2014/11/24

ESPN to Receive Cullman Award from International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

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NEWPORT, R.I., September 4, 2013– On Friday, September 6, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will gather hundreds of tennis enthusiasts and industry leaders at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas, an annual social event that celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport’s greatest champions and contributors. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to ESPN, in recognition of the company’s longstanding commitment to the sport. George Bodenheimer, executive chairman of ESPN, Inc. will accept the award on behalf of the organization. Bodenheimer served as ESPN president when the company first acquired rights to Wimbledon and the US Open.

 

In addition to celebrating ESPN, The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas will also pay tribute to a host of tennis luminaries including Rod Laver, who will receive the Eugene L. Scott Award and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2013- former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, Australian tennis great Thelma Coyne Long, and dedicated tennis industry leaders Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac.

 

“ESPN’s dedicated coverage and innovative tennis programming has been integral in keeping fans engaged in tennis and helping to grow the sport around the world,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “They have shown a steadfast commitment to tennis, and we look forward to recognizing their dedication and support at The Legends Ball.”

On September 7, 1979 at 7 pm, the sports world was changed forever when a first-of-its-kind cable network dedicated strictly to sports burst onto the airwaves. Curious viewers tuned in to hear ESPN anchor Lee Leonard say, “If you love sports…if you really love sports, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to sports heaven.” Moments later, his co-anchor George Grande announced the first score ever reported on SportsCenter- Chris Evert’s victory over Billie Jean King at the US Open.

 

Exactly one week later, ESPN aired their first tennis telecast, a Davis Cup tie between the United States and Argentina featuring John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas, with Cliff Drysdale on the call. In the 34 years since, the network has brought the sport’s biggest matches and most dramatic moments from tennis courts around the world into the living rooms of millions of tennis fans.

 

With each passing tennis season, ESPN has displayed its steadfast commitment to the sport, developing an astute on-air team, constantly adding more hours of coverage, creating innovative digital platforms, and celebrating tennis’ rich history through fascinating special programming.

 

The network that has done so much for tennis is showing no signs of slowing down. Already the complete rights holder for the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and a broadcaster of Roland Garros, in 2015 ESPN will add the complete US Open rights and coverage to their tennis repertoire. While tennis has undoubtedly benefited from an exceptional relationship with ESPN since the network’s birth, the new opportunities brought forth with the US Open partnership means the best may still be yet to come.

 

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award honors an exceptional company that shares Joe Cullman’s enthusiasm for tennis and has also made a significant contribution to society at large – both philanthropically and through outstanding generosity of spirit. Cullman served as President and Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum from 1982-88, a tenure during which the organization was elevated to worldwide recognition. He hoped that visits to the historic site would inspire young people to play tennis, learn and appreciate its history, and honor the great players of the past.

 

The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport’s great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.

 

The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas is co-chaired by John Arnhold, chairman and CIO of First Eagle Investment Management, and his wife Jody; Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers Group, Inc., and his wife Debra; Jim Goldman, president and CEO  of Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., and his wife Gigi; and Eric Zinterhofer, founder of Searchlight Capital Partners, LLC and chairman of the board of Charter Communications, Inc., and his wife, Aerin.

A host of Hall of Fame tennis legends are expected to participate in the evening’s festivities. Joining Laver, Hingis, Drysdale, and Pasarell will be Hall of Famers Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Monica Seles, Gigi Fernandez, Pam Shriver, Martina Navratilova, Peachy Kellmeyer, Stan Smith, Bud Collins, Vic Seixas, Dick Savitt, Donald Dell, Jan Kodes, Russ Adams, Owen Davidson, and Butch Buchholz.

 

A silent and live auction at the event will feature once-in-a-lifetime, exclusive experiences including ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; luxury travel packages; and priceless items including tickets to the Grammy Awards; Owner’s Box seats for a Celtics game; autographed memorabilia; and much more.

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Bob Hewitt Suspended from International Tennis Hall of Fame

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.”

 

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Tennis Hall of Fame Annouces Death of Margaret Osborne duPont

NEWPORT, R.I., October 25, 2012  From the International Tennis Hall of Fame- The Board of Directors and Staff of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum mourn the loss of one of America’s great early tennis champions, former world No. 1 Margaret Osborne duPont. She passed away yesterday in Texas at the age of 94. During a lengthy career from the early 1940s through the early 1960s, duPont won an incredible 37 titles at Grand Slam tournaments in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, which places her fourth on the all-time record list, despite the fact that she never entered the Australian Championships.

