Chris Evert, one of the tennis world's greatest woman stars, just received a cancer diagnosis — her second.
The 68-year-old International Tennis Hall-of-Famer, according to a story by Glynn A. Hill in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post, is temporarily stepping down from her position as ESPN analyst and will miss the network's coverage of the Australian Open next month.
The 18-time Gram Slam singles champion, who intends to return to ESPN for its coverage of the rest of the Grand Slam season, is undergoing chemotherapy following another robotic surgery to remove the malignant cells.
Her statement, made through the network, said, "Since I was first diagnosed with cancer…I've been very open about my experience. I wanted to give all of you an update. My cancer is back. While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it ws caught early."
She added that she encourages "everyone to know [their] family history and advocate for [themselves]. Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season."
Evert, one of the most accomplished players in tennis history, "was ranked first or second in the world from 1975 to 1986 and she became the first player of any gender to win 1,000 singles matches" Hill's story notes.
Evert's first diagnosis was made after a preventive hysterectomy, after which she underwent six cycles of chemo. That helped her bond with her friend, ex-rival Martina Navratilova, who at roughly the same time was diagnosed with early-stage throat and breast cancers. In March of this year, Navratilova declared she was cancer-free.
To learn more about recurring disease, check out Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.