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INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENT


March 3, 2014


John Barrett

Nick Bolletieri

Jane Brown Grimes

Lindsay Davenport

Stan Smith

Chantal Vandierendonck


CHRIS CLOUSER:テつ Welcome, and thank you for joining us.テつ Good morning and good afternoon from different places around the world.テつ We are happy that the International Tennis Hall of Fame is happy to make these announcements today in conjunction with World Tennis Day as we begin the 60th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.
In New York, you will hear from some of this year's inductees.テつ In London we have some.テつ And from the West Coast you'll also hear from an inductee.
As you know, only 225 individuals who have ever picked up a tennis racquet have received the highest honor, which is induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ Today we will announce five inductees which will be inducted July 12th in Newport, including our first wheelchair tennis champion.
It's my pleasure to introduce the president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Mr. Stan Smith.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you, Chris.テつ Good morning and good afternoon to all those around the globe.テつ We're quite pleased to be a partner in today's World Tennis Day and the events that are taking place particularly in London and in HongKong.
The rich history and success of tennis has been built around the accomplishments of the greatest champions and the hard work and dedication of many great industry leaders and contributors.
At the International Tennis Hall of Fame we celebrate those tennis legends by presenting them with the highest honor in the game, and that's enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ Over the years this great honor has only been presented to 235 from 20 nations around the world.
In Newport this July, we'll welcome the five great tennis champions who are now legends during the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.テつ It's a wonderful celebration of our sport.テつ I hope you'll come to be part of it.
This year's Hall of Fame class will honor two great female champions, including a wheelchair tennis star, as well as three people who have dedicated their lives to building and growing the sport.
We're glad to have our inductees on the line today.
In the contributor tennis category, legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, Jane Brown Grimes, and John Barrett have all been elected.
Now I'd like to take a moment to share a bit of background on our inductees and share their comments about the honor about the enshrinement.
Nick Bollettieri has coached 10 world No. 1 players, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Boris Becker.テつ In addition, he's worked with the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas and many more.テつ Four of his players have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame with more likely to come.
In 1978 he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, integrating intense tennis training on and off the court with academic curriculum.テつ In 1987, IMG purchased the NBTA, and evolved it into the IMG Academy, now the world leader in developing high‑performing youth and professional athletes through an integrated approach to academic, athletic and personal development.
As many of you know, he's still at it at 82 coaching every day.
Nick, congratulations.テつ Do you have a few words?
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ First of all, I'd like to congratulate our other inductees.
I would like to say this award doesn't go to Nick Bollettieri, it goes to my families, my friends, my dedicated coaches, and to IMG that let me do what I've always done:テつ do things people say can't be done, work with boys and girls, giving them hope and opportunities including inner city programs.テつ I'm honored and I say thank you and I look forward to this summer.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you.
Native New Yorker Jane Brown Grimes has selflessly dedicated her life to tennis around the world for 35 years.テつ In particular she's had a major impact on three major industry organizations:テつ the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, the Women's Tennis Association, and the United States Tennis Association, having held leadership roles with all three.
She is also highly active with the International Tennis Federation and currently a member of the Fed Cup Committee.テつ Jane has served as executive director, president and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame during which time she to grow the organization significantly and to help to grow a strong foundation.
In 1986, Jane was appointed managing director of what is now known as the WTA.テつ She resided over a pivotal time in the growth and change of the sport, ultimately setting the change for today's highly successful tour.
In 2007 and 2008, Jane served as chairman of the board and president of the USTA.テつ During her term, Jane took on several major initiatives that have been central to the organization's mission and program, such as 10‑and‑under tennis.
In addition to her executive roles, Jane has utilized her love for the sport for important community works.テつ She has been the long time chairman of the Rodney Street Tennis and Tutoring Association, which is an inner city grass‑roots tennis program located in Wilmington, Delaware.
Jane, would you like to say a few words.
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ First, congratulations to the other members of my class.
I've been lucky enough to work in a sport that I've loved all my life.テつ You like to think you've contributed, helped to grow the game, make it more inclusive, open it up to new people.テつ Frankly, that has always been enough of a reward for me.テつ I frankly was very happy with that as an accolade.
But I have to say about a month ago the phone rang and I was told that I had been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ It really blew me away.テつ It's a fantastic thing.テつ In my whole life there is no honor that could come close to this.テつ So I'm very grateful.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you, Jane.
