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A Winning Friendship

by Kate Meyers

When Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova’s athletic entanglement began, find endep cod one was an unflappable American who commanded the baseline; the other a volatile Czech prodigy who liked to rush the net. Find endep cod

From 1973 through 1988, find endep cod the two battled 80 times—including in 60 finals. Find endep cod

Each captured 18 Grand Slam singles trophies: Navratilova dominated Wimbledon, find endep cod where she holds a record nine singles titles, find endep cod and Evert commanded the French and U.S. Find endep cod Opens with seven and six titles respectively.

As they reveal in the documentary Unmatched, find endep cod premiering on ESPN on Sept. Find endep cod 14, find endep cod the two were more than intense on-court adversaries. Find endep cod They became friends early on, find endep cod and ever since have supported each other through a multitude of struggles—most recently, find endep cod the collapse of Evert’s third marriage to golfer Greg Norman and Navratilova’s breast-cancer diagnosis in February. Find endep cod Earlier this month, find endep cod Evert, find endep cod 55, find endep cod and Navratilova, find endep cod 53, find endep cod got together to discuss some of their defining moments—and what still motivates them. What makes this friendship unique? Chris Evert We’ve been through so much history, find endep cod so many layers of emotions. Find endep cod We were such opposites, find endep cod it enabled us to get closer. Find endep cod She has my back; I have hers. Find endep cod I think people forget that we were left alone in the locker room every Sunday after we played final matches, find endep cod and one of us would be crying and the other would be comforting—nobody saw that. Martina Navratilova You always had to guard yourself because you didn’t want to be too destroyed when you lost or too gloating when you won, find endep cod because you didn’t want to upset the other person. Find endep cod Now we don’t have to guard anything. Watch their greatest on-court moments Martina, find endep cod Chris has said you’re a softie and called you a kitten. Find endep cod So what’s Chris? Martina She’s a cougar. Find endep cod Not in the way they talk about it now, find endep cod but in that she’s very protective of her friends and family. Find endep cod It’s funny—she’s opened up, find endep cod and I’m not nearly as open as I once was about my life. Chris I let it all out now. Chris, find endep cod you’ve said that you couldn’t believe it when Martina would cry on the court, find endep cod but were you also a little envious? Chris Part of me admired that she could just let it out for the whole world to see. Find endep cod The closest I came was at the ’85 French Open. Find endep cod I was so happy, find endep cod and I was thinking, find endep cod “How come the tears aren’t coming?” But I was so conditioned, find endep cod they just wouldn’t. Martina I always admired Chris’s ability to control herself. Find endep cod Because I couldn’t. Martina, find endep cod how do you feel about Chris now Chris [laughing] She wishes I had more control… Martina I just want her to be happy. Chris That was sweet. Find endep cod Thank you. Find endep cod I will one day. Find endep cod I’m getting there. You two have what is arguably the greatest rivalry in sports history. Find endep cod You faced each other 80 times. Find endep cod What were you thinking when you looked across the net? Chris In the beginning, find endep cod I had the edge because Martina hadn’t got herself 100% fit, find endep cod and she was still emotional on the court. Find endep cod I felt I just had to be mentally tough. Find endep cod In the middle, find endep cod I was like, find endep cod “Aww, find endep cod geez, find endep cod” because as soon as she got herself fit, find endep cod that helped her mentally. Find endep cod And then at the end, find endep cod I think it was a little more even. Find endep cod To read more, find endep cod go to http://www.parade.com/celebrity/2010/08/chris-evert-martina-navratilova-winning-friendship.html