Zina Garrison started playing tennis at the age of 10 and entered her first tournament at the age of 12. Her success as a junior player quickly made the tennis world take notice. At the age of 14, she won the national girls’ 18s title. And then in 1981, she won both the Wimbledon and US Open junior titles and was ranked the World No. 1 junior player.
Zina Garrison started playing tennis at age 10 and entered her first tournament at age 12. By age 14, she won the USTA Girls’ 18 National titles. In 1981, she captured the Junior Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles and the Junior World No.1 ranking. In 1982, Zina reached the quarterfinal round at the French Open, her first official tournament as a professional.
The highlight of Zina’s career came in 1990 when she made the finals at Wimbledon, the only African American player to do so since Althea Gibson. Zina’s career was marked by the fact that she remained in the top 25 from 1982 to 1995. Throughout her professional career, she won 14 WTA singles, 20 doubles titles, and three mixed doubles grand slams. She also won a gold medal in doubles and a bronze medal in singles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
After retiring from the WTA Tour, Zina was named the 2003 U.S. Fed Cup Captain, the first ever African American to hold the esteemed title. Zina remained the U.S. Fed Cup Captain until 2009. Zina has contributed to her community in Houston, where she started a foundation for the homeless in 1988. Four years later, she started the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis Program, which supports inner-city tennis. Zina has also served as a member of the United States President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.