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Tennis legend Chris Evert announces return of ovarian cancer

The on-air ESPN announcer has started chemotherapy and will not be joining her colleagues in Melbourne to cover the Australian Open, according to a statement.
Chris Evert speaks during a press conference
Chris Evert.Robert Prange / Getty Images file

Tennis legend Chris Evert announced the return of her ovarian cancer in a statement Friday.

The tennis Hall of Famer and on-air ESPN announcer was first diagnosed with an early stage of ovarian cancer two years ago. She announced that she was cancer-free in an op-ed for ESPN.com in January.

“My cancer is back,” Evert, 68, said in a statement shared by ESPN. “While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it was caught early.”

Cancer cells were found in the same pelvic region as her previous diagnosis, Evert shared, adding that all the cells were removed and she began another round of chemotherapy.

Evert will not be joining her colleagues in Melbourne to cover the Australian Open.

“But I’ll be ready for the rest of the Grand Slam season! I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself,” Evert said. “Early detection saves lives.”

Evert’s sister Jeanne Evert Dubin died from ovarian cancer in 2020. She shared in her op-ed for ESPN.com earlier this year that a “genetic road map” helped her detect her cancer early.

Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995, according to ESPN.