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Chris Evert

Inducted 2005

Before Wimbledon, before the U.S., French and Australian Opens, and before all the international acclaim, Chris Evert was a Florida state high school tennis champion.

Evert was a three-time state champion in singles and a two-time champion in doubles at the FHSAA state championships for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale from 1970-72. Her partner in the 1972 doubles competition was her sister Jeanne, who became an individual state champion as well. In amateur competition during the same period time, Evert won six U.S. Junior titles.

Evert turned professional in December 1972, on her 18th birthday. She went on to make her name synonymous with tennis over the next 17 years, winning 18 Grand Slam titles and 157 singles titles, including three Wimbledons, seven French Opens, two Australian Opens and six U.S. Opens. Evert won 1,309 matches in her career, with at least one Grand Slam singles title for 13 consecutive years (1974-1986), a record in both men’s and women’s tennis. She has the best record on clay of any player for any single surface with a 125-match winning streak from 1973-1979.

Evert was ranked No. 1 in the world for seven years, and was named the “Greatest Woman Athlete in the Last 25 Years” by the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1985. She was the 1976 Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year,” and was the first female athlete featured in one of their television commercials. Evert was named one of ESPN’s Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century in 1999.

She remained active on the sports scene after retirement, serving as a board member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and as the president of the Women’s Tennis Foundation

Her list of awards and honors is as long as that of her athletic achievements. Evert is a member of the National High School Sports, Florida Sports, and International Tennis halls of fame, and the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame. She received the ITF Phillippe Chartrier Award during the French Open in 1997 for her outstanding contribution to the game of tennis, and the Flo Hyman Award in 1990 from then-President George H.W. Bush. Evert also received the Women’s Tennis Association’s Player Service Award three times, and was honored with the March of Dimes Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.

Chris and her husband, former Olympic skier Andy Mill, founded Chris Evert Charities in Boca Raton in 1989. Their charity events include the annual Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in December.