Beatriz gigi fernandez: Fernandez, Gigi (1964—) | Encyclopedia.com
Fernandez, Gigi (1964—) | Encyclopedia.com
Puerto Rican tennis player . Born Beatriz Fernandez in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 24, 1964; one of four children, two girls and two boys, of Tuto Fernandez (a gynecologist) and Beatriz Fernandez; attended Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina.
A trailblazer in women’s tennis doubles, Gigi Fernandez will be remembered as much for her on court antics as her substantial triumphs. Fernandez won two singles titles and 68 doubles titles, including two Olympic gold medals, before retiring from tennis in 1997 and taking up golf.
One of four children of Beatriz Fernandez and Tuto Fernandez, a gynecologist, Gigi was born in 1964 and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received tennis lessons as a gift from her parents on her seventh birthday. Possessing a natural talent for the game, she won the Puerto Rico Open doubles at age 12, at which time she also engaged in her first shouting match with the umpire, whom she felt was favoring her American partner. After considering athletic scholarships from three American universities, she chose (sight unseen) Clemson University in South Carolina. In 1983, while still in her freshman year, she reached the finals of the NCAA championships and turned pro at year’s end. At the conclusion of her first full season on the tour (1984), Fernandez was ranked No. 27 in singles and was named Tennis magazine’s «player to watch.»
Fernandez’s career was uneven for years, probably due to what she later identified as a lack of discipline. Still, she won three doubles titles with Martina Navratilova in 1985, three titles with Lori McNeil in 1987, and her first major title, the U.S. Open doubles, with Robin White in 1988. That same year, with her game unsteady and 20 extra pounds on her 5’7″ frame, she turned herself over to Julie Anthony , who became her long-time coach, mentor, and confidante. Fernandez later said that Anthony taught her the meaning of discipline. «I had no direction until I met Julie. She really helped me with everything: my nutrition, my approach to tennis, my professionalism, my dedication.» In an unintentional act of reciprocity, Fernandez turned Anthony into a coach. «I never would have been a coach if it weren’t for Gigi,» says Anthony. «I saw this wonderful, open person who wanted to learn.…We connected because she saw someone she could learn from, whom she could be more of an adult with. She was a child before, careening through life with lots of talent, but no game plan.»
Fernandez won another U.S. Open doubles title with Navratilova in 1990 and the 1991 French Open with Jana Novotna , before joining forces with Natasha Zvereva in 1992. Opposites in approach and personality, the two women complemented each other on the court. «Gigi’s very fiery, while Natasha’s more mellow, a more consistent player» said fellow pro Lindsay Davenport . «Together, they can do everything. They can dink, they can hit the ball hard, they can lob, they can hit sharp angles. » The pair dominated women’s doubles from 1993 to 1997, winning 20 grand slams, and ranking as Doubles Team of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1997.
Fernandez was less successful with her singles game, although she won her first singles title in 1986 and another in 1991. In 1994, in addition to her doubles triumph, she reached the singles semifinals at Wimbledon, despite her No. 99 ranking. (Prior to Wimbledon, she had first-round losses in seven out of eight singles tournaments, prompting her to contemplate retiring from singles.) She lost to Martina Navratilova in the semifinals but gained some notoriety as the lowest-ranked women’s semifinalist in Grand Slam history. «I always thought she was very talented and lived up to it in doubles but not singles,» said Navratilova after the match. «This is definitely the best she has played.»
Fernandez’s candor and outbursts on the court made her one of the most enigmatic players on the pro circuit. «There’s a real childish, narcissistic, selfish, controlling part of her,» says coach Anthony, «but there’s also a very sweet, bighearted, kind side to her. » Fernandez maintained a love-hate relationship with some of her tennis peers as well as with the World Tennis Association (WTA), which on one hand deplored her behavior and on the other hand rejoiced over her contribution to popularizing the sport. But Fernandez topped herself at an event in Filderstadt, Germany in 1994, when, in a fit of pique, she turned away from her opponent, lifted up her skirt and started to bare her backside. She said later that she only pulled her panties down a few inches. «I was entertaining. The crowd loved it. They were laughing.» The WTA was not amused, however, and fined her $2,000. In England, two weeks later, she repeated the panties episode and also destroyed a tennis racket, prompting a hefty fine of $4,000 that was later reduced to $250 after an appeal to the WTA Code of Conduct Committee. «I know the WTA is in financial trouble,» commented Fernandez, «but they can’t expect me to bail them out all by myself.»
