Jeanne Evert Dubin, a former world-ranked professional tennis player and a younger sister of the 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert, died on Thursday. She was 62.
The cause was ovarian cancer, according to an obituary posted online by Lorne & Sons Funeral Home in Delray Beach, Fla., which is handling her funeral arrangements.
One of five tennis-playing children raised by the teaching pro Jimmy Evert and his wife, Colette Evert, Jeanne had a standout junior career in which she became the nation’s top-ranked player in her age group. She turned pro in 1973 at age 15, after beating the established stars Rosie Casals and the top-ranked Margaret Court.
She was the youngest player that year to represent her country in the Wightman Cup, an annual competition between British and American players that was discontinued in 1989. And she didn’t lose a match in helping a United States team reach the Fed Cup final in 1974.
Early in Evert Dubin’s career, tennis fans speculated that her talent could eclipse that of her sister Chris, but it was not to be. Sportswriters began referring to her as the “other Evert.”
“I guess people expect me to be something I’m not,” Evert Dubin was quoted as saying in The New York Times in 1976. “They feel I let them down. They said I was going to be a great tennis player. At least No. 2.”
Evert Dubin reached a career-high 28th in the world in 1978, the year she retired from competition after meeting her husband-to-be, Brahm Dubin, at a tournament in Montreal. Her greatest success on the court came when she teamed with her sister in doubles for two years; they were ranked as high as No. 4 in the United States.
Chris Evert was one of the most dominant tennis players in the history of the sport, ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the world among female players from 1975 to 1986 in a Hall of Fame career.
“Jeanne was selfless, caring and kind,” Chris Evert was quoted as saying in the funeral home’s obituary. “As a sister, I admired her stellar character and her unwavering devotion to her loved ones.”
Jeanne Evert Dubin was born on Oct. 5, 1957, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School there before leaving to become a professional tennis player.
Evert married Dubin in 1979; he died in 2006. They lived in Delray Beach, where she coached for many years at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.
If Evert Dubin paled in comparison professionally to Chris Evert, she did not hold it against her sister.
“Sure, there’s pressure being Chris’s sister,” she told The Times. “But the good overshadows it. I’d hate to blame my failure on Chris. Whatever I am, I did it to myself.”
In addition to her sister Chris, she is survived by another sister, Clare Evert-Shane; two brothers, Drew and John; her mother; her partner, Tower Krauss; a son, Eric; a daughter, Catie Dubin; and four grandchildren.
The New York Times contributed reporting.
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