Mary Joe Fernandez was honored with the 2014 President's Award for her contributions to the game both on and off the court.
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By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
Mary Joe Fernandez has enjoyed immense success during her career on the court. Now she's also being recognized for her work on the sidelines and in the booth.
The former world No. 4 was honored with the 2014 United States Tennis Association President’s Award, which honors an individual for extraordinary service to the sport in the interest of the public. Billie Jean King, Lindsay Davenport and New York City Mayor David Dinkins are among the recipients of the award since it was first introduced in 1999.
“Mary Joe Fernandez is truly one of the game’s greats and has been a major contributor in our efforts to grow the game,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President David Haggerty. “She also has been an integral part of the U.S. Fed Cup team, both as a player and captain, and the entire tennis community has benefitted from her incredible passion, dedication and commitment.”
As a player, she won seven WTA singles titles and 19 doubles titles in her career, reached the finals of the 1990 and 1992 Australian Opens, the final of the 1993 French Open and won a bronze medal in singles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Her greatest successes came on the doubles court, including victories at the 1991 Australian Open and 1996 French Open, and gold medals with Gigi Fernandez at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
After retiring from the tour in 2000, Fernandez joined CBS Sports as an analyst for the US Open in 2005. She now serves as an analyst for both that network and ESPN during the Grand Slam events.
Fernandez became captain of the U.S. Fed Cup team in 2009 and led the team to consecutive Fed Cup final appearances in her first two years, becoming the first captain to achieve that feat since Marty Riessen in 1986-87. She also served as captain of the women’s team at the 2012 London Olympics.
“It’s such an honor to be recognized with the President’s Award,” said Fernandez. “Tennis has been in my life for 40 years now and I am so lucky to be able to stay involved in this great sport.”
Fernandez has continued to be recognized for her accomplishments in recent years. Last October, she was named by ESPN as the second-most influential Hispanic female athlete of all time. She was also inducted last month into the USTA Midwest of Hall of Fame.