Chanda Rubin of Lafayette, one of the greatest athletes ever produced by Louisiana, will be inducted along with the Meyers family of New Orleans, into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame at a reception and dinner open to the public and hosted by the Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation at The City Club of Lafayette on January 28, 2012 at 7:00pm.
Chanda, the daughter of Judge Edward and Bernadette Rubin, started tennis at a young age. The Rubins had a tennis court in their yard and it wasn’t long before it became apparent that Chanda was destined for greatness.
Chanda won both the USTA National 12 and 14 and under Championships before winning Junior Wimbledon in 1992 at age 15 and eventually turning pro. Education was important to Chanda and her parents prompting her to skip the French Open in order to attend her senior prom and graduation. It did not take Chanda long, however, to make her mark on the women’s pro tour. In 1995, she reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and was named the Athlete of the Year by the American Tennis Association and the Female Athlete of the Year by the USTA.
By 1996, ranked at #6 in the world, Chanda was the highest ranked American in women’s tennis after reaching the singles semifinals of the Australian Open. Along with her partner, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Chanda captured the 1996 Australian Open doubles crown defeating Lindsey Davenport and Mary Joe Fernandez in the finals. Chanda was a regular member of the U.S. Federation Cup team and was on the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 and 2004.
Over the course of her career, Chanda made it to 19 tour singles finals winning 7 titles including twice at Eastbourne, the warm-up for Wimbledon. She earned wins over Lindsey Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin and Serena Williams (snapping Williams’ 21 match winning streak). Chanda reached the quarterfinals of the French Open three times. She won 10 tour doubles titles with six different partners. Chanda was great on any surface as she won titles on grass, hard and clay courts over the course of her career.
Ashley Rhoney, who coached Chanda, noted that there were several things that made her great. “She was intelligent and very coachable. I would tell her once and she would pick it up immediately,” explained Rhoney. “Her timing on any surface was outstanding and with that big forehand, she had the weapon to compete with anyone.”
In addition to being a superior athlete, Chanda also possessed an amazing will to win. Her comeback wins or her grueling marathon matches are legendary. Chanda’s win over Patricia Hy-Boulais at the second round of Wimbledon in 1995 still ranks as the longest Wimbledon women’s match by number of games and by time played. Chanda’s 1996 Australian Open quarterfinal win over Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (6-4, 2-6, 16-14) still ranks as the highest number of games using tiebreak scoring in Australian Open history. Chanda’s opponents knew that any match with her would be a battle mentally and physically.
While Chanda was no doubt, a great player, she is also known for her philanthropy. In 1997, Chanda was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award for her commitment to community involvement and her work with programs that benefit children. In 1998, she established the Chanda Rubin Tennis and Scholarship Foundation, which provides funding for youth playing opportunities and scholarships. She was awarded the Family Circle Player Who Makes a Difference Award in 2002 and the USTA Service Bowl Award in 2003. She was honored for her philanthropic work in 2008 with the International Lawn Tennis Danzig Trophy and the Gene Scott Renaissance Award. She remains active in tennis serving as a Director at Large for the USTA Board of Directors and serves on several USTA committees. As a tennis player and as a person, Chanda is one of Louisiana’s treasures.
The Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation is the governing body for the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame. The Louisiana Tennis Patrons Foundation’s purpose is to promote the instruction, development and the playing of tennis. The Hall of Fame reception and dinner for Chanda Rubin and the Meyers family is open to the public and is scheduled for 7 p.m. on January 28, 2012, at The City Club in Lafayette.