Lindsay Davenport, Nick Bollettieri Among Five Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

Lindsay Davenport, Nick Bollettieri Among Five Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

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NEWPORT, R.I., March 3, 2014- 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.

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Todd Martin Named CEO-Designate at International Tennis Hall of Fame

Todd Martin Named CEO-designate at International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

Todd Martin, CEO

Former ATP World Tour star will assume role in April, take over as CEO in September.

NEWPORT, R.I., February 18, 2014 – Todd Martin, who was ranked world No. 4 on the ATP World Tour in the 1990s, has been named CEO-designate of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum (ITHF) in Newport, R.I. He will succeed Mark L. Stenning, who is stepping down in September after 35 years with the organization and 14 years as CEO.

Martin will begin working at the Hall of Fame as CEO-designate on April 1, 2014, with Stenning remaining as CEO through September 5, 2014. Stenning will then transition to working on special projects for the Hall of Fame, namely, the completion of significant expansion and renovation projects to the facility.

“We are very pleased to welcome Todd Martin as the next chief executive officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. When we began our search for the next CEO, Todd was one of the people we went to for suggestions on candidates. Through discussions with him it became apparent that he, in fact, should be on the short list. Not only was Todd a great player-one of the very best in the world, but he is also a tremendous leader and he has been widely respected in his role as president of the ATP Players Council and as a member of the USTA Board of Directors. He will be an asset to the organization, and we look forward to working with him on the continued growth of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum,” said ITHF Chairman of the Board Christopher E. Clouser. “I would also like to acknowledge that Mark Stenning has been the heart and soul of the Hall of Fame for 35 years, during which time he has elevated the organization to outstanding levels within the tennis industry and the local community. We are indebted to him for his leadership and service, and we appreciate that he will be working with Todd to ensure a successful transition.”

Of his new appointment, Martin commented, “I’m tremendously excited to join the International Tennis Hall of Fame, to lead the organization’s staff, and to execute its mission. It is an honor to be charged with preserving the rich history of our sport and to celebrate the people who have created its greatest moments. I look forward to working with the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors and staff, and many tennis industry partners.”

Martin will be assuming the helm during a dynamic time period for the organization. The Hall of Fame is in the midst of a $15.7 million capital campaign. In spring 2014, the organization is scheduled to break ground on a major construction project which will result in the addition of three more indoor/outdoor hard courts and a significant new building for locker rooms, fitness facilities, and office and retail space. Also on the impending schedule is a complete renovation of the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which will feature major technological updates and complete re-interpretation of the galleries.

“I’m particularly pleased to come on board at such an exciting time,” stated Martin. “The impending capital projects will represent a significant upgrade to the property and the offerings the Hall of Fame can make to its patrons and the tennis community overall. A particular goal of mine will be to enhance the Hall of Fame’s impact and presence on the international tennis community, and the new museum and facilities will be beneficial in reaching that goal. This is a perfect time to begin here, and I can’t wait for April 1.”

Since retiring from the ATP World Tour in 2004, Martin has remained highly engaged in the tennis industry. He began serving a second term as a Director at Large on the USTA Board of Directors in January 2013, having previously served on the board from October 2011 through December 2012. He is currently the board liaison to the Youth Tennis Council. Previously, Martin was the board liaison to the Pro Tennis Council and was a member of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Team Events Committee.

In 2012, he launched Todd Martin Tennis, which focuses on junior tennis development. Also in recent years, Martin has done some coaching and spent time working with Novak Djokovic and Mardy Fish.

In 1994, Martin founded the Todd Martin Development Fund (TMDF), which provides tennis, education, and leadership programs for at-risk youth of mid-Michigan. TMDF currently operates as both a National Junior Tennis League and a USTA First Serve chapter.

A successful and popular ATP World Tour player, Martin achieved a career-best ranking of world No. 4. He was a finalist at the 1999 US Open and the 1994 Australian Open. He was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team, playing every year from 1994 to 2002, and helping the U.S. capture the title in 1995. Martin won eight singles titles and four doubles titles.

Martin served as president of ATP Players Council for eight of the 14 years he played professionally. He was honored with the ATP World Tour Sportsmanship Award in 1993 and 1994.

In addition to his role as CEO, Martin will serve as Tournament Director of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, the only ATP World Tour event in the Northeast and the only pro grass court tournament in the Americas. He will assume that position for the 2015 tournament. He will also have oversight of the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities, and other major events including the Legends Ball, an annual gala hosted in New York City during the US Open, and a year-round calendar of public and private events in Newport.

