Is Alexis that player who won a Challenger and has a very nice story? She's a mom or she studied? Something like that?
both....became pregnant in college and took a year off and then became the number 1 player in the country...i heard she overcame a paralyzed right arm as well
Former NCAA No.1 tennis player at University of Florida, Alexis Gordon, is seeking to make it on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and plays in Clearwater February 19 - 24.
University of Florida Gators fans who reveled in the 2003 NCAA Tournament victory on their home court in Gainesville, FL will be happy to know that they can once again cheer for Alexis Gordon, a three-time All American and key member of the Championship team that upset No.1 seed Stamford to claim the title.
Alexis Gordon in Clearwater Women's Open
Gordon is a former women’s standout for the University of Florida Lady Gators and former No.1-ranked player in NCAA Division I tennis. She will play her second International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) event, the $25k, Sheriff Jim Coats 4th Annual Clearwater Women's Open, which will be held at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, FL, on February 19 – 24.
Two Tournament Wins & Counting
Although not yet in the world rankings, Gordon has played and won two wildcard qualifying events since the launch of her professional career at the beginning of 2008. She reached the third round of her first ITF main-draw event in January, beating two world-ranked players in the process. The Clearwater tourney will be her second professional main draw.
Gordon Defies Odds
Having already beaten the odds by achieving the No.14 ITA ranking upon returning to school after delivering, now-three-year-old, Imani, Gordon is seeking to overcome the various hurdles to success on the women’s professional circuit. In her upcoming test, she’ll have to get past at least two players who won multiple rounds in Grand Slams last year: Ahsha Rolle and Milagro Sequera.
Those who may think that it’s a bit late for Gordon to attempt to launch a pro career at 25 don’t know Alexis Gordon, her story, nor the stock from which she comes. Due to birth complications, Gordon was born with a paralyzed right arm, but overcame that deficit to develop a lefty power game that allowed her to become the No.1 collegiate woman player in the country on two occasions in 2004.
Top Gator Singles Player in 2006
In 2004-2005, Gordon took time away from school to give birth to her daughter Imani. In most cases, that would spell the end of a college tennis career. Not so for Gordon. She battled to get back into school and was back on the team by the spring season of 2006. Gordon finished the year with a 25-3 singles record, which was the best singles winning percentage of any player on the team who played more than six matches.
Gordon's Parental Influences
Academically, Gordon stayed the course and received her Bachelor of Science degree in December of 2007. A product of great genes and good examples, Alexis is no stranger to perseverance. Phil Gordon, Alexis’ dad and only coach outside of college, has poured his heart and soul into Tennis Unlimited, Incorporated (TUI), an inner-city tennis program in Hartford, Connecticut that has contributed to thousands of lives for 35 years. He has never wavered from his, yet unrealized, goal of establishing a permanent facility for the program.
Alexis’ mom, Roxy Gordon, began working on a bachelor’s degree in 1973. After years of working full-time and going to school, she earned that degree in 2004. A resident of Connecticut since 1976, Roxy gave up her thriving real estate career and secure position with the Hartford Foundation, and moved to Gainesville in December 2005 to facilitate her daughter’s efforts to finish school and pursue her dream.
Pursuit of Professional Tennis Dream
More than a year removed from competitive tennis, prior to the wildcard qualifier that she won in January, Gordon is poised to pursue that dream, a dream that remains elusive for countless tennis players across the globe. Tournament Director of the wildcard qualifier and of the Clearwater Women’s Open, Theresa Victory, attests to the viability of Gordon’s dream. “I was very impressed with Ms. Gordon. I have seen a lot of players come through the ranks, and I think Alexis is a very good player. The girls had a big challenge with her,” Victory said.
Gordon's Demeanor Impresses
But it isn’t just Alexis’ game that impresses. Victory continued, “Her conduct, her sportsmanship was very impressive. Her attitude showed me a lot.” In addition to a powerful game, and perseverance, Gordon’s demeanor that is a proud reflection of her parental foundation. She will need all that she has derived from her parents, and all that she has developed on her own to realize her dream.
Pursuing Attainable tennis Goals
Yet Gordon is no mere dreamer. Asked about her short-term goals, Gordon replied, “Definitely get a ranking. I’m not really looking to say, ‘I want to be top this or top that,’ but getting a ranking and getting on the board which will allow me to see where I’m at, see what tournaments I can enter.” Getting on the board will be a reality after she has played three ITF events, especially given her victories over one player in the top-200 in the world, and others in the top-250.
Looking to the not-too-distant future, Gordon continues, ”Within the next year or two (I want to) just play great tennis and play as many tournaments as I possibly can. One of my goals is to possibly get into the qualies of the Australian Open for 2009, but I’m not really pushing that. I want to stay healthy and play as many tournaments as I can in ’08… and get the results that I need. And all of that is obtainable.”
Gators Fan Support a Plus
Although her start is a good one, Gordon will have plenty of competition for those precious points that allow players to make a living on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The support of Gators fans at events close to home may just be enough to help Alexis garner that extra point or two she may need to make the dream a reality and further validate her parents’ efforts.
After the Clearwater event, Gordon hopes to enter the AVT $25k Women’s Challenger in Fort Walton Beach, February 25 – March 3; and/or the Tennis Channel Open Women’s Pro Challenger of Las Vegas, March 3 – 9. If great genes, good character, and lots of game mean anything, Alexis Gordon will continue to make her parents proud on and off the tennis court.