On this day: Legendary Chris Evert retires from tennis at the age of 34

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On this day: Legendary Chris Evert retires from tennis at the age of 34

The 16-year-old Chris Evert made her Grand Slam debut at the US Open in 1971 and it was an instant success for the Florida native, reaching the semi-final and launching a fantastic tennis journey that lasted for 18 years and ensured her a place among the greatest players of all time.

Evert spent 260 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings, winning 154 WTA titles and lifting 18 Major crowns as one of the most dominant players at the highest level of tennis events. Between 1971-1989, Chris Evert competed at only 56 Grand Slam tournaments and still managed to score 299 victories, losing before the semi-final only four times for a mind-blowing fact and a true testimony of her everlasting class and brilliance!

Between 1971 US Open and 1983 Roland Garros, Evert reached 34 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals (!!) and was ranked in the top-4 for some 17 years, standing in the top-10 at the moment when she decided to retire after the Fed Cup final in 1989.

The American was still one of the best players in the world at the age of 33 in 1988, reaching the final of the Australian Open and the semis at Wimbledon and the US Open, passing the magical number of 100 US Open wins and entering the last four for the 17th time in 19 appearances in New York!

In her last season on the Tour in the following 1989, Chris decided to skip the Australian Open and Roland Garros, reaching the final of Boca Raton and Miami and losing to top seeds Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini. The upcoming star Monica Seles defeated Evert in the final of Houston and Graf proved to be too strong at Wimbledon, scoring a 6-2, 6-1 win in the semi-final, halting Evert on 96 Wimbledon wins.

Zina Garrison was the one who defeated Evert in her last US Open match and she was in the USA squad for the Fed Cup final in Japan against Spain. Chris and Martina Navratilova scored wins over the Spanish teenagers Conchita Martinez and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to deliver the 13th Fed Cup title for the USA and stage the best possible farewell for Evert.

In her 1448th and last WTA match, Chris Evert took down Conchita Martinez 6-3, 6-2 on October 9 to wrap up her outstanding career with another win and enjoy a well-deserved retirement after spending the last 18 years among the very best players in the world.

Evert entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 16, 1995, and opened the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida, in the following year with her brother and father.