Shining a spotlight on celebrities and athletes who love to travel. Created and developed by Stacy Steponate Greenberg.
It is, perhaps, the most overused word in our modern vernacular. Which is a shame, because the more it is used, the less it means. The word is “Legend.” And it should be saved for people like Chris Evert. With hard work and determination, Evert’s career took off at a young age as she won the 16-and-under national championship, and there was no stopping her from there. In all, Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles championships and was the year-ending World No. 1 singles player seven times. She is, quite simply, one of the greatest champions our country has ever produced, in any sport. Today, Chris Evert works as a commentator for the game she loves and knows so well, and she has a new line of activewear on the market as well. The Overhead Compartment was beyond thrilled to volley a few questions her way to learn about the extraordinary life and career of Chris Evert.
Check out the latest Chrissie By Tail at chrissiebytail.com
The Overhead Compartment begins now….
OC: If you added it all up, how many years have you spent on the road to play, watch and commentate on the sport of tennis?
CE: 18 full years with the WTA Tour as a player. About a decade as a commentator for NBC and ESPN as a Grand Slam commentator.
OC: How has the actual travel changed since you started?
CE: Well, when I first traveled to Wimbledon in 1972, I traveled coach. I was 17 and didn’t have a coach or entourage with me. Top players today have teams of six in tow. People smoked on planes then, too. Imagine an athlete seated next to a smoker for six hours!
OC: Who was your role model when you were a girl?
CE: My Dad was the biggest influence. He was my coach, mentor and father.
OC: The recent death of Pat Summitt has a lot of people talking about the strides women have made in sports. How have you seen things change?
CE: 1. More equality in pay. 2. When I was starting, women weren’t admired as athletes. There has been a great increase in respect for female athletes and an appreciation for the image of a strong, healthy woman. 3. There is greater infrastructure for women’s sports be it leagues, tours, professional teams.
OC: You recently collaborated with Tail activewear on a new tennis and active line called Chrissie by Tail. What inspired you to help create a line of tennis and active wear?
CE: Too many clothing tennis lines were geared towards 21 year old models. The fits were wrong. I wanted a line that would flatter the moms, housewives, club players. The everyday woman. All shapes and sizes.
OC: Do you have a favorite piece?
CE: The Belaire line. It’s black and light blue and on line now at chrissiebytail.com
OC: You were, for a long time, the most famous female athlete in the world. What was the best part of that?
CE: The confidence it gave me. Knowing that I had reached my goals because without success on the court, I would not be famous off it. So much hard work went into my success that I had and still have great pride in my work.
OC: In your prime, how would you have fared against Serena Williams?
CE: Apples to oranges. Different equipment, technology, training. The physicality in all sports has changed and cannot be compared.
So in a nut shell, I’d be happy with a few games!
OC: How is your relationship with Martina Navratilova today?
CE: Better than ever. There is a respect and history with us that we share with nobody else. And we aren’t competing anymore, so now we share a glass of wine! She has my back and I will always have hers.
OC: Martina introduced you to Aspen. What does Aspen mean to you?
CE: I met my former husband, and the father of my three children, Andy Mill, there. I take a house and still spend summers there with family. I love the naturally healthy environment and the activities such as hiking and rock climbing.
OC: I’m told you travel with a LOT of shoes. Any great packing tips?
CE: I travel with too many pairs of Prada shoes. I bring 12 pair and use 3 but I am always prepared! I pack 14 dresses for a two week tournament. I leave them on hangers and zip them into Saks Fifth Avenue garment bags. Unzip, hang and unpacking is complete in minutes. Also, music. I always download new songs for my daily treadmill workouts.
OC: Complete the following sentence: I never leave home without:
CE: A framed picture of my three boys.
And a bonus question that you may choose to ignore:
OC: On your list of great memories, where does being struck in the butt by a ball my husband hit rank?
CE: Barely felt it. No power!
Chris Evert, please use care upon departure as items may have shifted in The Overhead Compartment during our journey. Thanks for choosing us for your travel tips! Have a wonderful day!