"I've never tried drugs and I have no desire to" - When a teenage Chris Evert opened up about turning down 'drug pushers' at school

Chris Evert once opened up about turning down drug pushers
Chris Evert once opened up about turning down drug pushers

Chris Evert once opened up about her strong aversion to trying any drugs despite the prevalence of drug peddlers at her school. Even as a 17-year-old, the American was resolute in her belief about the dangers of drugs and cigarettes.

Evert burst onto the professional tennis scene in spectacular fashion as a teenager, quickly establishing herself as a formidable opponent against the well-established stars of the sport.

At just 17 years old in 1972, she clinched four tour-level titles, triumphing over the likes of Billie Jean King and Evonne Goolagong Cawley in blockbuster title clashes.

That year, the Evert family gave a candid interview to The New York Times, shedding light on their shared tennis ambitions and the young prodigy's meteoric rise in the sport.

When asked if any of their children had ever taken drugs before a match, their father Jimmy hilariously confessed that Chris Evert had once taken medicine to treat diarrhoea before an important tournament.

"Well, Chrissie did take paregoric for diarrhea at a pressure tournament once," Jimmy said.

Jeanne quickly jumped to her sister's defense, humorously chiding their father for "embarrassing" her.

"Oh, dad, you don't have to embarrass her," Jeanne said.

Meanwhile, Chris Evert emphasized her aversion to drugs, revealing that although there were "pushers" in her school, she was strong enough to turn down their offers.

The American also expressed her distaste for cigarettes, sharing that she took solace in her healthy lungs when she was around people who smoked.

"I've never tried them (drugs) and I have no desire to. There are pushers in every school, but if you're a strong person you can turn them down. When I see people walking around who just smoke regular cigarettes, feel like I'm healthy and they have all that smoke in their lungs," she said.

Chris Evert: "I just don't like it when my parents drink, it bothers me"

Chris Evert
Chris Evert

In addition to her anti-drug and anti-cigarette sentiments, Chris Evert revealed that it "bothers" her when her parents drank alcohol. She also disclosed her discomfort with seeing her father's pill bottles in the medicine cabinet.

"I just don't like it when my parents drink. It bothers me. I don't think it looks nice," she said.

Her father, however, defended his medication use. He explained that he only takes a sedative and medicine for high blood pressure due to the high stress of his job as a professional tennis coach.

"But I only take Librium [a tranquilizer] and something for my high blood pressure. There's nothing wrong with that," he said.
“There is a certain amount of strain to my job. I work, seven days a week, and it's not easy watching over 20 courts, trying to keep everybody happy, answering the telephone, and talking to reporters and friends who call and want the kids to play exhibitions," he added.

Under the tutelage of her father and with her mother's support, Chris Evert went on to become one of the greatest players in history, winning 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

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Edited by Urvi Mehra
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