Fernandez won her first Olympic gold medal in 1992, competing for the United States and partnered with Mary Joe Fernandez (no relation). The decision to play for America was a difficult one for Gigi, who understood she would by criticized back home in Puerto Rico, but she felt that it was the only way she would advance into the medal rounds. The win over the Spanish team dissipated any ill feelings. «I’m very proud for Puerto Rico. I’m very proud for the U.S. I’m very proud,» Fernandez said about the victory. Fernandez won a second Olympic gold medal in 1996, paired again with Mary Joe Fernandez.
In September 1997, after she and Zvereva lost the U.S. Open women’s doubles to Lindsay Davenport and Jana Novotna, Fernandez announced her retirement from tennis. Since then, she has devoted a great deal of time «giving back,» as she puts it. She is active with the children’s programs of the U.S. Tennis Association and with the Gigi Fernandez Charitable Foundation, which she established in 1992 to raise money for various Puerto Rican charities. She also is a long-time supporter of the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. But Fernandez’s greatest contribution to the young people of her homeland may be by example. As the first Puerto Rican athlete to turn professional and the first to win an Olympic gold medal, she has made athletics more acceptable for the women of her country. «In a way, it’s kind of neat,» she remarked in Hispanic magazine. «Before, it was taboo for a female to make a living out of a sport. Girls are supposed to get married and have kids, so now maybe this opens the door.» As for sports, Fernandez, who occasionally played golf during her tennis career, has now
taken it up in earnest. «You can have a very successful amateur golf career playing six to twelve tournaments a year, which is what I hope to do,» she said. In June 1998, she played in her first event, the San Diego Women’s Amateur Championships, finishing fifth.
Baccara, L. «An Interview with Gigi Fernandez,» at www.dreamin.com.
Higdon, David. «Glamour,» in Tennis. Vol. 31, no. 6. October 1995, pp. 50–53.
Johnson, Anne Janette. Great Women in Sports. Detroit, MI: Visible Ink, 1998.
O’Keefe, Kevin. «A New Approach Shot,» in Tennis. Vol. 34, no. 5. September 1998, pp. 14–16.
Rachal, Janella. «Then and Now—An Interview with Gigi Fernandez,» at www.dreamin.com.
Gigi Fernandez’s GS Performance Timeline & Stats
Beatriz «Gigi» Fernández is a former professional tennis player, the first female athlete from her native Puerto Rico to turn professional, 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.
Inducted alongside doubles partner Natasha Zvereva, Gigi Fernandez was considerd to be one of the greatest doubles players of all time. With Zvereva, Gigi amassed an impressive 14 Grand Slam titles. Their passion and skill on the court was remarkable, and it is hard to find a pair who showed as much enthusiasm and love for the game as these two outstanding players. They hold the second-longest Grand Slam doubles title streak in Open Era history, winning six in a row from the French Open in 1992 through Wimbledon in 1993 (second to Martina Navratilova / Pam Shriver’s record of eight). The pair also completed a non-calendar year Grand Slam that ran from the 1992 French Open to the 1993 Australian Open. Fernandez and Zvereva were named the WTA Doubles Team of the Year on four occasions: 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997.. She reached a career high singles ranking of 17 in 1991. Since retiring from the professional tour in 1997 at the age of 33, Fernández has been a tennis coach and entrepreneur.
Fernández was born in San Juan. Her father Tuto was a well-known doctor in Puerto Rico. Her cousin José Ferrer was a famous Puerto Rican actor and director. 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.
In 2010, Fernández started a company called Baby Goes Pro. She presently resides in Connecticut, and is the Director of Tennis at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, also in Stamford
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.
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. 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».
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) 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
On July 12, 2010, Fernández was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame alongside Zvereva.
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Zvereva, Natalya Maratovna
Natalya Maratovna «Natasha» Zvereva (born April 16, 1971 in Minsk, Byelorussian SSR) is a Soviet and Belarusian tennis player.
Beatriz (Gigi) Fernandez (Spanish: Beatriz «Gigi» Fernández; born February 22, 1964 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a professional tennis player who played under the flag of Puerto Rico and the United States, a former world No. 1 in women’s doubles .
Liezel Huber (eng. Liezel Huber), née Horn (eng. Horn; born August 21, 1976 in Durban, South Africa) is a South African professional tennis player who has played for the United States since the end of July 2007.
King, Billie Jean
Billie Jean King (born Billie Jean King, nee Moffitt, born November 22, 1943 (19431122), Long Beach, California, USA) is a famous American tennis player.
