(born 22 October 1971 in Hoopstad
, South Africa) is a former professional tennis player from South Africa.
Coetzer turned professional in 1988 and retired in 2004. She won her first top-level singles title in 1993 in Melbourne, and her second later that year in Tokyo.
Coetzer entered the top-20 on the women's world rankings in 1992 and remained there for most of the next 10 years. She developed a reputation for regularly beating players who were higher ranked than her as she climbed to her career high ranking of World No. 3 in 1997. As a result of her many upset wins and her small size, she earned the nickname "The Little Assassin."
At the Canadian Open
in 1995, Coetzer defeated three players ranked in the world's top-5 – Steffi Graf
(No. 1), Jana Novotná
(No. 4) and Mary Pierce
(No. 5) – before finally losing to Monica Seles
in the final. The defeat of Graf ended a 32-match winning-streak for the German.
At the Australian Open in 1996, Coetzer became the first South African woman in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam
semi-final, where she lost in three sets to Anke Huber
1997 was the best season of Coetzer's career. In reaching the Australian Open semi-finals for the second consecutive year, she defeated World No. 1 Graf in the fourth round. She then beat Graf for a second time in the quarter-finals at Berlin, handing her her worst-ever loss by defeating her 6–0, 6–1 in just 56 minutes. And then in the quarter-finals of the French... Read More