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Former tennis great Jimmy Connors has a memoir coming out this month and an excerpt is drawing attention already. In one part, he implies that his mixed-doubles partner, Chris Evert, may have been pregnant with their child and had an abortion at the height of their popularity.
According to The New York Post, Connors writes in The Outsider that before their planned wedding in 1974, “An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple.”
Connors writes that, “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue.’ I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”
Connors was 22 at the time and Evert, who was raised Catholic, was 19. He suggests that she “had already made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future. She asked me to handle the details.
“Well, thanks for letting me know. Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I am just here to help.”
He blames her decision for breaking up the relationship, but he soon believed that getting married was the wrong thing to do at the time. “It was a horrible feeling, but I knew it was over. Getting married wasn’t going to be good for either of us.”
Evert has yet to respond to Connors’ claims.
According to The Telegraph, elsewhere in the book, Connors, now 60, writes about infidelities that “came that close to ruining his marriage” with former Playboy Playmate Patti McGuire. The two have been married for 34 years and have two children.
Connors won eight Grand Slam singles trophies and two Grand Slam doubles, while Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles and three doubles.
The Outsider will be released on May 14.