On Friday, September 7, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will gather at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball, an annual social event that celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport’s greatest champions and contributors, including the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2012 – Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow. In addition to honoring the newest inductees, this year’s event will salute Hall of Famer Chris Evert, who will be awarded the Eugene L. Scott Award in recognition of her years of dedication to tennis, and the positive impact she has made on the sport. The award will be presented by fellow Hall of Famer and a past Scott Award recipient, Billie Jean King.
“Gene had a remarkable ability to encourage people to really pause and think about what was important in the sport of tennis, and where the game was headed. I always admired his insight, and appreciated his dedication to the sport,” said Evert. “Today, I’m grateful for the platforms that I have to publicly observe developments in tennis and to speak out to help grow the game. It is truly an honor to be recognized with an award that pays tribute to such an effective communicator and important tennis industry leader as Gene.”
Eugene L. Scott was a United States Davis Cup player and a tournament director, but perhaps his greatest impact on the tennis world was asÂ a voice for the game. He founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point” until his death in 2006. His writings about the sport were known for their poignancy and clarity, and he was dubbed “the conscience of the game.” Presented annually, the Eugene L. Scott Award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Previous recipients of the award have been: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008); Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009); Martina Navratilova (2010); and Dick Enberg (2011).
“The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Legends Ball is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding contributors to the sport of tennis who have played an instrumental role in its growth, and naturally, Chris Evert is at the very top of that list. We are pleased to be able to say congratulations and thank you to Chris at this very special event, and are so pleased that Billie Jean will be able to help us do so,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.
Chris Evert during her Hall of Fame career, she won 18 major singles championships, including a record seven championships at the French Open and a record six US Opens. She also captured 3 major doubles titles. Evert was the year-end world No. 1 player seven times, and she captured a total of 157 singles titles and 29 doubles titles. Evert’s decade-long rivalry with fellow Hall of Famer and good friend Martina Navratilova is considered one of the greatest in sports history. Since retiring in 1989, Evert has focused her time on philanthropic efforts. She hosted the first Chris Evert Celebrity Pro-Am just one month after retiring from her 17-year playing career, and over the years, her efforts have contributed more than $20 million to an ongoing campaign against drug abuse and child neglect in Florida. Still an active leader in the tennis community, Evert is a publisher of Tennis magazine. In 2011 she officially took a spot behind the broadcast booth, joining the on-air team for ESPN’s Grand Slam coverage. Evert was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. She is the proud mother to three sons.
Fellow Hall of Famer Billie Jean King is one of the nation’s most influential and charismatic leaders. Her strength as a voice for not only tennis players, but for all athletes, has been a driving force behind growth in opportunities for men and women in sports. During her playing career, King won an extraordinary 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles, and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. She is the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation and co-founder of World TeamTennis.
Joining Evert and King, a legendary line-up of tennis greats will be in attendance, including current players, Hall of Famers, executive leaders from the ATP World Tour, WTA, ITF, and Grand Slam tournaments and tennis fans from around the world. In celebration of their Hall of Fame Induction, which occurred in July, speaking programs and video presentations will pay tribute to former world No. 1′s Jennifer Capriati and Gustavo Kuerten, Spanish tennis great Manuel Orantes, tennis industry innovator and promoter Mike Davies, and the late wheelchair tennis champion, Randy Snow.
The Legends Ball silentÂ auction will feature an array of exclusive experiences and luxury items that will excite tennis fans and non-tennis fans alike. Among the items up for bid are exclusive tickets for the finals of all four tennis majors in 2013, luxurious vacation packages to the Caribbean and Europe, tennis camps for juniors and adults, including a week of instruction at esteemed academies like the Chris Evert Tennis Academy and Ivan Lendl’s International Junior Tennis Academy, and exclusive tickets to events including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and various pro sports events.
Proceeds of The Legends Ball, which has been held annually since 1980, will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and support the mission of preserving the history of the game, honoring the legends and inspiring the future.