Anne Guerrant, also known as Mona Anne Guerrant, was an American professional tennis player from 1971-1980.
She ranked as high as #11 in the world in singles in 1976 and was the winner of four singles titles in Portland, South Florida, and in Wellington and Auckland, New Zealand. She won many doubles titles on the pro tour with several different partners including Ann Kiyomura and Kerry Reid with whom she won the Australian Open doubles title in 1977. She was a women's doubles and mixed doubles standout in World Team Tennis and was part of the #1 women's doubles team in the League with Billie Jean King in 1975 and the #1 mixed doubles team with Ross Case in 1978. Anne retired from the pro tour in 1980, and since then she has also won one world and thirteen age group National Singles Championships as of 2014.
Women's Rights Pioneer
Anne Guerrant grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, in a big family with 7 children. As a little girl she was always playing sports. Even though she was one of the best local baseball players, when she was 10 she was not allowed to play Little League baseball because she was a girl. Looking for an alternative sport open to girls, one of her brothers showed her how to play tennis. She was discovered by Don Klotz, the Tennis Coach at the University of Iowa, when she won her first tournament. Klotz taught her for free until she was 18 and went off to college. While she was at Iowa City High School there were no sports for girls at all. When she was a high school junior Anne went to her local school board and made a case for a girls' tennis team. She got all five votes. The school got a girls' tennis team, and Anne won the state high school tournament twice. She received an academic scholarship to Rollins College in Florida where she played varsity tennis. The women's pro tennis tour was just getting started when she graduated with a degree in Behavioral Science, and she decided to try the pro tour until her money ran out. The money never ran out.
Guerrant was one of the founders of the Women’s Tennis Association along with Billie Jean King and other women’s rights pioneers. She was the Chairman of the Ranking Committee and helped introduce the first computer-generated ranking system to the women’s pro tour. Women’s tennis was a highly visible manifestation of the progress of the Women’s Lib movement of the 1970’s. The crowds grew, prize money kept increasing, and women gained more and more respect as athletes and as people.
Anne lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband, Terry Guerrant, whom she married in 1975. They have one son, Daniel Guerrant. The Guerrants were successful real estate investment entrepreneurs from 1976 until they retired in 2005.
The Guerrants' charitable activities have them known and lauded in remote reaches of the globe. When Anne was playing on the pro tour and traveling the world she saw gut-wrenching poverty that she couldn’t believe, especially the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Anne resolved to help those impoverished people but did not know an effective way until she took a trip in 2005 to India with her husband, Terry. They visited a micro-lending program in a small village of mud huts and saw firsthand what small loans of $40-350 could do to transform a village.
Moved by seeing the extreme poverty and the impressive entrepreneurial results that women had achieved taking out and re-paying small loans, the couple decided micro-lending was the best way to make a lasting difference. They created the Guerrant Foundation, Inc. in late 2005. The Guerrant Foundation helps women and families improve their lives through small loans to start their own businesses. The interest on these small loans covers administrative expenses, and the repaid principal is loaned out again and again in a never ending cycle of prosperity. This lending system demonstrates what even small amounts of money can do to improve the standing and dignity of women and families in desperate need. Amazingly, these loans to the poorest of the world's poor have an incredible 98% re-payment rate.
The Guerrant Foundation has donated over $2 million for micro-lending as of 2014. The Foundation has improved the lives of more than 30,000 of the world's most impoverished people. The Foundation’s signature event is a “Battle of the Sexes” team tennis event featuring four doubles matches between eight men and eight women. It is held annually in November in Phoenix, Arizona. Link to: http://www.GuerrantFoundation.org
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