 

Complementing her extraordinary success on court, duPont was always held in high regard by peers and fans for her exemplary sportsmanship and character. duPont was inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967.
duPont was an inspiration for many players, including Hall of Famer Billie Jean King, who commented today, “Margaret duPont was a giant in tennis and had a huge impact on my career. She was one of my sheroes and was a great influence on my life both on and off the court. I hope today’s players and any boy or girl who dreams of a career in tennis will go to the history books and read about Margaret because her career wasn’t just about winning matches, it was also about mentoring others.”
Last year, fellow Hall of Famer Tony Trabert was asked about duPont’s legacy in the sport and he commented, “I watched Margaret play many times, and she was really just an outstanding player and in particular, a fantastic doubles player, as is clear to see by her record. I always found her to be a genuinely nice person and to have great sportsmanship. She has been a terrific representative of our sport.” 
duPont was the year-end world No.1 in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1950. She was first ranked in the United States top-10 in 1938, and she remained in the top-5 for 20 years. She was ranked in the U.S. top-10 14 times over those 20 years, and in the world top-10 nine times.
duPont’s Grand Slam tournament success included six singles titles, 21 doubles titles, and 10 mixed doubles titles. Her incredible total of 37 Grand Slam tournament wins is surpassed only by fellow Hall of Famers and tennis greats Margaret Smith Court, Martina Navratilova, and Billie Jean King. duPont teamed with Louise Brough Clapp, also a Hall of Famer, to win 20 of her major women’s doubles titles, which ties Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver for the most Grand Slam titles ever won by a women’s doubles team.
duPont won 25 of her major titles at the U.S. Championships, which is an all-time record. In 2010, she was inducted to the US Open Court of Champions.
duPont had an impeccable Wightman Cup record, winning her ten singles and nine doubles matches between 1938 and 1958 to go undefeated. She also led the United States team to eight victories over those years.

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On the Red Carpet with Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten at the Legends Ball

 

Gustavo Kuerten photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

By Karen Pestaina

NEW YORK, NY (September 7, 2012) – Tennis Panorama News caught up with recent inductee to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten at the Legends Ball held during the US Open at Cipriani’s on East 42nd Street.

Kuerten spoke about what it means to him to be in the Hall of Fame and his involvement in his foundation.

Gustavo Kuerten talks to Tennis Panorama News

 

 

From the International Tennis Hall of Fame website:

One of Brazil’s most beloved and successful athletes, Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten, received the highest honor in the sport of tennis– induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Guga was the world’s No. 1 player for 43 non-consecutive weeks, and he is a three-time major tournament champion, having captured French Open titles in 1997, 2000, and 2001. Gustavo Kuerten’s induction was announced in a special presentation in São Paulo at the offices of Banco do Brasil, a long-time sponsor of the tennis champion.

With his beaming smile, engaging personality, and high energy game, the lively atmosphere that Guga brought to tennis stadiums around the world was nothing short of extraordinary.  Universally adored by both fans and peers, the Brazilian star is quick to state that the feeling is mutual, and that this support was integral to his success.  

Often referred to as “King of the Clay Courts”, although it was not a final, Guga often cites his fourth round French Open match in 2000 as one of the most memorable and treasured of his career. After saving three match points for the win, Guga first etched his iconic heart in the clay court, in an expression of love for his fans.

In 1997, Guga was ranked world No. 66 and had just eight ATP World Tour level wins to his name when he entered Roland Garros. While no one may have seen Guga coming that year, when he lifted the champion’s trophy and thanked the fans with his giant smile, it was clear that a star had arrived.  In the years that followed, Guga became one of the most dominant clay court players of his time. He captured the French Open title again in 2000 and 2001, and won a total of 20 singles titles and 8 doubles titles.

Guga started playing tennis when he was six years old, and his family was always very much part of his career. His father, a talented player himself, first taught Guga the game, before tragically passing away when Guga was just eight years old. Guga’s mother supported her son’s career emphatically. His older brother, Raphael, served as his business manager. His younger brother, Guilherme, who had cerebral palsy, was undoubtedly one of his biggest fans. Guga presented Guilherme every one of his tournament trophies, including the coveted Roland Garros trophies.

In 2000, for the first time in history, the No. 1 year-end position came down to the final match of season. Guga defeated superstar Andre Agassi in the match, breaking an eight-year reign of No. 1 finishes by Americans. It was the first time that a South American had ever been ranked world No. 1, a position Guga held for 43 weeks over his career. 

