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ITHF announces nominations for 2014

NEWPORT, R.I. — Former world No. 1 and 6-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay Davenport; Mary Pierce, the winner of two Grand Slam tournament titles in singles; and 1994 Wimbledon Champion Conchita Martinez of Spain have all been nominated to receive the highest honor in tennis, enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Class of 2014. Also nominated in the Recent Player Category is Chantal Vandierendonck, who became the first ITF World Champion for wheelchair tennis in 1991. Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category for their work toward the growth and development of the sport-legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has guided 10 players to world No. 1 status; Jane Brown Grimes, who has held executive leadership roles with the WTA, USTA, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame; and British tennis broadcaster and author John Barrett.

The 2014 nominees were announced live on the air during today’s US Open telecast on Tennis Channel, where Lindsay Davenport is a member of the broadcast team.

There are no nominees for 2014 in the Master Player Category, which honors individuals who had tremendous tennis accomplishments but have not been a major factor on a professional tour for 20 years or more.

“Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce, and Conchita Martinez were three of the most exciting women’s tennis players of their time. They brought many fans to the sport, delivered exciting matches, and achieved tremendous results. Chantal Vandierendonck was a trailblazer for wheelchair tennis, inspiring many athletes after her, building the sport up, and achieving incredible success. Of course, tennis would not be the exciting, global sport we know and love today were it not for the work of many dedicated coaches, administrators, and journalists, and so we are delighted to recognize Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, and John Barrett with appreciation and admiration for all they have done for tennis,” said Stan Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 and now serves as the International Tennis Hall of Fame President and Chair of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. “It’s a pleasure to announce that these seven individuals who have accomplished so much and have done so much for tennis have been nominated to receive our sport’s highest honor, enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. I extend my congratulations to the nominees and our gratitude for their many contributions to the sport.”

Voting for the 2014 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2014. The International Media Panel, which consists of tennis journalists and authors, will vote on the Recent Player nominee. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Famers and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, will vote on the Contributor nominees. To be inducted in either category, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.

The Class of 2014 Enshrinement Ceremony will be hosted on Saturday, July 12, 2014 during Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend 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 Enshrinement 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.HallofFameTennisChampionships.com

Since 1955, the honor of enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been given to 235 people representing 20 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.

From winning the biggest titles in tennis to coaching some of the sport’s greatest champions to Hall of Fame careers, the nominees for enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014 have all been integral in shaping the history of tennis. Following are detailed biographies of the nominees, grouped by category.

Recent Player: Lindsay Davenport, Conchita Martinez, Mary Pierce, Chantal Vandierendonck

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Pierce, 38, of France, won four Grand Slam tournament titles over the span of her career and achieved a career high ranking of world No. 3 in singles and doubles.

She captured her first major title at the 1995 Australian Open, where she defeated Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. In 2000, Pierce won both the singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros. She defeated Conchita Martinez in the final, becoming the first French woman to claim the title since Frankie Durr in 1967. She partnered with Martina Hingis to win the doubles title as well. Pierce’s fourth major title came at Wimbledon in 2005 where she partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi to win the mixed doubles title. She was the runner up at the 1994 French Open, where she defeated world No. 1 Steffi Graf in the semifinals. She was also runner up at the 1997 Australian Open, 2005 French Open, and 2005 US Open. She was a doubles finalist with Martina Hingis the Australian Open in 2000.

Known for her hard-hitting game, Pierce won 18 singles titles and compiled a record of 511-237 over her career. In addition, she captured 10 doubles titles and had a career record of 197-116.

Pierce was a member of the French Fed Cup team for 10 years and she played an important role in helping the nation win their two titles in 1997 and 2003. She was also a member of the French Olympic Team in 1992, 1996, and 2004.

Pierce has been recognized for her success and contributions to the sport on numerous occasions, with awards including the Bourgeon Award (1992), WTA Most Improved Player (1994), the WTA Comeback Player of the Year (1997), Sanex Fans Award (2002), the Meredith Inspiration Award (2006), and the Racchetta d’Oro Award (2012).

Conchita Martinez, 41 of Monzon, Spain, defeated Wimbledon great Martina Navratilova in the 1994 singles final to become the only Spanish woman to ever win the title. She was also the runner up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open.

