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Debbie Spence Nasim (born August 9, 1967) is a former professional tennis player from the United States.

Debbie Spence
Full nameDebbie Spence Nasim
Country (sports) United States
Born (1967-08-07) August 7, 1967 (age 52)
Prize money$128,615
Career record59–54
Career titles1 WTA
Highest rankingNo. 35 (January 6, 1986)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open4R (1985)
Wimbledon1R (1986, 1987)
US Open2R (1984)
Career record3–10
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open1R (1985)
US Open1R (1984)


Spence grew up in Cerritos, a city in Los Angeles County. She is one of three daughters of Tom and Francine Spence. Her father worked as a school teacher at a local junior high school and also taught tennis.[1]

Junior careerEdit

With her father as coach, she began playing tennis competitively at the age of eight.[2]

In her early years she was followed around the tour by author Karen Stabiner, who wrote a book called "Courting Fame", an at times critical portrayal of the promising junior, which attracted attention towards a young Spence.[3]

She won the 1983 Orange Bowl competition and was runner-up to Pascale Paradis in the girls' singles at the 1983 French Open.[4]

At the age of 16, as the top-ranked amateur in the country at under-18 level, she made the decision to quit high school in order to prepare herself for a career in professional tennis.[1]

Professional tennisEdit

Spence began competing professionally in 1984 and made her grand slam debut at the 1984 US Open, where she beat Alycia Moulton in the first round, then took ninth seed Lisa Bonder to three sets in a second round loss.[5] Only a month after she turned professional, aged 17, she won the 1984 Ginny of San Diego, over Betsy Nagelsen in the final. She ended her first year on tour with a world ranking of 47.

In 1985 she was a semi-finalist at the Ginny Championships in Florida and made it to the quarter-finals of a further four WTA tournaments, as well as the fourth round of the 1985 French Open.[6]

At the beginning of the 1986 season she was ranked a career best 35 in the world. By 1987 however she had dropped out of the top 100 and she retired from professional tennis after the 1987 US Open, aged 20.[2]

Life after tennisEdit

Now known by her married name Nasim, she works as a realtor in Carlsbad, California.[7]

WTA Tour finalsEdit

Singles (1-0)Edit

Result    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Win September, 1984 San Diego, U.S. Ginny Circuit Hard   Betsy Nagelsen 6–3, 6–7, 6–4


  1. ^ a b Gallagher, Maria (April 13, 1986). "Little Match Girl". New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b McConnell, Jerry (February 26, 1989). "Tennis Is a Great Living But Spence Found Out It Can Be Tiresome, Too". The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Howard-Cooper, Scott (August 12, 1986). "Debbie Spence Finds Fame Is Costly". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "ITF Tennis - Juniors - Player Profile - Spence-Nasim, Debbie (USA)". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  5. ^ Stabiner, Karen (February 2, 1986). "A Courtship with Fame (book excerpt from "Courting Fame")". New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Associated Press (June 2, 1985). "Connors Threatens to Pull Out, Then Wins". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Lau, Maya (November 8, 2012). "Past Forward: What Happens to Prodigies When They Grow Up?". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.

External linksEdit