Marina Hingis Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame with industry leaders Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, Ion Tiriac
NEWPORT, R.I., USA, March 4, 2013- Martina Hingis, a former world No. 1 and the winner of 15 Grand Slam tournament titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, has been elected to receive the highest honor in the sport of tennis, enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Joining Hingis in the Class of 2013 will be two co-founders of the ATP, longtime ESPN tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale and tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, both of whom have been elected in the Contributor Category. Also in that category, Romanian tennis great Ion Tiriac, has been elected in recognition of his work to grow the sport through roles as an influential player manager and successful tournament promoter. It was previously announced that Australian tennis legend Thelma Coyne Long, winner of 19 Grand Slam tournament titles between the 1930s and 1950s, has been elected in the Master Player Category. The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 was announced today as part of the World Tennis Day festivities, and the new class will be honored tonight in a Center Court presentation at Madison Square Garden during the BNP Paribas Showdown.
“Being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is tremendous honor,” stated Hingis. “It is truly a privilege to be part of such an exclusive group of tennis icons. I am looking forward to the enshrinement weekend in Newport and to being welcomed in by the other Hall of Famers.”
International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith said, “Having achieved world No. 1 status in both singles and doubles, and having won an incredible 15 Grand Slam tournament titles, Martina Hingis is undoubtedly one of the world’s elite tennis players, and we are glad to pay tribute to her among the legends of the sport.”
Smith, who also serves as chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee, also commented, “Cliff, Charlie, and Ion all had success in tennis at the top levels, but they also had visions for the sport’s immense potential for growth, and they have dedicated their lives and careers to making that happen. Tennis is better for having had the leadership of these three men, and Hall of Fame enshrinement is a well-deserved tribute in recognition of all they have done for our sport. Also, during the Australian Open, we had the opportunity to notify Thelma Coyne Long of the good news of her enshrinement, and she was delighted. She is one of the greatest Australian tennis players of all time, which already places her in outstanding company, and now she will be forever celebrated among the best in the world. I look forward to welcoming all five honorees into the Hall of Fame this year.”
The Class of 2013 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2013. 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, grand 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.
The 2013 Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend marks the start of a new title sponsorship of the enshrinement festivities by the luxury Swiss watchmaker. Rolex has been the Official Timepiece of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for many years and has a long history of supporting the sport’s most important events.
“We are so pleased to welcome Rolex as the title sponsor of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Weekend. This new facet of our long-standing relationship is an ideal fit as the enshrinement events honor those individuals who have displayed excellence in performance and have achieved the pinnacle of success, characteristics exemplified by the Rolex brand,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “On behalf of the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors, I extend our congratulations to the Class of 2013. We look forward to paying tribute to their extraordinary lives and careers this summer and beyond.”
The five new Hall of Famers are joining elite company among the world’s best tennis players and industry leaders and innovators. Since 1955, the honor of enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been presented to just 224 people. Hall of Famers hail from 19 countries- a testament to the global appeal of the sport.
Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis. The Hall of Fame offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends. Surrounding the museum are 13 historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880, and were the site of the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships, hosted in 1881.
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, vote 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, vote on the Master Player and Contributor categories. To be elected in any of the categories, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.
—A, McLaughlin, ITHOF