Tennis Legend Chris Evert Was on the Brink of Despair After Her 3rd Marriage: ‘I Suppressed Things Off the Court’

Chris Evert had an incredibly successful tennis career as one of the most decorated players in the sport. The 18-time singles Grand Slam champion dominated each of the major tournaments several times. Off the court, however, Evert has experienced the same heartbreak that many people encounter throughout their lives.

The now-66-year-old has been married three times. Sadly, Evert’s last union sent the tennis star to a dark place. Despite the marital difficulties, Evert worked on things enough to ensure she performed at the top of her game.

Chris Evert’s first two marriages ended in heartbreak

Elle reported on Evert’s marriages, the first occurring at age 24 in 1979. She married fellow tennis player John Lloyd after reading an article where he discussed the loneliness of being an athlete. She was also lonely, so she related to his message.

Looking back at that relationship, Evert realizes, “It was doomed from the start.” Lloyd traveled with the men’s tour; she was on the women’s circuit. Evert admits she was “married” to tennis and had little emotion left to give when she got home.

Evert and Lloyd divorced in 1987. The following year, she wed Olympic skier Andy Mill. The “golden couple” had three sons during their 18-year marriage, which ended in 2006.

The end of Evert’s third marriage

In her third marriage at the time, Chris Evert celebrates her then-husband Greg Norman's hole-in-one in 2009.
Golfer Greg Norman with his wife and caddie, Chris Evert, at the 2009 Masters | David Cannon/Getty Images

Evert left Mill after his friend and pro golfer Greg Norman wooed her. They wed in 2008. Evert didn’t know Norman as well as she may have liked, acknowledging that she “married [her] affair,” as the tennis icon told Elle. They separated after just 15 months of marriage. Their divorce was finalized near the end of 2009.

This third split hit Evert hard because of the mistakes she felt she made and the pain she caused Mill. She described Mill as her “husband and best friend and soul mate.” Evert says she “was a little bit of a mess” as her conscience kicked in. It brought her to “the brink of despair,” according to Elle. Evert spent a lot of time crying and reading self-help books.

The tennis legend’s mental state improved when she increased her exercise routine, practiced yoga, and went to therapy. Counseling helped Evert realize she always sought attention and approval, which was why she felt she always needed to be in a relationship. Evert went so far as to call herself “a relationship addict.”

Chris Evert’s spouse now?


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Evert remains heavily involved in the tennis world. She co-owns the Evert Tennis Academy with her brother and coaches a high school tennis team. In addition to contributing to Tennis magazine, the 67-year-old serves as a TV analyst for tournaments and produces her own line of tennis and athletic apparel.

Evert may still be involved in tennis, but one thing has changed for the self-professed relationship addict: She is not in a relationship. Evert hasn’t given up on love. However, she doesn’t have the same need for it that she did when she was younger.

Evert says if there’s a next time, she’ll “have a more independent relationship.” It’s hard for her as a strong woman, not wanting to be dominated but also not wanting to walk all over a partner. “I think it’ll come when I’m not looking for it; when I’m not trying so hard,” she told Elle.