Chris Evert is one of the most successful female stars in the history of United States tennis. She won 18 Grand Slam championships, including seven French Open titles (a feat only matched by male tennis player Rafael Nadal last year) and six U.S. Open titles. Beginning in 1974, she finished ranked #1 in the world seven times (the only year between 1974 and 1981 when she dipped was in 1979). In 1976, she was the first solo woman to ever be chosen "Sportswoman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated. Overall, her career winning percentage was just over 90 percent, an almost impossible record that has never beaten by any other player, male or female.
She now runs a tennis academy in Florida and is a commentator for ESPN for the four tennis grand slam championships. And it is normally around some kind of commentary that she makes news these days, but mainly only within the tennis-watching community. But Jimmy Connors, a former romantic partner and himself a retired successful U.S. tennis player, has thrust Evert into the national spotlight recently against her will.
In 1974, while dating, Evert and Connors both won their respective singles championship at Wimbledon. As Sports Illustrated reported at the time, "For the first time in memory, the traditional opening dance at Saturday night's Wimbledon Ball was reserved for two singles champions who were sweethearts as well—Chris Evert, 19, and her mop-topped fiance, Jimmy Connors, 21." In typical sports-pun fashion, they were dubbed the "Love Double" and "Love Match" by tabloids. Their wedding that was scheduled for November of that year never happened, and their relationship ended. Neither one of them ever explained what caused it to disintegrate so quickly. They would be on-and-off for the next few years. They both married other people in 1979.