home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
Asaptext.com
ASAPtext.com
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our
e-Brochure

INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY


July 12, 2014


John Barrett

Nick Bolletieri

Jane Brown Grimes

Christopher Clouser

Lindsay Davenport

Chantal Vandierendonck


NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Good morning, everyone.テつ I want to thank each of you for being here for this Rolex Hall of Fame Induction Weekend as we celebrate some of the very greatest champions of our sport by presenting them with the highest honor in the game of tennis, induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
It is my pleasure to introduce that class of 2014, to each and every one of you:
Please welcome Lindsay Davenport, Jane Brown Grimes, John Barrett, Nick Bollettieri, and Chantal Vandierendonck.
First, I'd like to extend our appreciation to Rolex for helping make this stage so special.テつ Rolex has been the official timepiece of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for many years, 20 to be exact, has a great history in supporting this game of ours.テつ We're appreciative of their creating a wonderful weekend for everyone.
This year's class honors two of the greatest champions in our sport and three individuals who have dedicated so much of their lives to building tennis.テつ I'd like to tell you a bit of our inductees.テつ After the introduction, I'll ask them to share their thoughts on induction and then take your questions.
Jane Brown Grimes, she has selfishly dedicated her life to the growth of tennis all around the world, having held executive roles, leading three major tennis organizations, the Women's Tennis Association, the USTA, and right here the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum.テつ She has served on committees for the International Tennis Federation.テつ She served as executive director and president and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, during which time she helped grow the organization very significantly.テつ Without her this place would not be.テつ She remains active on our Executive Committee today as President Emeritus.
In 1986, Jane was appointed managing director of the Women's Professional Tennis Council, now known as the WTA.テつ She successfully led the WTA through pivotal transitions through sponsors setting the foundation for today's extremely successful tour.
In 2007 and 2008, Jane served as Chairman of the Board of the USTA.テつ Among her many contributions she oversaw two successful US Opens and the launch of 10‑and‑under tennis.テつ A global leader in tennis, Jane is currently pursuing a master's degree in international relations at Cambridge with her thesis about the role tennis can play in international relations.
Jane, congratulations.
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ Thanks, Chris.テつ I'm exhausted just listening to that.
It goes by with a blink of an eye.テつ I started about 40 years ago right here in this room, on these grounds.テつ I just have loved what I've done over the years.
Frankly, working in the sport has always been enough of a reward.テつ The thought of getting into the Tennis Hall of Fame had never been on the radar.テつ So when this happened, I couldn't believe it.
It really is overwhelming and such a wonderful honor.テつ I'm enormously pleased to be here and be a part of this class with these other great people.
So it's a great day.テつ Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Also in the contributor category, John Barrett of England, has been elected for his many contributions to the sport which have included tournament director, equipment representative, broadcaster and historian.テつ He's one of the sport's premiere historians and authors.テつ For nearly 40 years John worked for Slazenger where he served in a variety of capacities ranging from working with tournaments and players to designing racquets, ultimately holding the position of international promotions director for tennis.
John's most notable work in tennis has come in the work of writing and reporting.テつ From 1963 through 2007 he was the tennis correspondent for The Financial Times in London.テつ Between 1969 and 2001, he was the editor of World of Tennis, the sports definitive yearbook.テつ He has published numerous books on tennis including three editions of the book, Wimbledon the Official History.
John is heralded among the premiere tennis broadcasters.テつ He was the indisputable voice of Wimbledon announcing for the BBC at Wimbledon from 1971 through 2006.
On television his masterful yet understated delivery enabled millions of viewers to feel as though they were sitting right next to the court.
John will be presented today by his American counterpart Steve Flink.
John, congratulations.テつ Would you like to say a few words.
JOHN BARRETT:テつ Thank you.テつ Rather like Jane, hearing that list of what I've been involved in in all my life is quite exhausting.テつ But like Jane, I too have been in love with this game ever since I first picked up a racquet aged, I don't know, seven or eight, and found fortunately I had an affinity with the ball.テつ And it's given me a whole experience of life which I wouldn't have had at all had I not been able to play.
I feel incredibly lucky.テつ As for finding myself here in the Hall of Fame, that was never imagined and came as a shock when my name was put forward.
I suppose I have to thank my colleagues around the world who vote on the panel for thinking that I'm worthy of inclusion.
But to be here at the pinnacle of the sport is just such an honor that I can't tell you.テつ I feel very humbled.テつ It's a great honor to be part of such a distinguished group today, and congratulations to all my fellow inductees.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Also in the contributor category, it's my pleasure to introduce the legendary tennis coach, Nick Bollettieri, for induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Nick has coached 10 world No.1 players, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, Boris Becker.テつ He also has worked with the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Haas and many, many more.
After more than 35 years of coaching, at 82 years young, Nick is still active on the tennis court every day, for more than 10 hours a day, six days a week.
In 1978 he forever changed the coaching of tennis and the whole industry when he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the very first full‑time tennis boarding school that integrated intense athletic training on and off the court with an academic curriculum.
In 1987 the academy was purchased by IMG and today the IMG Academy, IMG Bollettieri Academy, is a world leader in developing high‑performing athletes.
In addition to the elite athletes he's worked with, Nick has been active in the efforts to engage children with tennis.テつ He has trained numerous students who have gone on to highly successful collegiate careers, both athletically and even more importantly academically.
