Jeanne Evert Dubin, a world-class tennis player and a member of one of the sport’s most accomplished families, has died at the age of 62 after a lengthy illness.
It’s tricky for a tennis player to have an older sibling who’s also an excellent player. In Jeanne’s case, the task was even more daunting—that elder, by three years, being the great Chris Evert.
But with a rare mix of persistence, wit and warmth, Jeanne smoothly balanced that reality with her own ambitions and a style all her own. Trained superbly by her father, longstanding instructor Jimmy Evert (who died in 2015), on the courts of Holiday Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jeanne’s gritty baseline game helped her reach a career high ranking of No. 42 in the world in 1975, and No. 9 in the U.S. the year before. Twice she advanced to the third round of the US Open, on grass in 1973 and on hard courts five years later. Evert also went 4-0 in Fed Cup matches.
Photo: Jeanne, Clare, Chris and father Jimmy Evert, in 1984. (Art SEITZ/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
In a 1976 New York Times article, Evert addressed the contrast between her highly driven father and older sister.
“You see, my father doesn’t believe in doing things halfway,” she said. “Neither does Chris. When I tell him that my goal is to be happy, it blows his mind; it’s too vague.”
Fellow pro Terry Holladay said in the same article, “She’s just not like any other tennis player. She has so many friends. You just wouldn’t believe what an up person she is. I mean, I never saw anyone smile so much.”
“She has nothing to be jealous about, really,” Chris said in the 1974 book, A Long Way, Baby, “because she’s always been better in almost everything than I have. She’s so smart, she gets straight A’s without lifting a finger.”
Photo: Jeanne Evert, 14, with sister Chris, 16. (Bettmann via Getty Images)
In 1979, one year after retiring from pro tennis, Evert married Canadian Brahm Dubin. An accountant who had also worked in the tennis business, Dubin’s company, JCD Sports Group, operated a variety of tennis and golf facilities, including the Delray Beach Tennis Center, site of a current ATP tournament. The couple had two children, Eric and Catherine. Dubin died in 2006 at the age of 56.
In addition to those previously mentioned family members, Evert is survived by her mother, Colette; brothers Drew and John; and sister Clare.
Video: Jeanne Evert vs. Pam Teeguarden, 1975