John Barrett of London has been a successful leader in many areas of tennis, from broadcaster to tournament director, equipment representative, to players.テつ He is also one of the game's premiere historians and authors.
John had an extensive business career working for Slazenger, the sporing goods and apparel company, for nearly 40 years.テつ He ultimately held the role of the International Promotions Director For Tennis, working with tournaments and athletes worldwide.
An accomplished author and dedicated historian, John has produced some of the sport's most comprehensive and interesting works.テつ From 1969 to 2001, he edited and contributed to World of Tennis, acknowledged as the Bible of tennis, which became the official yearbook for the ITF.
As a committee member and current vice president of the All England Lawn, Tennis, and Croquet Club, John took on the enormous task of compiling the comprehensive database of every result that has ever occurred at Wimbledon in all events now available on the club website.
For 35 years John has delivered some of the sport's most exciting moments into homes around the world.テつ He was the unmistakable voice of Wimbledon on BBC from 1971 to 2006 and has been on the air with numerous other networks.
John, congratulations.テつ A few words from you.
JOHN BARRETT:テつ Stan, thanks so much.テつ As with Jane and Nick, I would like to congratulate the other inductees who will be with us all in July in Newport.
I must say I find this a tremendous honor and an unexpected one which has come as a shock to me, too, Jane.テつ I had the phone call from Chris about a month ago when he told me the good news.テつ I could hardly believe it.
It's wonderful to think I might now be thought of in the same terms as such great writers at Allison Danzig, who I knew well in the 1950s, Al Laney of course, Lance Tingay, who for years helped me with the World of Tennis yearbook compiling most of the results, and the great David Gray who was such a tour de force as a writer for The Guardian, and of course the International Tennis Federation.テつ He was the moving force I think with Philippe Chatrier in getting tennis back into the Olympic Games.テつ I've been lucky to have been around some wonderful people.
Most of all I would like to say a word about my wonderful wife Angela, who is already a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ In 1993 we had that wonderful day in Newport.テつ It's so marvelous to think that I'm going to be going through the same process this July, thanks to her and the many friends who have been supporting me all of my tennis career.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you, John.
There are only two couples in the International Tennis Hall of Fame:テつ Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, and of course the two of you.テつ We look forward to seeing you there in July.
In the recent player category, we will enshrine the Hall of Fame's first female wheelchair tennis athlete, Chantal Vandierendonck of the Netherlands.テつ She was the ITF world champion three times.テつ She won five Paralympic medals and was No.1 in the world for 136 weeks in singles and 107 weeks in doubles.
After being crowned the first ITF world champion in 1991, Vandierendonck then went on to win the title again in 1996 and 1997.テつ Between 1985 and 1993 she won seven women's titles at the US Open tennis championships.テつ She also captured two doubles titles in that event.
Congratulations, Chantal.テつ Would you like to say a few words.
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Thank you very much.テつ I would like to say it's a tremendous honor to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, especially when I realized I was the third wheelchair tennis player being inducted right behind Brett Parks and Randy Snow, to me who are the two legends and heroes in wheelchair tennis.テつ I could not believe I would be right behind them.
Also being the first woman wheelchair tennis player.テつ But also I saw on your list that I would be the first Dutch tennis player at all to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
It's all just a dream.テつ I would like to say thank you for being inducted.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you, Chantal.
Last but certainly not least, inducted in the recent player category is American tennis star, former world No.1, Lindsay Davenport.テつ Lindsay held the No.1 ranking for 98 weeks and was the year‑end No.1 four times.テつ She was also the No.1 ranked doubles player and one of the six players who have held both top spots simultaneously.
Lindsay won three Grand Slam singles titles, the 1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon, and 2000 Australian Open, as well as three doubles titles.
Lindsay is an Olympic gold medalist, 1996 Atlanta games, a WTA Tour Championships winner, and a member of three championship Fed Cup teams.テつ In all, Lindsay has 55 singles titles and 38 doubles titles.
Lindsay, congratulations.テつ Would you like to say a few words.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Thank you, Stan.テつ Like everyone, congratulations to everyone else.テつ I've always had such a like for Jane, Nick and John, and look forward to getting to know Chantal this summer in Newport.
I have to admit that growing up playing tennis, getting to the Hall of Fame was never really even in my dreams.テつ It seemed a little bit too big for me.テつ I'll never forget after winning my second Grand Slam, Bud Collins said to me, Well, darlin', I got to tell you, I think you're going to get in the Hall of Fame now.テつ That was the first time I ever really thought of that.
Now retired and removed from my playing days, it is such an honor to think of myself being able to achieve the highest honor in tennis.テつ A little bit overwhelming, but again, like everyone else is talking about, when Chris called me in January, ironically I was actually in the hospital about to give birth so I didn't have time to digest it then.テつ Certainly over the last few weeks and two months, it's been a really fun time.テつ I look so forward to July and being able to celebrate with everybody else in Newport.
STAN SMITH:テつ Lindsay, you've come a long way since I first saw you play at age 12.
This is quite a group.テつ I look forward to welcoming all five of these remarkable individuals to the Hall of Fame.テつ And at this time we'd like to open it up to questions.

