Lindsay Davenport, Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, John Barrett, Chantal Vandierendonck elected for Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinement


From the International Tennis Hall of Fame: NEWPORT, R.I., March 3, 2014- Former world No. 1 and 6-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay Davenport  has been elected to receive the highest honor in the sport of tennis-enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Joining Davenport in the Class of 2014 will be 5-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck, who was the first ITF World Champion for wheelchair tennis. Additionally, three individuals have been elected in recognition of their tremendous dedication toward the growth and development of the sport-legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has guided 10 players to world No. 1 status; Jane Brown Grimes, who has held executive leadership roles with the WTA, USTA, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame; and British tennis broadcaster and author John Barrett.

The 2014 enshrinees were announced today as part of World Tennis Day, which is being marked by tennis events and celebrations around the globe. Complementing today’s announcement, the newly elected enshrinees are participating in the tennis festivities around the world today as well. Bollettieri and Brown Grimes will be honored this evening at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, while Barrett and Vandierendonck will participate in the World Tennis Day Showdown at Earl’s Court in London, where tennis legends Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, and Pat Cash will be playing in an exhibition match. Meanwhile, Davenport will be taking part in Tennis Channel’s coverage of the festivities.

“I’m so honored by this incredible recognition. I feel very blessed to have had a wonderful tennis career, and now, to be recognized in the Hall of Fame alongside the great champions who have always inspired me is just a tremendous honor,” commented Davenport. “I look forward to celebrating with the other members of the Class of 2014 in Newport this summer.”

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring its greatest champions and leaders. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends. Over the past 60 years, the honor of enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been presented to just 235 people representing 20 countries.

“Lindsay Davenport had a lengthy, successful career in which she reached the pinnacle of our sport as a competitor-world No. 1 and a Grand Slam champion. This summer, we look forward to celebrating her many accomplishments and contributions to tennis by presenting her with the sport’s highest honor-enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” commented Hall of Fame President Stan Smith.

Smith, who also serves as chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee, also commented, “At the Hall of Fame, our goal is to celebrate the history of tennis and to honor those individuals who have built that storied history, and so this year we are proud to honor three of the sport’s greatest contributors. Through extraordinary coaching and his keen ability to inspire greatness, Nick Bollettieri is the person we can all thank for helping create some of the sport’s greatest champions and therefore, most memorable moments. Jane Brown Grimes’ selfless dedication to our sport has resulted in incredible growth on all levels, from U.S. tennis to international competitions to the development of women’s pro tennis, and so much more. We are also delighted to welcome John Barrett to the Hall of Fame, joining his wife, former world No. 1 Angela Mortimer Barrett, among the legends of our sport. A leader on many levels, John’s lifelong passion for the sport resulted in some of its finest journalism, most compelling story-telling, and therefore, some of the most important works dedicated to preserving tennis history.

“Last but not least, I extend my congratulations to Chantal Vandierendonck, who is the first female wheelchair tennis player to be enshrined. A 5-time Paralympic medalist, she was both a top competitor and a trailblazer in wheelchair tennis, and we are delighted to recognize her accomplishments and contributions.”

The Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The ceremony will be a highlight of the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, which will also feature the unveiling of museum tribute exhibits for the new Hall of Famers, celebratory parties and special events, and an exhibition match featuring great tennis legends. The ceremony and festivities will be held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for the ceremony and tournament are available now on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at 401-849-6053.

Individuals are eligible for Hall of Fame enshrinement in three categories, Recent Player, Master Player, and Contributor. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, votes on the Recent Player Category. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Famers and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, votes on the Master Player and Contributor categories. To be elected in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required. There are no enshrinees for 2014 in the Master Player Category, which honors individuals who had tremendous tennis accomplishments but have not been a major factor on a professional tour for 20 years or more.

From winning the biggest titles in tennis to serving as leaders across many areas of the sport, the members of the Class of 2014 have all been integral in shaping the history of tennis. Following are detailed biographies of the Class of 2014, grouped by category.

Recent Player: Lindsay Davenport
Recent Player, Wheelchair Tennis: Chantal Vandierendonck
Eligibility criteria for the Recent Player Category is as follows: active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP World Tour, WTA Tour, or Wheelchair Tennis Tour within five years prior to enshrinement; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

Lindsay Davenport
Photo by Mike Baz

Lindsay Davenport, 37, of Laguna Beach, Calif., held the world No. 1 ranking for 98 weeks. She is one of four women to have been the year-end No. 1 at least four times (1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005), since 1975. She was also the No. 1 ranked doubles player, and is one of just six players to have held both top spots simultaneously.

Davenport won three Grand Slam singles titles-1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and 2000 Australian Open. In 1996, Davenport won the Olympic gold medal at the Atlanta Games. She was the WTA Tour Championships winner in 1999. In all, she won an impressive 55 singles titles and compiled a record of 753-194.

Davenport captured her first Grand Slam title at the 1996 French Open, when she partnered with Mary Joe Fernandez to defeat Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva. She went on to win two additional doubles titles at majors-1997 US Open (w/ Novotna) and 1999 Wimbledon (w/ Morariu). She was also in the finals of the Australian Open six times. Davenport won 38 doubles titles over the course of her career, and compiled a record of 387-116.

A great American player, Davenport compiled an extraordinary record of 33-3 in Fed Cup competition for the United States and was a team member for 11 years, including three championship teams.

Davenport enjoyed a lengthy career of 17 years. She remarkably came back into tour-level competition twice after giving birth. Davenport has been recognized for her success and contributions to the sport on numerous occasions, with awards including the WTA Player of the Year (1998, 1999), TENNIS Magazine Female Player of the Year (1998), ESPY Award for Best Female Tennis Player (1999, 2000), and the WTA Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award (2004.) Since retirement, Davenport has developed a successful broadcast career as an on-air commentator and analyst for Tennis Channel.

Chantal Vandierendonck, 49, of The Netherlands, was one of the early stars of Wheelchair Tennis. She was the ITF World Champion three times, she won 5 Paralympic medals, and she was the world No. 1 player for a total of 136 weeks in singles and 107 weeks in doubles. What makes her success even more impressive is that Vandierendonck is considered a high para player, which means she has significant disability, making the sport even more difficult to play.

Chantal Vandierendonck
Photo by Rien Hokken

Vandierendonck was a talented national tennis player before being injured in a car accident in 1983. She heard about wheelchair tennis from an uncle who had seen it being played on television, and she quickly picked up the sport. She became the first in a long line of top-ranked Dutch women in the sport, and she has taken an active role in helping to grow the sport.

After being crowned the first ITF World Champion in 1991, Vandierendonck then went on to win the title again in 1996 and 1997. Between 1985 and 1993, she won seven women’s singles titles at the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. She also captured two doubles titles at the event.

Vandierendonck was tremendously successful in the Paralympic Games. She won the women’s singles gold medal at the 1998 Seoul Games, when wheelchair tennis was a demonstration sport. She then went on to win two women’s doubles gold medals, a women’s singles silver and a women’s singles bronze at the 1992 and 1996 Games, after wheelchair tennis was awarded full medal status.

Contributor Category: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, John Barrett
Eligibility criteria for the Contributor Category is as follows: Exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport, in categories such as administration, media, coaching and officiating. Contributor candidates do not need to be retired from their activities related to the sport to be considered.

Nick Bollettieri
Photo courtesy of IMG Academy

Nick Bollettieri, 82, originally from North Pelham, N.Y., but a long-time Florida resident, is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the world of tennis. The legendary coach has an unparalleled record of discovering and developing champions of the sport. Bollettieri has coached ten world No. 1 players including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Boris Becker. In addition, he has worked with the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas, and many more. Four of his players have been enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame-with more likely to follow. After more than 30 years of coaching, at 82 years old, Bollettieri is still active on the tennis courts for more than 10 hours a day, six days a week. Some of the anticipated next generation stars he has worked with recently include Kei Nishikori, Ryan Harrison, and Sabine Lisicki.

In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA), the first full-time tennis boarding school that integrated intense athletic training on and off the court with academic curriculum. In 1987, IMG purchased the NBTA and evolved it into IMG Academy-now the world-leader in developing high-performing youth and professional athletes through an integrated approach to academic, athletic, and personal development. Today, the IMG Academy campus spans 450 acres dotted with world-class facilities that support eight sports. More than 900 student-athletes call IMG Academy home year-round, and thousands more flock to the campus annually for training or competitions.

In addition to the elite professionals whom Bollettieri and his team have trained over the years, perhaps his proudest accomplishment is the standout college preparatory program he helped set in motion. Today, through rigorous academics and athletics, IMG Academy places more than 60% of its student-athletes in Division I athletic programs (the national average is less than 2%), with countless more receiving scholarships to attend prestigious universities like Duke, Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard.

Bollettieri has always been active in efforts to support the growth of the game and to engage children with tennis to show them that discipline and hard work can provide opportunities through the sport. Over the years, Bollettieri has helped raise millions of dollars in scholarships to enable talented young players to continue their development and chase their collegiate and professional dreams. In addition, he is active with numerous organizations that have worked to engage underprivileged youth with the sport. With his friend, Hall of Famer Arthur Ashe, Bollettieri founded the Ashe-Bollettieri Cities Tennis program, which launched in Newark, N.J. in the late 1980s. The program introduced thousands of youth to the sport and helped hundreds achieve athletic or academic scholarships. The program was reproduced in other cities, and became known as the Arthur Ashe Safe Passage Foundation. It continues to grow today, under the management of the USTA. Bollettieri also sits on the Board of Directors for Inner City Tennis, which uses tennis as a platform to teach responsibility, respect, teamwork, and other character building elements.

In addition, Bollettieri has served on numerous USTA committees focusing on player development and growth of the game. Bollettieri was inducted into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame in 2012, and the USPTA Hall of Fame the following year.

Jane Brown Grimes, 73, of New York, N.Y., has selflessly dedicated her life to the growth of tennis around the world for more than 35 years. In particular, Brown Grimes has had a major impact on three leading industry organizations, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, the Women’s Tennis Association, and the United States Tennis Association, having held leadership roles with all three. She has also been highly active with the International Tennis Federation, having served on the Junior Competitions Committee and the Rules of Tennis Committee. She is currently an active member of the Fed Cup Committee, and has served since 2004. From 2005 – 2008, Brown Grimes served on the Grand Slam Board, on behalf of the USTA.

Jane Brown Grimes
Photo courtesy of USTA / Jennifer Pottheiser

A native New Yorker, Brown Grimes’ tennis career has been centered around the city for more than four decades, having taken on roles ranging from generating sponsorship for women’s tennis to leading one of the sport’s most important events-the US Open. After more than four decades working in the tennis industry, Brown Grimes continues to remain active in the business side of the sport, through her roles on the Hall of Fame Board, ITF Committees, and youth tennis programs. Most recently, Brown Grimes earned an M.B.A. from City University of New York – Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business.

In the 1970s, Brown Grimes was recruited by tennis greats Sarah Palfrey Danzig, Bill Talbert, and Joseph F. Cullman 3rd to take a leadership role at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She held the role of Tournament Director for ATP and WTA events (1977-1981), Executive Director (1981-1986), and President and Chief Executive Officer (1991-2000). She is currently President Emerita and actively serves on the Executive Committee. During her tenure, Brown Grimes helped build a solid foundation for the organization and oversaw a period of tremendous growth. Under Brown Grimes’ leadership, the organization amassed a significant collection of important tennis memorabilia integral to preserving the sport’s history, including major trophies, apparel, and gear from the greatest champions, videos, films, books, and more, all of which now reside in the extensive museum and Information Research Center. Brown Grimes was also responsible for oversight of a major restoration of the historic buildings and grounds, which were the site of the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships in 1881. The facility was restored to its original architectural splendor and has been named a National Historic Landmark.

In 1986, Brown Grimes was appointed Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council, now known as the WTA Tour Board. She presided over a pivotal time in the sport, effectively dealing with contradictory interests of players, tournaments, ITF, and the sponsor, Philip Morris. During Brown Grimes’ tenure, she successfully negotiated the move away from the Virginia Slims tobacco sponsorship to General Foods, the non-tobacco division of Philip Morris. Brown Grimes was also responsible for guiding the age eligibility rule into effect and for generating unprecedented increases in prize money.

From January 2007 – December 2008, Brown Grimes served as Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA, following terms as Secretary, Treasurer, and First Vice President. During her term, the United States won the 2007 Davis Cup, and unprecedented growth of the US Open took place with numerous innovations and records in both in revenue and in fan attendance. Nationwide membership in the USTA exceeded 700,000 under her leadership. Brown Grimes took on several major initiatives during her term that have continued to be central to the organization’s mission and programs. She helped launch USTA QuickStart Tennis, which was aimed at engaging kids ages 10 and under in the sport, an age group that has since seen significant growth. She also lead the completion of the multi-use Indoor Training Center at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a state-of-the-art facility that has gone on to be a vital component of the facility. Brown Grimes was also instrumental in the USTA’s purchase of the Cincinnati Masters, now one of the nation’s premier tournaments.

In addition to her executive roles, Brown Grimes has utilized her love of the sport for important community works. She has served on the Board of Directors of USTA Serves, and she has been the longtime Chairman of the Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association, which is an inner-city, grassroots tennis program located in Wilmington, Del.

Brown Grimes is a graduate of Wellesley College. In addition to her M.B.A., she is currently pursuing a Masters of International Relations at Cambridge University in England.

John Barrett, 82, of London has been a leader in many areas of tennis, from broadcaster to tournament director, equipment representative to player. He is one of the game’s premier historians and authors.

Like many industry leaders, Barrett got his start in the sport as a player. Following a successful playing career as a junior, he became the Royal Air Force’s tennis champion in 1950 and 1951 and competed at Wimbledon for twenty years. In 1956, he was a member of Great Britain’s Davis Cup Team and he served as the team captain from 1959-1962. In the world of junior development he founded the BP International Tennis Fellowship, and the BP Cup which launched the international career of Martina Navratilova and many others. In 1976 he founded the Pepsi Junior International Series, a points-linked program which was the forerunner of the ITF’s present Junior Ranking lists.
Barrett had an extensive business career working for Slazenger, the sporting goods and apparel company, for nearly 40 years. He ultimately held the role of International Promotions Director for tennis, working with tournaments and athletes worldwide.

John Barrett
Photo courtesy of AELTC / Tom Lovelock

An accomplished author and dedicated historian, Barrett has produced some of the sport’s most comprehensive and interesting works. From 1969-2001 he edited and contributed to World of Tennis, acknowledged as the bible of tennis, which became the official yearbook of the ITF. The recently published third edition of Wimbledon – The Official History is his latest contribution to the history of our sport. As a committee member, and current Vice President, of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Barrett took on the enormous task of compiling a comprehensive database of every result that has ever occurred at Wimbledon, in all events. The research and work took more than 20 years to compile and is now being made available to the general public on the Club’s website. Barrett was the tennis correspondent for The Financial Times in London from 1963-2007. In addition, he has authored books on coaching and biography.

Perhaps he has been most visible in the sport over recent years as an accomplished broadcaster. For 35 years Barrett has delivered some of the sport’s most exciting moments into homes around the world as a broadcaster for major networks. He was the unmistakable “Voice of Wimbledon” on the BBC from 1971-2006, and has also been on the air with Channel 9 Australia, Channel 7 Australia, ESPN, HBO, and USA Networks.

Barrett is married to former world No. 1 player and 1993 Hall of Famer Angela Mortimer Barrett. The Barretts are the second married couple to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, joining Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf

The Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2014. For additional information, please visit tennisfame.com.