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Beatriz "Gigi" Fernández (born February 22, 1964) is a Puerto Rican professional tennis player. She turned professional in 1983 and is the first Puerto-Rican to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[1]

Gigi Fernández
Gigi Fernandez.jpg
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceConnecticut
Born (1964-02-22) February 22, 1964 (age 55)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned proNov. 1983
RetiredNov. 1997
PlaysRight-handed (one handed-backhand)
Prize money$4,646,829
Int. Tennis HoF2010 (member page)
Singles
Career record270–232
Career titles2
Highest rankingNo. 17 (October 6, 1991)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open4R (1990, 1993)
French Open2R (1986, 1987, 1991)
WimbledonSF (1994)
US OpenQF (1991, 1994)
Doubles
Career record664–184
Career titles69
Highest rankingNo. 1 (March 4, 1991)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian OpenW (1993, 1994)
French OpenW (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997)
WimbledonW (1992, 1993, 1994, 1997)
US OpenW (1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour FinalsW (1993, 1994)
Olympic GamesGold medal.svg Gold Medal (1992, 1996)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian OpenF (1995)
WimbledonF (1995)
US OpenF (1995)

Fernández won 17 Grand Slam doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals representing the United States, and reached the world No. 1 ranking in women's doubles. She reached a career-high singles ranking of 17 in 1991. Since retiring from the professional tour in 1997 at the age of 33,[2] Fernández has been a tennis coach and entrepreneur. She now shares her knowledge of doubles with tennis enthusiasts throughout the US by conducting Master Doubles with Gigi Clinics and Doubles Boot Camps.

CareerEdit

Fernández was recognized primarily as a doubles specialist during her professional career. She won a career doubles Grand Slam with 17 Grand Slam women's doubles title – six French Open, five US Open, four Wimbledon, and two Australian Open winning at least one Grand Slam title every year from 1988–1997, except 1989, and for three straight years winning three of the four Grand Slam doubles titles in the same year (1992–1994). She won 14 of her 17 Grand Slam titles partnering Natasha Zvereva; their partnership is the second most successful doubles pair in Grand Slam history after Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver in the Open era.[3]

In mixed doubles, Fernández was the runner-up in three of the four Grand Slam mixed doubles events in 1995 (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) partnering Cyril Suk. Fernández captured 68 career titles in women's doubles and reached the world No. 1 doubles ranking in 1991 and attained the No. 1 ranking again in 1993, 1994 and 1995.[4] She won a total of 69 doubles titles during her career.

Fernández represented the United States at the Olympic Games in 1992 (Barcelona) and 1996 (Atlanta). She teamed with Mary Joe Fernández (no relation) to win the women's doubles gold medal on both occasions. The first gold medal was won against the home team of Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario with the king and queen of Spain in the audience. The two medals are on Fernández's desk, and a license plate on her car states "DBL GLD".[5]

Fernández represented Puerto Rico when San Juan played host to the Pan Am Games in 1979. Just 15, Fernández won a bronze medal. In 1982 at the Central American-Caribbean Games in Cuba, she teamed with Marilda Juliá to win doubles gold and won a silver medal in the singles as well. She represented Puerto Rico at the 1984 Olympics.

Fernández was also on the United States team that won the Federation Cup in 1990.

In singles, Fernández reached as high as world No. 17. She also won two top-level titles and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1994 (ranked 99 becoming the lowest-ranked grand Slam singles semifinalist at Wimbledon[6]) and the quarterfinals at the US Open in 1991 and 1994.

Fernández retired from the professional tour in 1997, and in 1999, she was named Puerto Rico's "Female Athlete of the Century".[5]

On July 12, 2010, Fernández was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame with Zvereva.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Her father Tuto was a well-known doctor in Puerto Rico.[7] Her cousin José Ferrer was a famous Puerto Rican actor and director.[7] Fernández started playing tennis when she was seven. She studied at the prestigious Academia San José in Guaynabo. When she turned professional in 1983, she became Puerto Rico's first female professional athlete. Before turning professional, she played tennis for one season at Clemson University in 1982–83, where she was singles and doubles All-American and reached the National Collegiate Athletics Association singles final.

