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July 12, 2014
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
BRETT HABER:¬† In 1881, this Newport casino hosted the first United States National Championships known now as the US Open.¬† In 1954 through the dedicated work of Candy and Jimmy Van Alen, the USTA sanctioned this beautiful facility as the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame.
Starting in 1975, individuals from the worldwide tennis community became eligible for enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Today we are here to honor several individuals with the highest honor in the game of tennis.¬† These very special players and contributors exemplify the greatest traditions of our sport:¬† perseverance, integrity, passion, athleticism and sportsmanship.¬† Their accomplishments both on and off the tennis court are the very reason we are here to pay tribute to them with the highest and most prestigious award in the sport of tennis.
There are some very special guests seated here on the Bill Talbert center court who have come here to help us salute our enshrinement class.¬† First it is my pleasure to introduce the distinguished Hall of Famers seated behind me who have come back to Newport to help welcome their new colleagues.¬† Please join me in welcoming them in ascending order of their induction year.
We start with Vic Seixas.¬† We also have with us Dick Savitt.¬† We are also joined by Tracy Austin.¬† We're joined by Angela Mortimer Barrett.¬† We have Bud Collins as well.¬† Welcome back to Newport Chris Evert.¬† Welcome Rosie Casals.¬† We also have Hall of Famer Pam Shriver.¬† Please welcome Donald Dell.¬† Welcome Monica Seles.¬† From the class of 2010 Gigi Fernandez.¬† Please welcome home Owen Davidson.¬† We are also joined by Brad Parks.¬† Please welcome Peachy Kellmeyer.¬† From the class of 2013 Charlie Pasarell.
We would also like to recognize the families and special friends of the class of 2014.¬† They have seen them at their greatest and perhaps their not so greatest and have supported and encouraged their tennis dreams and celebrated their accomplishments over the years.¬† I'd like to ask the families and special friends of our inductees to please stand so we may recognize you.
With that, the Hall of Fame parties have been introduced and it is my pleasure to introduce the chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Christopher Clouser.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Thank you.¬† It's my honor and pleasure to welcome each and every one of you here today.¬† Before we begin, I'd like to take a moment to recognize one other very important group to the Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† These individuals are the very backbone of the organization who give so much and largely without being asked, whose dedication to the growth of tennis and this beautiful facility knows no end.¬† They provide leadership to the one and only International Tennis Hall of Fame and museum as it's grown into the marvelous institution it is today.¬† Their dedication to the history of the sport of tennis past and present is unparalleled.
The Hall of Fame has grown and flourished throughout the years because of their commitment and their guidance in partnership with Rhode Island, the city of Newport and the Hall of Fame staff.¬† Please join me in recognizing the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
We're especially pleased to have with us the president of the International Tennis Federation, Mr. Francesco Ricci Bitti, the chairman and CEO of the USTA, Dave Haggerty, Katrina Adams and Gordon Smith.
The very highest honor and recognition that can be awarded that serves the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the designation of life trustee.¬† There are only 15 individuals who have ever been awarded this honor.¬† Joining this very distinguished group whose members include Billie Jean King, Rod Laver, Tony Trabert, Peggy Woolard and John Reese, I am pleased on behalf of the Executive Committee to announce the appointment of two new life trustees.
The first is a gentleman that two years ago we got on the train and went to meet and ask him, Would you do something special for the Hall of Fame?¬† Each of you may have seen over here this Hall of Fame is about to go under massive redevelopment.¬† It's a new tennis building, a new museum and center court.¬† It all would not have happened, and this is the first husband/wife team, because Peggy Woolard last year became a life trustee, this year I announce Ed Woolard as life trustee.
You all have heard and probably have read that this institution has been served for 35 years by a gentleman who has done incredible work.¬† When you look around here, you see what's happened and is going to happen, it's because of this gentleman.
He has been the president and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† He's been involved in every aspect.¬† The one I'm going to point out today, he happens to have the wild cards for the tournament.¬† He happens to let players who are just beginning their career or might not naturally be entered into this tournament.
There is one gentleman last year who was given a wild card.¬† On behalf of all the players, staff, all the contributors and people, this gentleman won the tournament both in singles and doubles.¬† Ladies and gentlemen, Nico Mahut.
What Nico is going to do on behalf of all the players and everyone is give Mark his designation as life trustee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
It's also my pleasure to introduce a gentleman who will soon be the chief executive officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Not only was he a great tennis player ranked as high as No.4 in the world, he has been a tremendous leader and widely respected in his role as president of the ATP player council, members of the ATP board, please welcome Mr. Todd Martin.
