August 28, 2015

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

 

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“Battle of the Sexes” Pro-Celebrity Doubles Match will Feature Actors Rainn Wilson and Jason Biggs

ustalogo

USTA CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF ACHIEVEMENTS OF WOMEN IN TENNIS

1973 SAW THE FORMATION OF THE WTA; EQUAL PRIZE MONEY FOR WOMEN AND MEN AT THE US OPEN; BILLIE JEAN KING’S TRIUMPH OVER BOBBY RIGGS

“Battle of the Sexes” Pro-Celebrity Doubles Match will Feature Actors Rainn Wilson and Jason Biggs Taking on Tennis Greats Chris Evert and Monica Seles

In Arthur Ashe Stadium on the Evening of Thursday, September 5

Match to be Broadcast Live on Tennis Channel

  Al Roker to Serve as Chair Umpire

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 4, 2013 – The USTA today announced that as part of its ongoing celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the WTA, of equal prize money for women and men at the US Open, and for the historic win by Billie Jean King over Bobby Riggs, it will hold a “Battle of the Sexes” doubles match featuring actors Rainn Wilson and Jason Biggs taking on tennis greats Chris Evert and Monica Seles. The match will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel.

 

Prior to the doubles match, the USTA Chairman of the Board and President Dave Haggerty will be joined by Billie Jean King, and WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster to look back at the historic year of 1973, a year that  brought radical change to the sports world and the sport of tennis.  The formation of the WTA, led by Billie Jean King, gave woman a voice for the first time in their sport.

 

Wilson, best known for his role in the hit TV series “The Office,” currently starring in “Orange is the Black,” Biggs, and is known for his role in the “American Pie” trilogy.  Evert and Seles, will be joined by the Today Show’s Al Roker, who will serve as chair umpire for this fun exhibition that will put a contemporary spin on the King-Riggs classic.

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Serena Williams Wins Swedish Open for 53rd Career Title

Sony Ericsson Open - Day 4

(July 21, 2013) Serena Williams has tied Monica Seles for ninth place for the most WTA titles in the Open Era by capturing the Swedish Open on Sunday 6-4, 6-1 over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson  for her 53rd WTA title. For Williams it’s her 28 straight win on clay.

Larsson jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first set before Williams came back to 3-3. From that point Williams won nine out of the next 11 games to take the title.

“Johanna played well, and I made a lot of unforced errors in the beginning – I just hit everything out,” Williams said. “I had to kind of come back and do a little better. You just have to stay positive. I wasn’t playing well at Wimbledon when I lost, so I thought, ‘Okay, just remember what I did wrong there, and don’t make the same mistake here.’ I really wanted to do better here in Bastad this week.”

“It was really good to come here and win after a disappointing Wimbledon so hopefully this confidence will help me for the rest of the year,” said Williams after the match, who lost in the round of 16 at Wimbledon to Sabine Lisicki.

Williams wins her 53rd WTA title to tie Monica Seles for ninth most of the Open Era.
For Williams this is her first International-level title at her sixth International-level event. It’s her seventh overall title in 2013. She’s 51-3 on the year.

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Capriati and Kuerten Highlight Emotional Hall of Fame Inductions

Gustavo Kuerten photo by Ben Solomon

By Jack Cunniff

NEWPORT, Rhode Island – The skies in Newport were dry, but the eyes were not, as Jennifer Capriati and Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten headlined the 2012 class of inductees into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held Saturday, July 14th on Center Court at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.  Capriati and Kuerten, former top-ranked players elected to the Hall of Fame under the Recent Player category, gave stirring speeches that touched the tennis fans in attendance.  Other inductees this afternoon were Randy Snow, the late wheelchair tennis champion and advocate; Mike Davies, in the Contributor category; and Manuel Orantes, in the Master Player category.

Monica Seles, a 2009 Hall of Fame inductee, was selected by Capriati to introduce her at the ceremony. It was a fitting selection as both players burst on the tennis scene just months apart as teenagers, and set multiple “youngest ever” records for women’s tennis.  Capriati, a three-time champion at Grand Slam events and Olympic gold medal winner, was emotional throughout her acceptance speech.  While honored by the Hall of Fame recognition, it closes a chapter in her life that Capriati was not quite ready to close. It signifies that there are no more comebacks in store, and her career would end as the result of wrist and shoulder injuries. But as she did throughout her career, Capriati persevered today. She expressed the joy and pain that tennis has brought to her life, and noted that tennis taught her what hard work and commitment mean. She thanked her friends and family for their love and support over the years, and also recognized the fan support she received throughout her career, a comment that was punctuated by someone in the crowd shouting “We love you!”

Alice Kuerten, Gustavo’s mother, had the honor of introducing her son to the crowd. She spoke not of Guga’s French Open titles or number one ranking, but of his intangible qualities, his role as son and brother, and his philanthropy. Guga charmed the crowd with an unscripted speech, sharing his appreciation for all that tennis has provided him. His father introduced Kuerten to the sport, but passed away when Guga was a teenager. It was tennis, Kuerten noted, that provided him two new fathers in the form of his former coach Larri Passos, and older brother and manager Raphael. Kuerten was very close to his late younger brother Guillaime, who suffered from cerebral  palsy and passed away in 2007, and thus found it fitting to be inducted on the same day as Randy Snow. Kuerten also thanked Mariana, his wife and mother to their five-month-old daughter.

Randy Snow passed away in from a heart attack in 2009, so his father Tom accepted the award on his behalf. A successful junior tennis player when he was paralyzed at age 16, Snow found his success as a wheelchair tennis champion and gold medal winning Paralympian.  Tom thanked Brad Parks, a fellow Hall of Fame member who created the concept of wheelchair tennis, and the various federations who have supported wheelchair tennis.

Mike Davies was awarded for his leadership behind the scenes with tennis. He was the driving force behind several changes in tennis targeted at making it more television friendly. Thanks to Davies, we have yellow tennis balls, blue courts, colored clothing, and chairs on changeovers. Each of these advances made tennis more marketable, and contributed to increased popularity of the sport in the 1970s. Davis thanked his fellow pros and co-workers for today’s honor.

The Hall of Fame president Stan Smith introduced Manual Orantes, and noted Orantes was not only a great champion, but a great sportsman.  Orantes looked back on his 1975 U.S. Open title over Jimmy Connors, and semifinal comeback over Guillermo Vilas earlier in that event, as the greatest matches in his career. He expressed appreciation for his Barcelona tennis club for making him into a champion.

While many tears were shed during the ceremony, the newest Hall of Fame members were all smiles when they took a final march around Center Court.

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