July 31, 2015

Mauresmo, Hall, and Jeffett Headline the 2015 Tennis Hall of Fame

Hall of Famers gathered in Newport to welcome the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Left to right: Stan Smith, Owen Davidson, Jane Brown Grimes, Rosie Casals, ITHF Chairman Christopher Clouser, Peachy Kellmeyer, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Vic Seixas, Brad Parks, David Hall, Nancy Jeffett.    Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

Hall of Famers gathered in Newport to welcome the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Left to right: Stan Smith, Owen Davidson, Jane Brown Grimes, Rosie Casals, ITHF Chairman Christopher Clouser, Peachy Kellmeyer, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Vic Seixas, Brad Parks, David Hall, Nancy Jeffett. Photo by Kate Whitney Lucey

 

By Jack Cunniff

(July 18, 2015) NEWPORT, Rhode Island – The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted three new members on Saturday afternoon, Amelie Mauresmo and David Hall in the Recent Player category and Nancy Jeffett in the Contributor category.

 

Mauresmo, who could not attend the ceremony due to the impending birth of her first child, was the first Frenchwoman to ever achieve the No. 1 ranking and won two major events in her career, the 2006 Australian Open and 2006 Wimbledon Championships. Her first significant achievement as a professional was in January 1999, reaching her first major final at the Australian Open. The tennis world took notice of her game, a mix of power and grace, and over the next several years Mauresmo added an effective volley and net game to her repertoire. These added dimensions culminated in her most successful year, when she captured two of the four major events in 2006.

 

In total, Mauresmo won 25 WTA Singles titles, including the year-end WTA Tour Championships in 2005. She also represented France in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, winning a silver medal in Athens 2004, and was a seven-time member of the French Fed Cup team, including the 2003 squad that won the championship.

 

Mauresmo retired from professional tennis following the 2009 U.S. Open, but has not disappeared from the tennis scene. Today she is the coach of Andy Murray, the No. 3 ranked player, a rare women’s coach on the ATP Tour. She also successfully coached her countrywoman Marion Bartoli to the 2013 Wimbledon title, and since 2012 has been the coach of the French Federation Cup Team.

 

David Hall of Australia is a former No. 1 ranked wheelchair tennis player. When he was 16, David was involved in a car accident that resulted in the amputation of both legs. Very soon after, he was inspired when he saw a photograph of a wheelchair tennis player. He used tennis as an outlet, and turned a negative into a positive. His incredibly successful wheelchair tennis career includes six Paralympic medals, including a gold medal in Wheelchair Singles in his hometown of Sydney, and 32 singles championships. Hall was introduced by his former coach, Rich Berman.

 

Nancy Jeffett was introduced by Hall-of-Famer Pam Shriver. In her comments, Shriver highlighted Jeffett’s accomplishments, most notably co-founding the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation with “Little Mo” Connolly. To this day, the MCB Foundation sponsors junior tennis tournaments, and helps develop and support junior players worldwide. Shriver also noted that Jeffett was influential in the decision to host a 1965 Davis Cup tie featuring Arthur Ashe in a Dallas public park, foreshadowing the move of the U.S. Open to a public facility.

 

The Enshrinement Ceremony also featured the Hall of Fame ring presentation to Billie Jean King, a 1987 Tennis Hall of Fame inductee.

Share

Tennis Hall of Famer Doris Hart Passes Away at 89

From the International Tennis Hall of Fame (May 30, 2015) NEWPORT, R.I.,– Doris Hart, an American tennis champion who won 35 major tournament titles in the 1940s and 1950s, passed away at home in Coral Gables, Florida on May 29. She was 89 years old.
In recognition of her outstanding tennis accomplishments, Hart was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1969.
Hart was the first player in the history of the sport to have won a career boxed set, meaning she won every title possible over the course of her career – singles, doubles, and mixed doubles at all four major tournaments. To this day, Margaret Court Smith and Martina Navratilova are the only other players to have achieved this feat.

 

