Chris Evert received the USTA's presidents award
Celebrating an exemplary career on court, and perhaps an even greater effort giving back to the game of tennis after her playing days, Chris Evert was presented with the USTA Presidents Award on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018 during the USTA Semiannual Meeting in New York City during the US Open.
United States Tennis Association President and CEO Katrina Adams presented the award to her.
“Chris Evert is a champion of the game, an expert broadcaster and an advocate for the sport, especially as a mentor to our rising stars,” said Adams, who competed against Evert in their WTA tour days. “She’s a woman whose name was on my first competitive racquet. She has supported the USTA over the years, and continues to do so in countless ways.”
Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles titles among 157 total on the WTA tour, ending the year at the No. 1 ranking seven times in 1974-78, and ’80-81. A model of consistency, she reached the semifinals or better of every Grand Slam from the 1971 US Open through the 1983 French Open, and during her career never losing in the first two rounds of a Slam singles event. She still holds the record (tied with Serena Williams) of six career US Open singles titles. At this year's US Open Serena is trying to beat Chris' record.
Her tennis advocacy, serving as president of the WTA for nine years during her playing days and two years after, carried over into her retirement when she opened the Evert Academy, producing stars such as 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys. She also mentors American teen and rising star CiCi Bellis through a USTA mentoring initiative.
“I’m very honored to receive this award. I’m in awe of everybody who came up here, it makes me feel this big [motions with fingers] compared to all the great things everyone has done for tennis as far as giving,” Evert said at the awards breakfast attended by USTA volunteers, staff and tennis advocates from across the country. “It’s been wonderful, it’s been an education for me.”
The USTA Foundation, the official giving arm of the USTA, supports programs that utilize tennis and education to build brighter futures and more vibrant communities, and to support students who have excelled as they pursue a college education. To date the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $28 million in grants and scholarships to hundreds of programs, benefiting thousands of children throughout the country.