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USTA San Diego

USTA Southern California
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The decline of Hispanic tennis players

When Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez were ranked among the top women's tennis players in the world in the 1990s, they also belonged to an even more exclusive club: high-profile Hispanic-Americans in the sport. You think African-Americans are rare in tennis? James Blake, Donald Young, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys all played singles in this year's U.S. Open. There were no Hispanic-Americans, and that's hardly a surprise.

You have to go back decades to find premier Hispanic-American men such as Pancho Gonzales and Pancho Segura in the 1950s and 60s. As for women? There were the Fernandezes, who are not related, and Rosie Casals from the 1960s to the '80s. But there haven't been many more than that.

It's almost odd, given that Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States today and some of the world's best athletes in baseball, football, basketball and boxing, among other sports. And yet, as America commemorates National Hispanic Heritage Month, they're still far from creating their own heritage in tennis.

Read more about the decline of Hispanic tennis players at ESPN.com.

 

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