Gigi Fernández

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Gigi Fernández
Gigi Fernández 2009 US Open 02.jpg
Country  United States
Residence Connecticut, USA
Born (1964-02-22) February 22, 1964 (age 50)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned pro November 1983
Retired November 1997
Plays Right-handed (two handed-backhand)
Prize money $4,681,906
Int. Tennis HOF 2010 (member page)
Singles
Career record 270–232
Career titles 2
Highest ranking No. 17 (October 6, 1991)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (1990, 1993)
French Open 2R (1986, 1987, 1991)
Wimbledon SF (1994)
US Open QF (1991, 1994)
Doubles
Career record 664–184
Career titles 69
Highest ranking No. 1 (March 4, 1991)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (1993, 1994)
French Open W (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997)
Wimbledon W (1992, 1993, 1994, 1997)
US Open W (1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996)
Other Doubles tournaments
Olympic Games Gold medal.svg Gold Medal (1992, 1996)
Mixed Doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1995)
French Open
Wimbledon F (1995)
US Open F (1995)
Last updated on: September 10, 2013.

Beatriz "Gigi" Fernández (born February 22, 1964, in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a former professional tennis player, the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico to turn professional,[1] the first Puerto Rican woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal and the first to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.[2]

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,[3] Fernández has been a tennis coach and entrepreneur.

Career[edit]

Fernández was recognized primarily as a doubles specialist during her professional career. Fernández won a non-calendar year 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.[4]

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.[5] 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 front and center on Fernández's desk, along with a car license plate that reads "DBL GLD".[6]

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 up 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 Fed 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 semi-finalist at Wimbledon[7]) and the quarterfinals at the US Open in 1991 and 1994.

Fernández retired from the professional tour in 1997. By far the most successful tennis player in the history of Puerto Rico, Fernández was named Puerto Rico's "Female Athlete of the Century" in 1999.[6]

On July 12, 2010, Fernández was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame alongside Zvereva.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Fernández was born in San Juan. Her father Tuto was a well-known doctor in Puerto Rico.[8] Her cousin José Ferrer was a famous Puerto Rican actor and director.[8] Fernández started playing tennis when she was seven. When she turned professional in 1983, she became Puerto Rico's first-ever female professional athlete. Prior to turning professional, she played tennis for one season at Clemson University, in 1982–83, where she was a 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 has also coached for the Puerto Rican national team and the University of South Florida. Fernández also remains active in corporate hospitality events and participates in fundraisers throughout the country.

Fernández earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida in 2003. She 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 current WWE executive Jane Geddes.[9]

In 2010, Fernández started a company called Baby Goes Pro.[10] She presently resides in Connecticut, and is the Director of Tennis at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, also in Stamford.[11]

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Women's doubles: 23 (17–6)[edit]

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

Mixed doubles: 3 (0–3)[edit]

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

Olympic finals[edit]

Doubles: 2 (2 gold medals)[edit]

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

WTA Tour titles (71)[edit]

Singles (2)[edit]

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

Doubles (69)[edit]

Women's doubles performance timeline[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ according to Hispanic Magazine, 1988
  2. ^ "Gigi Fernández: "We Have A Mixed Identity"". Puerto Rico Herald. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "WTA , Players , Stats , Gigi Fernández". Sonyericssonwtatour.com. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ "2008 Inductee – Gigi Fernandez". Web.wm.edu. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Gigi Fernandez , International Tennis Hall of Fame". Tennisfame.com. February 22, 1964. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Fernandez remembered for her trademark zeal on the court – ESPN". ESPN. September 30, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ "WTA , Players , Info , Gigi Fernández". Sonyericssonwtatour.com. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b according to WTA players guide
  9. ^ Crouse, Karen. "A Dream Deferred, Almost Too Long." The New York Times August 29, 2010.
  10. ^ http://www.babygoespro.com/buzz/pdf/Baby_Goes_Pro_PR_12-18-09.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.chelseapiersct.com/tennis/staff/gigi-fernandez.cfm

External links[edit]