Now for the induction of the Hall of Fame class of 2014.¬† For 60 years the International Tennis Hall of Fame has preserved the history of our great sport and continues to honor the legacies of individuals who embody its most important traditions.
For three of our members, Jane Brown Grimes, Nick Bollettieri and Lindsay Davenport, would you please rise for the national anthem of the United States of America.
The first member of the class of 2014 is Jane Brown Grimes.¬† She has been a leader in all areas of tennis, especially right here at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† To introduce her we are very pleased to have with us one of the all‑time greats of the sport of tennis, now an all‑time great broadcaster, and an all‑time great person.¬† It's my honor to introduce Ms.Chris Evert.
CHRIS EVERT:¬† Thank you.
Wow.¬† First, Jane and I are very happy that we're first.¬† I'm thrilled to kick off this big day.¬† This is a powerful year for inductees, and I personally would like to congratulate every one of them, Lindsay, Chantal, Nick, John, and especially my great friend Jane Brown.
It's interesting, I just read the best seller Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.¬† I thought of Jane because she could have been the model for this book.¬† She's been leaning in for the past few decades.¬† She has served tennis on every level.¬† She has been the leader of the sport's major organizations.
Here are just a few highlights from her r√©sum√©:
President and chair woman of the board of the USTA, managing director of the Women's Tennis Council, and president and CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† No other person has ever run three major organizations in tennis.¬† So I congratulate you on that.
What's more, Jane earned and held these positions in an industry whose leaders were predominantly men.¬† At the WTA, I can speak firsthand that Jane's skilled diplomacy was crucial to the survival of the tour as she was able to navigate the tricky waters of attracting and keeping desirable sponsorships while distancing our association with past relationships with controversial brands.¬† It was a pivotal time for women's tennis at this time and it put us on a secure course for the future.¬† It made us into what is women's tennis today.
While leading the USTA, Jane was a vital force in launching the 10‑and‑under tennis initiative that resulted in a surge of interest from children in the sport.
Of course, all around us you can see Jane.¬† You can see her influence.¬† She was responsible for so much of the growth here at the Hall of Fame, helping it evolve into the unique attraction it is today.
Over the past few decades, I have watched her work her magic with intelligence, savvy and integrity.¬† She broke down barriers that women faced in the workplace and pushed past gender roles, and she did it with grace.¬† Those are just a few of her achievements and they are stellar.
But what has impressed me the most about Jane is the person that she is.¬† She managed to have a loving marriage and be a doting mother to her three children who are here, while still being a leader in her field.
As a friend, she stepped up to the plate.¬† No one has been more compassionate.¬† Whenever I and countless others have needed her, she's been there.
Some people thrive in their careers while their personal lives take a backseat.¬† It's the rare individuals like Jane who have chosen to live without that compromise.
And have no fear, Jane is not finished.¬† She is still going strong.¬† She is currently pursuing her Masters in international relations at Cambridge University and writing her thesis on the global impact of tennis.¬† I know she'd never do this, but I think if she were to be completely truthful, a big chunk of that paper should be all about her.
I'm so lucky to have her as a friend and she is richly deserving of this honor.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating a very special woman, Jane Brown.
JANE BROWN GRIMES:¬† My oh my.¬† Thank you all.¬† Chrissy, especially, thank you.¬† What an extraordinary introduction.
When my family found out I'd been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, they were very excited.¬† Then they found out Chrissy was going to introduce me.¬† What can I say, they're all here, every single one of them.
Seriously, Chrissy, it means so much to me that you would get on a plane and come to Newport and do this for me.¬† It's something I'll remember all my life.¬† It's just tremendous.
I want to congratulate my fellow inductees, Lindsay, John, Chantal and Nick.¬† This is a great day for all of us.¬† I'm so pleased to be a part of the class of 2014 with all of you.
I have to tell you, this ceremony today is intensely personal for me.¬† My long career in tennis and my travels around the world all started right here on these courts and on these grounds over 40 years ago.
I vividly remember my first visit here in 1977.¬† Walking in off Bellevue Avenue, through the arch, as all of you did today, and being overcome by the magic of the place.¬† It was one of those typical misty, foggy Newport days.
But as the clouds lifted, I could see the shingled buildings and the grass courts, I was convinced the clock had turned back a hundred years to the 1880s and the early days of tennis.¬† What I couldn't see was what terrible shape the place was in back then.¬† The balconies weren't safe, there was plaster falling in many of the rooms.¬† The staircases were all roped off because there were treads that were missing.¬† In a word, it was falling down.
