During their peak, both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova thought that they would be each other’s biggest rivals. But, they turned out to be the best of friends off-court.
What they did not expect was that they would get it at the same time, it was cancer. While Navratilova was praying for Evert’s quick recovery after her diagnosis, she was not gearing up for her own. So, when the news broke, it was Evert that she knew she needed at that moment.
The two players saw each other trying their best to overcome each other on the court. That is why they knew what it would take them to take down their biggest rival yet.
Martina Navratilova saw Chris Evert as her only hope after her diagnosis
Doctors diagnosed Evert with 1C Ovarian cancer in January 2022. She was scared, but she had her best friend Martina Navratilova’s unwavering support and faith.
To show that, Navratilova always wore the rings given by Evert on her 60th birthday. However, as fate would have it, Navratilova got the most unexpected news of her life; and it was not a good one.
Having gone through a cancer diagnosis in 2010, that was the last thing, she needed again. She found out about it in December 2022. So, the first thing she did was contact Evert.
Evert narrated the message she received from Navratilova in an interview with the Washington Post. She said, “Can you call me as soon as possible? I need to talk to you.” After seeing that Navratilova had also tried to call her, she thought, “Oh, s**t. That’s not good.” And it definitely was not good.
Meanwhile, Navratilova was beginning to lose hope. After facing her biggest fear once again, she went on a pessimistic loop and thought about the worst consequences of them all. She stated, “I’m thinking, “I could be dead in a year.” Navratilova even thought, “Which car am I going to drive in the last year of my life, she asked herself. A Bentley? A Ferrari?”
Navratilova was waiting for the final verdict on her health when both good news and gut-wrenching news came together when Evert called her back.
A twisted fate of two best friends
Navratilova was glad to know that she had stage 1 curable cancer in her throat. However, she also got to know that she had cancer in her breast too. Evert dictated Navratilova’s emotions. She stated, “I sensed that it really pissed her off more than anything. She was mad about it.” Navratilova had always chased Evert’s records and titles. However, this was the last thing she was hoping to chase.
They both giggled at the bizarre coincidence as Navratilova stated, “Jesus. I guess we’re taking this to a whole new level.” Evert added, “Because it was just so ironic.” However, that moment lasted for a second before Navratilova once again faced a reality check. She finally opened up to Evert and said, “I’m scared.”
Navratilova always had a tough stance in front of others but she let out her feelings in front of Evert. Thankfully, Navratilova battled both cancers and now is able to share her ever-thriving friendship with her rival Chris Evert.