Chris Evert’s career winning percentage was 90%. After beating back cancer, that’s the same number doctors give her that it’s gone for good.

One year after announcing she was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer, Evert revealed in an open letter published on ESPN.com that she is now free of the disease.

Evert detailed her road to recovery starting with the passing of her younger sister, Jeanne, in February 2020. Not long after, a blood test showed that Chris carried the same BRCA-1 variant that claimed her sister’s life. She underwent an immediate preventative hysterectomy, but pathology uncovered malignant cells and a tumor in her left fallopian tube. Six rounds of chemotherapy followed.

“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,” said Evert. “My doctor said if left undiscovered, in four months' time I would probably have been Stage 3 like Jeanne, with very few options.”


After recovering from chemotherapy, Evert had to confront another health crisis. BRCA mutations significantly raise the risk of developing breast cancer, as well as an increased chance of prostate and pancreatic cancer. She could monitor the situation with frequent testing, or opt for another surgery.

In December 2022, a year to the day from her hysterectomy, Evert had a double mastectomy. The report came back clear, and the risk of her developing breast cancer has been reduced by more than 90 percent.

Of the many millions of people with a BRCA mutation, only 10 percent are aware they are carriers. Evert’s hope in recounting her battle is to raise awareness of genetic testing.

“As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart,” said Evert. “I will never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process.

“My sister's journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else's.”