Meet Emma Navarro, the American billionaire heiress who upset world No. 2 Coco Gauff to take the tennis world by storm

    Emma Navarro waves to the crowd after winning match point against Coco Gauff during Wimbledon’s round of 16.

    Clive Brunskill/Staff/Getty Images

    American Emma Navarro, 23, has been a breakout star at Wimbledon this year.She is the daughter of billionaire businessman Ben Navarro.Emma Navarro beat Grand Slam champion Coco Gauff to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinal.

    Wimbledon, the world’s most prestigious Grand Slam tennis tournament, began on July 1.

    And while it may be well-known for attracting a number of A-list and billionaire spectators, there’s also plenty of wealth on the court, too.

    One of Wimbledon’s breakout stars is Emma Navarro, the 23-year-old daughter of billionaire businessman Ben Navarro. The American player has had quite the season so far, breaking into the top 20 of the WTA rankings and defeating not one, but two Grand Slam champions — Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff — during her impressive Wimbledon run.

    Although she fell to Jasmine Paolini, 28, in the quarterfinal on Tuesday, the tennis world will see her again soon as she prepares for her first Olympic Games in Paris in just a few weeks.

    Here’s everything you need to know about the American heiress taking the tennis world by storm.

    Emma Navarro was born in New York City and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.Navarro waves to the crowd after defeating Naomi Osaka in round two of Wimbledon 2024.

    Sean M. Haffey/Staff/Getty Images

    In April, Navarro told Garden & Gun magazine that Charleston is her “favorite city in the world.”

    “I love to walk around downtown and see the houses and say good morning or good evening to the people,” she added.

    A few of her favorite hometown spots include Sullivan’s Island, Holey City Bagels, Second State Coffee, and Sorelle.

    She and her three siblings, older brothers Earl and Owen and younger sister Meggie, were raised in the area by parents Kelly and Ben Navarro.

    Her father, Ben Navarro, has an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.Ben Navarro.

    HENRY NICHOLLS/Contributor/AFP via Getty Images

    Ben Navarro, 61, is the founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group, which Forbes describes as “a credit card and debt collection empire.”

    One of the group’s main assets is lender Credit One, which some eagle-eyed fans may have noticed is one of the logos on Emma’s uniforms at recent tournaments.

    Forbes reported that, in addition to banking, Navarro has purchased more than $350 million worth of property in Charleston since 2021.

    He’s also been an active buyer in the tennis space, with CNN reporting that he purchased the Cincinnati Open tournament for about $300 million in 2022.

    Other tennis-related ventures in his portfolio include the South Carolina-based Live To Play Tennis Club and the Volvo Car Open, the largest women’s only tennis tournament in North America, per the WTA. (It has since been renamed the Credit One Charleston Open.)

    In 2019, the US Tennis Association named the Navarro family South Carolina’s tennis family of the year.

    He told the Post and Courier at the time, “As a fan, father, and business owner, tennis has brought so much to our family. Junior tennis has provided a place for our children to learn a work ethic, develop friendship through shared struggle, and learn to handle disappointment, defeat, and sometimes even unfairness.”

    Emma Navarro credits her father with introducing her to tennis and shaping her mindset as an athlete.Ben Navarro and Kelly Navarro watch their daughter, Emma Navarro, during the first round of the 2024 French Open.

    Tim Clayton/Contributor/Corbis via Getty Images

    In 2021, she told Charleston Magazine that her dad helped her get into tennis.

    “He wanted it to be a family sport,” she said. “I have two older brothers, and they both played. As soon as I was old enough and strong enough to hold a racquet, I was out there on the court with them.”

    He’s been an important mentor to her ever since.

    “My dad has always been in my corner, getting me the coaching and training, whatever I needed,” she told Charleston Magazine.

    She made sure to give her mom, Kelly Navarro, a shout-out, too, calling her “the behind-the-scenes lady who makes everything happen.”

    In an April 2024 interview with the Tennis Channel, Emma Navarro credited her dad for her mindset as an athlete, calling him “the smartest guy” she knows.

