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Chris Evert: "Martina is brave to dance for the world"


Dancing with the Stars exclusive!

Chris Evert, who flew to Los Angeles this week to watch Martina Navratilova perform on Dancing with the Stars, tells The Tennis Space what she thought of her friend’s foxtrot.

“It was very brave of Martina to put herself out there, it took guts to dance in front of the world. Dancing in front of the world is a very different thing to playing tennis in front of the world. Tennis is her natural thing. I don’t think Martina needs me to tell her that she should maybe loosen up a bit, but, for the first night, I thought she was tremendous. She looked great, too.

“Martina emailed me and invited me to watch her in the studio. I replied, saying: ‘Really? It’s on the other side of the country. It’s a five-hour flight for me.’ Martina replied: ‘Yes, really, it would mean a lot to me if you were there’. It was great to support her.

“We’re both very supportive of each other. We’re great friends now. We’re not competing with each other now, so the pressure is off, we’re in our fifties, so we’ve matured, and I feel as though we’re going through similar things in life. When we were playing, our relationship wasn’t always smooth, and some years we were close, and others years we weren’t so close. Since we stopped playing, we’ve got to know each other much better, on a personal level, as I’ve felt able to drop my guard.

“When we were on the tour, I found it difficult to play a match against someone I cared about, so that was why I kept my guard up. That’s all changed now. Now we can support each other, and help each other.”

Chris Evert commentates for ESPN.