Pamela Howard Shriver Lazenby or simply Pam Shriver (eng. Pamela Howard Shriver Lazenby; born July 4, 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA) is a former professional tennis player.
Christine Marie «Chris» Evert (born December 21, 1954) is an American tennis player.
Cara Black (eng. Cara Black; born February 17, 1979 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia) is a Zimbabwean tennis player.
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Paola Suarez (Spanish
Tracey-Ann Austin was born December 12, 1962 in Palo Verdes, California.
Helena Suková (Czech. Helena Suková, phonetically correct Helena; born February 23, 1965 in Prague) is a former professional tennis player who played under the flag of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
Natalia Zvereva. 20 trophies //&amp;amp;quot;Grand Slam//&amp;amp;quot;
April 16 marks the 40th birthday of the famous Soviet tennis player Natalia Zvereva. For my
she has won 84 trophies in her career and is considered one of the best doubles players of all time.
Natalya Maratovna Zvereva.
Born April 16, 1971.
Member of the Tennis Hall of Fame and the Russian Tennis Hall of Fame.
Career start: 1985. Completion of a career: 2003.
Height: 174 cm. Weight: 62 kg.
Prize money: $7,792,503.
Singles — 4 titles.
Doubles — 80 titles.
Mixed category — 2 titles.
Grand Slam tournaments: 20 titles (18 in doubles, 2 in mixed doubles): Australian Open — 5 (1990 (m), 1993, 1994, 1995 (m),
1997), Roland Garros — 6 (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997), Wimbledon — 5 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997), US Open — 4 (1991, 1992,
Bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics with Leyla Meskhi.
Finalist «Roland Garros» -1988 in singles.
Highest Singles Position: 5 (May 22, 1989)
Highest position in the doubles ranking: 1 (October 7, 1991). Was the first for 124 weeks.
Just as greatness is seen from a distance, the whole scale of Natalia Zvereva’s achievements became clear only later
almost 10 years after the end of her career. Almost simultaneously, she first entered the Hall of the Russian
tennis glory (at the end of 2009year in the category «Modern masters»), and a couple of months later and in
international hall of fame.
It is curious that the directors of this museum in the city of Newport in one year included the best doubles players of the 90s
— Zverev and Gigi Fernandez, as well as the famous male duo Mark Woodford / Todd Woodbridge. If a
The Woodies won 12 helmets, while Natalia has accumulated exactly 1.5 times more — 14 out of 18
were mined in a duet with Fernandez, two more with Larisa Savchenko and one each with Pam Shriver and Martina Hingis.
Natalia teamed up with Gigi in 1992, having already won two «slams» with Savchenko and
having played in four more finals, an amazing result for a girl who has just turned 21 years old. In 1991
the famous Shriver offered to play together at the US Open, she had 20 wins in the doubles in the 80s
combinations on «majors». On the first try, they conquered New York, but for Pam it was the last
major success. She seemed to pass the baton to the young Zvereva, who was to dominate the new
decades. It is curious that in the final-91 Shriver and Zvereva beat Savchenko and Yana Novotna, and two years later
Natasha and Pam were already on opposite sides of the net in the decisive match — the victory was celebrated by the Belarusian.
After a short collaboration with Shriver, today’s hero of the day started performing with another
American — Beatriz Fernandez. Gigi, as she is called all over the world, had been playing by that time for almost 10 years.
years, but excelled in only three «helmets». However, their duet with Natalia immediately turned out to be strong:
they, having just started performing together, won six «majors» in a row, but, alas, three each
seasons-92 and 93. That is, a full-fledged «Grand Slam» did not submit to them. At the same time, the girls were close to
him two more times: in 1994 and 1997, they consecutively won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon,
but it was not possible to put a bold point on the US Open. They were the strongest in New York four times,
however, only in those years when the «Grand Slam» was no longer claimed.
Natalia’s most real chance was in 1997 — she played in all four finals for the second time, but in 95th
he and Fernandez lost already in Australia, immediately losing hope of conquering the four peaks. In season-97
Zvereva won in Melbourne with Martina Hingis, and then returned to Fernandez, with whom she became the strongest on
Courts «Roland Garros» and Wimbledon. If earlier than Zverev after victories in Australia, France and England
stumbled in the USA in the semi-finals, this time it was possible to reach the final, but Lindsay Davenport and Yana Novotna
they did not let Zvereva conquer the summit. Davenport, who often met on the way of Natalya and whom she
most often beaten, in season 98 became her partner. The union came out successful and unsuccessful at the same time: they are in
for two years they played in five finals, but they could not win in any way. In all cases, on the other side of the grid
it turned out to be Hingis, in 1999 the Swiss won with Anna Kournikova.
