Lisa Raymond played her final US Open women’s doubles tournament on Thursday, playing with a partner that was just born when she became a professional tennis player. Now the former decorated Florida Gator player, who has won all four Grand Slams in doubles, will dedicate herself to helping fellow American Madison Keys climb the rankings.
“Madison and I are friends, I’m helping her out, being a part of her team which I love doing,” she told USTA Florida at the US Open following their loss. “Every time I’m out there with her I want to help her a little bit and try to get her to work on some things for her singles. And we also want to have a laugh and keep it light.
“I have been given the call to go [to tournaments] when [coach] Lindsay [Davenport] can’t, which has been awesome — I’ve been a part of her team this whole year and loved every second of it. It’s not only to help her with forehands and backhands, but to kind of learn some things from my experiences.”
And her experiences have been vast.
No slouch in singles, Raymond cracked the Top 20 during her career, reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals, and recorded wins over No. 1s or No. 1s-to-be Venus Williams, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capritati, Martina Hingis and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.
At the University of Florida she won the NCAA singles title in 1992-93 and led the Gators to their first-ever NCAA national team championship in 1992. That same year she became the first player to win all three collegiate Grand Slam titles in the same season.
“I’ll be playing a match and I’ll hear ‘Go Gators!’ and it was, like, 22 years later which is scary. It’s an extended family that I will always be a part of, and more girls and guys [junior players] should go to college.”
Now 22 years after turning pro and collecting 11 total Grand Slam titles, she will turn her attention to bringing along one of the next generation of American stars.
“All the traveling and everything had become less fun,” she says. “Working with Madison has made it fun again.”