MELBOURNE – It has not gone unnoticed on social media that Venus Williams’ hitting partner has been working out extremely hard. 🙂
So we investigated further.
Here he is. He’s an American named Jermaine Jenkins.
The 32-year-old is a former Clemson college player who did some work on the ITF circuir. But while he was able to win multiple rounds in qualifying, the main draw proved more challenging. His ATP Tour ranking peaked at No. 1386, back in 2008.
He has a younger brother, 26-year-old Jarmere, who went to U. Virginia. Jarmere knows Australia pretty well, having spent a couple of months or more here each year for the last several, playing the Futures circuit. Jarmere was the better prospect, getting into the top 20 in the ITF rankings as a junior in 2008 after getting to the final of the Orange Bowl singles and winning the doubles. There’s even a third tennis-playing brother, Jackie Jr. As a pro, Jarmere got into the top 200 in singles a couple of years ago; he’s currently at No. 386.
The Jenkins hail from College Park, GA.
Not coincidentally, Jenkins and Serena Williams’ hitting partner Robbye Poole are well-acquainted. They’re just a month apart in age; Poole went to Ole Miss while Jenkins was at Clemson. They teamed up twice in doubles, all the way back in 2004, on the ITF circuit.
They went 0-for-2 there. With their players coming up against each other Saturday in the Australian Open women’s singles final, they’re guaranteed to be 1-1. 🙂