Nick, congratulations.テつ If you'd like to say a few words.
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ This is not a Nick Bollettieri award.テつ This award belongs to all of you, all of the people.テつ And this award became possible by people saying, Nick, you can't do it.テつ When anybody says, Nick, you can't do it, that's when I did it.
But no one can do it without teamwork.テつ It just doesn't happen.テつ So I'm very blessed to have had the players, my friends who bailed me out many times.テつ And I have been bailed out many times.
But this award is far more than anybody could ever dream for.テつ I want to thank all of you for the publicity both complimentary and not complimentary.テつ My daddy said, Son, when they're talking about you, baby, they're thinking about you.
So thanks, everyone.テつ Thank you to all the members today that I'll be with.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ In the recent player category for wheelchair tennis, it's my pleasure to welcome the very first female wheelchair tennis player into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Chantal Vandierendonck.
A talented national player as a junior, Chantal got involved with wheelchair tennis as a teenager following a car accident.テつ She was one of the first players to have significant success in the sport, inspiring a long list of successful wheelchair tennis players to come out of her home country of the Netherlands.
Chantal was crowned the first ITF world champion in 1991, a title she also claims through 1996 and 1997.テつ Chantal won the women's singles gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games when wheelchair tennis was a demonstration sport.テつ She then went on to win four more medals at the 1992 and 1996 games, after wheelchair tennis was awarded full medal status.
In addition, Chantal won seven singles titles at the US Open wheelchair tennis championships.テつ She was the world No.1 player for a total of 136 weeks in singles, and also ranked world No.1 in doubles.
Always willing to help with events, programming, with a wonderful smile, Chantal has taken an active role in helping to grow wheelchair tennis all around the world.
She will be presented for induction today by a gentleman who was our first wheelchair inductee and who I guess invented the game.テつ His name happens to be Brad Parks.
Chantal, congratulations.テつ We're happy to have you, your sister and father here this weekend.テつ Would you like to say a few words.
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Yes.
I'd like to say that I'm very honored to be inducted as the third wheelchair tennis player, right behind the two heroes and legends of wheelchair tennis in the world, which is Brad Parks and then Randy Snow.テつ I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be inducted after those two men.
I also would like to thank you, Chris, and your members for making this weekend such a special event and make it even more special to receive this award.
I will treasure this moment for the rest of my life.テつ Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Last, by no means least, I owe this woman an apology.テつ The greatest thing I think the chairman gets to do is call somebody and tell them they've been elected into the Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ When I called Lindsay, her husband answered the phone and said, Can Lindsay call you back?テつ I said, Sure.テつ He said, I know it's a little bit weird but she's having a baby.テつ We're in the hospital.テつ She's in the room laying right there (laughter).
She is our recent player inductee.テつ It's an honor to welcome the great American champion Lindsay Davenport into the Hall of Fame.
Lindsay, a long time resident of Laguna Beach, California, held the No.1 ranking for 98 weeks and finished the year No.1 four separate times.テつ She was also the No.1 ranked doubles players, one of six players to have held both top spots simultaneously.
She's a six‑time Grand Slam champion.テつ She won the US Open in 1998, 1999 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open, as well as three major doubles titles, and the list goes on and on and on.テつ She was the WTA Tour Championship winner in 1999.テつ In all she won an impressive 55 singles titles, 38 doubles titles over the course of an incredible career.
As an American player, Lindsay won the Olympic gold medal in the 1996 games in Atlanta and was a very dedicated Fed Cup player.テつ She compiled an extraordinary record of 33‑3 in Fed Cup competition for the United States and was a member of three different championship teams.
Today Lindsay's good friend Justin Gimelstob will present her for induction.テつ It's our honor to have Lindsay here.
Would you like to say a few words.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Thank you.テつ Yes, that was an interesting time to hear about this highest honor that I could have never imagined growing up.テつ So similar to what John was saying a few moments ago, my love of the game was instantaneous when I picked up a racquet of learning to play and hitting tennis balls.テつ It has truly given me my whole life, from my career and now my family and how my met my husband.
I could have never have imagined that something this big and so grand, the highest honor, would ever happen to me.テつ I played tennis because I loved it.テつ It wasn't always an easy path going through the professional ranks and through the junior tournaments.テつ But I feel like I've come out of this life so lucky, so grateful for everything that this sport has given me.
With everybody up here, it's been an amazing couple days being able to share it with these four great people.テつ I'm very excited for what happens later this afternoon.
Again, as John said, I will always be very humbled by this occasion.テつ Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ And that baby is doing very, very well.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Thank you.
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ And I'm going to give a scholarship (laughter).
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ We'd be happy to entertain questions at this time.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ You know, somebody said that to me at Wimbledon, that they had it on record that I was the tallest.テつ I guess so.テつ I don't know.テつ It could be.テつ I've never checked it out.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ I'll go to the second question first.
You know, hitting the ball and making contact was always something that came very natural to me.テつ It was a blessing.テつ It happened at a young age.テつ I didn't realize that it was that hard to do, that I had a special talent.テつ It took me a very long time to put that together, probably 20 years after I first started playing tennis.
But that's what made it so fun for me, was the sound, what I could do with the shots, see how hard I could hit them.テつ Everything else about the game took work and was a struggle.テつ But that was the reason why I fell in love with it.