    “He’s taught me a bunch about the perspective I want to take into things, especially on-court stuff,” she added.

    Navarro said she started getting serious about tennis when she was in elementary school.Emma Navarro at the BNP Paribas Open in 2024.

    Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

    In an “Alumni Spotlight” interview with Charleston Day School, Navarro said she started taking tennis seriously in fourth grade.

    “I would get up around 5:45 a.m. and go play tennis for about an hour before school,” she said.

    “I would go back out to the courts after school, come home, finish my homework, and get to bed early enough to have a decent night’s sleep before I did it all again the next day.”

    In 2019, Navarro was runner-up in the singles final at the French Open Junior Championships.Emma Navarro, left, posed with her runner-up trophy at the 2019 French Open Juniors.

    Julian Finney/Staff/Getty Images

    Navarro, then 18, lost in the singles final to Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 6-2.

    However, she and partner Chloe Beck defeated Alina Charaeva and Anastasia Tikhonova 6-1, 6-2 in the doubles final, winning the championship.

    She made her WTA debut that same year at the Charleston Open.

    Navarro attended the University of Virginia and was the 2021 NCAA Singles Champion.Emma Navarro posed with her dog during a WTA video shoot on day one of the BNP Paribas Open 2024.

    Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

    Per the University of Virginia, Navarro was just the second player in program history to win the championship.

    Her freshman season was filled with a number of additional accolades, including the ITA National Rookie of the Year and the ACC Freshman of the Year, and she finished the season with a record of 25-1, the best single-season winning percentage in UVA Tennis history, according to the school.

    Navarro’s sophomore season proved to be successful, too. She was named an ITA Singles All-American as well as an ITA Doubles All-American and was the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Singles Championship, according to UVA.

    Her sister, Meggie Navarro, also plays tennis at UVA.

    She decided to become a full-time pro in 2022, and won her first WTA title, Hobart International, in January 2024.Emma Navarro posed for a photo after winning the 2024 Hobart International.

    Steve Bell/Stringer/Getty Images

    Navarro finished 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 against Elise Mertens to win her first WTA singles title.

    Since January, Navarro has played in over 10 tournaments around the world, including the Australian Open, the Cymbiotika San Diego Open, and the Trophée Clarins, where she reached the final, and, of course, Wimbledon.

    Gauff isn’t the first world No. 2 Navarro has beaten.Emma Navarro shakes hands with Aryna Sabalenka after winning in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in 2024.

    Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

    In March 2024, Navarro defeated Grand Slam champion and then-world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open, commonly known as Indian Wells.

    While at Indian Wells, she also won the Eisenhower Cup alongside Ben Shelton.Emma Navarro and Ben Shelton posed with their trophy after winning the Eisenhower Cup on day three of the BNP Paribas Open 2024.

    Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

    The Eisenhower Cup is Indian Wells’ popular kickoff exhibition in which eight mixed doubles teams compete against each other.

    Some of the other pairs in 2024’s event included Paula Badosa and Stefanos Tsitsipas, Sloane Stephens and Tommy Paul, Aryna Sabalenka and Taylor Fritz, and Qinwen Zheng and Frances Tiafoe.

    Per the WTA, her total 2024 prize money has surpassed $1 million.

    Navarro had an impressive showing at Wimbledon, upsetting world No. 2 Coco Gauff to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.Emma Navarro and Coco Gauff embrace after Navarro won in the fourth round of Wimbledon 2024.

    Clive Brunskill/Staff/Getty Images

    In her post-match interview, Navarro told reporter Annabel Croft that she was “really grateful” to be “on Centre Court at a tournament with so much history and tradition,” describing the opportunity as “a real honor.”

    Navarro also added that she has “a ton of respect” for Gauff and “what she’s done at such a young age.”

    Although her time in London was cut short by Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinal, Navarro will represent Team USA in just a few short weeks at the Olympics.Emma Navarro celebrated a point during the fourth round of Wimbledon.

    Robert Prange/Contributor/Getty Images

    Olympic tennis competition begins on July 27 at Roland-Garros Stadium, home of the French Open.

    Brackets have yet to be announced.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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