GiGi Fernandez Fans:)
TAMPA, Fla. -- Gigi Fernandez, a member of world's top-ranked doubles team from 1991-1997, was named women's tennis coach at South Florida on Wednesday.
Fernandez, who captured 17 Grand Slam doubles championships and two Olympic gold medals in her career, replaced Sherry Bedingfield, who retired after 23 seasons as coach.
"I'm really excited to have this opportunity. I have been coaching the Puerto Rico Federation Cup team, which is the same age group as college students, and I really enjoy working with young adults," Fernandez said. "My goal is to turn the program into a national contender."
As a doubles specialist, Fernandez won five U.S. Opens, four Wimbledon titles, six French Opens and a pair of Australian Opens. She won 14 of her 17 Grand Slam championships with Russia's Natasha Zvereva, the second most by any doubles team in the history of women's tennis.
Fernandez climbed as high as 17th in the WTA singles rankings. The Puerto Rico native advanced to the 1994 Wimbledon semifinals and twice reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
"We feel like we've won a Grand Slam event ourselves in attracting Gigi Fernandez to take over our women's tennis program," South Florida director of athletics Lee Roy Selmon said. "Gigi's passion for tennis and her desire to teach the game in a college setting are tremendous assets that she brings to our program."
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