Zina's History - Zina Garrison Tennis Academy

Zina Garrison is holding up her 1981 Jr. Wimbledon title trophy in this photo. Zina did not always understand how tennis works. Garrison began her career one afternoon when she wandered over to MacGregor Park Tennis Center in Houston. Her brother was practicing baseball and he told her to find something to do. She did! John Wilkerson was happy to introduce Zina to tennis to help her brother out. “Zina didn’t know much about tennis when she started,” Wilkerson remembers. “She didn’t even know players kept score. She thought you just hit the ball over the net until you got tired.” Thanks to her determination and her natural talent, she bested all her peers and with John’s coaching became the #1 Junior Player in the world. While many take her success as a natural progression, she had many more obstacles to surpass than the normal player. She had to be a role model to a community that had never had any real success in the sport of tennis. Therefore, when she decided in 1992 to take her winnings from the Family Circle Cup and start a free tennis program for at-risk youth in Houston no one was surprised. It all had come full circle for the little 10 year old looking for a way to spend the afternoon.

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