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

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In the annals of sports, no individual rivalry matches the intensity, longevity, and emotional resonance of the one between two extraordinary women: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Over sixteen years, Evert and Navratilova met on the tennis court a record eighty times—sixty times in finals. At their first match in Akron, Ohio, in 1973, Chris was an eighteen-year-old s
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 16th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Kirsti
Surprising, funny, sad, compulsively readable. When you read the words "I lived most of my life in fear," you'd think that Martina Navratilova said them, right? After all, she was a closeted lesbian who defected from a Communist country. Nope, Chris Evert said them. Most people who knew Navratilova thought she wasn't afraid enough.

Some other quotes from this remarkable book:

"I'm still tired from the '70s." --Billie Jean King, explaining why she likes to sleep late

"People always thought I was ang
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David
May 07, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I recently saw the Evert/Navratilova "30 for 30" documentary by ESPN and really enjoyed that as well. Having seen it, though, I almost opted to skip this book. After all, I figured I heard their story through the doc. But, I'm glad I did read it. Of course, it is much deeper and has much more info that a 60 minute television show could. You get to hear from many other players including Billie Jean King, who has a more prominent role in the book then most of the others. And it is entert ...more
Rachel C.
I'm a pretty big tennis fan now, but I wasn't born yet / didn't follow tennis for the bulk of the time period this book focuses on. I did have the experience of seeing Martina Navratilova at the US Open, playing doubles with Bob Bryan. She was almost fifty (!) at the time, and they won the title. I remember thinking, "Boy, she must really love tennis." (By comparison, Andre Agassi was considered an old man when he retired at 36.)

This book covers a lot of ground, everything from the biographical
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Joyce
Apr 13, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports-book-club
Howard is a fine writer. As someone with little interest in tennis, I still found it a page-turner. These two women are amazing, and I believe, as Howard certainly does, that they made each other better, elevating the sport at the same time. Howard includes the earliest history of the women's movement and women in sport, including a fine piece on Billie Jean King. Men and women in our group rated this a 9 out 10 for a sports book, and would highly recommend it to all ages for its recognition of ...more
mstan
I've always enjoyed watching tennis. My parents introduced me to this genteel sport when I was a kid, and I have fond memories of graceful athletes lobbing balls over a net.

Martina Navaratilova and Chris Evert were the biggest female tennis stars when I first became conscious of tennis, but I never really knew them well (I was just 8 or 9 I think!). This book is more a biography of both women than it is an account of their rivalry. It highlights some interesting facts about athleticism and the p
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Jonathan
Oct 20, 2010 Jonathan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommend by Sports Illustrated's tennis scribe, a really good sports author in his own right (Venus Envy, Strokes of Genius, and the forthcoming Sportscasting, sort of Freakonomics for sports). It's a captivating story that may not even require much, as these two played such inspired tennis against each other. What an era! Navratilova, the bigger, stronger, Czech immigrant, a lesbian whose MO was to crash the net on court, and Evert, the fragile looking but mentally steely America's sweetheart ...more
risha
Jul 07, 2014 risha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
brilliant. highly, highly recommended.
Heather
May 21, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to anyone curious about trailblazing women athletes. It was amazing to me that as recently as the 1970s that strong women athletes were considered by many to be "unnatural". The book also touched on the sad reality that we place famous folks in a labeled box, so we believe that we can judge them or love them based on information fed to us by the media. All in all pretty interesting stuff.
Terri
Jan 12, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
Having watched most of their televised matches between 1973 and 1988, I was delighted to run across this copy about the 'rivalry' between Chris Evert and Martina Navratrilova at my local Goodwill store. I admired both women -- Chris for her quiet demeanor and firm control from the baseline, and Martina for her passion and athleticism. A well-written tribute to two of my favorite women in sports.
Diana
Apr 06, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it
If you've every wondered what it takes to be an elite athlete, here are two views--the one who works her tail off and the one with talent. Both can be successful. Plus, lots of eye-opening details about the efforts of Billie Jean King and her friends to make women's tennis respected. The Williams sisters really DO have a lot to be thankful to her for.
Craig
Jun 27, 2008 Craig rated it really liked it
This book is fun for the juicy details about the Woman's tour in the 70s. I can't get the image of Chris and Martina going on a double date with Desi Arnaz Jr. and Dino Martin. I just wish they had pictures from the night.
Emily
May 25, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it
A really fantastic book about two amazing female athletes and the background to Title IX. I grew up watching these matches and reading about the players now, years later, is fascinating. Highly recommended.
Briley
Feb 23, 2013 Briley rated it it was amazing
This book taught me so much about diversity, commonalities and succeeding when it didn't seem possible. I also learned about positive competitiveness and the will to never give up or improve.
Donald
Jan 01, 2011 Donald rated it it was amazing
As a life-long fan of Chris Evert, I was extremely pleased with this joint biography of her and Martina Navratilova. Alternating chapters between Chris and Martina. Well-done.
Taro Yamashita
Dec 30, 2008 Taro Yamashita rated it it was amazing
Great biographical information about the epic on-court battle and off-court friendship between tennis superstars Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
Amanda Heffelfinger
Mar 13, 2013 Amanda Heffelfinger rated it liked it
A must read for fans of female sports stories. Great background on Billy Jean King's struggle getting pay equity and recognition for women's tennis.
Kay Haas
I learned I'm not a very good tennis player.
Karena
Jul 05, 2012 Karena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports, tennis
Loaned to George.
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