Tennis legend Chris Evert has announced that her ovarian cancer has returned.
The 18-time grand slam champion released a statement saying she had started another round of chemotherapy.
The 68-year-old American was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2021 after undergoing a preventive hysterectomy.
She was cleared in January this year and told there was a 90% chance the cancer would not return.
But in a statement released through ESPN, for whom she works as a pundit, Evert said: “I wanted to give you all an update. My cancer is back.
“Although it’s a diagnosis I never wanted to hear, I feel lucky once again that it was caught early.
“Based on a PET CT scan, I underwent another robotic surgery last week. Doctors found cancer cells in the same pelvic region.
“All the cells were removed and I have started another round of chemotherapy.”
Evert said she didn’t want to work on Australian Open while she continues treatment.
However, she said she would be “ready for the rest of the grand slam season”.
“I encourage everyone to know your family history and speak up for yourself,” she added.
“Early detection saves lives. Be thankful for your health this holiday season.”
Evert’s sister, Jeanne Evert Dubin, died of ovarian cancer in 2020 at the age of 62.
A test later showed that Evert had a pathogenic variant of the BRCA1 gene, and after discussions with her doctor, she had a hysterectomy in early December – after which the cancer was discovered.
She shared in a first-person piece for ESPN earlier this year that a “genetic roadmap” had helped her detect her cancer early.
Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles titles during her career, reached number one in the WTA rankings and was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1995.
Alongside her greatest rival, Martina Navratilova, she dominated women’s tennis for much of the 1970s and 1980s.
Although the pair were fierce rivals on the court, Navratilova has previously credited Evert with supporting her when she was diagnosed with throat and breast cancer in 2022.