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Jimmy Connors: 'Youthful passion' left Chris Evert pregnant with our love child... but the timing was bad for her tennis future
New book, 'The Outsider,' offers many juicy tennis tidbits. But fans will devour the section about the sport's first couple.
By Corky Siemaszko / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4:31 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 10:37 PM
The secret that ended the star-crossed romance between tennis greats Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert has finally been revealed.
In a new memoir, Connors strongly hints that his then-19-year-old fiancée got pregnant and had an abortion shortly before they were supposed to tie the knot in 1974.
“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion and a decision had to be made as a couple,” Connors writes in “The Outsider.”
Connors said he wanted to “let nature take its course” and accept responsibility “for what was to come.” But Evert, who was raised in a devout Catholic home, made a different call.
“Chrissie . . . made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future,” wrote Connors.
Connors, who had been staying in a Los Angeles apartment with his pal, fellow short-fused legend Ilie Nastase, said he was miffed when Evert called to say she had decided the matter for both of them.
“Well, thanks for letting me know,” Connors claims he told Evert. “Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I’m just here to help.”
The romance between Connors, the reigning bad boy of tennis, and Evert, who was America’s tennis sweetheart, had played out in public and captured the country’s imagination as both won tournament after tournament.
But Connors, who was barely 22 at the time, had been harboring deep misgivings about getting married. And that phone call from Evert shook him badly.
Connors said he suggested to Evert they “take a step back and think about giving this a little more time.”
Evert was apparently thinking the same thing.
“OK, if that’s what you think,” she replied coldly, Connors recounted. “I’ve got a match tomorrow. Not a problem.”
And that, Connors claims, “was it.”
“It kept going back to the same old question: Can two number ones exist in the same family?” he wrote.
There was no immediate comment from Team Evert to Connors’ stunning revelation about the fabled romance and its demise.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/yo...#ixzz2SLyRJ0Fe