But look at it today.¬† Look at it today.¬† This is the real magic.¬† It's absolutely as good or better than it was when it first opened in 1880, and the first U.S. championships were played the next year on these very courts.¬† The tremendous leadership the Hall of Fame has had through the years, and especially today, has been extraordinary.
So instead of being torn down and turned into a parking lot, which was slated to be, the buildings and grounds were saved, and now are thriving and growing.
Back in 1977, I was the newest staff member on a staff of fewer than five people.¬† There was no money.¬† But then as now, there was a deep conviction of how magnificent this place could be.¬† A team of visionary men and women began to raise money and fix up the place.¬† I was very happy and lucky to be a part of that team.
As the Hall of Fame grew, so did the sport of tennis itself.¬† But it's not just the growth of tennis that has impressed me.¬† It's its reach and impact of the sport on the lives of people around the world.
For example, just a few weeks ago the doubles champions at the French Open, the women, one came from mainland China and the other from Taipei, two countries that can't agree on much of anything.¬† But these two women are a brilliant team.¬† Somehow on the court the walls come tumbling down.
Another iconic moment was when Arthur Ashe visited South Africa during apartheid.¬† He fought for four years to get a visa.¬† Finally went in 1973 over the objections of many in this country and in South Africa.¬† At the time Arthur said, We must reach out our hand in friendship and dignity, both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy.
The picture of Arthur with a racquet in hand talking to hundreds of African children around a tennis court moves me every time I see it.
Then there was Martina Navratilova, a newly minted American citizen returning to Czechoslovakia in 1986 as a new member of the U.S. Fed Cup team.¬† She was going back to a country she had defected from.¬† The Cold War was still on, and Prague, where the tie was played, was still part of the Iron Curtain.¬† For teammates like Pam, Chrissy and Zina Garrison.¬† It was an incredibly courageous thing to do.¬† She told me she was sure the Czech government would find a way to prevent her from leaving the country.¬† Fortunately, that didn't happen.
The fans in the stadium loved her.¬† She got repeated standing ovations, as much for her play as for her boldness in returning as a free person, something everyone in that stadium longed to be.
I was there standing close to Martina's mother.¬† When Martina spoke to the crowd in Czech, you could see the tears streaming down her mother's face.
There's so many examples in this sport making room for tolerance and understanding in a world often torn by bitter conflict.
So tennis has grown bigger and stronger and richer, but it has also done what Dwight Davis set out as a goal when he founded the Davis Cup in 1900, to promote goodwill internationally.
I feel so very lucky to have played a very small role in this amazing story, and to be recognized in this way today on this court in front of so many friends and family and tennis fans is more than I could ever have imagined.
Thank you all very much.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Jane, on behalf of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, it is our honor to present you your Hall of Fame blazer and this certificate which signifies your official induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Ladies and gentlemen, Jane Brown Grimes.
JANE BROWN GRIMES:¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Now in honor of John Barrett, please stand for the national anthem of Great Britain.
To present John Barrett, we are pleased to have with us a leading tennis historian and long time tennis journalist.¬† He's been a friend to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Please welcome Mr. Steve Flink.
STEVE FLINK:¬† Thank you very much and welcome, ladies and gentlemen.¬† This is a big honor for me to be here today to present John Barrett, a man I've known for 46 years, and a fellow I hold in the highest regard.
John is the ultimate gentleman of the old school, and he is an individual who has always been guided by unbending principles.¬† The word 'greatness' is used far too frequently to describe towering achievers in different endeavors on and off the field of athletics, everywhere in life.¬† But John Barrett surely meets that lofty standard and I will tell you why.
As a young man, he was a formidable player, one of the best in Great Britain, and a strategically sound left‑hander who competed at Wimbledon no fewer than 19 years between 1950 and 1970.¬† He made it to the quarterfinals of the men's doubles and took a set in singles off the esteemed Ken Rosewall.¬† John represented Great Britain in Davis Cup play across the '50's and then was captain of the English squads from 1959 to 1962.
In the mid '60's he took over at the helm of the LTA training squad, which fittingly became known as the Barrett Boys.¬† To be sure, John's accomplishments in the areas I've mentioned were far‑reaching, but his finest work was yet to come.
John moved seamlessly into the world of print and broadcast journalism, and with his supreme dedication to that craft, he reshaped the way many people thought and felt about the game.
