Vol. 4 Luxembourgers in the United States: Chris Evert

Christine Marie Evert was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1954. She was an outstanding tennis player who dominated the sport in the mid- and late 1970s and remained a major competitor into the late 1980s. She was noted for her consistency, precision, poise, and grace and for popularizing the two-handed backhand stroke.

Chris Evert is a descendant of the Luxembourgish families Evert and Didier who emigrated from Luxembourg to Chicago. Her father, Jimmy Evert, was also a skilled and determined tennis player. He learned to play tennis in the parking lot of his parish, St. Henry’s Church, which was a mother-church for Luxembourgers in Chicago.

Jimmy Evert mentored and coached his five children in tennis. All of them excelled, playing tennis on scholarships at Universities across the United States, but daughter Chris went on to bring fame to the Evert family.  Her two-handed backhand and her remarkable speed quickly led her to become “America’s tennis sweetheart”.

Chris Evert’s career winning percentage of 89.97% (1309–146) in singles matches is the highest in the history of Open Era tennis. On clay courts, her career winning percentage of 94.55% (382–22) in singles matches remains a WTA record. She won 18 major championships which tied her for fifth-best in women’s history.  Evert won at least one major singles title a record 13 years in a row. The Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1980.

Evert served as president of the Women's Tennis Association for eleven years, 1975–76 and 1983–91. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995 and awarded the Philippe Chatrier award in 1997. In later life, Evert was a coach and is now an analyst for ESPN since 2011.

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