Teenage Victory Over Court
By the time Evert was a teenager, she competed in a number of junior tournaments in singles as well as doubles and did well. At the age of fifteen, Evert defeated arguably the best female tennis player at the time, the number one ranked Margaret Smith Court (who had just completed the Grand Slam), during a ladies' clay court tournament in North Carolina, the Carolinas, in the semifinals. Evert lost to Nancy Richey in the finals.
When Evert was sixteen, she began playing on the women's tennis circuit as an amateur. Though tennis was her focus, she continued to attend high school at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from which she later graduated. She had no social life outside of school and tennis. Before she played in the U.S. Open in 1971, she won forty-six straight singles titles. Her first victory came in the Virginia Slims Master's Tournament in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1972. Evert would later win the tournament as a professional in 1973, 1975, and 1977.