Peanut Louie Harper

Mareen "Peanut" Louie-Harper (born August 15, 1960) is a retired American tennis player, born in San Francisco, California[2] to Ron and Alice Louie.[3] She was a top-ranked junior tennis player and professional tennis player on the WTA tour. She reached a career high singles ranking of 19 in the world in 1985 and doubles ranking of 31 in the world in 1992. She is currently the co-founder and program director of Harper for Kids, a youth character development program.

Peanut Louie-Harper
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceSan Francisco, CA, USA
Born (1960-08-15) 15 August 1960 (age 61)
San Francisco, USA
Height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) [1]
Turned pro1978
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career record238–263
Career titles4
Highest rankingNo. 19 (1 April 1985)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open3R (1978)
Wimbledon3R (1980, 1987)
US Open3R (1978, 1984)
Career record118–162
Career titles5
Highest rankingNo. 31 (6 April 1992)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open2R (1988)
Wimbledon3R (1989)
US Open3R (1980)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open2R (1988)
Wimbledon2R (1976, 1989)
US Open3R (1978)

Professional tennis careerEdit

During her career, she won 14 USTA National Junior titles and was the #1 ranked 16-and-under (1976) and 12-and-under tennis player (1972) in the United States. Peanut was the Junior Wimbledon finalist in 1977 and a semifinalist in 1978.[4] She was also the #1 ranked junior in NorCal in all age divisions (10, 12, 14, 16 & 18 & unders).

After a successful junior career, she turned pro in 1978. In her 16-year career, she won four singles titles and reached a career high ranking of No. 19 in the world (in 1985). She also won five doubles titles and reached a career high ranking of No. 31 in the world (in 1992). At the Grand Slams, her best results were reaching the round of 32 in singles and the round of 16 in doubles several times. Among her best wins were victories over Gabriela Sabatini, Zina Garrison, Mary Joe Fernandez, Helena Sukova, Wendy Turnbull, Stephanie Rehe and Andrea Jaeger.[5]

Louie was honored with the WTA Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award in back-to-back years in 1985 and 1986 from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA). In 1986, she was also named Tennis magazine's Comeback Player of the Year. During her junior career, she was presented with the USTA Girls’ 18 National Championship Sportsmanship Award in 1977.

Personal life and post-tennis careerEdit

Her older sister Marcie also played on the WTA Tour, and her sisters Cici and Marisa, and brother Ronnie, all played at the University of San Francisco.[6] She, along with her siblings, trained on the tennis courts of Golden Gate Park. She was given the nickname Peanut by her father because she was the youngest of the five children.[5]

She was inducted into the USTA Northern California Hall of Fame in 2000,[7] the Multi-Ethnic Sports of Fame in 2017, the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame in 2010,[4] and the George Washington Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.

She married her husband Tim Harper in 1986. They live in San Francisco and have two kids, Casey and Jared. Jared, who is a singer-songwriter, auditioned on Season 18 of The Voice [8]

Charity workEdit

In 2008, she co-founded Harper for Kids (HFK), a children's nonprofit organization, with her husband Tim Harper.[9] HFK's youth character development program is based on John Wooden's Pyramid of Success and teaches youth essential character traits that can help them achieve their personal best in life. HFK helps schools incorporate the Pyramid of Success into their character education. Before starting Harper for Kids, Peanut collaborated with John Wooden on his children's book Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success (Perfection Learning), with co-author Steve Jamison.

Hall of Fame inductionsEdit

  • Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, 2017
  • San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame, 2010
  • USTA NorCal Hall of Fame, 2000
  • George Washington High School Athletic Hall of Fame, 1991

Awards and honorsEdit

  • The Chinese Historical Society of America, 1986 recipient
  • Tennis magazine's Comeback Player of the Year, 1986 recipient
  • WTA Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, 1985 ad 1986
  • USTA Girls’ 18 National Championship Sportsmanship Award
  • OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) East Bay Chapter
  • Queen of Hearts Foundation, 2011 Honorary Chairperson
  • OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) San Mateo Chapter

WTA Career finalsEdit

Singles (4 titles, 1 finalist)Edit

Outcome Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1 September 1978 Avon Futures of Northern California, U.S Hard   Ruta Gerulaitis 7–6, 6–2
Winner 2 March 1980 Avon Futures of Columbus, U.S Hard   Beth Norton 6–2, 6–3
Finalist 21 December 1980 Tucson Open, U.S Carpet (i)   Tracy Austin 2–6, 0–6
Winner 29 April 1984 Durban, South Africa Hard   Rene Uys 6–1, 6–4
Winner 20 January 1985 Virginia Slims of Denver, U.S Carpet (i)   Zina Garrison 6–4, 4–6, 6–4

Doubles (5 titles, 5 finalists)Edit

Outcome Partner Date Tournament Surface Opponents Score
Finalist   Marita Redondo 28 March 1979 La Costa Tennis Classic Hard   Marcie Louie

  Regina Marsikova

6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Winner   Dana Gilbert 20 October 1980 Hit-Union Japan Open Hard Nerida Gregory

Marie Pinterova

7–5, 7–6
Finalist   Marita Redondo 2 March 1981 Avon Championships of Los Angeles Hard   Susan Leo

  Kim Sands

6–1, 4–6, 6–1
Winner   Anna Maria Fernandez 29 April 1984 Durban, South Africa Hard   Claudia Monteiro

  Beverly Mould

7–5, 5–7, 6–1
Winner   Anna Maria Fernandez 30 July 1984 Virginia Slims of Newport Grass   Lea Antonopolis

  Beverly Mould

7–5, 7–6
Finalist   Heather Ludloff 29 September 1987 Virginia Slims of New Orleans Carpet (i)   Zina Garrison

  Lori McNeil

6–3, 6–3
Winner   Penny Barg October 1989 Virginia Slims of Arizona Hard   Elise Burgin

  Rosalyn Fairbank

7–6, 7–6
Finalist   Wendy White 6 August 1990 Virginia Slims of Albuquerque Hard   Meredith McGrath

  Anne Smith

7–6, 6–4
Finalist   Lise Gregory 5 August 1991 Virginia Slims of Albuquerque Hard   Katrina Adams

  Isabelle Demongeot

6–7, 6–4, 6–3
Winner   Cammy MacGregor October 1991 Virginia Slims of Arizona Hard   Sandy Colins

  Elna Reinach

7–5, 3–6, 6–3


  1. ^ Bostic, Stephanie, ed. (1979). USTA Player Records 1978. United States Tennis Association (USTA). p. 215.
  2. ^ "Peanut Louie Harper ITF Profile". Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  3. ^ Bonk, Thomas (1991-03-03). "Peanut Bags Two Big Victories". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  4. ^ a b "Talented class of 10 set to join SF Prep Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  5. ^ a b Berton, Justin (2009-08-20). "Peanut Louie Harper's new spin on sports: kids". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  6. ^ Chapin, Dwight (2002-02-10). "WHERE ARE THEY NOW? / 'Peanut' Louie-Harper / This tennis nut made a name for herself on court". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  7. ^ "USTA Northern California Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  8. ^ "Watch".
  9. ^ "Harper for Kids".

External linksEdit