Chris Evert to miss Australian Open broadcast after ovarian cancer returns

Two former professional tennis players, Martina Navratilova, of Czech Republic/USA and Chris Evert (pictured) of the USA, during a join press conference, on Day 5 of the GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun 2023 part of the Hologic WTA Tour, on November 2, 2023, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert comprise one of tennis and sports' most iconic rivalries. Over 15 years from 1973 to 1988, they played 80 matches, 60 of them finals. Navratilova led with 43 wins to Evert's 37 in their head-to-head battles, and she secured 36 victories to Evert's 24 in finals. This enduring rivalry epitomizes tennis excellence in the Open Era. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Chris Evert lost her sister to ovarian cancer in 2020. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert will miss ESPN's 2024 Australian Open broadcast after the return of her ovarian cancer, the network announced Friday.

Evert, 68, was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2021. In her own statement Friday, she said the cancer was once again caught early, with doctors finding the cells in the same pelvic region. All cells have reportedly now been removed while Evert has begun another round of chemotherapy.

While Evert will miss the Australian Open, she said she will be ready for the rest of the year's Grand Slams.

Evert's sister Jeanne, another professional tennis player, died of ovarian cancer in 2020 at the age of 62. After her own diagnosis in 2021, Evert revealed she and her sister were both positive for the same BRCA-1 variant, which puts women at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

After her BRCA diagnosis, Evert underwent a preventative hysterectomy, but her pathology report revealed malignant cells and a tumor on her left fallopian tube. Her doctors reportedly told her she would have likely reached Stage 3 cancer in four months had it not been discovered early.

Evert underwent chemotherapy to combat the cancer, and also underwent a double mastectomy a year after her hysterectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer. In her statement, she again advocated for people to know their family medical history and seek out early detection.

Evert has worked for ESPN since 2011. As a player, she won 18 Grand Slam titles and still owns or co-owns the record for most French Open and US Open titles among women.

Chris Evert's full statement on return of her cancer

Since I was first diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I've been very open about my experience. I wanted to give all of you an update. My cancer is back. While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it was caught early.

Based on a PET CT scan, I underwent another robotic surgery this past week. Doctors found cancer cells in the same pelvic region. All cells were removed, and I have begun another round of chemotherapy. I will be unable to join my colleagues when ESPN makes its return to Melbourne for the Australian Open next month. But I'II be ready for the rest of the Grand Slam season! I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself. Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season.