The youngest of seven children, Garrison started playing tennis at the age of 10 and entered her first tournament at the age of 12. At 14, she won the national girls’ 18s title. In 1981, she won both the Wimbledon and US Open junior titles and was ranked the World No. 1 junior player. Garrison graduated from Sterling High School in Houston, Texas in 1982.
Since retiring from the tour, Garrison has worked as a television commentator and maintained active roles in the community and in tennis. She founded the Zina Garrison Foundation for the Homeless in 1988, and the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis Program, which supports inner-city tennis in Houston, in 1992. She has also served as a member of the United States President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Believing that tennis serves as the gateway to provide young people with all of the skills needed to thrive as a member of his or her community, Zina founded The Zina Garrison Academy (ZGA) (also known as Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy) in 1992. She wanted to give young people the same opportunities that she was afforded as a young tennis player. ZGA provides 45 weeks of free programming each year for all young people in the Houston area. ZGA not only provides world-class tennis instruction, but also provides college preparatory classes, wellness and nutrition lessons, interactive garden instruction, ACE training, and much more.