Following Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon title, the grass court season continues with the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships at Newport, RI with John Isner looking to defend his title.
The week is rounded off with the Class of 2013 Enshrinement into the Tennis Hall of Fame. Five familiar faces make up the class.
Martina Hingis (Recent Player)
Martina Hingis (born 30 September 1980) is a Swiss former professional tennis player who spent a total of 209 weeks as world No. 1. She won five Grand Slam singles titles (three Australian Opens, one Wimbledon, and one US Open). She also won nine Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, winning a calendar-year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and one Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
Hingis set a series of “youngest-ever” records before ligament injuries in both ankles forced her to withdraw temporarily from professional tennis in 2002 at the age of 22. After several surgeries and long recuperations, Hingis returned to the WTA tour in 2006. She then climbed to world no. 6 and won three singles titles. On 1 November 2007, Hingis announced her retirement from tennis.
In June 2011, she was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time.
Thelma Coyne Long (Master Player)
Thelma Coyne Long, 94, of Sydney, Australia, had a remarkable career of more than 20 years (1935 – 1958), in which she captured a total of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles, including championships in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. In 1952, she achieved a career-best ranking of No. 7. That same year, she completed an Australian triple by sweeping the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles at the Australian Championships.
In May, 1941, during World War II, Long joined the Red Cross as a transport driver and worked in Melbourne, Australia. In February, 1942, she joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and rose to the rank of captain in April, 1944. In recognition of her efforts throughout World War II, she was awarded both the Australian War Medal and Australian Service Medal for 1939 – 1945.
After a successful playing career in the 1960s and 1970s, and a leadership role in the launch of the ATP, Cliff Drysdale turned his attention to tennis broadcasting, and for more than thirty years, he has been one of the most respected and appreciated voices of the sport. Drysdale, 71, has been on the air with ESPN since the network’s very first tennis telecast – a Davis Cup match between the United States and Argentina on September 14, 1979, just one week after ESPN’s debut. In the thirty-plus years since, Drysdale has called all four Grand Slam tournaments and countless important moments in tennis history. Known for his insightful analysis and engaging delivery, Drysdale was named “Best Tennis Announcer” by the readers of Tennis magazine four times. In addition to his television coverage, Drysdale has been a regular contributor to Tennis magazine for more than 15 years. He has played an integral role in sharing the greatest stories of tennis, and has been an influential ambassador for the sport.
Charlie Pasarell, 68, is most recently best known as the past tournament director, managing partner, and former owner of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., but his contributions as a tennis industry leader have spanned all levels of the sport, and have been a driving force in the growth of tennis for more than forty years. Before assuming the leadership role of the Indian Wells event in 1981, Pasarell had already launched the National Junior Tennis League, which is dedicated to offering tennis programming to underprivileged children, and with fellow nominee Cliff Drysdale, he was a co-founder of the ATP.
Pasarell’s leadership activities were preceded by a successful playing career in which he achieved the No. 1 ranking in the United States in 1967. He was a member of the United States Davis Cup team for five years, including the championship team in 1968. Pasarell won 18 singles titles, including the U.S. National Indoor Championships in 1966 and 1967. Also in 1966, he was the NCAA Singles and Doubles champion, playing for UCLA. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Pasarell has been a longtime resident of California.
A successful doubles player turned tennis power broker, Ion Tiriac, 73, has been an influential tennisleader in roles ranging from coach to player manager to tournament promoter. Raised in communist Romania, Tiriac explored an array of sports before discovering his greatest potential and opportunity in tennis.
In the 1970s, Tiriac and fellow Romanian Ilie Nastase partnered to form a successful doubles team. Tiriac took on a mentor-type role in the partnership, and parlayed that experience into a successful career in tennis administration.
He went on to manage the careers of top players including Guillermo Vilas, Mary Joe Fernandez, Goran Ivanisevic, and most notably, Boris Becker, who won five Grand Slam titles while working with Tiriac.
Today, he is the promoter of two successful ATP World Tour events, and is ranked among the Top 1,000 Wealthiest People in the World by Forbes magazine.