G is for Zina Garrison

Zina Garrison claimed her third Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1990, partnering with Rick Leach.


From the Wikipedia:

Zina Lynna Garrison (born November 16, 1963, in Houston, Texas) is a former professional tennis player from the United States. During her career, she was a women’s singles runner-up at Wimbledon in 1990, a three-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion, and a women’s doubles gold medalist at the 1988 Olympic Games.

She finished 1989 ranked a career-high World No. 4 in singles.

ZINA was a ZESTFUL person, who, when she was in the ZONE, could be a formidable player.

She lost to Martina Navratilova 21 straight times before beating her in the 1988 US Open, advancing to the semifinals where she lost to Gabriella Sabatini. You can see a clip of her talking about the victory HERE.

The highlight of Garrison’s career came in 1990 at Wimbledon. She defeated French Open champion Monica Seles in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–3, 9–7 and the defending Wimbledon champion and World No. 1 Steffi Graf in the semifinals 6–3, 3–6, 6–4 to reach her first (and only) Grand Slam singles final, becoming the first African-American woman to do so since Althea Gibson. There, she lost to Navrátilová 6–4, 6–1 who won her record ninth women’s singles title at Wimbledon. However, Garrison claimed her third Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon that year (partnering with Rick Leach).

The reason I thought about her is a news piece about how Zina is now coaching 18-year-old Taylor Townsend. They may be well-suited to work together because both dealt with eating issues. Zina suffered from bulimia after her mother died. Before Zina trained her, Taylor was asked by the tennis authorities “to sit out of the 2012 U.S. Open Junior tournament due to her [excessive] weight.”


ABC Wednesday, Round 15

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