Gigi Fernandez

Clemson University

2008

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
Other 2008 Inductees