That same year, Guga embarked on another important venture, to which he is still dedicated today. Inspired by his late brother, Guilherme, he opened the Institute Guga Kuerten to help disabled people. The institute is dedicated to providing developmental opportunities, sports, and education, as well as to promoting social inclusion throughout the nation. The institute is located in Guga’s hometown of Florianopolis, Brazil, and since its inception, it has assisted more than 40,000 people in over 168 Brazilian cities. Guga was awarded the ATP World Tour’s Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2003, and in 2010, he was honored with the Philippe Chatrier Award by the International Tennis Federation. Currently, he works in order to win a new challenge: to support the social activities developed by Institute Guga Kuerten.

A national hero to Brazilians,  champion beloved by tennis fans worldwide, three-time winner at Roland Garros,  world No. 1, and now, a Tennis Hall of Famer, Guga Kuerten.

Grand Slam Record

French Open

Career Achievements

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2012 Legends Ball

(L-R) Tennis Hall of Famers – Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Jennifer Capriati, Billie Jean King and Pam Shriver. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

(L-R) – Singer Vanessa Carlton with Legends Ball co-Chair and Hollywood producer Todd Traina and his wife Katie. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser.

 

ATP Tour star James Blake and his fiancee Emily Snider. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser.

 

Gustave Kuerten. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

(L-R) Former WTA star Eva Majoli with Jennifer Capriati and her father Stefano. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser.

NEW YORK, NY ( September 7, 2012) – While US Open action heated up on court for Finals weekend, the tennis industry went glam off the court at the premier social event during the US Open, The 31st annual Legends Ball. Tennis legends, celebrity tennis fans, industry executives and VIPs honored the heroes of the game and celebrated its history to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I on Sept. 7 at Cipriani 42nd Street in NY City. The event featured a tribute to the Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, including Jennifer Capriati and Guga Kuerten. In addition, Hall of Famer Billie Jean King presented the Eugene L. Scott Award to Chris Evert. Hosted by Liz Claman, of Fox Business Network. the more than 500 guests included a dozen hall of famers like Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Capriati, Evert, Billie Jean King, Stan Smith, Keurten and Donald Dell plus celebrity tennis fans like singers Aaron Neville, Felix Caveliere,Vanessa Carlton as well as NBA star Mike Dunleavy and more.  An auction included more than 50 items including golf and tennis vacations, lessons from tennis hall of famers and vacation packages to grand slam tournaments.  For more info visit www.tennisfame.com

 

About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum 

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport’s official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 225 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.

 

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Chris Evert – A Life Devoted to Tennis

NEW YORK, NY – From hoisting 157 singles trophies during her career on the court, to her current role as tennis commentator for ESPN, tennis hall of famer Chris Evert continues to be very active in the sport.

 

Evert was ranked No. 1 in the world for seven years, won 1309 matches, captured 18 majors titles, and won one slam each year for 13 years in succession.

 

Not resting on past laurels, the Floridian has stayed involved in the sport since she retired in 1989.

 

On Friday night the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum honored the Class of 2012 at the “Legend’s Ball”  at Cipriani – the inductees included Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow (posthumously).

 

Also among the award recipients was Chris Evert, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame back in 1995. She was being honored for her dedication to tennis and the positive impact she has made on the sport with the Eugene L. Scott Award. Scott was a US Davis Cup player, tournament director and the founder of Tennis Week magazine. He wrote a column for magazine called “Vantage Point.” Many referred to Scott as “the conscience of the game.”  He died in 2006. Former winner, Billie Jean King presented Evert with her award.

 

“I don’t win any trophies anymore for tennis on the court so it’s nice to receive a service award to put me back into the game and I never really retired,” the 57-year-old Evert said.

 

Past recipients of this award which were selected based on their commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, or has had a significant impact on the tennis world 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).

 

“I stopped playing professional tennis but it’s still my life and I still talk about it on ESPN and I write about it in Tennis Magazine, Evert said, “and I have a tennis academy. It’s been a great livelihood for me.”
Evert also reflected on this years’ US Open.

“It’s kind of a sad, bittersweet US Open,” Evert said due to the retirements of Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick.

“It’s not really a happy US Open with those two players gone because they’re very well-liked and they had a lot of presence on the court lot of personality. But that’s how life is. We also saw the emergence of Laura Robson and some other young players. And we’re going to see some young players not. It’s kind of like the changing of the guard right now.”

Speaking of young players, Evert noted the success of a player in her own academy in Boca Raton, Florida. “We had one girl Anna Tatishvili get to the round of 16,” Evert said.  Tatishvili lost to Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-2.

“So she had been training with us for like 10 years. We have a lot of young kids and if their goal is to get a scholarship to college or to win their local tournament or to be on their high school team, it’s the same to us as if they’re going to be on tour.”

