It is a privilege to discover one’s purpose in life early on and to work towards it. It is even more gratifying when success begins early. This is the story of Ashley Harkleroad, a retired tennis professional who found success on the court at a very young age. Although some may think she didn’t reach the peak of her career before retirement, considering all the potential she projected in her early career, Ashley explained that she simply loved playing tennis and stopped playing when there was too much pressure to succeed. The peak of her career was in 2003 when she became the world’s number 39.
Ashley is also known as the wife of former tennis player Chuck Adams.
All About The Ex-tennis Player
1. Where and When was Ashley Harkleroad Born?
Ashley was born May 2, 1985, in Rossville, Georgia. Her parents (Danny and Tammy) raised her in Flintstone, Georgia. They were both active sports players in college, which may have influenced Ashley’s interest in sports at a young age.
She started playing tennis at the age of 4. During her childhood she was nicknamed “Pebbles” and she described herself as very defiant and rebellious as she grew up.
2. Tennis Career
After an impressive junior result, Ashley’s career began in 2000, shortly after she turned fifteen. She made her debut in 1999 at the ITF tournament in Largo, Florida. In 2000 she played in the WTA qualifier in Miami, Florida, and then her first Grand Slam tournament at the US Open. After winning her first game, she reached the second round in Hawaii, Bratislava and San Diego in 2002. Her first partner in the semi-finals in the doubles was Maria Emilia Salerni.
Although 2002 ended as a great year for Ashley Harkleroad, in which she made it into the top 200 in tennis, her breakthrough came in 2003 after defeating three of the top 20 players (Daniela Hantuchova No. 9, Elena Bovina No. 16 and Meghann Shaughnessy No. 19). After reaching the semi-finals, she lost to Justine Henin Hardene. Her performance took her from rank 101 to rank 56 and in the same year, she reached the semi-finals again in Strasbourg, which brought her to rank 39 in the top 50. This became the highest performance in her entire tennis career and she also reached the final doubles at the Tokyo Japan Open.
Her professional career spanned 12 years and Ashley took home 8 ITF titles and had a record of 213-140 in her single career. She reached the third round at the 2003 French Open and the 2007 Australian Open. Her trainers were Jay Berger, Jose Luis Clerc and Chuck Adams, whom she eventually married.
It is believed that Ashley would have had better chances if she had made better choices in the early stages of her career, but like some aspiring tennis players with promising opportunities, she lacked the ability to handle an up-and-coming tennis career, especially when it came to choosing the right agent and sponsor.
Nevertheless, after an eventful career, Ashley has announced her retirement from professional tennis in 2012 and has retired from active duty.
3. What Does Ashley Harkleroad Do Now After Her Retirement?
After her retirement, she began a career as a commentator for the Tennis Channel. Ashley Harkleroad loves to live under the radar and enjoys the leisure of being a wife and mother. She is also currently the owner of Malibu Valley Vineyard Wines.
4. The Personal and Family Life of Ashley Harkleroad
In December 2004 Ashley married Alex Bogomolov -ATP pro when she was 19 and Alex 24. She revealed that being from a small town had its disadvantages and she was tired of being accused of sin. Her marriage was short-lived, as it ended in divorce in October 2006. Ashley was divorced at the age of 21 when her peers were still in college and figuring out what they wanted out of life. According to her, her early marriage relaxed her and helped her mature.
In 2008 Ashley became the first female tennis player to pose for Playboy magazine. She was the cover of the August issue of Playboy magazine. On the cover, she repeated that she represented the body of an athlete who keeps fit. She also said that she was proud of her body. A few months after shooting, Ashley gave birth to her first child with her former coach and current husband, Chuck Adams.
Ashley got together with Chuck Adams, who is 15 years older than her, in 2007. They are now married and have two children (Charlie born March 30, 2009, and Loretta Lynn born April 4, 2011).