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Shriver to be honored

NEWPORT, R.I. - On Friday, September 5, Hall of Fame tennis legends will gather with 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 hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum that celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport’s greatest champions and contributors.

The evening will pay tribute to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2014, which features former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, tennis industry leader Jane Brown Grimes, British tennis historian John Barrett, and wheelchair tennis champion Chantal Vandierendonck.

A host of Hall of Fame tennis legends are expected to participate in the evening’s festivities including Lindsay Davenport, Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, Pam Shriver, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Gigi Fernandez, Maria Bueno, Peachy Kellmeyer, Stan Smith, Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Vic Seixas, Dick Savitt, Owen Davidson, Donald Dell, and Butch Buchholz.

Hall of Famer and ESPN broadcaster Pam Shriver will be a guest of honor at the event, during which she will be recognized for her extensive contributions to tennis by presentation of the Eugene L. Scott Award. Shriver was a top player on the WTA Tour for more than 15 years. One of the best doubles players of all time, she won 112 titles, including 22 Grand Slam tournament victories. She has been on the air for ESPN since 1990, including all four Grand Slam events, serving as an analyst, play-by-play commentator, and sideline reporter. From her courtside vantage point, she provides interesting insight on the players and conditions, and is well-known for her interviews with fans and celebrities. Whether she is talking strategy with a coach; discussing tennis with the likes of Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin, or Anna Wintour; or mixing it up with the fans at Wimbledon, Shriver’s work is always an enhancement to the broadcast. Additionally, Shriver is active in a wide range of charities, including many in her native Baltimore involving tennis and/or physical fitness.

The Eugene L. Scott Award is given annually to honor an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Shriver will be introduced at The Legends Ball by former United States Congresswoman Jane Harman, who represented California from 1993 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2011.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to Fila, a tribute to the company’s longstanding commitment to the sport. Jon Epstein, president of Fila USA will accept the award, and will be introduced by Hall of Famer Butch Buchholz.

In addition, throughout the evening, Fila will preview their Spring 2015 collection on live models and stage brand ambassadors.

Fila has a long and storied history as an elite sports brand with its beginnings in textile and knitwear in 1911 in Biella, Italy. Fila introduced color to the world of tennis clothing in the 1970s through the grace and style of Hall of Famers Björn Borg, Guillermo Vilas, and Evonne Goolagong. For over five decades, Fila has adorned some of the best players during historic performances, including the inspirational comebacks of 2001 French Open champion Jennifer Capriati and 2009 US Open champion Kim Clijsters. From its earliest days in tennis, Fila has been known for its dedication to creating premium sportswear crafted to be as exceptional as its wearer, and for its support of the world of tennis through numerous event and other tennis-related sponsorships.

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.

The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas is co-chaired by John Arnhold of First Eagle Investment Management and a member of the Hall of Fame’s Executive Committee, and his wife Jody; and Richey Reneberg, of Taconic Capital Advisors, who is a former top-20 player on the ATP World Tour, and his wife Marget.

Hannah Storm, of ESPN, will be the evening’s Master of Ceremony. The evening will feature a live musical performance by Grammy-award winner and avid tennis fan Marc Cohn.

The evening will also feature special recogitions by the International Tennis Club of the United States of America (U.S.I.C) and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

The U.S.I.C. will present the William M. Johnston Trophy to Darren Cahill, an ESPN broadcaster and former top-25 player on the ATP World Tour, and the Sarah Palfrey Danzig Award to Hall of Famer and 17-time Grand Slam champion Gigi Fernandez. The awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional character, sportsmanship, manners, spirit of cooperation and contribution to the growth of the game, including rendering assistance to both adult and junior players.

Lynn Tilton will be honored in recognition of her 2014 ITA Achievement Award, which will have been presented that morning at the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors meeting. The ITA Achievement Award pays tribute to past participants in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers. Tilton is a graduate of Yale University and the Founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners LLC, a holding company with investments in more than 75 companies across 14 industry sectors.

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.

 

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