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'I've Lived A Charmed Life'
Sally Jenkins
May 25, 1992
But not all has been easy for Chris Evert, who in a candid interview, discusses her fears and insecurities, her image, Martina and the price she paid to become a champion
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May 25, 1992

'i've Lived A Charmed Life'

But not all has been easy for Chris Evert, who in a candid interview, discusses her fears and insecurities, her image, Martina and the price she paid to become a champion

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SI: How friendly are you with Martina now?

CE: There are no more petty jealousies or ill feelings, because I've retired. We spent a lot of emotional Sundays in locker rooms, and whether I won or she won, the other one comforted the other. So, emotionally, there's a lot of caring between us. If she called me and wanted me to do something, I'd do it in a minute, and if I called her, I know I could depend on her. Now that I've had a baby we can have an even stronger bond, because I can share that part of my life with her. She loves kids, and she's interested in them. We also live in the same place [Aspen], so we can do more things together. The pressure's off. We're not threatening to each other anymore.

SI: Do you think you're a good mother?

CE: I don't know if I'm a good mother, because Alex is only seven months old. Ask me when he's 18 and not in jail. But I feel that I'm a loving mother, and I give him a lot of attention.

SI: Do you think your parents did it right?

CE: I was lucky. My parents did it right in that era. They did it right to produce a champion. I don't know if they did it right to develop a person. I feel like I'm fine now, but during that time of playing junior tournaments. I wasn't allowed to do a lot of things. I still wonder if my tennis would have been kept back if I had been able to be more sociable with kids my age and go out on dates and to parties and stuff. I think my parents felt those things would have held me back.

SI: Did you talk to them about those things?

CE: It was hard as a child because they were the boss. It's taken years and years to...I mean, we've talked about how they raised me until we're blue in the face now. My parents have mellowed a lot. And it didn't hurt me for life. I made up for it, let's put it that way. Once I was on my own, I made up for it. As far as developing as a person, tennis can inhibit that. It can restrict anybody.

SI: What will you do differently with Alex?

CE: Again, I could write a book on being brought up. I think one thing I'm going to do differently—and it's only one thing because in everything else my parents were wonderful—is listen a little bit better than they listened. They didn't have time. When you're running a household of five kids, you don't have a lot of time to chitchat. You know, it was, "Go to bed." And you'd say, "Can you just listen to my side?" "Go to bed." But I'll listen to him even if he's live years old, and if he wants to do something, I'll talk to him about it.

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