Since retiring from the tour, Fernández has worked as a tennis coach. She has coached players including the former world No. 1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs, Lisa Raymond, and Samantha Stosur. She coached Sam Stosur to her first Grand Slam title at the 2005 US Open with Lisa Raymond. She also coached for the Puerto Rican national team and the University of South Florida.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida in 2003 and later graduated from Rollins College's Crummer School of Business where she earned a Master of Business Administration. She is the mother of twins, Karson Xavier and Madison Jane, and the partner of retired professional golfer and former LPGA and WWE executive Jane Geddes.[8]

In 2010, Fernández started a company named Baby Goes Pro.[9] She presently resides in Connecticut, and is the Director of Adult Tennis at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, as well as Summer Director at The Long Ridge Tennis Club.[10]

Major finalsEdit

Grand Slam finalsEdit

Women's doubles: 23 (17–6)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1988 US Open (1)   Robin White   Patty Fendick
  Jill Hetherington
6–4, 6–1
Winner 1990 US Open (2)   Martina Navratilova   Jana Novotná
  Helena Suková
6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 1991 Australian Open (1)   Jana Novotná   Patty Fendick
  Mary Joe Fernández
6–7(4–7), 1–6
Winner 1991 French Open (1)   Jana Novotná   Larisa Savchenko Neiland
  Natasha Zvereva
6–4, 6–0
Runner-up 1991 Wimbledon (1)   Jana Novotná   Larisa Savchenko Neiland
  Natasha Zvereva
4–6, 6–3, 4–6
Winner 1992 French Open (2)   Natasha Zvereva   Conchita Martínez
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
6–3, 6–2
Winner 1992 Wimbledon (1)   Natasha Zvereva   Larisa Savchenko Neiland
  Jana Novotná
6–4, 6–1
Winner 1992 US Open (3)   Natasha Zvereva   Larisa Savchenko Neiland
  Jana Novotná
7–6(7–4), 6–1
Winner 1993 Australian Open (1)   Natasha Zvereva   Pam Shriver
  Elizabeth Smylie
6–4, 6–3
Winner 1993 French Open (3)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Larisa Savchenko Neiland
6–3, 7–5
Winner 1993 Wimbledon (2)   Natasha Zvereva   Larisa Savchenko Neiland
  Jana Novotná
6–4, 6–7(9–11), 6–4
Winner 1994 Australian Open (2)   Natasha Zvereva   Patty Fendick
  Meredith McGrath
6–3, 4–6, 6–4
Winner 1994 French Open (4)   Natasha Zvereva   Lindsay Davenport
  Lisa Raymond
6–2, 6–2
Winner 1994 Wimbledon (3)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
6–4, 6–1
Runner-up 1995 Australian Open (2)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
3–6, 7–6(7–3), 4–6
Winner 1995 French Open (5)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
6–7(6–8), 6–4, 7–5
Runner-up 1995 Wimbledon (2)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
7–5, 5–7, 4–6
Winner 1995 US Open (4)   Natasha Zvereva   Brenda Schultz-McCarthy
  Rennae Stubbs
7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 1996 French Open   Natasha Zvereva   Lindsay Davenport
  Mary Joe Fernández
2–6, 1–6
Winner 1996 US Open (5)   Natasha Zvereva   Jana Novotná
  Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
1–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 1997 French Open (6)   Natasha Zvereva   Mary Joe Fernández
  Lisa Raymond
6–2, 6–3
Winner 1997 Wimbledon (4)   Natasha Zvereva   Nicole Arendt
  Manon Bollegraf
7–6(7–4), 6–4
Runner-up 1997 US Open   Natasha Zvereva   Lindsay Davenport
  Jana Novotná
3–6, 4–6

