Tennis great Chris Evert has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is undergoing treatment.
The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion revealed the diagnosis was made in early December following a preventative hysterectomy after she was told she was at risk of developing cancer.
Evert, who underwent the first of six rounds of chemotherapy this month, said she felt incredibly lucky the cancer was caught before it spread.
“I’m so lucky,” she told ESPN, where she works as an expert. “I have challenges ahead of me. But, I am reassured to know that the chemotherapy serves to ensure that the cancer does not come back.
Evert’s younger sister, Jeane, died of the same disease two years ago, but the family were first told that genetic testing had not revealed anything grim.
However, further research has led to advances in the field and Evert was advised in October to seek more information about his own situation.
A blood test showed that she too had a pathogenic variant of the gene, which led to the hysterectomy and the discovery of a tumour.
The 67-year-old said of Jeane: ‘When I go for chemo she is my inspiration. I will think of her. And she’ll help me out.
Messages of support immediately arrived on social media, with Evert’s longtime rival and friend Martina Navratilova writing on Twitter: “We are all with you and behind you Chrissie, you are a true champion and I don’t have no doubt that you will overcome this wicked adversary”. with barely a sweat! »
American player Madison Keys wrote: “I’m so glad you’re okay now @ChrissieEvert! Sending you lots of love.”
Former UK world number 27 Laura Robson tweeted: “Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery. Good luck Chrissie!”