Q.テつ Mr. Barrett, do you think we'll ever see courts at Wimbledon worn out again at the T instead of the baseline?
JOHN BARRETT:テつ What a good question.テつ Frankly no, because the game has changed totally.テつ I've been privileged to watch Wimbledon more than 50 years.テつ In the days of the great serve‑volleyers, men like tennis Pete Sampras, so on, that's where the player checked on the way to the net, on the T of the service squares.テつ Nowadays nearly all the matches are played at the baseline with the odd dart to the net.
With the equipment and racquets and gut of the strings, that's been the cause of the change.テつ I don't think we'll see it return to wearing the court out mostly at the T.

Q.テつ We can't blame this on the grass or balls?
JOHN BARRETT:テつ I think it is the equipment really and the way people play now.テつ It's now a very heavily top‑spun game played mostly from the baseline, and volleying frankly is very difficult now, the ball comes so fast, it dips so quickly.
It's part of the evolution of the sport that has happened over the last 10 years particularly.テつ I mean, the last Wimbledon final I think really was 2000 when Pete Sampras won for the last time, seventh time.テつ Then in 2001 we had Rafter and Ivanisevic playing their great match.テつ So that was the last time we had great serve‑volleyers at Wimbledon, which you were talking about grass.
The following year with Hewitt's win, I think that was the turning point.テつ He won mostly from the baseline.テつ Ever since, most of the matches have been won from the baseline.

Q.テつ Lindsay, of your three Grand Slam championships, was there a favorite of the three?テつ Did you enjoy one more than the other or are they equal?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Well, each one was so unique in its own regard.テつ I always look back to the first one, the '98 US Open, as the most special and the most important because it was the first one.テつ For any player who's ever played that has had some insecurity, is not sure exactly where they're supposed to be, how good they are, that really was a huge moment not only just in my career but for me personally.
I was able to achieve my dream, and it was so overwhelming to me.テつ Even on the court, I cried.テつ I couldn't do anything but cry.テつ It was hard for me to even smile.テつ That was the biggest moment in my career, certainly the most fun.テつ I grew up as an American having the US Open be the most important tournament.テつ For me to win in my home country was the best moment.

Q.テつ Was the worst moment when it looked like you were going to wipe away everybody and then you pulled that muscle in the semifinal?テつ I always say it should be four.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Thank you.テつ You know, any professional has in their career many tough moments.テつ Certainly getting hurt in that particular match in the semifinal wasn't perfect.

Q.テつ You were playing so well.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT: テつI had a great summer leading up to that, as well.
I have to say, the end of 2001, I was playing some of my best tennis in the fall.テつ I was playing Kim Clijsters and had to win that match to finish the year No.1.テつ At 5‑1 in the third set tiebreak against her, I went for a dropshot and blew my knee out.テつ I won the next two points, so I won the match.テつ I was in the final the next day, didn't hit a ball again for seven months.
So to get hurt right when I got back to No.1 in the world, then have the biggest injury of my career, I think those were probably some of the toughest moments, at the end of 2001 and beginning of 2002 professionally.テつ I didn't play again until Stanford in 2002.

Q.テつ Chantal, when you look back on your career, what do you regard as your greatest achievement as a player?テつ Would you have imagined back then you would have been the forerunner for such a long line of Dutch tennis success?
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Well, when I started wheelchair tennis in The Netherlands, there was no wheelchair tennis in The Netherlands yet, so I was actually the first one.テつ Like you say, right behind me, after me, a lot of women wheelchair tennis players started playing tennis.テつ So maybe I helped them a little bit, I don't know.
Yeah, I remember coming to the U.S.テつ In the U.S. there was already wheelchair tennis for a long time.テつ When I won the US Open, that was really a big thing to me because, yeah, winning the US Open, the biggest tournament at that time, still I stayed like that for all those years, yeah, it was one of the biggest achievements you could achieve in a year.
Then also being the first ITF world champion, because then afterwards we start, just like the able‑bodied, to have a tennis circuit where you win points for the world ranking list.テつ The one who has the most points at the end of the year becomes the world champion.
Being that first woman winning the world championship, yeah, that was the biggest honor for me.テつ I was very happy with it.

Q.テつ Lindsay, overcoming your insecurity as a tennis player when you won the '98 Open, kind of confirming everything you had worked for, when you went into retirement, how insecure were you about that?テつ Was it a difficult transition?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ It's so interesting, and I've always been fascinated to read about people in all walks, whether they're an athlete or whatever stage in their life going into retirement.テつ Everyone has different experiences with it.
For me, I always loved to play tennis.テつ I have to say I didn't love the limelight or the press or anything that went with it.テつ So for me to kind of go into a little bit more obscurity was just fine.
I was also extremely blessed.テつ I had been married for five years and we started a family.テつ I have transitioned ‑ I believe ‑ into that life quite well and quite happily.
I love the sport.テつ I love my job now, that I get to go back to all the Grand Slams.テつ To me, I actually get to enjoy them now.テつ When I played, I always felt a lot more pressure, so much stress.テつ That I still get to be around the sport, I enjoy it more so now.テつ I feel like the balance is really, really good.

Q.テつ Putting everything in perspective, your kids, marriage, titles, where does it all rank?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ It's funny.テつ I feel like I've had three completely different lives.テつ One obviously as a child growing up, two being my tennis‑playing days, and three would be I guess my mom days.
You can't compare any of them.テつ They're all blessed.テつ They've been all really great parts.テつ Certainly they all have their challenges.テつ I feel like right now some of the most challenging days, we have four kids six years and under, but the most fun as well.
The playing days, there's something about working so hard for a goal and getting to No.1, trying to stay there, trying to win Grand Slams.テつ Now I don't have that same type of goal every day, something you're going to spend six hours working hard at.テつ Instead it's filled with trying to raise my kids the best I can.テつ Luckily I get a lot of enjoyment out of both.

Q.テつ Lindsay, if you were to talk to young players about lessons they could take from your career, what would you tell them about what you were able to overcome to now become a Hall of Famer?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ That's the beauty about tennis.テつ You look at any player who's been good, who has reached the top, some of the greatest.テつ Every one has their own unique past and their own story.テつ There's not one right way to make a pro tennis player or how to become the best in the world.
For me, I know everyone likes to say was one of the more normal stories.テつ It's true.テつ I found tennis by accident.テつ I had two parents who were athletic but involved in other sports.テつ They didn't pretend to know much about the sport.テつ They didn't try to coach me.テつ They just tried to support me as athletic parents.
They instilled in me I think the same kind of rules that any teenager would have, even though I was a professional, making more money than they were.テつ If you want to go play the tournament next week, you better go to school, better keep doing well in school.テつ Here I was 16, and I was top 20 in the world.テつ I always am so grateful to them for that.
I think for everybody growing up, I don't truly feel like you're going to be great at something unless you love it.テつ Some people are forced into the sport.テつ Some people are doing it for other reasons.テつ But hopefully the parents or the people behind them can see that you should do the sport if it's what your calling is.テつ And if you enjoy it, you're going to be more successful than if you don't.
Also Billie Jean King was so instrumental in always telling me to enjoy the process.テつ That was very tough for me to do.テつ I look back on it now and sometimes wish I had been able to enjoy it more, had been able to kind of see the other side, see the bright side a little more often than I did.テつ I hope to do that for my kids.テつ It's all a big, long road, and you've got to enjoy every step of the way.

