NEWPORT: Legendary coach Nick Bollettieri and former women’s world number one Lindsay Davenport were among five people named Monday as new inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Americans will be joined by Dutch wheelchair tennis star Chantal Vandierendonck, long-time executive Jane Brown Grimes and British author and broadcaster John Barrett. A ceremony will be conducted July 12 during the ATP Hall of Fame Championships at Newport, Rhode Island. The newcomers will join 235 people from 20 nations on the 60-year-old roll of honour.
Bollettieri, 82, has coached 10 players who would become world number ones, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Boris Becker. He has also worked with Maria Sharapova and Serena and Venus Williams and remains active in mentoring young talent, having more recently worked with Japanese star Kei Nishikori and American Ryan Harrison among others. In 1978, Bollettieri founded his own boarding school and tennis academy, which has since evolved into a huge facility with offerings in eight sports and more than 900 year-round students. “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,” Hall of Fame president Stan Smith said.
Davenport, 37, is a three-time Grand Slam singles champion who topped the rankings for 98 weeks, finishing as a year-end number one in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005. Davenport won the 1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open and also captured the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympics among her 55 singles titles. Her career record was 753-194. “I’m so honored by this incredible recognition,” Davenport said. “To be recognized in the Hall of Fame alongside the great champions who have always inspired me is just a tremendous honor.”
Davenport helped the US team win three Fed Cup crowns and was also an accomplished doubles player, winning three Grand slam doubles crowns. Vandierendonck, 49, was the women’s wheelchair world number one in singles for 136 weeks and doubles for 107 weeks after being injured in a 1983 car accident. She also won five Paralympic medals. Grimes, 73, has held leadership roles at the WTA and US Tennis Association and worked in tennis for more than 40 years. Barrett, 82, is a former British Davis Cup captain who has in recent years been a noted author, journalist and television commentator on the sport.
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