Over the course of her career Martinez won 33 singles titles and 13 doubles titles. She had particular success at the Italian Open where she won four straight singles titles from 1993 - 1996.

Martinez has been a dedicated and celebrated player for her home country of Spain. In Olympic play she won silver medals in doubles at the 1992 Barcelona Games (w/ Sanchez-Vicario) and the 2004 Athens Games (w/ Ruano), as well as bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games (w/ Sanchez-Vicario).

In addition, Martinez was an integral part of Spain’s highly successful Fed Cup results in the 1990s. She was a team member for 15 years between 1988 and 2004, and she helped lead the team to the championship title five times (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998). She is the current Fed Cup captain for Spain.

Chantal Vandierendonck, 48, of The Netherlands, was one of the early stars of Wheelchair Tennis. She was the ITF World Champion three times, she won 5 Paralympic medals, and she was the world No. 1 player for a total of 136 weeks in singles and 107 weeks in doubles. What makes her success even more impressive is that Vandierendonck is considered a high para player, which means she has significant disability, making the sport even more difficult to play.

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

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

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

Contributor Category: Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, John Barrett

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

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

In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (NBTA), the first full-time tennis boarding school that combined intense training on the court with academic curriculum. In 1987, Bollettieri expanded his vision by partnering with IMG to turn the academy into a multi-sport training facility, now known as the IMG Academy. Today, the facility spans almost 300 acres and it offers several other sports academies in addition to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.

In addition to the elite pro athletes whom Bollettieri has trained, thousands of talented tennis players have come through the academy and succeeded at all levels, including NCAA student athletes, who have often been able to parlay their tennis success to academic scholarship.

Bollettieri has always been active in efforts to support the growth of the game and to engage children with tennis to show them that discipline and hard work can provide opportunities through the sport. Over the years, Bollettieri has donated more than $23 million in Academy scholarships, with many of the recipients going on to play collegiate or professional tennis. In addition, he is active with numerous organizations that have worked to engage underprivileged youth with the sport. With his friend, Hall of Famer Arthur Ashe, Bollettieri founded the Ashe-Bollettieri Cities Tennis program, which launched in Newark, New Jersey in the late 1980s. The program introduced thousands of youth to the sport and helped hundreds achieve athletic or academic scholarships. The program was reproduced in other cities, and became known as the Arthur Ashe Safe Passage Foundation. It continues to grow today, under the management of the USTA. Bollettieri also sits on the Board of Directors for Inner City Tennis, which uses tennis as a platform to teach responsibility, respect, teamwork and other character building elements.

In addition, Bollettieri has served on numerous USTA committees focusing on player development and growth of the game. In 2012, Bollettieri was inducted into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. Later this month, he will be inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame.

Jane Brown Grimes, 72, of New York, N.Y., has selflessly dedicated her life to the growth of tennis around the world for more than 35 years. In particular, Brown has had a major impact on three major industry organizations, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, the Women’s Tennis Association, and the United States Tennis Association, having held leadership roles with all three. She has also been highly active with the International Tennis Federation, serving on the Junior Competitions Committee, the Fed Cup Committee, and the Grand Slam Committee.

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

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

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

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

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

Like many industry leaders, Barrett got his start in the sport as a player. Following a successful junior career he became the Royal Air Force’s tennis champion in 1950 and 1951 and competed at Wimbledon for twenty years. In 1956, he was a member of Great Britain’s Davis Cup Team and he served as the team captain from 1959-1962. In the world of junior development he founded the BP International Tennis Fellowship, and the BP Cup which launched the international career of Martina Navratilova and many others. In 1976 he founded the Pepsi Junior International Series, a points-linked program which was the forerunner of the ITF’s present Junior Ranking lists.

Barrett had an extensive business career working for Slazengers, the sporting goods and apparel company, for nearly 40 years. He ultimately held the role of International Promotions Director for tennis, working with tournaments and athletes worldwide.

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

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

Barrett is married to former world No. 1 player and 1993 Hall of Famer Angela Mortimer Barrett.

Voting for the 2014 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2014. For additional information, please visit www.tennisfame.com

 

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