The rivals: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova : their epic duels and extraordinary friendship

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Yellow Jersey, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 296 pages
In March 1973 two women met on a tennis court in Akron, Ohio. Over the course of the next sixteen years, together they would change the world. In their long careers Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert played each other eighty times, sixty of those in finals. For twelve consecutive years, from 1975 to 1986, one or other finished the season ranked No. 1 in the world. Each set out to be the finest player women's tennis had ever seen; each goaded the other to greatness. Their contrasting styles - Martina, the epitome of serve-and-volley tennis, bravely charging to the net against cool and controlled Chris, the world's greatest baseline player - captivated millions across the globe. Tennis was a chauvinistic game when they arrived. But their brilliance demanded, and received, long-overdue respect for female sporting achievement. Their ability to forge a close friendship amidst their fierce competition still provokes wonder and admiration from fans. There has never been a sporting rivalry to match the intensity, longevity, public impact and emotional resonance of the years-long duel between these two great athletes. For nearly two decades we were transfixed by the struggle between the ice-maiden Chris - blonde, all-American, a nation's sweetheart - and the supreme athlete Martina, a Czech defector, the first outspoken openly gay athlete in female sport, and a woman who wore her heart on her sleeve at all times. Their lockstep careers played out against the backdrop of seismic change in sport and society: the women's movement; the gay rights' movement; the fall of the Iron Curtain; and the rise of women's tennis from backwater to big time (with a huge nod of gratitude to Billie Jean King). Thirty years on from the first meeting, both have become legends. Based on interviews with both Martina and Chris and those who knew them best, Johnette Howard gives us the story of these two remarkable women. Brilliantly researched, beautifully written, Unrivalled will be read by those who love sport for years to come.

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User Review  - Beth3511 - www.librarything.com

More biographical than I expected--in a good way. It really put both players in historical context, on the court and off. Their rivalry is amazing and inspiring. I remember reading in a book by Mariah ... Read full review

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User Review  - asktheages - LibraryThing

This is yet another one of those books which I feel is a great summary of things if you don't know much about the Evert/Naratilova rivalry, but offers a sort of Cliffs Notes version of the tale ... Read full review

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