Jean Borotra CQS Sportsmanship Award

This award is made periodically to a player who has shown throughout his or her playing career the outstanding standard of sportsmanship commensurate with the objects of the International Clubs. 

The relevant objective of the ICs is to “develop, encourage and maintain the highest standards of sportsmanship and understanding among players of all nations and among young players in particular.”

2001 winner Chris Evert

2001 winner Chris Evert

Citation for CHRIS EVERT 

As a player she set records that may never be equalled. As a woman she set an example that may never be matched. Chris Evert is special - a champion in every sense of the word who has never lost the common touch. 

Chris herself would be the first to acknowledge the part her family has played in her success. Brought up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she was coached by her father Jimmy, accompanied on the road by her mother Colette and kept on an even keel by her three siblings, one of whom -Jeanne - became a fellow member of the Wightman Cup team that defeated Great Britain in 1973, itself a record for sisters. 

It was in 1970 that Chris first announced herself to the world. Aged 15, and still a schoolgirl, she beat the mighty Margaret Court 7-6 7-6 in a small tournament in North Carolina. To put that result in perspective, Australia's world No 1 would go on to complete the Grand Slam that year, only the second woman ever to do so. 

One year later, Chris swept through to the semi-finals of the US Open unseeded, a slip of a girl whose relentless consistency and unerring accuracy - single-handed on the forehand, double-handed on the backhand - plus an iron-willed concentration, left her older opponents in despair. During the next 12 years she would reach the semi-finals or better in 33 more consecutive Grand Slams - a record that will surely never be equalled - and altogether would amass a total of 18 singles titles at the four Grand Slams. 

Seven of those titles came at Roland Garros - another record - where the clay courts allowed her to give perfect expression to those qualities that I have already described - consistency, accuracy and concentration. The "Ice Maiden", cool under pressure, ruthless in the pursuit of perfection was a formidable adversary - as the 125 opponents who consecutively fell to her racket on clay between August 1973 and May 1979 can testify - yes, another of those amazing Evert records! 

Understandably, her country was immensely proud of her. Apart from her six US Open titles, three on clay at Forest Hills, three on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows - Chris won all but two of her 42 singles matches in Fed Cup competition and was unbeaten in 26 Wightman Cup matches for the United States. 

Yet, despite a burning ambition to excel and a fiercely competitive nature, Chris never allowed those qualities to override her inborn sense of fair play. Never did the mask of decency slip. Both in victory and defeat the smiling "Ice Maiden" was seen to have a warm heart and a compassion for beaten opponents. Towards the end of her career, Chris made the following statement: 

All of us associated with the International Clubs around the world - and we now number 34 Clubs and some 4000 players - are equally proud that Chris is here today to accept the Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Trophy, awarded from time to time to a player whose career has exemplified the true spirit of sportsmanship which is the central theme of all our activities. I can think of no-one, man or woman who more completely matches those ideals. Ladies and Gentlemen, Chris Evert. 
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