Chris Evert: ‘I Am Educating Myself And I Invite You To Do The Same’

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Sometimes, finding the right words and feelings are hard to come by. Sometimes, the right actions, too. However, following the United States Tennis Association statement on current events in the U.S., Hall of Fame great Chris Evert made the decision to examine her conscience, raise her voice and, ultimately, speak out on the recent events regarding racial injustice in America. On Friday, Evert, 65, the winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, wrote to her nearly 33,000 Instagram followers:

The USTA speaks an undeniable truth that must be shared with the tennis community and beyond. I’ve been reflecting on our country’s current events which started with the brutal, savage murder of George Floyd. Along with tremendous sadness and anger, it made me feel shameful, guilty, and entitled. But words are cheap… I want so much to help, but I have no idea what to do except throw my glove into the ring.

So, I am committed to doing just that.

• One: I am reading up on Black history. I am educating myself and I invite you to do the same. I am starting with 1619, when the White Lion brought 20 African slaves ashore Jamestown, Virginia. I am researching the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Suffrage Movement, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisolm, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the Million Man March, the NAACP, the EEOC, and yes, Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. These are profound people and events in Black history that give us a better understanding of the persecution and oppression that is bared.

• Two: I am doing a gut check. I am examining my conscience and checking if there are any underlying, residual feelings of prejudice that were indoctrinated into my beliefs at a young age. There was an overwhelming amount of fear and discrimination in the 50s and 60s, and it is necessary to evaluate how I was personally blinded.

This is good what is happening – the demonstrations, the protests, the screaming, the tensions, the pressure. I hope it will wake up this country, I hope it will result in policy changes, I hope it will work this time. I hope this will be the last stand.

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The USTA speaks an undeniable truth that must be shared with the tennis community and beyond. I’ve been reflecting on our country’s current events which started with the brutal, savage murder of George Floyd. Along with tremendous sadness and anger, it made me feel shameful, guilty, and entitled. But words are cheap… I want so much to help, but I have no idea what to do except throw my glove into the ring. So, I am committed to doing just that. -One: I am reading up on Black history. I am educating myself and I invite you to do the same. I am starting with 1619, when the White Lion brought 20 African slaves ashore Jamestown, Virginia. I am researching the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Suffrage Movement, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisolm, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the Million Man March, the NAACP, the EEOC, and yes, Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. These are profound people and events in Black history that give us a better understanding of the persecution and oppression that is bared. -Two: I am doing a gut check. I am examining my conscience and checking if there are any underlying, residual feelings of prejudice that were indoctrinated into my beliefs at a young age. There was an overwhelming amount of fear and discrimination in the 50s and 60s, and it is necessary to evaluate how I was personally blinded. This is good what is happening – the demonstrations, the protests, the screaming, the tensions, the pressure. I hope it will wake up this country, I hope it will result in policy changes, I hope it will work this time. I hope this will be the last stand.

A post shared by Chris Evert (@chrissieevert) on

Region of Valencia Tennis Challenge – Day Two

Both World No. 12 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 26 Alex de Minaur improved to 2-0 in the Region of Valencia Tennis Challenge at Cumbre del Sol in Alicante, Spain, on Saturday. Each won their second round-robin matches in straight sets. While Bautista Agut’s 6-1, 6-1 victory over No. 53 Pablo Andujar came quickly, de Minaur was pushed hard by 25th-ranked Pablo Carreño Busta to come out ahead in his 7-5, 6-4 triumph. It sets up an interesting clash between the undefeated players on Sunday.

In the first match, Bautista Agut raced to a 3-0 lead and broke Andujar twice en route to winning the first set 6-1. Then, he broke Andujar three more times in the second set and put away their 67-minute match on his first match-point opportunity.

The second tilt, between Carreño Busta and de Minaur, was competitive and entertaining. Carreño Busta saved five break points in the opening game to hold serve, which lasted 14 minutes. However, Carreño Busta was broken in the fifth and 11th games. De Minaur closed out the set on his third set-point try with a backhanded winner. The first set took one hour and seven minutes, the same length as the entire Andujar-Bautista Agut match.

In the second set, de Minaur rallied from down 2-4 and broke Carreño Busta twice, capturing the last four games of the match to win. He secured his one hour and 47 minute victory on his first match point try when Carreño Busta hit a forehand return long.

On Sunday’s final day of the round-robin exhibition, Bautista Agut will play de Minaur at 1:30 p.m. (CEST) followed by Andujar versus Carreño Busta at 3:30 p.m. (CEST).

A few minutes with Daniela and Rafa

Happy 64th Birthday, Björn Borg!

This week’s Tennis United episode is an important one

Americans Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Townsend meet Tennis United co-hosts Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Vasek Pospisil to discuss racial injustice in the United States.

What they’re podcasting

On the latest episode of No Challenges Remaining Podcast, co-hosts Ben Rothenberg (New York Times, Racquet) and Courtney Nguyen (WTA Insider) are joined by Tumaini Carayol of London’s The Guardian to discuss his recent reporting on how both Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff have emerged as leading voices of women’s tennis in speaking out on racial injustice in America.

What they’re saying

Andy Roddick, appearing on Tennis Channel Live, on the occasion of Rafael Nadal turning 34 this week, “This is one of the most accomplished athletes on earth…he still has this quality of a child-like innocence, like he doesn’t know how great he is.”

What they’re sharing on social media

Christopher Clarey / On what Rafael Nadal’s 12 French Open titles means to him.

Simon Halep / Two years ago …

Steffi Graf / Wins her first Grand Slam title at the 1987 French Open.