Maria Fernanda Alves is in her first season as an assistant coach in the UCSB women's tennis program.
A professional tennis player who climbed as high as No. 130 in singles and 109 in doubles in the Women's Tennis Association rankings, was hired by head coach Simon Thibodeau in August.
"I am fortunate and excited to announce the hiring of Maria Fernanda Alves," Thibodeau said at the time of the appointment. "Fernanda was a phenomenal player on the WTA tour with an incredible work ethic and an outstanding set of skills. She is passionate, experienced and knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level. She will definitely get the most out of our Gaucho players."
A touring professional since 1998, Alves won 21 singles titles and 57 doubles titles during her career. She competed in multiple qualifying rounds in singles and doubles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, French Open and Australian Open. In 2005 the native of Brazil competed in the main draw at the Australian Open.
In addition to competing on the WTA Tour, Alves represented Brazil in the Federation Cup as a singles and doubles player from 2000 to 2011. She also competed in the 2003 Pan American Games as well as the German Bundesliga and Brazilian Intercity Team Annual Tournaments. She received the Brazilian Tennis Federation honor for Best Women's Player in 2004, 2005 and 2007, as well as the Heart Award during at the 2010 Federation Cup.
Alves served as a volunteer assistant coach at Texas A&M in 2015-16. She has also served as the Associate Head Coach at the Nanda Tennis Camp Program in Miami, Fla., since 2009.
Alves, who possesses a BA in business administration from Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina Florianopolis in Brazil, moves into the coaching spot previously held by Erica Cano. Cano will remain on the staff as a volunteer assistant coach as she pursues here master's degree in education at UCSB.