Tennis goddess graces the valley |

Tennis goddess graces the valley

Andrew Harley
Vail Daily/Ken LawdermilkChris Evert serves a ball during a drill at the Colorado Classic Tennis Clinic Sunday at Sonnelalp Resort. Evert was teaching skills at the tennis clinic, which benefits the Steadman Hawkins Clinic.

A priceless opportunity passed by all but about 30 tennis players in the world Sunday at the Sonnenalp Golf Club at Singletree.

Chris Evert, winner of 18 Grand Slam titles and one the most prolific tennis players ever, gave a free clinic as part of the Steadman Hawkins Colorado Classic.

Evert, her sister and a couple other pros coached and served verbal critiques, while the amateurs listened intently.

“For me, she pretty much brought back the fundamentals of the game,” said Roger Dadlani, who played, years ago, in high school. “Chris and her sister are some of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time. They’re very patient and helpful.”

Currently, Evert spends her summers in Aspen with her husband and three children.

“I keep busy with motherly duties,” said Evert.

The morning was filled with forehand, backhand, service and net play. The the players broke for lunch, and then it was back to the clay courts for pro-am games.

Everyone at the clinic got their chance to play on the same court as Evert. Whether they received ball feeds form her for forehand/backhand drills, or if they stood on the receiving end of a live serve from the player who was ranked No. 1 in the world for seven years, with 7 French Open championships, 6 U.S. Open wins, 3 Wimbledon crowns and 2 Australian Open victories under her belt, everyone seemed to have improved by the end of the day.

“The doctors (Steadman and Hawkins) are famous for they’re research,” said Evert. “They’re both of the greatest surgeons in the world; more advanced in their field than anybody else.”

Evert’s husband, a former member of the United States Ski Team, has had nine knee surgeries.

“They’ve helped so many athletes to live normal lives again,” said Evert. “My husband and I really believe in their work.”

Andrew Harley is the sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 608 or by e-mail at

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