WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Sept. 6, 2018) – The USTA has announced that 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Chris Evert and former USTA vice-president Don Tisdel have been honored with the United States Tennis Association’s President’s Award at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting in New York. The President’s Award honors individuals who have given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest.
Evert won 18 major singles championships (two Australian Open, three Wimbledon, and a record six US Open and seven French Open titles), winning at least one each year for 13 consecutive years (1974-1986). She retired in 1989 with 157 singles titles overall, and a career win-loss record of 1,309-146 (.900), the best of any professional player in history.
Evert burst upon the national tennis scene at the age of 15, and a year later made the 1971 US Open semifinals in her first Grand Slam event. She was voted the AP Female Athlete of the Year four times and in 1985 was voted the Greatest Woman Athlete of the Last 25 Years by the Women’s Sports Foundation. She was a unanimous selection to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. The mother of three boys, she has remained close to the game as she operates a tennis academy bearing her name in Boca Raton, Fla.
“Chris is not only one of our sport’s greatest champions and icons, but also has been a true advocate of the game,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “Her countless contributions to tennis have helped our sport to grow and thrive, and we are proud to honor those contributions with this award.”
Tisdel, who was honored posthumously, was an avid player for more than 60 years, served on the USTA Board from 2005 until his retirement at the end of 2016. He was vice chair of the Budget and Investment committees, as well as the Audit, Compensation and Major Construction Oversight committees. He also served on the board of the USTA Foundation. Even after his retirement from the Board, he continued to serve on the USTA Executive Committee as a Presidential Appointee and on the Investment Committee.
Throughout every one of those years of service, he was a driving force in the growth of tennis. But more, Don’s unparalleled business acumen, keen financial understanding, and clear vision were integral in the major projects this association has undertaken—and successfully completed—in recent years, including the transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the construction of the USTA National Campus in Orlando. In 2016, Tisdel was named Tennis Industry magazine's Person of the Year.
“It’s no understatement to say that without Don’s guidance and expertise, those two projects would never have become the success stories that they are, said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President “Without his financial leadership, the USTA might not have had the courage to tackle these major projects, both critical to the growth of the sport.”
Since its inception in 1999, award recipients have included Billie Jean King, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.