Q.テつ Lindsay, have you ever been to Newport or the museum?テつ If not, what are you looking forward to most as you walk through the hall and hopefully play in the doubles exhibition?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ I'm starting to practice now so hopefully I can play in that exhibition.
I've only been to Newport once, and I think that was exactly 20 years ago, '94, maybe '95.テつ I look forward to getting back there.テつ I know they've done massive renovations and have changed it quite a bit in those two decades.テつ So I'm excited to go through the whole museum and to see everything that's in there, to see the history again that I was able to experience only once so far.
Also I'm really excited to show my kids, especially my son, my oldest, who plays tennis and now is starting to comprehend a little bit more about the tennis world, and show him some of the historical items that are in there.テつ Just being able to share the whole place with my family is going to be great in July.

Q.テつ It's safe to say that your mindset will have changed from 20 years ago to now, what the Hall of Fame really means?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Definitely. テつI was, gosh, a teenager back then, had no idea of the enormity of the place, of the occasion.テつ Billie Jean King in the mid '90s, when she was my Fed Cup captain till the early 2000 years, she was the biggest voice that I heard about the history of tennis, about the Hall of Fame, about what had happened before me to give me the opportunities that I had while I was playing.
Now just being more mature, being more educated about the sport, being maybe ready now because I am retired to learn even more about it, it's all going to be a very amazing experience.テつ As I said, I can't wait to be there.

Q.テつ Jane, you know the Hall of Fame probably better than anybody in this distinguished class, given your involvement in various capacities since the late 1970s.テつ Can you even begin to imagine today what emotions you will feel on that Saturday in July when you walk into the enshrinees' room and see your plaque up there among the greats of the game?
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ Thanks for getting it started (laughter).テつ I can see it's going to be an emotional moment.
Yes, this induction for me is going to be very personal.テつ The Hall of Fame has been a real part of my life, it's really been my platform in tennis.テつ I started there and then moved on to the USTA, the WTA and the ITF.テつ But Newport has always been my home for many years.テつ I don't want to put it out there, but NewportJane@AOL was my address, which I'm not using anymore (laughter).
What's wonderful for me most of all is to see how the Hall of Fame has grown and the leadership we have now with Chris and the other board members, Mark Stenning, it's just remarkable what's happened in the years since I started there.テつ It's a tribute to the sport.
I'm particularly pleased that the Hall of Fame has remained independent through all these years.テつ There have been times when different entities have wanted to take it over, but it's never happened.テつ At times that's been a financial struggle, but it means we really are able to forge our own way.
I can't wait for all of you who don't know it well to get up there because it really is a jewel in the crown of the sport.

Q.テつ Nick, you've been in the game for a long time.テつ You've coached some amazing people.テつ What does your induction mean for the tennis coaching profession itself?
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ I think it gives hope to people that didn't have an extensive background of playing the game.テつ I was fortunate to play in college.テつ But God gave me the gift to be able to see little things in people and not be so stoic and say that it's done all in one way.
Whatever success I've had is the ability to be able to read people, not necessarily wise, but to read people.テつ That has been the biggest asset that I've had.
I'd like to add something to what John Barrett said a few minutes ago.テつ I agree about the evolution of equipment, but also if you look at the players today, the average height today of the men players is about 6'2".テつ If you look at the ladies, it's about 5'9" to 5'11".テつ So I believe that the physical part and the mental part, along with the evolution of equipment, and as Djokovic has brought out, a lot has to do with nutrition as well.
I'm going to be very proud that my five biological children will be there, my two adopted sons will be there.テつ I've always been a big dreamer, but this is far beyond the expectations that Nick Bollettieri ever thought I would be at.テつ So thank you so much, everybody, to all those that will be with me this summer.

Q.テつ Chantal, when you go back to Rhode Island in the summer, will that be the first time you've been back to the U.S. since you finished your playing career?
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Yes.テつ I actually have not played any wheelchair tennis since 15 years ago.テつ I stopped playing.テつ I didn't play again.テつ I've never been to Newport.テつ I've never visited the Hall of Fame.テつ I'm very, very excited to see the exhibits.

Q.テつ Will you be able to take your son with you, as well?
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Well, I'm thinking about it.テつ I'm not sure yet.