On top of her academy, her broadcast work for ESPN and her work as publisher and contributor roles for Tennis Magazine, Evert also hosts a charity event each year since she has been retired. Over the years, her philanthropic endeavors have raised more than 20 million dollars to fight against drug abuse and child neglect in Florida.

Her playing days may be long over, but it doesn’t stop her from serving the game that has been her life.

 

Karen Pestaina is the founder and editor of Tennis Panorama News.

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Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, Helena Sukova among 2013 Nominees for International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, R.I., USA, September 6, 2012 – Martina Hingis, a former world No. 1 and the winner of five Grand Slam tournament singles titles, the 1991 Wimbledon champion and former world No. 2 Michael Stich, and the great Czech doubles player Helena Sukova, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles have all been nominated to receive the highest honor available in the sport of tennis, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. All three are nominated for the induction Class of 2013 in the Recent Player Category. In the Master Player Category, Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who captured 19 Grand Slam titles between the 1930s and 1950s, has been nominated. Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category for their work toward the growth of tennis- ESPN’s longtime tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale, tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac, the Romanian tennis player turned influential player manager and tournament promoter.

 

“Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, and Helena Sukova worked hard to achieve the ultimate prizes in tennis- top world rankings, Grand Slam titles, Fed Cup and Davis Cup success, and Olympic medals. For their dedication to our sport and extraordinary achievements, I’m very pleased to announce that they have been nominated to receive our sport’s highest honor, induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Stan Smith, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1987 and now serves as the International Tennis Hall of Fame President and Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.

 
Smith added, “We are also pleased to honor Australia’s Thelma Coyne Long for her extraordinary success on the court. And of course, from a commitment to effective tennis news coverage to building up some of the world’s best tournaments, Cliff, Charlie, and Ion have all changed the tennis landscape for the better, and it is thanks to their efforts that we are able to enjoy tennis on such a grand, global scale today. I extend my congratulations to the nominees and our gratitude for their many contributions to the sport of tennis.”

 

Voting for the 2013 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2013 Inductees. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, will vote on the Recent Player nominee. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, will vote on the Master Player and Contributor nominees. To be inducted in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.

 

The Class of 2013 Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. The Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.

 

Tickets for the tournament and Induction Ceremony will go on sale later this year with a pre-sale for International Tennis Hall of Fame Members, followed by the General Public ticket sale. Individuals interested in becoming a Hall of Fame Member or purchasing tickets should call 401-849-6053 and/or visit www.tennisfame.com.

 

Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 225 people representing 19 countries. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends. Surrounding the museum are 13 historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, which play host to the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour tournament, and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July. The facility hosts numerous additional public events year-round.

 

From winning the biggest titles in tennis to creating some of the sport’s most exciting tournaments, the nominees for induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013 have all been integral in shaping the history of tennis. Following are detailed biographies of the nominees, grouped by category.

 

Recent Player: Martina Hingis, Michael Stich, Helena Sukova

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 or WTA Tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

 

Martina Hingis, 32, of Switzerland, was the world No. 1 singles player for 209 non-consecutive weeks and the No. 1 doubles player for 35 non-consecutive weeks. She is in the elite company of Martina Navratilova, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Lindsay Davenport, and Kim Clijsters as one of just five players in history to have held both the singles and doubles No. 1 WTA ranking simultaneously. Hingis won three consecutive Australian Open titles (1997, 1998, 1999), as well as the Wimbledon and US Open titles in 1997. In addition to her five Grand Slam singles titles, she also captured nine major doubles titles (three w/ Jana Novotna, two w/ Anna Kournikova, and one each w/Helena Sukova, Natasha Zvereva, Mirjana Lucic, and Mary Pierce) and one mixed doubles title (w/ Mahesh Bhupathi). In 1998, she achieved a Doubles Grand Slam.

 

Hingis won a total of 43 singles titles and 37 doubles titles over the course of her career, and had records of 548-133 in singles and 286-54 in doubles. In 1998, she led the Swiss Fed Cup team to its only Fed Cup final (lost 3-2 to Spain). She captured two WTA Tour Championships in singles (1998 and 2000) and two in doubles (1999 and 2000).

 

In 1997, Hingis was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, the WTA Tour Player of the Year, and the ITF Player of the Year.

 

Born into a successful tennis family, Hingis first picked up a racquet at just two years old and entered her first tournament at age four. At 12 years old, she won the French Open junior title, becoming the youngest player ever to win a Grand Slam junior title. She turned pro at age 14 and her career quickly took off, with Hingis setting a number of youngest-ever records along the way, including becoming the youngest ever world No. 1, a feat she achieved on March 31, 1997 at 16 years, 6 months, and 1 day. Hingis’ success was not based on powerful shots, instead she was known for her impeccable technical skill and ability to produce a wide array of shots. In particular, she was a talented net player and was able to place accurate drop shots just when she needed it most.