The clarity of his mind and the depth of his insights were extraordinary.¬† In 1963 he started writing for The Financial Times, the revered British newspaper.¬† He would cover tennis for that publication until 2006.¬† No one could capture the essence of major matches more coherently than John who was never daunted by a tight deadline and always able to interpret wisely what he had just witnessed.
He created a yearbook in 1968, appropriately entitled World of Tennis.¬† John wrote prodigiously for that gem of a tennis Bible but he also assembled all of the sport's leading writers.¬† He conceived the stories with common sense and imagination.¬† He was the book's editor.¬† He was indefatigable in producing that book in 2001.
World of Tennis was a comprehensive examination of each and every year in our sport, an invaluable resource for reporters, a joyous read for fans and a treasure for anyone who genuinely cared about the history of this great game.
All of us who were asked to contribute by John to that book felt as if we had been given a certificate of authenticity as tennis reporters and we did not take that for granted.
Meanwhile, John has been a prolific author of books on tennis.¬† He collaborated with Ken Rosewall on Play Tennis with Ken Rosewall, Where I Sit, the autobiography of fellow BBC commentator Dan Maskell, and four volumes of Wimbledon, The Official History.¬† John has clearly been one of the most influential, insightful and probing tennis reporters, no one has surpassed him.
Behind the microphone John Barrett shined every bit as brightly.¬† In 1971 he commenced work as an announcer for the BBC serving skillfully until his retirement after Wimbledon in 2006.
Before John took on that challenge, it was Dan Maskell who was know to the cognoscenti as the Voice of Wimbledon.¬† Across the decades, over a span of 36 years, with wit, wisdom and acute intelligence, Barrett became the man most synonymous with the game's most preeminent event.¬† He was a voice of reason and an authority who never felt the need to hit you overthehead with the wealth of his knowledge.
As he told me once, there was a BBC directive that we all had to follow:¬† never get between the viewer and the action.
In my view, John Barrett was the Walter Cronkite of tennis broadcast journalism.¬† When Cronkite delivered the nightly news for American audiences, he was unassailable.¬† Cronkite had total credibility among his audience as a broadcast journalist of stature, and an unimpeachable trustworthiness.
That is precisely the way it was with John Barrett.¬† When he spoke about tennis over the airwaves, he was revered not only for his accuracy and insight, but for his integrity.¬† Moreover, John was versatile as a broadcaster, able to work with anyone, willing to share his intellectual space with colleagues, and always at the top of his game.
He worked initially as an analyst, then shifted to primarily play‑by‑play for the BBC.¬† He also worked at other major events including the US Open for various networks.¬† Tennis has not known a more masterful communicator than John Barrett.
I met John in 1968.¬† We were introduced at the Queen's Club in London by my father who informed John that I wanted to become a tennis reporter.¬† John took he had under his wings, taught me some essential lessons about the craft, and opened up every professional door he could to make certain I had a chance to succeed.
When I was 20, I started working for him behind the scenes trying to establish myself in the field.¬† John, along with Bud Collins, played a crucial role in launching my career as a tennis reporter, a career that's 40 years old.
I've never found the right place or the appropriate time to thank John for his generosity, not only towards me but to so many others in this world of tennis.
We all owe him a debt of gratitude for raising the profile of the game, for representing himself and tennis so honorably, and pursuing all of his endeavors with unwavering professionalism and enduring kindness.
In the final analysis, John Barrett found greatness by becoming even more than the sum of his substantial achievements.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to introduce Mr. John Barrett.
JOHN BARRETT:¬† Ladies and gentlemen, first of all I want to thank Steve Flink for those wonderful words.¬† He's been very kind.¬† He now ranks among the leading historians of our game.¬† I can assure you it won't be along before he's standing where I am today.
I would also like to congratulate all of other inductees.¬† This is probably for them, as for me, the most important moment of our professional lives.
This for me is also a very emotional moment as I will explain.¬† It is now 62 years precisely since I first set foot upon this very tennis court as a member of the combined Oxford and Cambridge team here in the United States to compete against Harvard and Yale for the Prentice Cup.¬† That was a biennial event that dates back as far as 1921.
Our host here in Newport that day in 1952 was Jimmy Van Alen who was already talking of his plans to start a Tennis Hall of Fame here at the Newport casino, which he did two years later.
Over the next few years while competing in the annual Newport tournament here, I got to know Jimmy and his wife Candy very well and saw the beginnings of a museum appear in 1955, the year when inductions began.
