Free Duetact

A Winning Friendship

by Kate Meyers

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

From 1973 through 1988, free duetact the two battled 80 times—including in 60 finals. Free duetact

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

As they reveal in the documentary Unmatched, free duetact premiering on ESPN on Sept. Free duetact 14, free duetact the two were more than intense on-court adversaries. Free duetact They became friends early on, free duetact and ever since have supported each other through a multitude of struggles—most recently, free duetact the collapse of Evert’s third marriage to golfer Greg Norman and Navratilova’s breast-cancer diagnosis in February. Free duetact Earlier this month, free duetact Evert, free duetact 55, free duetact and Navratilova, free duetact 53, free duetact 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, free duetact so many layers of emotions. Free duetact We were such opposites, free duetact it enabled us to get closer. Free duetact She has my back; I have hers. Free duetact I think people forget that we were left alone in the locker room every Sunday after we played final matches, free duetact 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, free duetact because you didn’t want to upset the other person. Free duetact Now we don’t have to guard anything. Watch their greatest on-court moments Martina, free duetact Chris has said you’re a softie and called you a kitten. Free duetact So what’s Chris? Martina She’s a cougar. Free duetact Not in the way they talk about it now, free duetact but in that she’s very protective of her friends and family. Free duetact It’s funny—she’s opened up, free duetact and I’m not nearly as open as I once was about my life. Chris I let it all out now. Chris, free duetact you’ve said that you couldn’t believe it when Martina would cry on the court, free duetact 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. Free duetact The closest I came was at the ’85 French Open. Free duetact I was so happy, free duetact and I was thinking, free duetact “How come the tears aren’t coming?” But I was so conditioned, free duetact they just wouldn’t. Martina I always admired Chris’s ability to control herself. Free duetact Because I couldn’t. Martina, free duetact 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. Free duetact Thank you. Free duetact I will one day. Free duetact I’m getting there. You two have what is arguably the greatest rivalry in sports history. Free duetact You faced each other 80 times. Free duetact What were you thinking when you looked across the net? Chris In the beginning, free duetact I had the edge because Martina hadn’t got herself 100% fit, free duetact and she was still emotional on the court. Free duetact I felt I just had to be mentally tough. Free duetact In the middle, free duetact I was like, free duetact “Aww, free duetact geez, free duetact” because as soon as she got herself fit, free duetact that helped her mentally. Free duetact And then at the end, free duetact I think it was a little more even. Free duetact To read more, free duetact go to http://www.parade.com/celebrity/2010/08/chris-evert-martina-navratilova-winning-friendship.html