“Unmatched,” a new documentary on ESPN, examines the off-court friendship and on-court rivalry between tennis champs Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. They played one another more than 80 times – often for the big prizes on grass or clay. The media fed on the competitive nature of their game and helped manufacture their public images – America’s blonde sweetheart vs. Czechoslovakia’s bratty defector.
The hour-long film offers a more sophisticated and sensitive profile of the true pals, along with a lot of chuckles. Of the first time she saw the 16-year-old Navratilova, Evert says, “I remember that she was fat. She was very emotional on the court, whining if she didn’t feel she was playing well. But I remember thinking, if she loses weight, we’re all in trouble.”
She lost weight.