 

Hingis first retired from tennis in 2003, at the age of 22, due to injury. She made a comeback in 2006, winning two titles that year and closing the season at world No. 7. As a result, she was named the 2006 WTA Tour Comeback Player of the Year. She won her final title in 2007, before officially retiring. Since retirement, she has been active in World TeamTennis, and in 2011, she partnered with Lindsay Davenport to win the Roland Garros Legends title.

 

Michael Stich, 44, of Germany,was the 1991 Wimbledon champion, and in 1992, he partnered with John McEnroe to win the Wimbledon doubles title. In addition to his success at Wimbledon, he was a finalist at both the US Open (1994) and the French Open (1996). At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, he partnered with Boris Becker to win the Gold Medal in doubles. In 1993, he defeated Pete Sampras to win the year-end ATP World Tour Championships.

 

Stich achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 2, and he was in the year-end top-20 every year from 1991-1996. He won 18 singles titles, and 10 doubles titles. He holds a career singles record of 385-176 and a doubles record of 165-111.

 

Stich was a member of the Germany’s championship Davis Cup team in 1993, and he was a dedicated Davis Cup team member from 1990 – 1996. He compiled a winning record of 21-9 in singles and 14-2 in doubles.

 

A skilled player at both the baseline and the net, Stich was successful on all surfaces throughout his career, and in 1991 and 1993, he won professional tournaments on all four surfaces.

 

Since retirement, Stich has devoted most of his time the Michael Stich Foundation, which he established in 1994 to provide support for children infected with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, he stays involved with tennis by sponsoring tennis camps for junior players in his hometown of Hamburg and by serving as a commentator for Eurosport and for the BBC TV and Radio.

 

Helena Sukova, 47, of the Czech Republic, won an impressive 14 Grand Slam tournament titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles over the course of her career. She was also a two-time singles finalist at both the Australian Open and the US Open. She held the world No. 1 doubles ranking for 68 weeks and achieved a career high singles ranking of world No. 4.

 

Sukova captured a remarkable 69 doubles titles during the course of her career, and she compiled a doubles record of 752-220. She achieved a career Grand Slam in women’s doubles, winning four titles at Wimbledon, two at the US Open, one at the Australian Open and one at the French Open. In addition, she won two Silver Medals at the Olympic Games, partnered with Jana Novotna. In 1992, she won the doubles title at the WTA Championships with partner Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. She was a doubles finalist at the event four times.

 

In singles competition, she had a winning record of 614-307 and she won 10 singles titles. One of her most memorable singles victories was when she defeated Martina Navratilova in the semifinal round of the 1984 Australian Open, ending Navratilova’s historic 74-match winning streak. In 1985, she as a singles finalist at the WTA Championships.

 

Sukova was an integral part of the Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic Fed Cup teams for 13 years, and she was a playing member of four championship teams (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988). She holds several team records, including Most Total Wins – 57.

 

Sukova is a member of a prominent Czech tennis family. Her mother, Vera Puzejova Sukova was a women’s singles finalist at Wimbledon in 1962, and her father, Cyril Suk II, was president of the Czechoslovakian Tennis Federation. Her brother, Cyril Suk III, is a former professional player as well. The siblings teamed up to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, at the French Open in 1991 and at Wimbledon in 1996 and 1997.

 

Sukova retired in 1998, and in 1999, she helped re-establish the International Lawn Tennis Club of the Czech Republic and became its president. From 2001 until 2008, she served on the executive committee of the Council of the International Clubs. She remains active in tennis, and is a co-founder of the Kids and Junior Tennis Advancement Organization in the Czech Republic. From February 2001 through November 2008 she served on the Presidium of the Czech Olympians’ Club and in June 2007 she was appointed by the Czech Olympic Committee to the Presidium of the Czech Fair Play Club. Additionally, she is a member of the Champions for Peace Club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport Organization.

 

Sukova earned a doctoral degree as a psychologist at Palacky University and since February 2011, she has served as vice president of the Association of Sport Psychologists.

 

Master Player Category: Thelma Coyne Long

Eligibility criteria for the Master Player Category is as follows: Competitors in the sport who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.

 

Thelma Coyne Long, 94, of Sydney, Australia, had a remarkable career of more than 20 years (1935 – 1958), in which she captured a total of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles, including championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. In 1952, she achieved a career-best ranking of No. 7. That same year, she completed an Australian triple by sweeping the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at the Australian Championships.