If Kournikova became the first Russian swallow in the world tennis firmament, then Zvereva was also
remains the most successful Soviet tennis player. At the end of her career, Natalya even managed to play a little with
Anna and won with her in 2000 at a tournament in Hamburg, this was the penultimate title of the Belarusian in her career.
The 80th anniversary victory came two years later with Martina Navratilova. Pair of Zvereva and Fernandez
the number of joint titles was second only to the duet of Martina and Shriver — they won tournaments
«Grand Slam» 20 times. «AT 90 years Natalia and Gigi were, without a doubt, the best couple in the world —
Pam says. — Fernandez was the best player at the net at that time, she understood the game very well. Natalia
with her top spins, dribble shots, inconceivable angles and candles, she could torture any rivals. They are
were so different and perfectly complemented each other, which is why their duet was incredibly strong.»
Navratilova also always treated Natalia with great respect:
was stronger, but our game was distinguished by power, and Zvereva and Fernandez took grace and subtlety. I think that
our achievements can be compared.» True, unlike Navratilova, in Zverev’s single career
didn’t do too well. Although it all started great: at the age of 15, she won junior Wimbledon, and at
the following year, at the age of 17, Natalia reached the final for
adult «Roland Garros», but it did not work out there. In just half an hour, Steffi Graf won —
6:0, 6:0 in the shortest Grand Slam final ever. «I’m burned out. I don’t know why, I’m up to
I still can’t understand it, but I demanded too much from myself, and this responsibility crushed me, »
— Natalya commented on that defeat.
She no longer managed to get to the decisive matches at the «majors». She won four
middle-class WTA tournaments and stumbled 11 more times in the finals. It was always easier for her to play in pairs: partners
helped her to believe in herself and not lose concentration, which often happened during singles. AT
“alone” she was sometimes more dangerous when she lost: “I have a feeling that I am playing
It’s better when I give up. With an equal score, for some reason, I act too carefully and accurately. For my tennis
this style doesn’t fit.»
Zvereva was especially embarrassed when Graf appeared on the opposite side of the court. The German became her main
rival throughout her career and won her 20 matches out of 21: «My coach said that when I played with
her, then she dragged an elephant behind her shoulders. At some point, I managed to lose it, but not all, but about half. But,
you know, even half an elephant is hard.» The coach Natalia was talking about was Juan Nunez:
«Since 1988, I have loved Natasha’s game. Then I worked with Chris Evert, and they met in Boston. I told Chris,
what you need to go to the grid. She managed a wonderful shot, but Natasha from the corner of the court was able to deliver an incredible
dribble to the left. She has always had amazing hands. Any coach wants to work with such
tennis player.» To 80 doubles and four singles trophies, she added two more in the mixed doubles — paired with Jim
Pugh Zvereva won the Australian Open — 90 and 95.
Now Natalia lives in Berlin and is raising her daughter, who was born in December 2009. She rarely gives
interviews and appear even less often on the pages of newspapers or television screens. Zvereva herself in her free time
time likes to re-read Dostoevsky, as well as watch The X-Files, Escape from
Shawshank» and «Pulp Fiction». People who know her personally say that Natalia is not easy, but
very fighting character, which helped her become a great champion. Since childhood, thanks to Father Marat,
who also played tennis, she took up the sport. Already towards the end of her career, Natalya
admitted that she had no idea who she could have become if she had not chosen the profession of an athlete.
At the end of her career, she did not leave tennis and tried herself as a Fed Cup captain and coach
rising star of Belarus Anna Orlik. Just a few days ago, one of the achievements of Zvereva repeated
not a rising, but already a real star — Victoria Azarenka. She became the fifth racket of the world, the same
the rating at the peak of her career was also with today’s hero of the day. Last year, Natalia returned with Gigi
Fernandez on the court, playing in the veteran Roland Garros. Let’s hope that one of the best duets in
we will see the history of tennis again in a couple of months in the capital of France.
Blitz (German tennis magazine, May 1998).
— Who is your most uncomfortable opponent?
— I think it’s me.
— What do you like to listen to the most?
Any Led Zeppelin songs. You know, I’m not so young anymore.