Magers to represent U.S. in world tourney

Mark Rivera

Tennis has taken her around the globe to compete and given her the chance to meet royalty. Now, City College tennis coach Gretchen Magers is being recruited to represent the United States in a worldwide competition.

Magers, 47, has been selected by the United States Tennis Association to compete in the Senior World Team Championships for the fifth time. The 2011 tourney will be held in New Zealand in late February.

In the championships, which are sponsored by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), nationally ranked senior tennis players represent their countries in men’s and women’s age groups from 35 to 55-plus.

An avid tennis player since age 11, Magers has been competing professionally since she was 16 and debuted at the US Open soon after.

Her involvement with ITF has taken her to countries like Australia, South Africa, Turkey, Spain and Mexico.

“My main motivation growing up was getting a college scholarship,” Magers said.

Magers received her scholarship to Trinity University in Texas, and while there, she was a 4-time All-American and a NCAA doubles champion. She said she played in the professional circuit for seven years after
graduating in 1986.

Her many accomplishments include earning a top-20 singles player and winning three singles titles and six doubles titles. Magers was also a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open, at the French Open and at Wimbledon.

Magers was a World Junior champion in 1982, a Pan American Games gold medalist and a U.S. Olympic Team member in 1984.

Magers is an active member of her San Diego Community. She not only coaches the City College women’s tennis team and instructs tennis courses in the fall, but she also hosts tennis mixers on the weekends to help players of all skill levels work on their game.

According to Dean of Athletics Kathy McGinnis, City College has seen an influx of students coming in from all over the San Diego area to learn from an instructor with the level of expertise that Magers brings to
the court.

Magers said she attributes her accomplishments on the court to the strong family she had while growing up in Pittsburgh, Penn., who taught her the value of hard work.

“If you work hard, you can accomplish things,” Magers said. “I’ve met princes and generals. There’s no way a little girl from Pittsburgh should be meeting these kinds of people, but it was through the sport of tennis that led me to shake the hand of the Duchess of York.

“It’s simply because I love tennis. I pursued it and never gave up, and I think that’s when doors in life will open for you.”