She marries everyone ..

Chris Evert married golfer Greg Norman after their engagement last December. I’m happy to see two oldies (50+ is old?) found love again, but neutral on her, except I don’t enjoy watching her as a player and thought she was out of line by criticizing the Williams sisters for having other interests in life.  Your interests Chrisie, aside from tennis?  Marrying?

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  1. NJ from LA said

    It was clear from nearly the beginning of Chris’ career — before she was a pro at age 17 — that MEN were going to be her achilles heel. Perhaps because she spent so much time as a youth with family and tennis, there was little time to explore dating as most of us are able to do.

    Other than guys, Chris herself had interest outside of tennis when she was a young player. Very much like Serena, Chris had an interest in tennis clothing design, and worked closely on the production of her own tennis outfits with Puritan in the early 1970’s.

    Starting in 1978, Chris also started to take a portion of the season off every year, to the extreme consternation of the WTA, because Chris was a HUGE draw. Still, she felt that she had too, as she had come close to emotional breakdown in 1976, and Chris needed a mental vacation every season. After marrying, she even nearly quit the game in 1980, as she didn’t know if she could still invest what she had to mentally in tennis and still maintain her marriage. Luckily for us fans, she did not quit. She went through a lot of changes after 1980, and Martina Navratilova said that she raised her fitness level and that of her game, because she had to in order to overtake a very tough Chris Evert. Then in the mid 80’s Chris did the same to try level things out. What would sports be without the Martina and Chrissie show!

    Chris had her own distractions as a young player — again, with MARRIAGE. Her biggest distraction was a great young tennis player named James Scott Connors — we all know him as Jimmy. She played some lousy tennis here and there during her first pro season in 1973, as she struggled with her parents to loosen their ties as she discovered her womanhood and sexuality with Jimmy.

    She had planned to marry him in Nov of 1974 when she was only 20 years old, and settle down with children, and support his career. But, Chris was such a good player, she was having problems letting go of the tour, and older players such as Billie Jean King sat down with Chris and helped her sort out career, marriage, and the fact that Chris still had time to have a career before marrying. Jimmy now says that he realizes that Chris was way too good a player to quit and go on tour with him, but that’s what he had to have in a partner. Also, neither Jimmy or Chris was mature. Both their moms took care of them, and there’s no way Chris would have suddenly transition from taken care of athlete, to caregiver to a husband!

    Jimmy Connors was not willing to wait for Chris to be ready to settle down, and while they still had on-off moments in their relationship for three or four more years, eventually Chris decided to settle on a man who could more than accept her career — but rather support it. John Lloyd. Unfortunately, the truth is that Chris was too young to get married, as was John, and neither were really mature enough to withstand the commitment to tennis, and to deal with the problems of the wife being more successful and richer than the husband!

    After Chris found herself letting down herself, husband, parent with her career distracting extramarital affair with Adam Faith in 1983-84 (which coincided with Martina reaching her potential), she was pressured to return to Lloyd, but it turned out to be too late. Chris later regretted how that worked out.

    Then, at 32, while in the middle of a final separation from Lloyd, she met Andy Mill. He seemed perfect. His own man, and a guy who could take Chris out of her safe world, into one of excitement and dangerous new activities. This worked until they had children. Chris found, that like Andy’s first wife, he was a rolling stone, and needed long periods away from home and hearth to do things like fish and explore himself.

    His absences were so distressing to Evert when the kids were young, that she took to hiring a nurse, not just to take care of the kids, but to keep Chris company during the weeks of long nights spent at home alone with children. Eventually, Chris grew tired of that, and hence the affair with his best friend Greg Norman, who was also having commitment problems with his wife. I won’t go into that, other than to say what is done is done. Hope she’s happy with her new marriage.

    As a black woman myself, and having followed Evert since I was 11 years old in 1971, I believe that her letter to Serena was not racist nor intended to cause harm nor did Evert lack sensitivity to Serena’s tragic loss of her sister (Chris is extremely close to her own siblings). What Chris was sincerely attempting to do was use her own experience to advise a younger player. Billie Jean had done so with Chris when she was young and unsure of her next moves privately and career wise, and Chris thought to do the same with Serena — a player that Chris believes could have been the best of all time. Chris also said that she apologized for voicing her opinions if Serena did not care about being the best of all time, and wished her happiness with whatever she decided to do.

    Chris’ mistake with the letter was voicing it in Tennis Magazine rather than to Serena personally. Although the Evert family, and Chris in particular, had known the William’s since Venus was 10 or 11 and Serena 8, and had actually had young Venus to her house to hoist her Wimbledon trophies as far back as 1991, and had the WS as girls play an exho at Chris’ fundraiser not long after, it seems that her relationship with Richard Williams had faltered over time.

    Chris had a huge respect for Oracene, and publicly said that whatever anyone said about Richard, he was “right” about his predictions for the girls, still there was discomfort there. So, perhaps Chris didn’t feel close enough to go directly to Serena, and figured the only outlet was through her job as editor of the magazine. Whatever, in the end, I’m a WS fan who believes that the letter had a positive effect. Instead of whispering about what was happening with Serena, people started loudly asking. Serena may not have liked it, but she responded to it.

    I’ve given you Chris’ whole story because I think it’s impossible to understand why Chris reached out to Serena without understanding Chris’ own problems as she lived being one of the best tennis players of all time. Because of her own experience and doubts and emotional issues, and how she was helped by older players, she wanted to help Serena. Her good intentions were not taken the right way, but that’s the chance we take when we reach out to someone.

    Chris respects Serena nearly more than any current player, and she didn’t want Serena to look back at her career with regrets. Maybe Chris had no right, but then, like any fan, she cares. As a fan of both women myself, I understood how Chris got involved in lettergate.

  2. Wow .. thanks NJ. I actually didn’t know about the lettergate but heard little bit and pieces from the commentators during one of the slams that followed. .. Glad that Chris has found love again.

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