GIGI FERNANDEZ


With 17 Grand Slam titles and two Olympic Gold Medals, Beatriz “Gigi” Fernandez (b. 1964) ranks among the greatest doubles players of all time. Recruited to Clemson University from her native Puerto Rico, Fernandez went pro after reaching the national collegiate singles finals in her freshman year. From 1983 to 1997, she captured 69 doubles titles, reached 26 Grand Slam finals in doubles and mixed doubles, and was consistently ranked No. 1 from 1991 to 1995. Employing her big serve-and-volley game, Fernandez also reached as high as No. 17 in the singles rankings.

Retiring at the top of her game, Fernandez went on to earn her B.A. with honors from the University of South Florida in 2003, coaching the USF women’s tennis team as well from 2002-05. Dedicated to developing Puerto Rican tennis, Fernandez worked with the island’s Fed Cup and Olympic teams, and in 1999 was named Puerto Rico’s Female Athlete of the Century. Pursuing a second career as a businesswoman, Fernandez continues to head the Gigi Fernandez Charitable Foundation, established in 1992, which has donated more than a half-million dollars to charitable causes.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • U.S. Collegiate Singles Finalist 1983
  • Clemson University freshman season: 40-7 record in singles; 30-9 in doubles
  • Professional Tour Player 1983-1997: 17 Grand Slam titles; 664-184 career record in doubles; 270-232 in singles
  • Silver Medalist in Singles and Doubles, Pan American Games 1983
  • Member, Puerto Rican Olympic Team 1984 (exhibition tennis)
  • Olympic Gold Medalist in Doubles 1992, 1996
  • Australian Open Doubles Champion 1993-94; Finalist 1991, 1995; Mixed Doubles Finalist 1995
  • French Open Doubles Champion 1991-95, 1997; Finalist 1996
  • Wimbledon Doubles Champion 1992-94, 1997; Finalist 1991, 1995; Mixed Doubles Finalist 1995
  • U.S. Open Doubles Champion 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996; Finalist 1997; Mixed Doubles Finalist 1995
  • Wimbledon Singles Semifinalist 1994
  • U.S. Open Singles Quarterfinalist 1991, 1994
  • 69 WTA Doubles Titles; 2 WTA Singles Titles
  • Member, WTA Doubles Team of the Year 1991-93, 1994, 1995, 1997
  • Member, U.S. Wightman Cup Team 1987-1992
  • Member, U.S. Federation Cup Team 1990 (champions) 1991-92, 1994-97
  • Personal Best Award Clairol 1991 (given to U.S. Olympian who most exemplifies achievement beyond the field of sport)
  • Named Puerto Rico’s Female Athlete of the Century 1999
  • B.A., University of South Florida (with honors) 2003; current M.B.A. candidate, Rollins College
  • Head Women’s Tennis Coach at USF 2002-05; guided the unranked team to a Top 30 ranking
  • Puerto Rico Coach of the Year 2003
  • Coach and Manager for Vilmarie Castellvi (University of Tennessee) 2003-present
  • WTA Professional Coach for No. 1 Doubles Team – Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur 2005-06
  • Inducted into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame 2005
  • Inducted into the Puerto Rico Sports Hall of Fame 2007
  • Businesswoman, venture capitalist, real estate investor 1998-present
  • President, Gigi Fernandez Charitable Foundation 1992-present