Born: August 26, 1969
Nicole J. Arendt was born August 26, 1969 in Somerville. Quick, smart and powerful, she excelled in youth sports and distinguished herself as a junior tennis star. Nicole, a left-hander, attended the Hun School in Princeton and was almost unbeatable as the star of the Raiders’ varsity. She accepted a tennis scholarship from the University of Florida, which had the top team in the East at the time.
Nicole continue to develop her game with the Lady Gators under coach Andy Brandi. She graduated as a four-time All-American in both singles and doubles, winning 145 singles matches during her varsity career. The Gators were NCAA runners-up in 1988 and 1990. She turned pro in 1991.
Life on the women’s tour was not easy for Nicole. She paid her dues playing satellite events, and in WTA tournaments, the singles draw was likely to include names like Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, Gabriela Sabatini, Arantxa Sanchez, Monica Seles and Zina Garrison. Nicole made her mark as a doubles specialist, reaching the mixed doubles finals in 1996 at both the Australian Open and French Open with Luke Jensen. They lost both times, but were actually up a set in Melbourne before falling to Mark Woodforde and Larisa Savchenko.
Nicole reached the finals at Wimbledon the following season with Dutch star Manon Bollegraf. They narrowly lost to Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, 6–7 and 4–6. Later that year, Nicole reached a #3 world ranking in doubles, the highest of her career. Her highest singles ranking was #49, also achieved in 1997. Nicole and Manon reached the top spot in the rankings that summer.
Nicole won a total of 16 doubles titles, including the World Doubles Cup in Scotland in 1996 and 1997, both times partnering with Bollegraf. She also reached the semifinals at the 1997 US Open, the 2001 Australian Open and 2002 French Open. She called it a career in 2003. Nicole was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. She returned to Florida to finish up her degree in Public Relations, and then moved to Australia, where she has become one of the country’s most respected junior coaches.