Former professional tennis player Pam Shriver revealed that she “had an inappropriate and damaging relationship” with her late coach.
In a first-person account published Wednesday by British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’, Shriver said she began the relationship when she was 17 and he was 50.
Candy died in 2020.
This is not an easy story for me to tell, but it is time.
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) April 20, 2022
“I still have conflicted feelings about Don. Yes, he and I became involved in a long and inappropriate affair,” she wrote about the affair, which went on for five years.
“Yes, he was cheating on his wife. But there was a lot about him that was honest and authentic. And I loved him.
“Even so, he was the grown-up here. He should have been the trustworthy adult.”
Shriver, who is now 59, turned pro in 1979, a year after she made it to the US Open singles final at age 16. She beat Martina Navratilova in the semi-finals before losing the title match to Chris Evert.
The player from Maryland later teamed up with Navratilova to win 21 Grand Slam trophies in women’s doubles.
In Wednesday’s piece, Shriver wrote her “main motivation is to let people know this still goes on a lot.”
“I believe abusive coaching relationships are alarmingly common in sport as a whole,” said Shriver.
“My particular expertise, though, is in tennis, where I have witnessed dozens of instances in my four-and-a-bit decades as a player and commentator.
“Every time I hear about a player who is dating their coach, or I see a male physio working on a female body in the gym, it sets my alarm bells ringing.”
Shriver currently works as an expert commentator for ESPN and BBC.