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Rivals

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  24 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.
Oversixteen 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 st
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ebook, 304 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published January 16th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Jan 14, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Joyce
Apr 13, 2008 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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Lynne
May 15, 2016 Lynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, having spent time living through this famous dueling pairs matches. What I especially liked about the book was the way it illustrated that rivals could be friends. They spent time in each other's homes and lived through their romantic trials and successes. These two women were class acts with courteous behavior (especially on the part of Chris Evert) on the court and off. What a story about civility and mutual support. I wish we had more examples of this today.
Craig
Jun 18, 2008 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Briley
Feb 23, 2013 Briley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Susan
May 04, 2017 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was just talking with one of my regular customers at work about tennis biographies when I remembered this one.
Growing up in the 70's & 80's, my favourite player was Chrissie Evert. Martina was alright, but Chrissie was the one for me! All those classic Grand Slam matches, usually finals or semi-finals, between the two, when this young Aussie fan would stay up late into the night hoping for an Evert victory. I was never too disappointed when Martina won because they both knew how to put on
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Katie
Mar 06, 2016 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Most authors struggle to pack the professional, public, and private threads of one person's life into one book in a manner that is both complete and flows on at least a bit of literary narrative. Howard manages to weave together these threads in an extremely readable manner not just for Evert and Navratilova, but she also includes large swaths of Billie Jean King's professional and public life as well as the origin story of the Women's Tennis Association and some critical milestones of civil rig ...more
Alisa
Jan 15, 2017 Alisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-rule, sports
Great book! Goes beyond their epic sports rivalry and personal friendship, but also exposes the development of women's professional tennis at the forefront of challenging stereotypes about women athletes and women's pro sports generally. Both of these extraordinary women led lives very different from each other, and each had distinct challenges which plagued them during the course of their careers. Their on-court duels drove each of them behind the scenes, and provided the sport spectator wth me ...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
Heather
Jul 26, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
J.C.
May 25, 2016 J.C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
3 1/2 stars. 4 stars for the story. 3 stars for delivery. It was missing something but I don't really have any idea what that missing thing is. Anyway, good stuff. I'm going to kill a couple hours at work doing a deep dive on youtube looking for some of these epic contests from this amazing rivalry.

There is also an excellent 30 for 30 on the subject as well.

http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=...
Diana
Apr 06, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emily
May 25, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amanda Heffelfinger
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.
rishita
brilliant. highly, highly recommended.
Kay Haas
I learned I'm not a very good tennis player.
Karena
Jul 05, 2012 Karena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, tennis
Loaned to George.
Taro Yamashita
Dec 30, 2008 Taro Yamashita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great biographical information about the epic on-court battle and off-court friendship between tennis superstars Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
Donald
Mar 07, 2010 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Domenica Clavijo
Domenica Clavijo rated it it was amazing
Jun 13, 2013
Cheryl Cameron
Cheryl Cameron rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2014
Nick DiGuiseppe
Nick DiGuiseppe rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2010
Gaston
Gaston rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2014
Diane
Diane rated it really liked it
May 04, 2016
Jon
Jon rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2012
Neil Rutherford
Neil Rutherford rated it really liked it
Oct 09, 2015
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