All About Emma Navarro's Parents, Kelly and Ben Navarro

Meet Emma Navarro's parents

Published Time: 08.07.2024 - 22:31:10 Modified Time: 08.07.2024 - 22:31:10

Meet Emma Navarro's parents.

The breakout tennis star, who's heading into the quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2024, is the daughter of Kelly and Ben Navarro.

The London-based grand slam has been a pivotal tournament for Emma, who quickly turned heads after defeating Naomi Osaka at Centre Court in the second round on July 3. Soon after, she upset reigning US Open champ and Olympic-bound Coco Gauff four days later.

“I don’t have a ton of words but just really grateful to be out here on Center Court at a tournament with so much history and tradition, that so many legends have played on before me,” the tennis starsaidduring her post-match interview after taking down Gauff.

The former student athlete at the University of Virginia, who won the 2021 NCAA Singles Championship, comes from a tennis-loving brood. However, the 23-year-old American player is the only family member to go pro in the sport.

"As a fan, father, and business owner, tennis has brought so much to our family," Ben Navarro told Post and Courier in 2020. "Junior tennis has provided a place for our children to learn a work ethic, develop friendship through shared struggle, and learn to handle disappointment, defeat, and sometimes even unfairness."

Navarro's run at Wimbledon is headline-making, but her momentum has been building all season: She reached the third round of the Australian Open, followed by the fourth round at the French Open.

As of July 1, Navarro is currently seated at a career-high of No. 17 and had a doubles ranking of No. 120 in June 2024, per the WTA. She won her first WTA singles title at Hobart International in January this year.

Read on to learn about Navarro's parents, Kelly and Ben Navarro.

Ben Navarro is from Massachusetts, though he and his wife Kelly raised their four children — Emma, Meggie, Earl and Owen — in South Carolina. Emma, who was actually born in New York City in 2001, was a highly-touted junior tennis star in Charleston in her adolescence.

"Charleston is my favorite city in the world,” the tennis star told Garden & Gun in April 2024. “I love to walk around downtown and see the houses and say good morning or good evening to the people.”

Starting in the fourth grade, Emma got "serious" about tennis. "I would get up at around 5:45 a.m and go play tennis for about an hour before school," she recalled to Charleston Day School in an "Alumni Spotlight" interview.

Ben is the founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group. According to Forbes, his net worth is $1.5 billion as of Jul -

y 2024.

Per the outlet, Ben — a former Citigroup vice president — spent over $350 million buying up property around Charleston, including a stadium and the city's biggest hotel since 2021. He also tried to buy the Carolina Panthers in 2018, but lost out to hedge fund mogul David Tepper.

As for his tennis investments, Ben— through his company Beemok Sports LLC — bought the Charleston Tennis LLC (owners of the Charleston Open) in 2019. He also spent upwards of $300 million in 2022 to purchase the Western & Southern Open, per Forbes.

Business endeavors aside, Ben is a philanthropist who founded non-profit Meeting Street Schools. He donated $1.25 million to the College of Charleston in March 2021, in addition to other charitable moves in recent years.

His wife, Kelly, keeps a lower profile, though she is often seen courtside at their daughter Emma's matches.

Ben and Kelly are stand staples at Navarro's tournaments, and have been since she was young. The professional previously recalled her dad's "favorite phrase" was "never give up," a motto that she said "has shaped my attitude toward anything I do, even today."

When Navarro made her debut at the 2019 Charleston Open (the tournament Ben owns), the father-daughter duo spoke with the Tennis Channel about the shared moment.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say I lost a couple nights sleep going up into the tournament because it's the first time she had a chance to play on a stage like that, and you just don't know," Ben said at the time, adding, "I know if I had to do it I probably wouldn't have been able to swing the racket."

The proud dad concluded, "If you make me talk about it too much, I'll start crying right here on the set."

Whether Navarro is winning or losing, she's a believer in knowing she's "exactly where I need to be." She told the Tennis Channel in April 2024 that her dad inspires much of that mindset.

"I gotta give a lot of credit to my dad. He's probably the smartest guy I know and has dropped a lot of knowledge and wisdom on my siblings and I over the years," Navarro said. "He's taught me a bunch about the perspective I need to take."

In addition to Navarro, Ben and Kelly share three other children: Meggie, Earl and Owen. Their sons maintain private lives, but Meggie is a student athlete who plays tennis at the University of Virginia. The five-star recruit is in the class of 2026.

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