Former world No. 1 and 6-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay Davenport has been elected to receive the highest honor in the sport of tennis-enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Joining Davenport in the Class of 2014 will be 5-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck, who was the first ITF World Champion for wheelchair tennis. Additionally, three individuals have been elected in recognition of their tremendous dedication 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 enshrinees were announced today as part of World Tennis Day, which is being marked by tennis events and celebrations around the globe. Complementing today's announcement, the newly elected enshrinees are participating in the tennis festivities around the world today as well. Bollettieri and Brown Grimes will be honored this evening at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, while Barrett and Vandierendonck will participate in the World Tennis Day Showdown at Earl's Court in London, where tennis legends Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, and Pat Cash will be playing in an exhibition match. Meanwhile, Davenport will be taking part in Tennis Channel's coverage of the festivities.
"I'm so honored by this incredible recognition. I feel very blessed to have had a wonderful tennis career, and now, to be recognized in the Hall of Fame alongside the great champions who have always inspired me is just a tremendous honor," commented Davenport. "I look forward to celebrating with the other members of the Class of 2014 in Newport this summer."
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2014, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring its greatest champions and leaders. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game's greatest legends. Over the past 60 years, the honor of enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been presented to just 235 people representing 20 countries.
"Lindsay Davenport had a lengthy, successful career in which she reached the pinnacle of our sport as a competitor-world No. 1 and a Grand Slam champion. This summer, we look forward to celebrating her many accomplishments and contributions to tennis by presenting her with the sport's highest honor-enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame," commented Hall of Fame President Stan Smith.
Smith, who also serves as chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee, also commented, "At the Hall of Fame, our goal is to celebrate the history of tennis and to honor those individuals who have built that storied history, and so this year we are proud to honor three of the sport's greatest contributors. Through extraordinary coaching and his keen ability to inspire greatness, Nick Bollettieri is the person we can all thank for helping create some of the sport's greatest champions and therefore, most memorable moments. Jane Brown Grimes' selfless dedication to our sport has resulted in incredible growth on all levels, from U.S. tennis to international competitions to the development of women's pro tennis, and so much more. We are also delighted to welcome John Barrett to the Hall of Fame, joining his wife, former world No. 1 Angela Mortimer Barrett, among the legends of our sport. A leader on many levels, John's lifelong passion for the sport resulted in some of its finest journalism, most compelling story-telling, and therefore, some of the most important works dedicated to preserving tennis history.
"Last but not least, I extend my congratulations to Chantal Vandierendonck, who is the first female wheelchair tennis player to be enshrined. A 5-time Paralympic medalist, she was both a top competitor and a trailblazer in wheelchair tennis, and we are delighted to recognize her accomplishments and contributions."
The Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The ceremony will be a highlight of the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, which will also feature the unveiling of museum tribute exhibits for the new Hall of Famers, celebratory parties and special events, and an exhibition match featuring great tennis legends. The ceremony and festivities will be held in conjunction with the annual Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event. Tickets for the ceremony and tournament are available now on HallofFameTennisChampionships.com or by phone at 401-849-6053.
Individuals are eligible for Hall of Fame enshrinement in three categories, Recent Player, Master Player, and Contributor. The International Media Panel, which is comprised of tennis journalists and authors, votes on the Recent Player Category. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Famers and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, votes on the Master Player and Contributor categories. To be elected in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required. There are no enshrinees 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.