Sport: I Can See How Tough I Was

At the U.S. Open, where it all began, a champion bids farewell

When Christine Marie Evert strolled onto the grass of her first U.S. Open as a ponytailed, poker-faced 16-year-old amateur from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, a European journalist cracked, "Shirley Temple is alive and well and living in Forest Hills." Eighteen years later, the tournament is no longer played on grass or at Forest Hills, and teen wonders have become as common as imitation-Evert two-fisted backhands. But Evert is still playing, and she is still, like Temple before her, America's sweetheart.

Even now she sometimes wears a ponytail, and age has only crispened that aquiline, no-nonsense visage. But...

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