The Rivals: Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova: Their Epic Duels and Extraordinary Friendship

Johnette Howard, Author . Broadway $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7679-1884-8

For 16 years, Evert and Navratilova faced each other on the tennis court; they met 80 times—and 60 times in finals. Newsday columnist Howard captivatingly tells the story of how these two women came together from disparate worlds and founded a complicated though lasting friendship. Evert, the charming, ponytailed daughter of a middle-class, all-American family, captured many fans' hearts when she arrived on the scene at 16. Navratilova, on the other hand, exuded seriousness; her determined look and sturdy frame matched her history, a dramatic, heart-wrenching one that involved leaving her family behind in communist Czechoslovakia. Howard shows how Evert and Navratilova's paths slowly merged, until they finally faced each other for the first time in 1973. From then until 1988, they traded leads, with Evert winning most of the early matches and Navratilova dominating in later years (overall, Navratilova held a 43–37 advantage). Howard is equally adept at covering the athletes' personal lives (she interviewed both players) as well as their competition and divergent playing styles. She also pays homage to stars like Billie Jean King, who was committed to promoting women's tennis, so this work makes a fine contribution to the history of women in sports. Agent, Mark Reiter. (June 7)

Reviewed on: 05/09/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-7679-1885-5
Hardcover - 296 pages - 978-0-224-07505-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-224-07766-8
Open Ebook - 187 pages - 978-0-307-41949-1
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-224-07506-0
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