Martin’s duties will also include oversight of the Hall of Fame Tennis Clubs, which include 13 grass courts, an indoor tennis facility, and a robust, year-round program of adult and junior tennis. Martin will oversee the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which is the world’s most comprehensive museum dedicated to the history of the sport and its great champions and leaders, and the only sports hall of fame in the country that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

As the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization, Martin will be tasked will oversight of significant fundraising programs and management of a $7 million annual budget. In addition, Martin will be responsible for management the Hall of Fame’s buildings and grounds, a 7-acre site built in 1880 which has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Martin will report to a 69-person Board of Directors, comprised of tennis industry leaders, corporate executives, and philanthropists. He will manage a staff of 35 full-time employees.

Martin grew up in Lansing, Mich., where he was the state high school champion. He attended Northwestern University, playing varsity tennis for two seasons (1988-90). In his sophomore season, he led the Wildcats to a Big Ten championship and earned All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year honors, finishing the year ranked No. 2 in the nation.

—A. McLaughlin, ITHOF

A @CitiOpen One on One: Quarterfinalist Marinko Matosevic of @TennisAustralia

Marinko Matosevic shocked many by sending Milos Raonic home to Canada a little earlier than he’d expected before Rogers Cup. Matosevic won 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals at Citi Open on August 1, 2013. In a one on one interview after the match, he said “I don’t know if it’s the biggest win of my career, but it is definitely a big win beating Milos in a big tournament like Washington.” Later, he added, “I think I’m going in the right direction. I want to make that next push, not just to get back to my ranking (#39 in Februrary), but seeded at the Slams and try to get to top 30 this year”.

He also said he developed a case of acute food poisoning last month in Newport, Rhode Island, while playing in the International Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. He retired to Jack Sock in the first round and stated that it’s not likely he’ll return. Marinko, food poisoning is hell, but Newport in July is almost heaven. Please Reconsider.

Doubles Finalist @TimSmyczek on @AthleticDNA #ATPNewport

Doubles Finalist @TimSmyczek on @AthleticDNA

Milwaukee’s Tim Smyczek is a pretty quiet guy, but he wears some pretty loud and distinctive looking gear from Athletic DNA on court.

The Seattle-based apparel company has picked up some of the hardest working players in the business as their brand ambassadors–guys like Brian Baker, Rajeev Ram and Tennys Sandgren. Smyczek was a perfect addition to that list. Athletic DNA even gives their brand ambassadors a small share in the company, something that would have made Nike, Adidas, Fila and Under Armour sponsored players billionaires by now.

He shares his thought on the affiliation in a brief interview. I guess my daughter, Annabel, was inspired by the Hewitt kids getting so much attention in Newport, because she just had to get in the scene.

Smyczek and Rhyne Williams have been waiting for two days now to find out who’ll they’ll face in this afternoon’s doubles final at the Hall of Fame Championships. They’ll have to wait a little longer. The semis match of Mahut/Roger-Vasselin vs. Sa/Demoliner was pushed back until after the men’s final, since Mahut advanced to the singles final. It’s a tailor-made scouting opportunity for Smyczek, Williams and their coaches this afternoon.

 

—S. Fogleman

Michael Russell On a Roll @TennisHalloFame @MRussellTennis

Michael Russell is 35. And he’s playing the best tennis of his career. He was clearly ebullient about his win yesterday, an upset victory over 3-seed Igor Sijsling, and obviously looking forward to his 2nd career semifinals. His first semis appearance was only 15 months ago in his hometown of Houston at the Clay Court Championships at River Oaks. Which is another great venue by the way, if you’ve never been. Albeit in an irrepressible, sweltering, vast and barren Metropolitan Area, much unlike Newport. But I digress.

After his Challenger victory in Manta, Ecuador, last Saturday and the long commute to New England, you’d think Russell would be beat. But as you can see, he hasn’t lost a step. This press conference occurred less than five minutes after the man walked off the court following a grueling 3-setter in singles. He was out the door and playing a match no more than 8 minutes later with doubles partner Denis Kudla.

The best part was when he mentioned that his wife was in the crowd, but knew when to leave–in the third set.

