Chris Evert has emerged victorious — and this time, it was off the tennis court.
The tennis legend has revealed she is “cancer-free” in an op-ed published on ESPN.com Tuesday.
The 18-time Grand Slam winner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Nov. 2021 — a diagnosis that echoed the death of her sister Jeanne, who died in Feb. 2020 at age 62.
But thanks to the “genetic road map my sister left behind,” Evert says doctors were able to detect the disease early — meaning that there’s now a 90% chance the cancer “will never come back.”
“Jeanne wasn’t BRCA positive, but genetic testing revealed she had a BRCA-1 variant that was of ‘uncertain significance,’” Evert wrote.
“I got a call saying they had reclassified her BRCA variant — the significance was no longer uncertain, it was now very clearly pathogenic, and we should be tested. I was shocked, I didn’t even know that was possible.”
Evert revealed she was diagnosed with the same BRCA-1 variant of the disease that killed her sister.
“It is only because of the genetic road map my sister left behind and the power of scientific progress that we caught my cancer early enough to do something about it,” she wrote, saying the situation would have been far more serious if doctors didn’t find the cancer sooner.
“Instead, I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, and I immediately began six rounds of chemotherapy,” she added.
Evert says she “held my breath” while waiting for the pathology results.
“Luckily, the report came back clean and clear, and my risk of developing breast cancer has been reduced by more than 90%,” she wrote, adding that she has one more surgery left to complete.
“As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart. I will never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process,” she went on. “My sister’s journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else’s.”
During her glittering career on the court, Evert reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings and was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1995.
This story first appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission.