NEWPORT, R.I., March 24, 2015 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced
that John Austin will be joining the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the Director of Tennis on April 1, 2015. His tennis background ranges from ATP Touring Professional to ATP Coach to Director of Tennis at some resorts on the West Coast.
“I am very excited to be a part of the legendary Hall of Fame Tennis Club. I have a deep passion for the game and a strong appreciation for the history of this great sport. I am looking forward to being part of the club’s future, especially with the renovations and programming which are sure to be an integral part of the club in the years to come,” said Austin.
Austin joins the Hall of Fame Tennis Club as the tennis facility is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion project. The project will result in an all-new indoor facility with three hard courts, and the addition of three new indoor/outdoor courts. The club also offers 13 grass courts and 1 clay court. The indoor facility will open in late Spring 2015, the grass courts will open for the season in late May, and the new indoor/outdoor courts will open by late Summer 2015 to complete the project.
In his new role, Austin will oversee all tennis programming at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club, a year-round facility that has a highly active membership of adult and junior players and is also open to the public for drop in play. The club offers an extensive tennis instruction program, social play, USTA leagues, and, in his new role, Austin will continue to build and grow the club’s tennis programming.
“We are thrilled to welcome John Austin to lead the tennis staff at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. “He has built successful and engaging tennis programs at some of the most popular clubs in the country, and we are eager to bring his expertise to our club to create a world-class experience for our members and guests.”
Austin competed on the ATP World Tour for six years, achieving a ranking of world No. 40. In 1980, he partnered with his sister, Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, to win a career-defining Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Championship. The pair also reached the Wimbledon mixed doubles final in 1981.
During his playing career, Austin achieved victories over then No. 1 John McEnroe, former French Open champion Yannick Noah, Andres Gomes, Wojtek Fibak, and Tim and Tom Gullikson. Prior to entering the professional ranks, Austin was a member of the victorious 1976 UCLA NCAA championship team and he was a 1978 NCAA doubles champion. He also reached the NCAA doubles final in 1977.
Upon his retirement from the professional tour, Austin became a coach for players including Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Jim Grabb, Chuck Adams, Robbie Weiss, Alexandra Stevenson, and Amy Frazier to name a few. While pursuing his teaching career, Austin remained passionate about his own tennis, attaining two No. 1 USTA national rankings in the Men’s 40 Singles in 1997 and Men’s 35 Doubles in 2002.
Over the last 15 years, Austin has spent his time on court as the Director of Tennis at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, La Quinta Resort, City of Surprise, Arizona, and the Richmond County Country Club on Staten Island. He has skillfully developed unique adult and junior tennis programming, enhanced member experiences at the club level, and has inspired enthusiasm for the sport with tennis players at each facility.
The Hall of Fame Tennis Club facility dates back to 1880 and was the original site of the U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, the event that evolved to be today’s US Open. Over the past 130+ years, the courts have welcomed some of the world’s best players competing in ATP and WTA events, Davis Cups, and many other notable tennis events.
(November 25, 2014) – The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday the death of 2004 inductee Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney. She was 98 years old. She passed away surrounded by her family in Escondido, Calif. on November 23, following a brief illness.
Cheney first started playing as a young child and was an active competitor well into her 90s. Cheney won an extraordinary 391 gold balls – this is awarded by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to winners of its national titles, amateur or professional, junior or senior. Among her 391 national titles, Cheney was a champion numerous times in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, across various age levels, and on all surfaces.
In 1938, Cheney became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open). She was a runner up three times in women’s doubles at Grand Slam tournaments and four times in mixed doubles. In addition to her Australian Championships title, Cheney reached four semifinals at the U.S. Championships and one semifinal each at Wimbledon and the French Championships.
Cheney was ranked in the world top-10 in the late 1930s through mid 1940s. She reached a career high of World No. 6 in 1946. She was the No. 3 ranked player in the United States in 1937, 1938, and 1941. She competed against peers including Hall of Famers Helen Wills Moody, Alice Marble, Sarah Palfrey Cooke, and Pauline Betz Addie, among others.
Cheney was the daughter of Wimbledon and U.S. Nationals Champion, Hall of Famer May Sutton Bundy and U.S. Nationals Doubles Champion Tom Bundy. In 2002, at age 85, Cheney and her daughter Christie Putnam won the USTA National Grass Court Super-Senior Mother Daughter Championships.
Cheney was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur. She is survived by two daughters, Christie Putnam and May Cheney; a son, Brian Cheney; eight grandchildren; and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Cheney was passionate about the development of junior tennis players. In lieu of flowers, her family has suggested gifts to the junior tennis program of one’s choice in her memory.
A private memorial service will be scheduled at a future date.
Statement from USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty on the passing of Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney:
“Dodo Cheney was one of the most prolific champions in the history of tennis and the personification of tennis truly being a lifetime sport. She played competitively into her 90s, and her remarkable grace, singular class and competitive spirit made her one of our sport’s greatest ambassadors. She will be sorely missed by the sport that she loved.”
A 2004 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee, Cheney was the personification of tennis as a lifetime sport. She became the first American woman to win the Australian Championships (1938) and reached the semifinals at every other major, including four such appearances at the U.S. National Championships. Cheney went on to win more than 390 USTA National titles in a career that saw her play well into her 90s. She was 98.
(May 8, 2014) NEWPORT, R.I. – The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, Rhode Island will break ground next Wednesday on the first project within a $15.7 million expansion and improvement project. The project will increase the campus size by approximately one acre and result in a world-class tennis facility and significant enhancements to a prominent Newport streetscape, Memorial Boulevard.
Next week’s groundbreaking ceremony is primarily focused on the first component of a campus-wide improvement project. This first phase includes the development of a new tennis facility and a new building to house locker rooms, a fitness area, retail space, and Hall of Fame offices. The new tennis facility will add three new indoor/outdoor hard courts to the property. The building, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, has been designed to be complementary to the beautifully restored, historic buildings of the Newport Casino, in which the Hall of Fame is located.
The project is funded by the Match Point capital campaign. The four primary focus areas of the campaign, which will be implemented over the next two years, are to add additional tennis courts and facilities; to strategically expand the Hall of Fame’s footprint in a manner that is in keeping with Newport’s historic aesthetic and enhances the community; to upgrade the museum with new technology and enhanced exhibitions; and to improve campus-wide amenities including upgrades to the tennis stadium.
By Kevin Ware
(March 14, 2014) INDIAN WELLS – As tournament director and managing partner, Charlie Pasarell was instrumental in helping to build the Indian Wells tournament into the world-class event it has become. So it was more than fitting that he received his official International Tennis Hall of Fame ring last night on the Stadium 1 court, in front of an adoring crowd, before the start of the evening session.
Pasarell was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. But the International Tennis Hall of Fame has a wonderful tradition of presenting the ring at a home location that affords the best opportunity for the inductee to be surrounded by as many family and friends as possible.
The stadium ring ceremony was a public affair. The celebration dinner afterward, emceed by Pam Shriver, was much more intimate; attended by some Pasarell’s immediate family, as well as his extended family in the tennis community.
Also on hand were several other Hall of Fame members, many of whom spoke glowingly about their friend and fellow-inductee. Those in attendance included Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Donald Dell, Bud Collins (pants as colorful as ever), Butch Buchholz, Brad Parks, Rosie Casals, Billie Jean King, Roy Emerson, and Mark Woodforde.
Pasarell, with his father and son looking on, was just as moved by this moment as he was at his official induction in Newport. After an encore viewing of his video tribute, and hearing the touching tributes of his friends, it was obvious to see how touched he was by this moment.
Looking out at the familiar faces, his voice at times struggling to control his emotion, Charlie offered a simple, “Thanks to all my friends who are here today. I’m touched by all the support.”
Photos from the private party held before the ceremony.
(February 4, 2014) – The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced the death of Tennis Hall of Famer Louise Brough Clapp, a former world No. 1 player and the winner of 35 major titles. Brough Clapp, who was 90 years old, passed away at home with her family in Vista, Calif. on February 3, following a brief illness.
Brough Clapp was enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.
At the Grand Slam tournaments, Brough Clapp won a total of 35 titles- six in singles, 21 in doubles, and eight in mixed doubles. She and her contemporary Doris Hart are tied at fifth on the all-time list for winning the most major titles, behind only Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, and Margaret Osborne duPont.
She appeared in 21 of the 30 finals contested at Wimbledon from 1946 through 1955 in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, ultimately winning 13 titles. In 1950, she achieved a rare triple- winning the titles in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. In 2010, she traveled to Wimbledon to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this great accomplishment.
Brough Clapp partnered with Margaret Osborne duPont to form one of the sport’s most successful doubles pairings. Together, they won 20 titles at majors (12 U.S., five Wimbledon, three French). From 1942 through 1950, Brough Clapp and duPont won nine consecutive women’s doubles titles at the U.S. Championships, which remains the longest championship run in history in any event at any Grand Slam tournament.
In all, Brough Clapp won 13 titles at Wimbledon, 17 titles at the U.S. Championships, 3 titles at the French Championships, and 2 titles at the Australian Championships.
Brough Clapp was ranked in the world top-10 from 1946 through 1957, reaching a career high of world No. 1 in 1955. She was included in the year-end top-10 rankings issued by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) from 1941 through 1950 and from 1952 through 1957. She was the top-ranked U.S. player in 1947. Her 16 years in the USLTA top-10 trails only Billie Jean King (18 years) and Chris Evert (19 years).
Born March 11, 1923 in Oklahoma City, Okla., Brough Clapp moved to Beverly Hills as a small child. She grew up playing tennis on the public courts at Roxbury Park, and launched her career with great success as a junior player. She won the U.S. 18-and-under title in 1940 and 1941.
Brough Clapp was pre-deceased by her husband, Dr. A.T. Clapp. She is survived by two nieces and two nephews. Funeral services will be private.
(September 6, 2013) NEW YORK CITY –The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum held their annual Legends Ball, presented by BNP Paribas, on Friday, September 6 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The Legends Ball will paid tribute to the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and honored will honor several additional people and organizations who have contributed greatly to tennis by presentation of special awards.
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.
Here are a few photos of the event:
by Jack Cunniff
(July 13, 2013) NEWPORT, R.I. – While Martina Hingis headlined the International Tennis Hall of Fame ceremonies as 2013 Recent Player inductee, the event had the decided feel of an Old Boys club, with contemporaries Cliff Drysdale, Ion Tiriac, and Charlie Pasarell sharing the stage as inductees in the Contributor category.
The most decorated of the newest members was actually Thelma Coyne Long, inducted in the Master Player category. Playing from 1935-1958, Coyne Long amassed 20 titles at Grand Slam events while playing from 1935 – 1958, including 19 in her native Australia. Her best discipline was Women’s Doubles, in which she won 13 Women’s Doubles titles. Coyne Long, 94, lives in Australia and couldn’t travel to Newport, RI for the induction, so countryman Rod Laver accepted on her behalf. Laver shared Coyne Long’s accomplishments, not just as a tennis champion, but as a World War II hero. She was awarded an Australian War Medal in recognition of her service in the Red Cross and Australian Women’s Army.
While Laver himself wasn’t being inducted – that event occurred over 30 years ago, in 1981 – he was frequently mentioned by the other honorees. There was a great brotherhood displayed by the 2013 class, as they shared stories of each other. It was obvious that these individuals and their contributions helped to grow the sport, and Hingis’ closing comments would reveal why those contributions make a difference beyond sport.
Ion Tiriac, a former Top Ten player from Romania, was the next inducted, presented by Senator George Mitchell. While a fine player in his era, Tiriac’s induction was the result of his broad contributions to the sport: as a coach, manager, promoter, and tournament director. In his comments, Tiriac reminisced about a five set French Open loss to Laver, and three Davis Cup losses to Stan Smith, who was in attendance as a member and President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Tiriac, who won the 1970 French Open Men’s Doubles with fellow Romanian Ilie Nastase, noted that today’s players make millions of dollars, but “they’re never going to have the ties that we had,” acknowledging the close friendships cultivated with his former competitors.
Cliff Drysdale, like Tiriac, was an accomplished player who has become better known for his other contributions to tennis. Drysdale was presented by his son, Greg, who marveled at his father’s 34-year career in tennis broadcasting. In fact, “Cliffie” was part of ESPN’s first tennis broadcasts back in 1979. Drysdale, born in South Africa but now a U.S. citizen, spoke fondly of his generation of players as well. He shared his memories of the locker room emptying out to watch Laver hit topspin backhands, and Pasarell’s “cockamamie” dreams of forming the Association of Tennis Professionals. Cliff also thanked his ESPN colleagues in attendance: Patrick McEnroe, Chris Folwer, Chris McKendrick, and Pam Shriver.
The third Contributor inducted was Charlie Pasarell. Pasarell was the top-ranked American player in 1967, but beyond his on-court accomplishments, he co-founded the National Junior Tennis League and was tournament director in Indian Wells. Pasarell was a former UCLA teammate and roommate of the late Arthur Ashe, and it was Arthur’s wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe who presented Charlie. The rain showers that briefly interrupted the ceremonies were “tears of joy” from Arthur for his good friend’s achievement. The breadth of Pasarell’s accomplishments in tennis was evident by the long and varied list of people he thanked in his comments.
While the most recent Contributor members of the Hall of Fame shared memories of their generation, the Recent Player inductee, Martina Hingis, is from a different age. Only 32-years old, Hingis is one of the youngest Tennis Hall of Fame inductees. In her era, Hingis didn’t face the challenge of growing tennis as a professional sport. Instead, the international scope of tennis provided Hingis an opportunity to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1980, Hingis’ mother and coach, Melanie Molitor, saw tennis as a means for relocation and greater opportunity in Switzerland. Hingis, was named for the legendary player Martina Navratilova, and she noted that the original Martina was not just a great player but also a symbol of freedom, having defected from Czechoslovakia in 1975. Hingis’ tennis accomplishments are vast. Fifteen titles in Grand Slam events, including five singles titles and a calendar year Grand Slam in Women’s Doubles in 1998. Over 200 weeks spend as the top ranked woman in the world. Eighty-one total titles in her career, including 43 singles titles. But Hinigs didn’t focus on those achievements in her comments. Instead she explained that the sport, grown through the dedication of her 2013 Hall of Fame inductees, gave her freedom and a better life.
From the International Tennis Hall of Fame:
NEWPORT, R.I., U.S.A., November 15, 2012 – The Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame has voted to indefinitely suspend South African tennis player Bob Hewitt from the Hall of Fame. Hewitt was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. The suspension of Mr. Hewitt follows a comprehensive investigation conducted by Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP into multiple allegations brought concerning sexual misconduct involving Mr. Hewitt and minor students that he coached. The investigation was led by Michael Connolly, a former Assistant United States Attorney.
“Suspension of Mr. Hewitt is appropriate given the serious allegations that have been made and the findings presented to our Executive Committee,” said Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “After carefully considering the issue, we commissioned a thorough investigation by outside legal counsel. Our Executive Committee considered the findings of the investigation and has voted to suspend Bob Hewitt indefinitely. We feel suspension is the proper course of action on behalf of the Hall of Fame, the women who have made these allegations, and our sport.”