 

In May 1941, during World War II, Long joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and worked in Melbourne, Australia. In February 1942, she joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and rose to the rank of captain in April 1944. In recognition of her efforts throughout World War II, she was awarded both the Australian War Medal and Australian Service Medal for 1939 – 1945.

 

Upon her retirement, Long began coaching junior players in New South Wales. Long was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.

 

Contributor Category: Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac

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.

 

After a successful playing career in the 1960s and 1970s and a leadership role in the launch of the ATP, Cliff Drysdale turned his attention to tennis broadcasting, and for more than thirty years, he has been one of the most respected and appreciated voices of the sport. Drysdale, 71, has been on the air with ESPN since the network’s very first tennis telecast- a Davis Cup match between the United States and Argentina on September 14, 1979, just one week after ESPN’s debut. In the thirty-plus years since, Drysdale has called all four Grand Slam tournaments and countless important moments in tennis history. Known for his insightful analysis and engaging delivery, Drysdale was named “Best Tennis Announcer” by the readers of Tennis magazine four times. In addition to his television coverage, Drysdale has been regular contributor to Tennis magazine for more than 15 years. He has played an integral role in sharing the greatest stories of tennis, and has been an influential ambassador for the sport.

 

Drysdale was a member of the original “Handsome Eight” of World Championship Tennis, the tour that laid the groundwork for a viable men’s professional tennis tour, and he was one of the world’s top players at the dawn of the Open Era. With his contemporaries, he was a co-founder of the ATP, which was developed to give players a unified voice and in structuring the professional game for the Open Era. Drysdale served as the organization’s first president, in 1972 – 1973.

 

Originally from South Africa, but now a United States citizen, Drysdale was ranked in the year-end world top-10 six times and achieved a career high ranking of world No. 4. Drysdale was a finalist at the U.S. Nationals in 1965, and he won the US Open doubles title in 1975 with Roger Taylor. He won 35 singles titles and 24 doubles titles, and during his career he notched wins against some of the greatest champions of the sport including Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, and Ilie Nastase. He was a member of the South African Davis Cup team for eight years.

 

Today, in addition to his media work, Drysdale continues to take an active role in working to grow interest in the sport. Through his tennis management company, Cliff Drysdale Management, he works with tennis clubs and resorts on tennis programming development, operations, and tennis education programs.

 

Charlie Pasarell, 68, is most recently best known as the past tournament director, managing partner, and former owner of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., but his contributions as a tennis industry leader have spanned all levels of the sport and have been a driving force in the growth of the tennis for more than forty years. Before assuming the leadership role of the Indian Wells event in 1981, Pasarell had already launched the National Junior Tennis League, which is dedicated to offering tennis programming to underprivileged children, and with fellow nominee Cliff Drysdale, he was a co-founder of the ATP.

 

Pasarell’s leadership activities were preceded by a successful playing career in which he achieved the No. 1 ranking in the United States in 1967. He was a member of the United States Davis Cup team for five years, including the championship team in 1968. Pasarell won 18 singles titles, including the U.S. National Indoor Championships in 1966 and 1967. Also in 1966, he was the NCAA Singles and Doubles champion, playing for UCLA. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Pasarell has been a longtime resident of California.

 

A focus of Pasarell’s tennis career has always been finding ways to utilize the game to give back to the community. At the height of his playing career, in 1969, Pasarell partnered with Arthur Ashe and Sheriden Snyder to launch the National Junior Tennis League. The goal of the organization was to have a positive impact on at-risk children by introducing them to tennis to keep them off the streets and to encourage them to stay in school. Today, the program continues to be the largest grassroots tennis program in the United Sates, with more than 950 chapters. Many NJTL students have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, business leaders, and even a few professional tennis players.

 

In 1971, as tennis was in the pivotal transition to the Open Era, Pasarell and a group of his fellow players founded the ATP, with the goal of giving players a voice in the structuring the new professional game. Over the years, Pasarell has remained highly active in the leadership of the organization and the development of men’s pro tennis. He served as an active board member in the critical early years, from 1971 – 1978. When the Men’s International Professional Tennis Circuit became the ruling body of men’s tennis from 1986 – 1990, Pasarell served as a tournament representative on the board. When the new ATP World Tour replaced that organization in 1990, Pasarell was once again elected by the tournaments to serve as their representative, and he was re-elected to the position every year for 20 consecutive years, until he retired in 2010.

