With the world starved of sport and sporting events over the past few weeks and months, perhaps it’s time we gave a little time and attention to our sporting stars. Let’s give a throwback to a sporting pro that once wowed the country with her skill. When it comes to famous sports men and women in SA, Amanda Coetzer instantly comes to mind. She is not just another South African tennis player; she in fact one of the best South African female tennis players the country has ever seen! Some even call her an SA tennis legend – and this is hard to disagree with. That’s quite a bold statement to make, isn’t it? Well, it’s true – Amanda Coetzer is South Africa’s very own tennis superstar!
If you haven’t heard of Amanda Coetzer yet, now’s your chance to get to know more about the tennis pro that absolutely took South Africa’s breath away and kept the country captivated for well over 10 years.
Amanda Coetzer South African Tennis Player Extraordinaire!
Amanda Coetzer took the country by surprise when she made her debut into the professional tennis world in 1988, at just 17 years old. She was a fire ball on the court and only piqued the interest of the professional tennis world when she won her very first top-level singles title in Melbourne in 1993. She quickly followed this win up with a second singles title, in the very same year in Tokyo. Amanda Coetzer was tearing up the court in her time and nothing could stop her! It should come as no surprise to learn that she earned herself the nickname of “The Little Assassin” on the court and also won herself a whopping $5,594,821 in prize winnings throughout her career.
Amanda grew up in a small South African family living in Hoopstad. Her mom a housewife, her dad a lawyer, and her 3 sisters all lived a typical South African lifestyle. However, she did spend the majority of her professional tennis career living in Hilton Head, South Carolina in the USA and is married to Arnon Milchan (who is a billionaire film producer). She had a great enthusiasm for tennis throughout her childhood and in 1992, after competing in many single and double tennis competitions and tournaments, she made it onto the Top 20 Women’s World rankings. This was no easy task and what really took the country’s breath away was that she maintained her position in that top 20 list for 10 full years. Amanda made a habit of beating players ranked higher than her and continued to do so until her career reached its peak in 1997. To Amanda Coetzer, tennis was life – or it certainly seemed that way.
Amanda Coetzer, Career Achievements:
Let’s talk about what Amanda Coetzer did in her career… To put it quite simply; Amanda did a lot. When she hit the professional tennis court, she seemed to be on a mission; a mission to win! To list absolutely every single one of Amanda Coetzer’s professional tennis achievements would be a rather large task in itself. It’s safe to say that Amanda Coetzer should be as proud of everything she has achieved as the country is! She played in a plethora of competitions and tournaments throughout her tennis career, leaving a string of achievements and awards in her wake. Some of her achievements that really stand out in South African tennis fans minds include (but are not limited to) the following:
- 1995 – Amanda at the Canadian Open:
Amanda Coetzer defeated Steffi Graf, Jana Novotna, and Mary Piece (all ranking in the world’s top 5 at the time) at the Canadian Open. Unfortunately, she lost to Monica Seles in the final with the entire South African nation watching, gripped…on the edge of their seats.
- 1996 – Amanda at the Australian Open:
Amanda Coetzer was the first South African woman to reach a Grand Slam in the semi-final at the Australian Open in 1996.
- 1997 – Amanda at the Australian Open:
This particular year is considered Amanda Coetzer’s best season. She made it to the semi-finals for the second year running and ended up defeating Steffi Graf in the fourth round, who was the World No.1 at the time. This was a massive achievement for Amanda and really put her on the pro tennis map.
- 1998 – Amanda at the Hilton Head Tier 1 Event:
At this event, Amanda Coetzer won the biggest title of her entire career.
- 1999 – Amanda’s year of wins!
In 1999, Amanda beat Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Steffi Graf while they held World No 1 rankings. This is considered a mammoth achievement in the professional tennis world. Well done Amanda!
These are just some of Amanda Coetzer’s many achievements. All in all, she managed to earn herself a total of 9 top level single titles as well as 9 double titles. She played her final singles match in Acapulco in 2003 and won.
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