The tennis career of Canadian-born Rene Simpson took off while she was a student at Texas Christian University, where she set (and, as of 2013, still holds) the season record for singles victories with 42 in 1987-1988. After finishing as runner-up in the 1988 Rainha Cup, part of that year’s Tier V Women’s Tennis Association tour, she made it to the third round of the 1989 French Open and was ranked 70th overall, her highest placement in singles. In her only Olympic appearance in 1992, she was defeated in the singles by Japan’s Kimiko Date in the opening match.
Simpson faired better in the doubles, ranking as high as 32nd in 1995 and reaching the quarterfinals of the 1996 US Open with Sonya Jeyaseelan. At the 1992 Summer Olympics she and Patricia Hy-Boulais bested Duangchan Suvimol and Benjamas Sangaram of Thailand in round one before losing to Isabelle Demongeot and Nathalie Tauziat of France. With various partners she won three lower tier WTA tour tournaments in 1994 and 1995 and came in second in the 1995 Tier II Virginia Slims of Houston. She was a member of the Canada Fed Cup team from 1988 through 1998, a coach from 1998 through 2000, and, after her retirement from active competition in 2001, captain until 2010. She died in October 2013, at the age of 47, after a year-long battle with brain cancer.