Wednesday 16 October 2019

Connors reveals Evert's abortion put end to love match

Philip Sherwell New York

They were the golden couple of tennis, champions on the court and youthful sweethearts off it. But shortly before Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert were scheduled to tie the knot in the mid-1970s, the wedding was called off.

Neither American discussed what went wrong, leaving tennis fans mystified for nearly 40 years. But Connors has now made a stunning revelation about the demise of the love affair between the leading players in his new memoir.

He has indicated that his fiancée decided to have an abortion after he made her pregnant. He was 22 at the time, with a volatile bad boy reputation, while she was 19, the all-American girl from a devout Catholic family.

"An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made," he writes in 'The Outsider'.

"Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the 'issue'. I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.

"Chrissie, however, had already made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future," he writes. "She asked me to handle the details."

He adds that he told her: "Well, thanks for letting me know. Since I don't have any say in the matter, I guess I am just here to help."

Their romance had captured the world's imagination. When they both won the Wimbledon singles championships in 1974, the media named their achievement the "Love Double".

Connors claims Evert's decision helped to end their relationship. "It was a horrible feeling, but I knew it was over," he writes. "Getting married wasn't going to be good for either of us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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