Mary Joe Fernandez Godsick enjoyed a golden career on the tennis courts of the world.
In the midst of an outstanding run as a professional that included three Grand Slam finals, Fernandez Godsick won two Olympic gold medals representing the United States.
Teamed with Gigi Fernandez (no relation), Mary Joe first prevailed in the women’s doubles at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Team Fernandez reprised their championship performance on U.S. soil, winning gold at the 1996 0lympics in Atlanta.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Fernandez Godsick is the fourth woman inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. She joins Mary K. Browne, Edna Shalala and Gwyneth Thomas.
Mary Joe’s accomplishments on the pro circuit make her one of the game’s all-time greats. In 1990, after winning the Tokyo Indoor Championship and reaching the finals of the Australian Open where she was defeated by Steffi Graf, Fernandez Godsick ranked a career-high World No. 4 in singles.
Twice more, Mary Joe would reach the finals of Grand Slam events. She was topped by Monica Seles in the 1992 Australian Open and by Graf in the 1993 French Open.
Fernandez Godsick did reach the winner’s circle in both tournaments, teaming with Patty Fendick to win the women’s doubles championship at the 1991 Australian Open, and partnering with Lindsay Davenport to capture the doubles title at the 1996 French Open.
Mary Joe was a tenacious rival and no better illustration of her fight can be found than the quarterfinals of the 1993 French Open. She saved five match points against Gabriela Sabatini before winning a match that lasted more than three and a half hours.
She also was the youngest player to win a main draw match at the U.S. Open when at 14 years and 8 days, she defeated Sara Gomer in first round play in 1985.
Fernandez Godsick was a star soon after picking up a racket for the first time. She won four straight Orange Bowl junior titles and turned pro at 15.
Mary Joe lives in Chagrin Falls with her husband, sports agent Anthony Lewisohn Godsick, and their children, Isabella Maria and Nicholas Cooper.