Q.テつ Jane, as someone who has devoted your life to growing the sport, can you respect what Lindsay has meant to women's tennis?
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ She has meant a lot.テつ I consider her quintessential power tennis for women's tennis.テつ She led the pack in changing the game.テつ The tennis that you see today, when you see Petra Kvitova win Wimbledon, I think of Lindsay.テつ I mean, she was the one that opened the door to that.
The way she was just describing hitting the ball, now that's the way every woman player wants to hit the ball.
Also she was, for U.S. tennis, the quintessential American girl, the girl next door, and always very humble.テつ So for me she has been an absolute paragon and really one of the best things.テつ I hope there's another Lindsay Davenport out there coming along because she's done a tremendous amount for American tennis and women's tennis generally.

Q.テつ Lindsay, you said the path sometimes has been easy and sometimes not so easy.テつ If you had to do this life again, would you?テつ Would it be a life you would seek for your children?
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ I would absolutely do it again.テつ The good moments have far outweighed the tougher moments on the path.
I hope to adopt the similar approach that my parents had for me:テつ whatever they want to do, we support them all the way.テつ If this is what they want to do, I'm not going to stand in their way or change their path.
Hopefully I have some good lessons to teach and a good perspective on the whole life and what it takes.
But tennis, it's an individual sport and it's not easy.テつ It takes a certain type of personality to thrive in that environment.テつ A lot of people, a lot of children, don't want to be so independent.テつ You have to be a bit of a loner to be successful in tennis.
We'll see.テつ Each child's personality, whether it's my own or the kids down the street, you can tell if they're cut out for tennis by their teenage years.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Well, I've always felt to be successful in anything, you have to enjoy it, you have to love it.テつ You can hear all of us up here, there's something that drew us to the sport, that wouldn't let us walk away, that wouldn't let us change career paths at any moment.テつ That's something you cannot teach.
You can tell with people, some have a love/hate relationship with it, some just have a love, but you have to have the love element.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ I haven't quite reached that age category yet, make that clear (laughter).
I believe right now, as I hear my Lindsay talk, she talks from love and from passion.テつ I just think that the older you get, it's not determined by the numbers, it's determined by what you have inside.
When people say, I'm going to sit in an easy chair, I've earned it, that's a nasty word to say.テつ That's the end of you.
You want to change professions, work with the youth, your grandchildren, you want to keep active.テつ I just agreed to be a member.テつ They've made a special exemption for me getting in there.
But the words of wisdom that I'll give is what I've done to stay in good shape and to be excited every day.テつ I just believe, and I also would like to compliment Lindsay on how clean she hit.テつ I believe there's a great coach out there in California, Robert Lansdorp, he teaches you to hit that clean ball.
What Lindsay has brought to the game is respect, and I think that's very, very important.テつ It's a lonely sport when you play tennis.テつ It's you against the whole world out there.テつ You have to have certain things inside you.
The one thing that Maria Sharapova has when she came to the academy, she was there the same time that Jelena Djokovic and Tatiana Golovin from France.テつ She wasn't a super athlete, but when she looked at you, she scared the hell out of you.テつ There was only one thing in her mind, and that was to win.テつ There was no such word as 'losing.'
For me to have worked all these years with the variety of students, I thank God for giving me the ability to read people.テつ I got into tennis by accident.テつ I didn't know one end of the racquet from the other, other than to shake hands, don't jump off your feet, no follow through.テつ But I learned about people and how to address each individual.
Each individual has their own way of doing things.テつ I think as a coach, it's far different than being a tennis pro.テつ A coach has to be a jack of all trades.テつ You have to be a baby‑sitter, the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the transportation, all sorts of things.テつ A coach has to understand people first.
I think the teaching of the game, people try to say, This is the only way to hit a ball.テつ I look at it personally and see what they do and then I make little adjustments.