Her 35 major titles were comprised of six in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 15 in mixed doubles. She is ranked fifth in the sport’s history for most major titles.
At the 1951 Wimbledon Championships Hart won all three titles – singles, doubles, and mixed doubles – dropping just one set in the entire tournament. Making the feat even more extraordinary was the fact that she played all three matches on the same day due to rain delays.
She would go on to sweep a major tournament twice more. In 1952, she won all three titles at the French Championships, and in 1954, she won all three titles at the U.S. Championships.
In addition to her success at the major tournaments, Hart amassed 325 tournament titles over her illustrious career. She was ranked in the world Top-10 for ten straight years (1946-1955), ascending to No. 1 in 1951. She was not ranked lower than world No. 4 during that 10-year stretch.
Hart’s immense level of accomplishment was achieved despite suffering from osteomyelitis, a bone infection in her right leg that resulted in a permanent impairment. While she may not have been able to move around the court with as much ease as others, she made up for this with strategy and impeccable racquet control.
Hall of Famer Shirley Fry-Irvin, with whom Hart won 11 major titles, remembered her friend today.
“Doris and I first played doubles together in 1949 when her brother Bud decided I would be a good partner for Doris because I could run down the lobs. Turns out Bud was right, Doris and I had a pretty good doubles career. More importantly, we became best friends and traveling companions, and shared many hilarious adventures along the way. I will miss my friend Doris, but I know she is finally at peace and probably chasing down balls on two good legs now,” reflected Fry-Irvin.
Included in Hart and Fry-Irvin’s 11 titles were a record four straight victories at Roland Garros (1950-1953), during which time they dropped just one set. They also won three Wimbledon and four U.S. Championships together. Hart’s 15 major titles in mixed doubles were a result of two successful partnerships. Eight of the titles were won alongside Australian Frank Sedgman and seven were won with fellow American Vic Seixas.
Being a member of the United States Wightman Cup Team was immensely important to Hart and she was an integral team member from 1946 to 1955. She compiled a 14-0 record in singles and an 8-1 record in doubles.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Hart grew up in Coral Gables, Florida. She had a successful junior tennis career and she played for the University of Miami from 1947-1949.
After retiring from her competitive playing career, she spent time as a teaching professional and she was the author of the book, Tennis with Hart, published in 1955.
Share

International Tennis Hall of Fame Set to Re-open with Roger Federer Hologram Exhibit

From the Tennis Hall of Fame – NEWPORT, R.I., May 11, 2015 – After three years of planning and a $3 million renovation, the Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame is set to re-open to the public on May 20, with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.The museum collection has been completely reinterpreted and the galleries have been redesigned to deliver an entirely new, engaging visitor experience. The intent of the new museum is to draw visitors into the content through interactive exhibits and a cohesive narrative of tennis history as told through the lives and careers of the 243 Hall of Famers who built the sport. More than 1,900 artifacts of tennis history are displayed throughout the exhibit galleries, ranging from Rod Laver’s first Wimbledon trophy to the golden shoes that Serena Williams wore in her first French Open victory.

Multimedia technology is integral to the new museum experience, with a highlight being a hologram of Roger Federer talking about why he loves tennis. It is the first use of holographic technology in a sports museum in the United States.

 

Sneak Peak! The Roger Federer Experience

 

“Tennis history dates back to the 12th century and it evolves with tournaments around the world weekly. There have been extraordinary people and moments throughout the sport’s history – Arthur Ashe’s 1968 US Open victory, Billie Jean King’s Battle of the Sexes triumph, Martina and Chrissie’s rivalry and friendship, the unstoppable Australian Davis Cup teams, and so much more. This new museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame will share the stories of the sport’s legends with the world in a really exciting way, and it will hopefully serve as an inspiration for the next generation of tennis greats and fans,” said Todd Martin, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

In creating the new museum, the Hall of Fame’s collection of more than 25,000 artifacts, and hundreds of thousands of images, videos, and publications was completely reinterpreted. The museum is designed to appeal to dedicated tennis fans and casual visitors alike, which is achieved through engaging storytelling in the museum narrative and the use of an array of objects including art, fashion, and items of historical relevance beyond the tennis courts.

“Our goal is for visitors to leave the museum feeling educated about and inspired by the rich history of tennis,” said Douglas Stark, museum director. “We designed the exhibits in a way that people could participate in the learning process together – a touch table in which you can ‘serve’ tennis history questions back and forth, video walls in which you can select match highlights and watch together, artifacts from 60 years ago and artifacts from last season so as to appeal to a span of generations, among other aspects. The new museum will provide visitors with a memorable experience in which they will learn about the history of tennis, and its impact on and off the courts.”

 

The new museum was funded through the Match Point Capital Campaign, which was co-chaired by Edgar Woolard and Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The campaign, which was the Hall of Fame’s first in 14 years, has raised $14.8 million of the $15 million goal. The museum project is a highlight of the campaign, which will also result in a new indoor tennis facility, new office and retail space, new grandstands in Bill Talbert Center Court, and other improvements to the Hall of Fame property, all of which are slated to open in 2015-2016.

 

“The International Tennis Hall of Fame is committed to serving the sport of tennis by preserving and promoting its great history, and the new museum is an extraordinary representation of this,” commented Clouser. “We are grateful to the donors who share in our passion for tennis and supported the capital campaign to make this world-class museum a reality. It would not have been possible without the support of so many who have helped us build the museum content – Roger Federer’s time on the hologram, Hall of Famers who donated artifacts, the ATP, WTA, ITF, the Grand Slams, and our incredibly hard-working staff and the talented museum development vendors. We are set to deliver a tremendous museum experience and we are appreciative to all who have made this happen.”