Q.テつ Does he know much about your playing career?
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ This is a good opportunity, what's happening now, being inducted, to talk more about it to him.テつ He's actually here with me in London.
Yes, it's a world he doesn't know of me.テつ Yeah, of course, he was born after I stopped playing tennis.テつ He is very excited now to be here, to be a little part of it.テつ It's probably one of the last times that something like this will happen because I don't play any more.
Of course, it was also funny because we started digging up all the pictures and photos, just talking about the memories, showing him.テつ Yeah, it's very special to me but also to him.

Q.テつ Nick, talk about the idea of tennis legends going back into the sport coaching tennis stars.テつ What is the relationship like between those guys, two very professional, high‑level playing guys, one being a coach, one being a player?
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ First of all, what's interesting today is to see Becker and Lendl coaching.テつ I was very honored to be the coach of Becker for a few years.
It's really a high risk when a Lendl, and especially now Becker, takes such a highly ranked player.テつ It's not easy to go up when you have one of the best of the world.
But Boris is a very meticulous man.テつ He's a very simple man.テつ I remember coaching him.テつ I would only give him one or two words of advice.テつ He would say, Mr. B, thank you very much.テつ I'm quite sure he's not going to try to change Djokovic's game, but maybe add a little tiny bit to it.
I also think when you play somebody like Nadal, I'm sure Becker will say to Novak, Perhaps you might consider coming in just a little tiny bit more, because to beat a Nadal from the baseline is not that easy to do.テつ I'm sure that he will do that.
I'm waiting for Lendl to smile once in a while (laughter).テつ What he's done for Andy Murray is to bring out how important it is, concentrate on the game, you're the guy out on the court, stop looking around, stop looking for excuses.テつ I think that's made a big, big difference for Andy Murray.

Q.テつ Jane, given the many years that you've devoted to trying to grow the sport of women's tennis, can you reflect on being part of this particular induction class that includes two distinguished female players along with yourself?
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ Yes, I think it's wonderful.テつ We were talking earlier about the fact that I'm actually only the fourth woman in the contributor category.テつ I'm hoping that there will be many more coming behind me.テつ There are many men who have been inducted in the category.
But to have Chantal in this class, the first wheelchair champion, and of course Lindsay, who was one of the great, great American champions, the power game, she personified it.テつ I loved watching her play.
It's nice that we've got two guys in there with us, Nick and John.テつ Happy they're along.テつ But this seems to be a woman's class, and bravo.テつ Thanks very much.

Q.テつ John, of all the matches you've called, were there players you looked forward to watch, favorite matches to call?
JOHN BARRETT:テつ That, again, is a fascinating question because one could list really a dozen outstanding matches.
The one I always talk about is the 1980 final at Wimbledon between Borg and McEnroe which had so many fluctuating moments.テつ That long fourth set that went to 18‑16 in the tiebreak had us all on the edges of our seats.
They were two consummate artists, both of them, on their day at their best.テつ That is what you look for, two players who are great players playing well at the same time.テつ You have a really wonderful match.
Like last year's semifinal at Wimbledon, which was just an absolute cracker between Djokovic and del Potro.テつ That was another outstanding match.
One tends to try and remember the winners who are great champions, and therefore Andre Agassi's win in 1992 when he failed in other finals of Grand Slams, I think was a marvelous moment.テつ His win over Goran Ivanisevic that day, that was another one that stands out.
As a Briton, I think Virginia Wade's win in 1977, centenary year, the Queen's anniversary of her coming to the throne, her jubilee year, to win in front of her the way she did was quite marvelous.テつ One felt sorry for Betty Stove that day because the whole of the nation it seemed was on the side of Virginia.
One could sit here and talk about so many great matches.テつ It's difficult to pick out any single ones.テつ I would have to include, of course, in a different category, mental and physical stamina, the longest‑ever match between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner.テつ That was quite remarkable.テつ It lasted three days, the world now knows.テつ It was just phenomenal in the way they both concentrated so well for so long.テつ Almost superhuman.
I look forward to seeing many more great champions emerge and I hope I shall be given long enough to applaud them.
STAN SMITH:テつ That ends our teleconference.テつ I want to thank everyone for calling in today.テつ We have a great year ahead planned to celebrate the class of 2014, including an excellent Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, and the unveiling of the tribute exhibits for the honorees in our museum.テつ Hope all of you come to visit and cover the events.テつ Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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