 

In 1981, Pasarell took over as tournament director of the ATP World Tour event in the Coachella Valley of California. At the time, the event was struggling and in danger of being removed from the region. Over the past 30 years, under Pasarell’s leadership, the event has grown to be the largest two-week combined ATP and WTA tennis tournament in the world and the most well-attended tennis event after the four Grand Slam events. The tournament has grown from 30,000 fans to attracting more than 370,000 fans, and it has gone from a television broadcast reaching 25 million homes to more than one billion homes worldwide. The growth has necessitated new, state-of-the-art tennis facilities, taking the venue from a 7,500-seat stadium court to a 24-court, 54-acre complex including a 16,100-seat main stadium, seven smaller stadiums, and 44 luxury suites.

 

After more than 30 years working on the event, Pasarell announced his departure from the BNP Paribas Open earlier this year, following another outstanding event that welcomed more than 370,000 fans and broke attendance records for the sixth year in a row.

 

A successful doubles player turned tennis power broker, Ion Tiriac, 73, has been an influential tennis leader in roles ranging from coach to player manager to tournament promoter. Raised in communist Romania, Tiriac explored an array of sports before discovering his greatest potential and opportunity in tennis. Today, he is the promoter of two successful ATP World Tour events and is ranked among the top-1,000 wealthiest people in the world by Forbes magazine.

 

In the 1970s, Tiriac and fellow Romanian Ilie Nastase partnered to form a successful doubles team. Tiriac took on a mentor type role in the partnership, and parlayed that experience into a successful career in tennis administration. Tiriac took a sharp, business-like approach to tennis and he worked tirelessly to promote the players, grow the tournaments, build up television broadcasts, and to grow the sport overall.

 

He went on to manage the careers of top players including Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernandez, Goran Ivanisevic, and most notably, Boris Becker, who won five Grand Slam titles while working with Tiriac.

 

In addition, Tiriac was a promoter and tournament director for numerous events including the ATP World Tour’s season-ending Masters Grand Prix, and two of the largest Masters 1000 events, the Italian Open and the Madrid Masters. He is still an active leader on the Madrid Masters, and under his leadership the tournament has grown immensely, and is one of the most well attended annual events in Spain. In addition, he continues to promote tennis in his home country of Romania and is the owner/promoter of the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy, an ATP World Tour 250 event held annually in Bucharest.

 

As a player, Tiriac was an instrumental part of Romania’s Davis Cup team, competing for 15 years, and helping the team advance to the finals three times. In 1970, he partnered with Nastase to win the French Open doubles title.

 

Known for his no-nonsense demeanor, beneath Tiriac’s tough shell lies the heart of a philanthropist and the vision and ability to make positive changes. In addition to his tennis work, since the fall of the communist government in Romania in 1989, he has worked to rebuild the country’s economic and social infrastructure, developing business in banking, real estate, and other ventures. In his hometown of Brasov, he built four orphanages. When the orphanages became obsolete years later, he turned them into retirement communities for the elderly. In addition, he has developed numerous scholarship opportunities for young people.

 

Tiriac is an Honorary President of the Romanian National Olympic Committee and a Honorary President of the Romanian Tennis Federation.

 

For additional information about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit tennisfame.com

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Tennis Hall of Fame Exhibit Features “Tennis at the Olympics”

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In addition to watching tennis at the U.S. Open, spectators between matches or rain delays can visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit at the Chase Center, across the walkway from Louis Armstrong Stadium in a space also shared by the U.S. Open Bookstore and a photo exhibit on Arthur Ashe curated by his widow – Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.
For the 14th year the museum, based in Newport, R.I. has had an exhibit at the tournament. This year’s exhibit is “Tennis and the Olympics.”
“It’s a very current and topical event and it also shows how international tennis is,” said Douglas Stark the museum’s director. “And it also highlights all of the Hall of Famer’s who participated. We’ve had 39 Hall of Famers that have participated and medaled in the Olympics. It shows also how important tennis is to the Olympics, but also how international it is and how reflective of the globalization of the game is as well as fact is that we are the International Tennis Hall of Fame.”
Tennis in the Olympics began in 1896 and was an Olympic sport until 1924. It came back into the Olympics as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984 and returned as a full medal sport in 1988. The exhibit also includes the Para-Olympics since it began in 1992.
Each panel in the exhibit represents a different Olympiad.
“What we did is we purchased the old Olympic posters, copies of the Olympic posters through all the years and that’s the backdrop of along the back of each of the panels,” said Stark.
It took some time to acquire the photographs and posters used in the exhibit, but the most difficult task was collecting items from the1904 Olympics, held in St. Louis, MO.
“1904 St. Louis which was in conjunction with the world’s fair, it was the first time it was held in America and it was the centennial of the Louisianna Purchase and it was mostly Americans that participated,” Said Stark.” We just had difficulty getting some images. We worked with some collections in St. Louis to try to help us.”
In addition there is an extension of the exhibit in the US Open American Express Fan Experience. “We have two exhibit cases that are an extension of this exhibit so we have some artifacts that players used,” Stark mentioned.
Some two dozen artifacts in the extension which include a hat that Pam Shriver had which contains Olympic pins she had collected, a dress that Venus Williams wore in the Beijing Olympics in 2008m a dress from Anrantxa Sanchez Vicario and an Andy Roddick shirt signed from the Athens games in 2004.
“It’s clearly one of the more timely exhibits of recent events in the world,” said Stark. Two weeks after the Olympics end we are able to do this exhibit about the history of tennis in the Olympics and to bring it up to the current Olympics.”
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Hall of Fame Exhibit at US Open to feature Tennis at the Olympics

On the heels of the very exciting 2012 London Olympics, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will present a special exhibition at the US Open detailing the history of tennis in the Olympics and the Paralympics, from 1896 through the recent Games. Tennis and the Olympicsshowcases some of the most successful and interesting tennis Olympians in history, and highlights the appeal of tennis as one of the world’s most international sports. The exhibition will feature dynamic photos of great moments in Olympic tennis and a full listing of every Olympic and Paralympic tennis medalist in history. Additionally, the exhibition will detail the interesting role that tennis has played in the Games, having gone from a full medal sport to having no presence for many years, and back to a full medal, extremely popular sport in the last several decades.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Gallery at the US Open will be open daily, August 27 – September 9, and admission is complimentary for guests attending the US Open. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Gallery at the US Open is located in the Chase Center, alongside the US Open Bookstore.
     
“Tennis has had an interesting relationship with the Olympic Games over the years. As we saw in the most recent Games, fan interest in tennis as an Olympic sport is extremely high. Players openly spoke about their great desire for an Olympic medal, and audiences in London and at home followed the progress of players from their nation with unprecedented enthusiasm. In this exhibit, we aim to educate fans on the history of tennis in the Olympics and showcase what great progress has been made, while also delighting them with interesting anecdotes and dramatic images, spanning from 1896 through 2012,” said Museum Director Doug Stark. “In addition, we are pleased to work with the Arthur Ashe Learning Center on a one-of-a-kind, truly outstanding photo exhibit showcasing an intimate look at Hall of Famer Arthur Ashe.”
Adjacent to the Olympic exhibit, the gallery will host Arthur Ashe as Amateur: 1966, a special collection of photos of Arthur Ashe, shot and compiled by renowned LIFE magazine photographer Rowland Scherman. In 1966, as Ashe was making his ascent in the tennis world and the nation was in the height of the Civil Rights movement, Scherman followed Ashe, then an amateur player, on the road from Texas to Los Angeles. The photos of their journey offer a rare glimpse of a champion in the making.
Tennis and the Olympics takes a look at the highs and lows of every Olympic and Paralympic Games in which tennis has had a presence in since 1896. Fans will be able to read about historic victories, such as Steffi Graf’s 1988 Gold Medal, which made her the first person, and the only person to date, to achieve the Golden Slam (all four majors and the Olympic gold medal in one year). Guests will also take away some interesting tennis tidbits- for example, who would have guessed that the 1900 champion would have won a coffee and liqueur serving table as his Olympic prize, or that some years there were both indoor and outdoor tennis events contested? Additionally, the exhibit details the role of tennis in the Games- a competitive full medal sport in the early years; a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984; and its return as a full medal sport in 1988, something that was initially met with trepidation by players and fans, but has been embraced enthusiastically in recent years.
The exhibit also takes a look at the Paralympic Games, highlighting how eight competitors from five nations showed off their skills at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a convincing demonstration that propelled wheelchair tennis to a full medal sport at Barcelona in 1992.
Dynamic imagery pops throughout the exhibit, including great moments from the unstoppable Williams sisters, who have captured three gold medals in doubles and one each in singles; the extraordinary wheelchair tennis champion Esther Vergeer, who has won five Paralympic gold medals (3 in singles, 2 in doubles); and the overjoyed Andy Murray who captured gold before his home crowd at the Olympics in London just weeks ago.
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum highlights the history of tennis from its 12th century origins through present-day, as well as the fascinating life stories of the game’s greatest athletes and industry contributors. The extensive collection features vintage tennis equipment, video highlights and iconic photos, tennis apparel ranging from Victorian dresses to modern fashions, tennis inspired paintings and fine arts, and memorabilia from remarkable moments as recent as the current-year Grand Slams. Changing exhibits and special exhibitions, similar to Tennis and the Olympics, are displayed year-round in the Museum.
 
For additional information about the exhibit at the US Open or about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, www.tennisfame.com.
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