediately began six rounds of chemotherapy.”

One More Obstacle for Chris Evert

Evert added that she has one more surgery left to complete.

“I have one more surgery left to complete reconstruction,” Evert wrote. “They say this part is easy, but I can assure you, the last five years have not been. As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart. I will never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process. My sister’s journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else’s.”

A former world No. 1, Evert won 18 major singles titles. Evert’s seven French Open titles remain a record. She is tied with Serena Willams for the most US Open titles of all time (6). Evert has served as a tennis analyst at ESPN since 2011.