1 of 5 | Two years after an initial diagnosis, tennis legend Chris Evert has had a recurrence of cancer and will not be a part of broadcaster ESPN’s upcoming 2024 Australian Open in January. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Two years after an initial diagnosis, tennis legend Chris Evert has had a recurrence of cancer and will not be a part of broadcaster ESPN's upcoming 2024 Australian Open in January.
Evert and the network confirmed the news in a joint statement Friday.
"Since I was first diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I've been very open about my experience. I wanted to give all of you an update. My cancer is back," Evert wrote.
"While this is a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I once again feel fortunate that it was caught early."
Evert, who turns 69 on Dec. 21, continued an openness about her fight with cancer first adopted upon her initial diagnosis of early stage of ovarian cancer in 2021. She previously shared a one-year update on her progress with her Instagram followers.
She completed her sixth and final round of chemotherapy treatments for that diagnosis in May 2022.
"Based on a PET CT scan, I underwent another robotic surgery this past week. Doctors found cancer cells in the same pelvic region. All cells were removed, and I have begun another round of chemotherapy," Evert said her statement Friday.
"I will be unable to join my colleagues when ESPN makes its return to Melbourne for the Australian Open next month. But I'll be ready for the rest of the Grand Slam season! I encourage everyone to know your family history and advocate for yourself. Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season."
Evert's younger sister Jeanne Evert Dubin died from ovarian cancer in 2020 at the age of 62. Dubin had also been a professional tennis player.
Evert is one of the sport's all-time greats. The former world No.1 tennis player and was the first female athlete to host Saturday Night Live when she took to the stage of studio 8H in 1989. Six years later, she became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the fourth player to be elected unanimously.
She is also the first female athlete to collect $1 million in prize money, capturing 157 singles titles over a career where she held the top ranking between 1974 and 1978, and again from 1980 through 1981.
Evert joined ESPN as a broadcaster in 2011 and has featured prominently in the network's tennis coverage.
The Australian Open runs between Jan 14, and Jan 28 in Melbourne.