 

Rolex, a long time supporter of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a highly engaged sponsor in tennis worldwide, has committed to a new, multi-year partnership with the museum.

The Roger Federer Experience

A highlight of the new museum will be a holographic theatre in which visitors feel as though they are in the room with Roger Federer, one of the sport’s all-time greatest champions. When visitors walk into the theatre, the hologram of Federer welcomes visitors and begins a dynamic monologue about a topic that museum visitors and Federer have in common – a love of tennis. Federer then takes the visitor through his top-10 list of the reasons why he loves the sport, ranging from the athletic beauty of tennis to the challenge of it being an individual sport, all while showcasing a few of his signature shots.

“It was an honor to be asked to be the hologram at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and I was quite happy to take on the project,” commented Federer. “I’ve always had an interest in the history of our sport and I believe we’ve been fortunate to be able to learn from and build on that history. The Hall of Fame does a tremendous job of preserving our sport’s history and celebrating it with the world. I’m glad to be able to support those efforts by helping to create a fun experience in their museum.”

An Interactive Museum Experience

Interactive, educational experiences abound throughout the new museum.

 

Tennis aficionados can test their knowledge of the sport on a five-foot touch table at which they can stand at either end and “serve ” tennis history questions back and forth to each other.

 

The “Call the Match” exhibit offers visitors the chance to record themselves taking on the role of broadcast luminaries like Cliff Drysdale, John Barrett, and Mary Carillo.

 

A large, rotating globe highlights the worldwide impact of the sport. At the globe, visitors can select a nation to learn more about tennis tournaments taking place there in any given week, and about the players and tournaments from that nation.

 

Interactive video walls throughout the museum offer fans an opportunity to re-live classic tennis moments through video highlights of WTA, ATP, and Grand Slam tournament matches.
The Galleries
The new museum tells the story of tennis history from its origins through present-day. Objects throughout the narrative are clearly linked to the Hall of Famers, personalizing their stories within the sport’s history.
The museum is divided into three chronological areas: The Birth of Tennis (1874 – 1918);  The Popular Game (1918 – 1968); and  The Open Era (1968 – Present). 
Themes of focus include the sport’s evolution from medieval monasteries to lawn tennis, the development of early international tournaments and early pro tours, infusion of tennis in pop culture and the rise of celebrity among athletes, the impact of technology on the sport in terms of equipment and media coverage, the dawn of the Open Era ,and the growth of the WTA and ATP tours. The museum narrative also examines the sport’s forays into social matters, including politics, diversity, and the rise of women’s game.
 The Grand Slam Gallery shares detail on the sport’s four majors, their champions, and their most iconic moments. The Global Tennis Community Gallery examines the sport’s broad global impact, with focus on the Olympic Games, Fed Cup and Davis Cup, and Wheelchair Tennis. The interactive globe is a centerpiece of this gallery.
In addition to the three chronological areas, there are two galleries specifically dedicated to the Hall of Famers. The Woolard Family Enshrinement Gallery pays tribute to all 243 Hall of Famers through interactive kiosks featuring photos, videos, and records. The Rosalind P. Walter Tribute Gallery to the Hall of Famers will be a multimedia gallery dedicated to the current year’s class of inductees.
Additional detail on the exhibits and the artifacts within each is highlighted on the Hall of Fame’s website, tennisfame.com. A new Hall of Fame website will be launched later this month.
The Newport Casino’s architecture revealedA primary goal of the museum renovation was to better showcase the Newport Casino, the National Historic Landmark buildings and grounds in which the Hall of Fame is located. Through the renovation, three magnificent fireplaces that had been covered by temporary walls for 25 yeas have been revealed. Additionally, original furnishings from the building, which was built in 1880, are exhibited. The exhibits and display cases in the new museum are positioned within the original design of the building to showcase the architecture as part of the museum experience.

Tennis History Evolves Daily
Tennis records have the potential to be set and broken with weekly tournaments around the world, and future Hall of Famers are constantly adding to their resumes.
As such, the new museum goes beyond focusing on the sport’s past, but also serves as a resource to showcase the sport today and how it is constantly evolving.  The new museum will feature a number of items from current and recently retired player’s careers. Grand Slam apparel worn by Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Jelena Jankovic is showcased in the museum, as are the shoes worn by Andy Roddick in his last match, among many other recently acquired items.
The Art of Tennis

From Maria Bueno’s grace on court to Roger Federer’s elegant shot making, it’s not uncommon for tennis to be commended for its beautiful, art-like nature. As such, the sport has served as an inspiration for a variety of mediums, and a range of tennis-inspired art is shown throughout the new museum.

 

A 1538 Renaissance painting that is believed to be the earliest known painting of the sport is a highlight. Visitors will also see an original Andy Warhol portrait of Chris Evert, one of an exclusive series of 10 sport superstars of the 1970s. Prints created by celebrated American painter George Bellows are exhibited as well. A bronze resin sculpture of Steffi Graf capturing her in motion and forever memorializing her distinctive and lethal inside-out forehand is also a highlight of the art collection.

 

Stained glass featuring tennis players, vintage advertising, varied colorful prints, and a display of more than 100 vintage tennis ball cans also showcase the sport in an artistic means.

 

Project Team

A large team of exhibit designers, media producers, and contractors have been working on the museum renovation at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Development of the museum experience was lead by Douglas Stark, museum director. Additionally, a 12-person Museum Committee was integral to the project. The committee was chaired by Katherine Burton Jones and Jefferson T. Barnes served as vice-chair.Exhibit Design: HealyKohler Design, Takoma Park, Maryland

Exhibit Fabrication and Case Work: 1220 Exhibits, Nashville, Tennessee

Media Production, including holographic theater: Cortina Productions, McLean, Virginia

General Contractor: Behan Bros., Inc., Middletown, Rhode Island

Opening the Doors!
The museum will officially re-open on Wednesday, May 20 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m.
Beginning May 21, the Hall of Fame will return to its normal hours, open daily, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The museum will stay open until 6 p.m. in July and August.
As part of the Hall of Fame’s commitment to inspiring and engaging children with tennis, admission to visit the museum is free of charge for children ages 16 & Under. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for students, senior, and military.
The museum experience is self-guided, or visitors may opt to purchase an audio tour for $3. The audio tour is available in multiple languages, and is narrated by Hall of Famers, adding a fun twist to the visitor experience. In June, July, and August, guided tours will be offered daily at 11 am and 2 pm.
Share

John Austin named Director of Tennis for the Hall of Fame Tennis Club in Newport, Rhode Island

John Austin

John Austin

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.

Share

Tennis Hall of Famer Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney Passes Away at 98

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dodo Cheney photo courtesy of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

(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.

Share

International Tennis Hall of Fame to break ground on $15.7 million expansion and renovation project

ithofdrawing

(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.

Share

Charlie Pasarell Receives Hall of Fame Ring

 Left to right: Hall of Famers Mark Woodforde, Donald Dell, Butch Buchholz, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Roy Emerson, Brad Parks, Rod Laver, Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, Hall of Fame CEO Mark Stenning, BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Steve Simon, Charles Pasarell, Sr., and BNP Paribas CEO Ray Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss


Left to right: Hall of Famers Mark Woodforde, Donald Dell, Butch Buchholz, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Roy Emerson, Brad Parks, Rod Laver, Hall of Fame President Stan Smith, Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, Hall of Fame CEO Mark Stenning, BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Steve Simon, Charles Pasarell, Sr., and BNP Paribas CEO Ray Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss

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.”

Kevin Ware is in Indian Wells covering the BNP Paribas Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

Photos from the private party held before the ceremony.

Share

Tennis Hall of Famer Louise Brough Clapp Dies at 90

Brough

(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.

Share

Tennis Hall of Fame Holds Annual Legends Ball in New York City

 

(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:

2013 Hall of Famers – 19 Hall of Famers were on hand

2013 Hall of Famers – 19 Hall of Famers were on hand

 

Tommy Hilfiger & his wife Dee

Tommy Hilfiger & his wife Dee

 

Emcee Lara Spencer of Good Morning America welcomes HOF’ers Pam Shriver, Chris Evert, Monica Seles

Emcee Lara Spencer of Good Morning America welcomes HOF’ers Pam Shriver, Chris Evert, Monica Seles

 

Tennis Channel’s Ken Solomon, Collette Bennett of Rolex and Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Tennis Channel’s Ken Solomon, Collette Bennett of Rolex and Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

 

Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, HOF Board Member Robb Bunnen and Hall of Famer Stan Smith

Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, HOF Board Member Robb Bunnen and Hall of Famer Stan Smith

Rod Laver joins Hall of Fame Chairman Chris Clouer and his wife Patsy

Rod Laver joins Hall of Fame Chairman Chris Clouer and his wife Patsy

 

Chris Evert with Jamie Reynolds, Vice President, Event Production ESPN

Chris Evert with Jamie Reynolds, Vice President, Event Production
ESPN

 

Share

The 2013 International Tennis Hall of Fame Inductions Reveal the Importance of Growing the Sport

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

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.

Share