‘Muscles’ Russell has a big chance to commandeer the day tomorrow, due to the scrubbing of all matches at the tournament today. He and Nico Mahut have been relegated to Court 1 at 10:00 a.m., while the other semi-finalists will simultaneously do battle on Center Court in front of a packed house and a Tennis Channel audience. If Muscles pulls another upset, you’ll see him live on Center Court at 2:00 p.m. going for his first ATP pro title. Good luck to @MRussellTennis! Though I do miss the days of yore with @djmruss.

—S. Fogleman

@JohnIsner is not 6’9! He’s 6’10! #ATPNewport

Double-Defending Champion John Isner had just defeated 82″ Ivo Karlovic in the Quarterfinals of the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island yesterday. It was just another installment of the Two Tallest Players on the Pro Tennis Tour. Tree #1 wanted to set the record straight that he, too, was indeed 82 inches tall and not 81″ as the ATP has reported for years on its official listings. And I think he did set the record straight.

If you’ve got Tennis Channel, you may have a double dose of Isner tomorrow. Thanks to the on court wash-out on Hall of Fame Induction Day this afternoon, he’ll play Lleyton Hewitt at 10:00 a.m. in the semifinals, and if he wins, he’ll try to three-peat as champion against the winner of Nicolas Mahut or Michael Russell at 2:00 p.m.

His post-match thoughts on Ivo Karlovic are below. On behalf of all of us at TEC, Welcome Back, Dr. Ivo and Good Luck, Big John!

Exclusive Video: John Isner’s Grandparents Get a Laugh Out of Their Boy in Sports Illustrated #ATPNewport

Way more than how he fared against Ivo Karlovic on the grass today at Newport, I wanted to know the Big Story. As in, did your friends, family and fellow players freak out when they saw you in the nude in Sports Illustrated playing tennis? Isner made waves as the tennis representative in Sports Illustrated’s Body Issue.

Isner has no regrets, and, as it turns out, he’s a big hit in t-shirts. His grandparent’s friends had a bunch printed up with John in his birthday suit. And they think it’s the Funniest. Thing. Ever.

Here’s to cool grandparents everywhere!

@RhyneWilliams in a Twitter Battle at #ATPNewport

Rhyne Williams decided it wasn’t fair that Tim Smyczek’s coach, Billy Heiser (@BillyHeiser), didn’t have as many twitter followers as Williams coach, Christopher Wiliams (@CPatWilliams).

Yesterday, Rhyne turned on his own coach and pleaded with the twitterati to follow Heiser and bulk up his numbers.

Williams says he’ll give a pair of Adidas shoes signed by him when Heiser reaches 500 followers.

This is what you do on your down time on the tour.

By the way, Williams is playing doubles here with Smyczek. The pair play a semifinal match tonight against Ivo Karlovic and Divij Sharan.

They Don’t Call It the Hall of Fame For Nothing: 30-Somethings Abound @TennisHalloFame #ATPNewport

Isner Crashes the 30+ Party

Isner Crashes the 30+ Party

The two tallest players on tour battled it out today at the Hall of Fame Championships. Isner, at 81 inches and 28 years, prevailed over Ivo Karlovic, at 82 inches and 34 years, by a count of 7-6(3), 7-6(3).

Bur this numbers game isn’t about inches.

Isner earns the right to likely face 32-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in the semis tomorrow. That is, unless Hewitt is upset by 34-year-old Jan Hernych. The winner of that half of the draw is bound to face a wily veteran in the final, as 31-year-old Nicolas Mahut and 35-year-old Michael Russell await.

For the third time this season, we are guaranteed at least three players over 30 in the semis of an ATP event after Halle and Den Bosch. According to the ATP, there has never been four 30-somethings in the semis since complete ATP records were kept.

Isner kept Newport out of the history books in that regard and spoiled a perfectly good party at the Pro Tennis Nursing Home.

Muscles Russell Books 2nd Career Semi-Final @TennisHalloFame #ATPNewport

Michael Russell, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6

Michael Russell, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6

35-year-old Michael Russell groundĀ out a 7-6 (3), 6-7(6), 7-6(5) win over Igor Sijsling at the Tennis Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, RI in a 2 hour, 40 minute match today. Russell slipped on the slick grass throughout the match, but allowed Sijsling only 3 break points on 12 opportunities. For Russell, it’s his 2nd career ATP semifinal, with the first coming in Houston last year.

Russell was so exhausted after the match that he failed in two attempts to send balls into the stands for fans.

Russell will face the winner of the Nicolas Mahut/Michal Przysiezny match which followed his win. Semifinals are scheduledĀ for Saturday after Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies.