The greatest: Chris Evert – the all-American revolutionary who helped shape modern tennis | Tumaini Carayol

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The ‘Cinderella in Sneakers’ battled with Martina Navratilova, endorsed everything from Rolex to cheese and helped drive the 1970s US tennis boom

The 1971 US Open was the first time the world glimpsed the power of Christine Marie Evert. She was 16, a prodigy who struck her backhand with two hands and had built her name that year with a junior and senior winning sequence across 45 matches. Clay was her surface of choice so the grass courts of the US Open seemed a challenge too far. Instead, she embarked on one of the sport’s most celebrated breakthroughs.

As she marched through the draw, three times recovering from a set down to reach the semi-finals, pandemonium reigned. Fans shook the Forest Hills stadium, cheering the errors of her foes and tossing beer cans into the sky. The press scrambled to find the perfect moniker so she was dubbed “Cinderella In Sneakers”, “Ice Princess” and “America’s Sweetheart” all in one breath. When she stood triple match-point down in the second round before mounting a miraculous recovery, little girls in the stands cried.

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Written by Tumaini Carayol
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jun/30/the-greatest-chris-evert-us-revolutionary-who-helped-shape-modern-tennis under the title “The greatest: Chris Evert – the all-American revolutionary who helped shape modern tennis | Tumaini Carayol”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.