I thank Boris Becker for saying, Nick was a genius.テつ I remember when I took over Boris, it was by accident.テつ I said, Boris, what do you want to do with your game?テつ He said, I want to be a champion again.
When I went over to work with him with one of my coaches, he was a little overweight.テつ He said, Mr. B, can you speak?テつ I said, When I speak, I need to know what I'm talking about.テつ He said, We're going to get along very well.テつ He said, Nick stood very close to me and saw the little things, he had a simple answer and then would walk away.
When you take students like Lindsay or Andre and them, you don't want to make major changes.テつ However, Pete Sampras' coach who at 14 years old he took a hell of a chance and he changed Pete from two hands to one hand.テつ That's a major change and it came true.
Whatever success I've had has been being able to read people and then have a staff around me that was willing to work.
People said, Nick, what am I getting paid?テつ What about vacation?テつ I said, What?テつ Are you kidding me?テつ It's work.テつ That's what it takes to be successful.
That's what IMG Academy teaches.テつ You can only have one champion.テつ We teach them to prepare for real life.テつ And real life today is not easy.テつ The majority of people should go on to college.テつ In the 10‑and‑under tennis, when the USTA came to the academy, they said, Nick, we'd like to show you this.テつ I said, Are you kidding me?テつ Look at those names over there.テつ Get the hell out of here.
Then I thought about it.テつ I saw the impact it makes on young children who hit a ball and they feel that they've had fun and sometimes goes over the net.テつ They go home and they tell their parents they want to go back again.テつ That helps them to study, to feel secure about themselves, and gives them confidence.
Certainly the USTA is going to have to make adjustments.テつ But to me there's many more pluses on the USTA than there are deficits because today young children need to be deferred from drugs and alcohol, feel good about themselves.テつ That's why I endorsed the program.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ In Europe and in The Netherlands it's not broadcast that much, which is a pity because there would be more players if they knew about it.テつ If it's broadcast, a lot of times it's focused on the life in a wheelchair in general and how you got the accident.テつ That's a pity.
I would like to see that it's really focused on the sports results, the matches.テつ But it hasn't gotten to that level yet, which is unfortunate, yeah.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ Yes, of course, because on one hand I really love the tennis game and I really love to improve myself and work on myself with my tennis coach and my tennis game.
On the other hand it gave me much more perspective what my life could be in a wheelchair.テつ I've learned so much from the other independent sports‑minded, positive‑minded people that showed me you could still have a great life in a wheelchair.
Yeah, I think that's also an important aspect of it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
JOHN BARRETT:テつ It is a very different world from the one I started working in.テつ Deadlines now are very difficult to meet.テつ You have demands for Internet pieces, which are endless.テつ They go on forever.テつ You could work all day and all night if you had the stamina.
But I think the change has been a healthy one.テつ Although it makes life difficult for those in the industry, and of course it's easy to complain if you're working for the written press only that some of your best stories are being stolen from you or published in advance on the Internet.
But I think it's been a healthy advance really because it's disseminated the news of the sport, all sport, not just tennis, far and wide in a way that could never have been done just with print.
So, yes, it is a very different world, a challenging one for all those working in it.テつ But I think it's been a huge advance.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
JOHN BARRETT:テつ That is a very difficult question to answer.テつ Within each area that I worked, I've been able to throw myself into it with enthusiasm and enjoyed every part of it.
I don't think there's any one moment that I would say gave me more pleasure than any other.テつ I've just been so lucky.テつ That's what I tell everybody, I'm the luckiest man in the world.
In the days I was broadcasting, I had the best seat in the house.テつ I could comment about the game I loved from an early age and they actually paid me for it.テつ What could be more wonderful than that?
Then my writing, I always loved writing.テつ I've been trained as a historian.テつ I've been able to use that training particularly in the books I've written about Wimbledon.テつ That has given me enormous pleasure.
I don't think there is an answer to that sort of question.テつ But, again, I have been so blessed to have been able to have so many opportunities to enjoy this wonderful, wonderful sport.

