Chris Evert, Tennis Hall of Famer, says she has ovarian cancer

Former tennis star Chris Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam singles champion, has an early form of ovarian cancer, she said in a story on ESPN.com on Friday.

The stage 1C cancer was discovered after a preventive hysterectomy and has not spread elsewhere in her body, according to the story. Ms. Evert, 67, who started the first of six rounds of chemotherapy this week, is an analyst for ESPN.

The cancer was removed during the hysterectomy, and there’s a more than 90 percent chance it won’t come back, according to the story.

“I have led a very charmed life,” Ms Evert said in the story. “Now I have some challenges ahead of me. But I’m comforted in the knowledge that chemotherapy is supposed to keep cancer from coming back.”

A representative of Mrs. Evert did not immediately respond to an email at the end of Friday.

Mrs. Evert is one of the most celebrated players in tennis history. She became the first player, male or female, to win 1,000 singles matches and was ranked first or second in the world from 1975 to 1986, according to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

dr. Joel Cardenas, a physician for Ms. Evert, said in the story that an early diagnosis is more likely if a patient is current at doctor visits, understands her family history, and has a good relationship with her gynecologist.

“Women should also know the risk factors — endometriosis, a history of breast cancer, and infertility are one of them,” he said. “The median age for ovarian cancer diagnosis is 63.”

Genetic testing and counseling are encouraged if a patient has a family history of ovarian cancer, Mr Cardenas said.

Evert’s younger sister, Jeanne Evert Dubin, also a professional tennis player, died of ovarian cancer in February 2020 at the age of 62. Ovarian cancer can run in families, and the risk is higher if a mother, sister or daughter has had the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Mrs. Dubin was with Mrs. Evert as the couple rushed through an airport in October 2017 when the older sister noticed that Mrs. Dubin was out of breath, according to the ESPN story. Shortly afterwards, a doctor discovered ovarian cancer in Ms. Dubin. It was late and had spread.

“When I go on chemo, she’s my inspiration,” said Ms Evert. ‘I’ll think of her. And she will help me through it.”