‘Chris Evert Was the Hard One’- Martina Navratilova Sheds Light on ‘Phobia’ That Made Fans’ Perception of Her Take a Nosedive

Published 12/09/2023, 12:57 AM EST

Follow Us

via Getty

In a rivalry, the opposites are usually quite different from each other. Their opposite demeanors are often what cause a rivalry to be developed. Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert have been some of the greatest rivals in the history of tennis. The two stars of WTA’s past filled stadiums when their bouts were scheduled. However, people often get their personalities mixed up.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Navratilova recently talked about the designation the two received from the fans. When discussing it, she also dives deep into what caused their perceptions to be skewed by those who followed tennis.

Martina Navratilova on how she was portrayed as the evil one

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Czech-American former player recently appeared on the recent edition of ‘On with Kara Swisher’ podcast. There, she discussed her rivalry with Chris Evert in detail. Navratilova was labeled as the bad Evert would fight against every time they met. Each rivalry has a good side and a bad side when they are labeled by fans. The Czech-American player went on the bad side and explained why that happened in the podcast.

So all of that the social construct of what women are supposed to look like, as you said, than being gay, which was definitely against the norm back then I came out in 81. So, most of the rivalry, I was out and that that didn’t help overall. I think part of it was phobia, Slavic phobia, I think that’s still alive and, and, yes, it was good versus evil. I was portrayed as the evil one.”

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest Tennis stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

She further said that dealing with the situation was also difficult because, back then, there were no post-match interviews. Therefore, the only time a player could speak to the fans was when they reached the finals, and this is how the perception developed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Navratilova’s perception came because fans knew what she looked like

Evert and Navratilova were the ones who would usually be seen in the final of a tournament. The two would battle each other often, and Navratilova earned being placed on the evil side. However, she stated that it only happened because of the way she looked, and her and Evert’s personalities were the opposite.

So, you know, people had an idea of what I looked like, and based on that, they just assumed that’s what I was like when, in fact, you know, I was the softy and Chris was the hard one. Yeah, but we both are now pretty much on the same page.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

While the tennis fans of yesteryear made the judgment quickly, the two players knew that the tennis world needed to be revolutionized. Their efforts led to equality in the prize money of many events. Now, the two are remembered for their great rivalry and hard work.

Watch This Story: Victoria Azarenka’s Late-Night Australian Open Glory Irks Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert As They Bash the Tournament

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

1,451Articles

One take at a time

The Swiss Maestro Roger Federer?s influence on tennis is undeniable, and I certainly have the 20-time Grand Slam champion to thank for my foray into the wonderful racket sport. Unsurprisingly, throughout my time at ES, I have specialized in providing in-depth coverage of everything related to the 'Swiss Maestro' and have authored more than 1000 articles to date. Now, I specifically focus on creating profiles for all the top stars, along with stables that focus on both their professional and personal exploits.
Show More>

Edited by:

Ananya Giri

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today