Volunteering her time to the Rice women's tennis program for the second-straight year is professional doubles standout Jennifer Russell.
Heading into the spring, Russell is ranked in the top 50 in the world for doubles. She won 13 doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation Tour prior to joining the Women's Tennis Association Tour in 2004. In 2004, partnered with Mara Santangelo of Italy, Russell won her first WTA tour doubles title at the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt, Belgium. The pair advanced to the third round of Wimbledon in 2004, falling to Martina Navratilova and Lisa Raymond 7-5, 6-3. In 2005, Russell teamed with Santangelo again to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, her first Grand Slam quarterfinals appearance.
The former Jennifer Embry was a three-time all-Big Ten honoree for Purdue. In 2000, she was a finalist for the ITA senior player of the year award. Her sophomore season, Russell qualified for the NCAA championships in singles. She made school history with partner Mary Beth Maggart in 1998 as the duo became the Boilermakers' first doubles team to receive a bid. At the championships, the pair upset Stanford's top-ranked Teryn Ashley and Anne Kremer 6-4, 6-3. She went on to receive NCAA doubles bids again in 1999 and 2000 and a singles bid in 1999. She finished her collegiate career ranked 25th in doubles with Shannon Taheny, and held the school record for doubles wins with 79.
A native of Houston, Russell competed at Memorial High School, earning the state doubles championship as a sophomore.
Jennifer and Jeff Russell were married on May 1, 2004.