...By Solomon Thomas for TDPel Media.
Ashley Harkleroad is a former professional tennis player from the United States who was born on May 2, 1985. Harkleroad began playing tennis when she was just four years old, and quickly displayed a natural talent for the sport.
She went on to have a successful career as a professional player, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 39 in the world in 2003.
Harkleroad was born in Rossville, Georgia, and grew up in a tennis-loving family. Her father was a tennis coach, and her mother played the sport as well.
Harkleroad’s talent on the court was evident from a young age, and she quickly became one of the most promising junior players in the country.
In 2000, at the age of 15, Harkleroad turned professional. She quickly made a name for herself on the WTA tour, and in 2001 she reached the third round of the US Open. In 2003, Harkleroad reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, which remains her best result at a Grand Slam tournament.
Over the course of her career, Harkleroad won two WTA singles titles and one doubles title. She also had several impressive wins over some of the top players in the world, including Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams.
Harkleroad’s career was unfortunately cut short by injuries, and she retired from professional tennis in 2012.
Off the court, Harkleroad was known for her good looks and her willingness to pose for provocative photo shoots. In 2008, she made headlines when she became the first tennis player to pose for Playboy magazine.
Harkleroad defended her decision to pose for the magazine, saying that she was proud of her body and wanted to show that female athletes can be both strong and sexy.
Despite the controversy surrounding her Playboy shoot, Harkleroad remains a beloved figure in the world of tennis. She is remembered for her powerful serve, her aggressive style of play, and her undeniable talent on the court.
Today, she works as a tennis commentator and coach, and she continues to inspire young players around the world with her passion and dedication to the sport.