Mixed doubles: 3 (0–3)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1995 Australian Open   Cyril Suk   Natasha Zvereva
  Rick Leach
6–7(4–7), 7–6(7–3), 4–6
Runner-up 1995 Wimbledon   Cyril Suk   Martina Navratilova
  Jonathan Stark
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 1995 US Open   Cyril Suk   Meredith McGrath
  Matt Lucena
4–6, 4–6

Olympic finalsEdit

Doubles: 2 (2 gold medals)Edit

Outcome Year Championship Partner Opponents Score
Gold 1992 Barcelona   Mary Joe Fernández   Conchita Martínez
  Arantxa Sánchez
7–5, 2–6, 6–2
Gold 1996 Atlanta   Mary Joe Fernández   Jana Novotná
  Helena Suková
7–6(8–6), 6–4

WTA Tour titles (71)Edit

Singles (2)Edit

No. Date Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
1. October 26, 1986 Singapore V Hard (i)   Mercedes Paz 6–4, 2–6, 6–4
2. April 18, 1991 Albuquerque IV Hard   Julie Halard-Decugis 6–0, 6–2

Doubles (69)Edit

Doubles performance timelineEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
Tournament 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 1R 1R 2R NH 2R A A SF F QF W W F QF SF 2 / 12 38–10
French Open A A A A QF A 2R A W W W W W F W 6 / 9 45–3
Wimbledon A 3R A 3R 3R QF QF QF F W W W F SF W 4 / 13 53–9
US Open A 2R QF QF 3R W QF W 3R W SF SF W W F 5 / 14 57–9
Win–Loss 0–1 3–3 4–2 5–2 8–4 9–1 7–3 13–2 18–3 21–1 22–1 22–1 22–2 18–3 21–2 17 / 48 193–31
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics NH A Not Held A Not Held G Not Held G NH 2 / 2 9–0
Year-end championships
Tour Championships A A A QF A QF QF A F SF W W F SF QF 2 / 10 13–8
Category 5 & Tier I tournaments
Washington No Levels A SF Tier II Not Held 0 / 1 2–1
Tokyo NH No Levels Category 4 Tier II SF A W W F 2 / 4 13–2
Boca Raton NH No Levels A QF T II QF A Tier II Not Held 0 / 2 3–2
Indian Wells Not Held C 4 Tier II A SF 0 / 1 2–1
Miami NH No Levels F F A F 2R QF W F A A 1 / 7 25–6
Hilton Head No Levels A A A QF QF W F F F SF 1 / 7 18–6
Rome No Levels C 3 A A A A QF W W F QF 2 / 5 15–3
Berlin No Levels A A A SF F W W QF A F 2 / 6 17–4
Montreal / Toronto No Levels A W A A F A A A A A 1 / 2 7–1
Zurich NH No Levels C 3 C 4 Tier II F A A A A 0 / 1 3–1
Philadelphia Not Held Tier II SF W QF Tier II 1 / 3 7–2
Career statistics
Year-end ranking N/A N/A N/A 17 20 6 8 3 4 6 1 2 3 4 4

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gigi Fernández: "We Have A Mixed Identity"". Puerto Rico Herald. May 30, 2002. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  2. ^ "WTA, Players, Stats, Gigi Fernandez". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "ITA Women's Hall of Fame: 2008 Inductee – Gigi Fernandez". Web.wm.edu. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Gigi Fernandez, International Tennis Hall of Fame". Tennisfame.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Drucker, Joel (September 30, 2008). "Fernandez remembered for her trademark zeal on the court". ESPN. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "WTA, Players, Info, Gigi Fernández". WTA Tour. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  7. ^ a b according to WTA players guide
  8. ^ Crouse, Karen (August 29, 2010). "A Dream Deferred, Almost Too Long". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Tennis champion Gigi Fernandez launches Baby Goes Pro with the goal of 'Inspiring a generation to move'" (PDF). babygoespro.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 1, 2011.
  10. ^ "Gigi Fernandez: Chelsea Piers Director of Tennis". Tennis Club at Chelsea Piers. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2012.

External linksEdit