By Nick Georgandis
February 17 - Zimbabwe's Cara Black, a 10-time doubles Grand Slam champion and former doubles No. 1, turns 34. Black completed the career Grand Slam in mixed doubles in 2010 when she won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She had previous won the French Open in 2002, the US Open in 2008 and a second Wimbledon title in 2004. In women's doubles, she has five Grand Slam titles, winning Wimbledon thrice (2004, 2005, 2007), along with the Australian Open (2007) and the US Open (2008). She reached the French Open doubles final in 2005, and reached No. 1 in the world in doubles in October of 2005. She has 55 career doubles titles and one career singles title, with a high rank on the ATP singles chart at No. 31 in March of 1999.
February 18- Italy's Roberta Vinci, a three time Grand Slam doubles champion, turns 30. Vinci is presently ranked No. 1 in the world in women's doubles and has been since October of 2012. She and partner Sara Errani combined to win the 2013 Australian Open title, as well as the 2012 US Open and 2012 French Open. They also reached the semifinals of the 2012 WTA Championships and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2012. She has 18 career doubles titles and seven career singles titles. She is presently ranked No. 16 in the world in singles, one spot behind her career best. She had the best season of her life as a singles player in 2012, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals of the US Open.
February 19 - Fern "Peachy" Kellmeyer, senior vice president of the WTA Tour, turns 69.
Kellmeyer was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011 to commemorate a career that has seen her become the first woman to play on a men's Division I tennis team, sue and hep overturn a rule banning women's athletic scholarships for college sports and become the first tour director of the Virginia Slims circuit, eventually helping bring women's tennis to the venue of Madison Square Garden.
Career doubles Grand Slam winner Paul Haarhius turns 47. A native of The Netherlands, Haarhius won 54 career doubles titles and reached No. 1 in the world in January of 1994 after winning the Australian Open. He went on to win the US Open in 1994, the French Open thrice (1995, 1998, 2002) and Wimbledon in 1998. In singles he won one career title, reached the quarterfinals of the US Open in 1991 and reached No. 18 in the world in November of 1995.
Hana Mandlikova, who won four career singles Grand Slams, turns 46. Mandlikova won the Australian Open in 1980 and 1987, the French Open in 1981 and the US Open in 1985. She was stopped short of a career singles Grand Slam twice by Martina Navratilova, who bested her in the 1981 and 1986 Wimbledon finals. In all, Mandlikova won 27 career singles titles and reached No. 3 in the world. She also won the 1989 US Open doubles title (with Navratilova), one of 19 career doubles titles and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world in doubles in 1986.
February 22 - Two-time doubles Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 Tom Okker turns 69. Okker won 78 Grand Slam doubles titles, a record that stood until it was broken by Todd Woodbridge in 2005. He won the French Open in 1973 and the US Open in 1976, and reached the finals at the Australian Open in 1971 and Wimbledon in 1969. He first achieved the No. 1 rank in 1969 and had a career doubles record of 550-152. In addition, he won 31 career singles titles and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world, reaching the 1968 US Open final and the semifinals of the other three Grand Slam tournaments.
Puerto Rico's Gigi Fernandez, won of the most decorated doubles players in tennis history, turns 49. Fernandez won 17 Grand Slam doubles titles in her career, 14 of them alongside partner Natasha Zvereva. In total she won the French Open seven times (1991-1995, 1997); the US Open four times (1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996); Wimbledon four times (1992-1994, 1997) and the Australian Open twice (1993-1994). She also won the gold medal in women's doubles tennis at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, won 69 career doubles titles and was ranked No. 1 in the world beginning in 1991. As a singles player, she won two career titles and reached No. 17 in the world, making the Wimbledon semifinals in 1994 and the US Open quarterfinals in 1991 and 1994.
American Michael Chang, the youngest male player to ever win a Grand Slam title, turns 41. In 1989 at age 17 years, 110 days, Chang defeated Stefan Edberg in a five-set French Oopen final 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to set the record. He is even more famously known for his victory over Ivan Lendl in the fourth round, falling behind 4-6, 4-6, before winning the next three sets by matching 6-3 scores to win a match that took four hours, 37 minutes. At times, fighting cramps, Chang served under hand against Lendl, and stood in odd places on the court to await Lendl's serves in an attempt to distract him. Chang went on to reach the finals of the US Open and Australian Open in 1996 and reach No. 2 in the world.
February 23 - The Czech Repubic's Helena Sukova, a 14-time doubles Grand Slam champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, turns 48. Sukova won 69 career doubles titles and reached No. 1 in the world in February of 1990. She won the Australian Open doubles title in 1990 and 1992; the French Open in 1990; the US Open in 1985 and 1993 and completed the career Grand Slam when she won Wimbledon in 1990, the third of her four titles there (also won in 1987, 1989 and 1996). In mixed doubles, she won the French Open in 1991, the US Open in 1993, the Australian Open in 1994 and 1998 and completed that career Grand Slam with the 1994 Wimbledon crown, eventually winning the All England Club title again in 1996 and 1997.
Posted: 2/16/2013 12:25:31 PM