"Tennis has given me soul." ~Martina Navrátilová
The hours in the gym paid off. Martina was in the best shape of her career and the confidence showed. She had the ultimate serve-and-volley game and ardent determination to be the best. Still, she lost the 1982 US Open due to her severe sickness from toxoplasmosis she caught from eating an uncooked hamburger. By 1983, she was ready to again claim the number one spot with a new coach, Mike Estep. After working on her strategy, Martina finally won the US Open, beating Chris Evert. In fact, the Navrátilová-Evert on court fierce rivalry for dominance in women's tennis is one of the greatest in any sport’s history. Between 1973 and 1988, the Grand Slam champs faced each other 80 times. The media portrayed Martina as the outsider, the defector, the immigrant. Martina was always very outspoken and emotional, a personality trait she gained from her birth father. Her persona was the opposite of the feminine, even-keeled Chris Evert, who was "America's Sweetheart.” Despite their epic rivalry, different playing styles, and contrary on court demeanor, they became very close friends and even doubles partners, winning at Wimbledon and the French Open together.
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Chris Evert and Martiná Navrátilová