Zina Garrison

Zina Garrison is a former professional tennis player from the United States. She was born on November 16, 1963, in Houston, Texas. Garrison began playing tennis at a young age and quickly showed promise in the sport. Garrison’s professional career spanned from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. She achieved significant success in both singles and doubles competitions. In 1981, she won the Wimbledon Junior Championship and turned professional the following year.

In singles, Garrison reached her highest career ranking of World No. 4 in 1989. Her best Grand Slam result came in 1990 when she reached the final of the Wimbledon Championships, where she faced Martina Navratilova. Although she lost in straight sets, reaching the final was a major accomplishment and the highlight of her singles career.

Zina Garrison and Serena Williams, at Indian Wells in 2001

Garrison also found success in doubles. She won two Grand Slam doubles titles during her career. In 1987, she partnered with Lori McNeil to win the Wimbledon women’s doubles championship. Then, in 1988, Garrison teamed up with Pam Shriver to win the US Open women’s doubles title.

Aside from her achievements on the court, Zina Garrison played a significant role in breaking racial barriers in tennis. As an African-American player, she faced challenges and discrimination throughout her career. Garrison was among the first generation of African-American tennis players to achieve notable success in the sport, paving the way for future generations.

After retiring from professional tennis, Garrison remained involved in the sport. She became a coach and worked with several prominent players, including Taylor Townsend. Garrison also established the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy in Houston, focusing on providing opportunities for underserved youth to learn and excel in tennis.

Zina Garrison, Wimbledon 1990

Zina Garrison’s contributions to tennis extend beyond her on-court accomplishments. She has made a lasting impact on the sport and continues to be recognized as an influential figure in both tennis and the broader community.

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