Q.テつ (Question regarding on‑court coaching.)
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:テつ It helps because only to look at each other, just doing like this.テつ Yeah, it really helps you to get motivated.
I always loved to have my coach by my side, yeah.
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ There's two schools of thought.テつ I believe when you're out on the battlefield, it's a lonely spot to be.テつ If you train somebody, true champions must try to come through on their own in times of adversity.テつ Quite often I broke the rules on that.
Let me tell you a funny story.テつ I went to the French Open.テつ I had Lisa who is playing.テつ I gave her a card.テつ I said, When I touch my nose, do this.テつ So she's playing the match.テつ I forgot the card at the hotel.テつ So for two hours I'm like this.テつ She said, Nick, what happened?テつ I forgot the card (laughter).
But I would think if I had to really give a yes or no, I would say the coach has done his job, the player should feel that confidence from the coach from the sideline, and I would say a true champion has to get out of whatever they're doing by themselves.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ She won the match (laughter).

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
NICK BOLLETTIERI:テつ Well, I believe as the individual sport, yes.テつ For team sports I believe that coaching is very necessary because if you have American football, you have 11 people on the squad, you definitely see something, I believe that substitution and words of advice.
In an individual sport like tennis, I believe the student should really be able to figure it out because that's what it is, it's a one‑on‑one battle.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
JANE BROWN GRIMES:テつ Well, you've actually put your finger on one of the issues of the sport.テつ There are so many entities.テつ It's quite political.テつ I'm trying to be polite, but it really is.テつ There are a lot of land mines, a lot of things you have to negotiate.
Following up on that, I wish I could have hit a tennis ball the way Lindsay did.テつ But what I could do it seemed was work with many different groups, many factions in the sport.
I think the one thing they all have in common is they have this passion for the sport and they all want to move the sport forward.テつ So if you can kind of get on the same page with various groups, really convince them something you think should happen is good for the game overall, if you can back your own ego out of it, I think you can get a lot done.
I haven't really thought it through, but I think that's what I tried to do in each of these cases.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:テつ Yeah, I was extremely fortunate.テつ I had just found out I was expecting my second child.テつ I had received a call from the Tennis Channel.テつ I wanted to drive into their studio, which was 45 minutes from my house.テつ It all happened so fast.
I was surprised at how quickly I jumped back into tennis.テつ Well, I actually never really left.テつ I loved it immediately.
I find it even more interesting now being six years later as I don't know the players quite as well.テつ In the beginning, I played against these players.テつ I felt I knew them very well.テつ Now I have to take it from more of a student side where I have to try and learn these players' games, not for myself and how I would beat them or try to break their games down, but what their general strengths and weaknesses are, then try to apply that to who they're playing, how their games would match up.
I always loved to study the game.テつ People thought because I hit big or I could overpower people that maybe I didn't play with a lot of strategy or didn't know my opponents' games.テつ That wasn't really the case.テつ I would spend a lot of time trying to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the players at the very top.
Now sadly I get a kick out of doing it with all the players.テつ It's been a challenge for me to realize how would someone with a slice backhand beat someone that hits hard, whatever the case may be.
But I'm a tennis junky.テつ I still love it now.テつ It's given me a lot of joy to still be involved in the sport and still be able to watch it, study it, enjoy it.

Q.テつ (No microphone.)
JOHN BARRETT:テつ Absolutely.テつ I think Nick is completely a one‑off.テつ I think we have been so blessed to have somebody with the enthusiasm and the perception that he has.
When discussing coaches, I've always called Nick the greatest motivator I've known.テつ As he told you, he knows how to get the best out of individuals and treats each one individually.テつ That is a very rare thing in coaches.テつ That's why he has really set new standards.
I think we're very lucky to have had him around for so long and long may he go on.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ I'd like to congratulate the class of 2014.テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297