A blend of grit, grace and glamour won her the hearts of tennis fans before she was labelled the 'ice queen', but rivalry with Navratilova served to bring her back to the top.
Chris Evert emerged onto the tennis scene in 1970 at a small tournament in North Carolina. A year later, aged only 16, she became the youngest ever player to reach the U.S. Open semi finals.
Nicknamed the ‘Little Ice Maiden’, thanks to her metronomic strokes, Evert’s two-handed backhand soon became a force to be reckoned with.
Playing as an amateur until 1973, she was the first player to reach $1 million in career prize money. Between 1973 and 1979, she won 125 consecutive matches on clay, including 24 tournaments.
Despite her flawless barrages from the backcourt, Evert’s playing was considered monotonous to many fans. She was No.1 in the world in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1981 and in the World Top Ten for a total of 17 years.
Evert was the first player to win more than 1,000 singles matches as well as 150 tournaments. Her 55-match winning streak in 1974 was an open-era record until Martina Navratilova's record of 74 in 1984. However, despite competing in the 1988 Olympics, she did not win a medal.
Evert had a high profile relationship with fellow tennis star Jimmy Connors before going on to marry English player John Lloyd, although the couple divorced after eight years together. She then married ex-Olympic skier Andy Mill, with whom she has three sons. In December 2006 they divorced, with Evert paying Mills a $7 million settlement.
Chris eventually remarried in 2008 - to Australian golfer Greg Norman - but again, they divorced in 2009 after only 18 months as a married couple.