Cocoa Beach Grad Robin Dolan-Keener; NCAA Academic All-American, World Tennis Champ
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // April 9, 2017
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Robin Dolan Keener has been playing top-level tennis for so long that few remember her tennis career almost came to a sad end while she still was in high school.
ROBIN DOLAN KEENER – 2012 INDUCTEE
• NCAA Academic All-American
• Rollins College Sports HOF
• 8-Time USPTA Player of Year
ADAPT & OVERCOME
Robin Dolan Keener has been playing top-level tennis for so long that few remember her tennis career almost came to a sad end while she still was in high school.
Her coach with the Minutemen, Chuck Keener, who several years later would become her husband, urged her to try playing left-handed. Keener had tried the same thing after injuring his right arm.
The process was frustrating for Dolan Keener, who admittedly had a weak left arm. The initial learning process was hitting a tennis ball with a racquetball racket. Dolan Keener learned fast and posted a 17-0 regular-season record as a sophomore before losing in the state tournament in 1983.
She continued her success the following two years at Cocoa Beach and followed that with a standout four-year career at Rollins College, when the Tars played women’s tennis at the Division I level.
During her tenure at Rollins, Dolan Keener was an NCAA Academic All-America selection. She also was named the team captain during her final two years and a team most valuable player.
Rollins later awarded her the Alumni Athletic Achievement Award and induction into the Rollins College Sports Hall of Fame.
The ability to learn fast and adjust to difficult circumstances has helped Dolan Keener in both her role as a teacher and player.
The 1985 Cocoa Beach graduate has been a United States Professional Tennis Association P1 Professional since 1992. She has been the Director of Tennis at the Swiss Inn Tennis Center in Rockledge.
Keener has been the USPTA National Women’s 35 Player of the Year seven times, the USPTA Florida Division Women’s Open Player of the Year two times and the USPTA Florida Division Women’s 35 Player of the year eight times.
She was the captain of the 2006 U.S. International Suzanne Lenglen squad that won a silver medal in Durban, South Africa.
Keener also won silver and bronze medals in International Tennis Federation competition as a member of three U.S. teams.
Keener has won four USPTA International Championships, five USPTA National Championships and six USTA National Championships. She has earned 37 USTA gold, silver and bronze balls for top-three finishes in USTA National Championships.
Through the years, Keener has posted a No. 1 USTA National Singles and Doubles ranking, a No. 1 ranking in USPTA National Singles and Doubles and a No. 6 singles ranking in International Tennis Federation play.
She has been ranked the USPTA’s No. 1 player in Women’s 35 singles since 2007. Legendary tennis player Billie King also gave Keener the Women’s Sports Foundation All-Star Award for outstanding athletic performance.
Keener, who turned 50 on Feb. 15, has twice appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section. The first time was in the Aug. 8, 1983 issue just before the start of her junior year at Cocoa Beach High. The next appearance came in the Sept. 29, 1997 issue.
The Melbourne resident is a USPTA certification tester and a USTA official. She serves as a member of the USPTA National Tournament Committee and on the USPTA Florida Division Nominating Committee.
With her husband, she was the USTA Local League Coordinator for USTA Women’s Leagues on the Space Coast. Before the program was discontinued due to a budget considerations, the two Keeners were co-coaches of Brevard Community College’s women’s tennis team. She’s also been on the Wilson Sporting Goods advisory staff.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com