We also spent time together on his visits to England.¬† One year Jimmy came over with a book of verse he had published privately called simply Cambridge.¬† It was a long and beautifully illustrated poem, not quite Hiawatha or Paul Revere, perhaps, but nevertheless very impressive, describing every aspect of his life as an undergraduate at Christ's College when he had played tennis and called tennis for the university.¬† He wanted our help in finding addresses to old friends to whom he was sending copies of his book.
And on another visit he confirmed that he and the Guggenheim family would pay for the erection of a much‑needed fence at Fenners, to give us privacy from cricketers, that funny game when someone is in, someone is out, and you can never figure out which.¬† It was an act of great generosity for many generations of Cambridge tennis players have benefited.
As we all know, Jimmy was a very inventive man.¬† The scoring system with the sudden climax at four points all was adapted to become what we know as the tiebreak.¬† And, of course, the magnificent Hall of Fame museum which we enjoy today.
Little did I imagine back in 1952 that all these years later I'd be standing here about to become an exhibit (laughter).¬† To think my mother had always told me not to make an exhibition of myself.¬† Goodness knows what she would have said.
Another very emotional moment for me, of course, was 1993 when I sat so proudly over there with our son and daughter watching the ceremony for my wife Angela when she was inducted as a winner of three of the four major championships.
At this point I want to declare my inferiority.¬† Promising as I may have been as a young tennis player, my achievements on court fell far short of hers.¬† I respectfully bow to her.
Although our paths had crossed many times, of course, in the junior days, it wasn't until she had retired from playing singles that we started seeing each other more regularly, then realized we wanted to make our partnership a permanent one.¬† Thus the 3rd of April, 1967, is still the most important day in my life. ¬†On that day we walked down the aisle together at Saint Mary's Church in Wimbledon, whose famous spire stands proudly looking down on the All England Club.¬† Each year on the 3rd of April, I give thanks for the unqualified love, support and understanding that Angela has given me ever since that joyous day.¬† Without her wisdom and common sense, which have saved me from disaster on more than one occasion, the modest success that I have enjoyed in several fields to the sport we both love, could never have been achieved.
From the bottom of my heart, darling, I thank you.
Looking back on my life, I realize how lucky I have been at other key moments.¬† First I was fortunate to have inherited an eye for a ball from my father, himself a fine sportsman, who encouraged me to experience a variety of sports.
Aged eight or nine, I remember acting as a ball boy at his weekly games at the park of tennis with his friends.¬† Soon tennis had me in its spell and I was haunting the park with a school pal, often being chased off the courts by the park keeper because we had no money to pay for the courts.
Then I was competing in junior tournaments far and wide with some success.
The next lucky break came after my university days when with no visible means of support, I was contemplating a year of tennis on the then still amateur circuit.¬† My mother was horrified.¬† You must find yourself a proper job, darling, she said.¬† But I ignored her and planned a trip to Australia.
A chance meeting in Sydney with the Slazenger chairman Michael McMaster led to an opportunity of employment with the firm.¬† During the next 34 years, I was able to combine a growing interest in writing, broadcasting, coaching and promotion, some of which you have heard about from Steve.
It was a hectic but satisfying period of my life, and I shall always be grateful to (indiscernible) Haddington who succeeded Michael McMaster to encourage me into widening my interests.
I must also thank Geoffrey Owen, now Sir Geoffrey, at The Times, for giving me my start as a journalist in 1963.
Then at the BBC I'd like to thank all the directors and producers, too numerous to name individually, to develop my own broadcasting style.
I'm also grateful that my career as a writer and broadcaster took place during the years either side of the arrival of Open tennis in 1968, a truly historic moment in our sport.¬† I was able to comment on the momentous changes that took place over the next few years.
It is very humbling to realize that today I shall be joining in the Hall of Fame some of the media colleagues who contributed articles for me during those 34 world of tennis years.¬† Among them, those legendary writers, Allison Danzig, David Gray, Lance Tingay, Gianni Clerici, Gene Scott, and writer/broadcaster Bud Collins.¬† It's wonderful to see you here today, Bud, with so many Hall of Famers who are all old friends.
In my life as a broadcaster, I learned so much from my mentor Dan Maskell who became a Hall of Famer in 1966.¬† I often found myself in the next commentary box to one of last year's inductees Cliff Drysdale, whose work I always admired.
For all of us it's this wonderful game of tennis that brings us all together.¬† It is here at the International Tennis Hall of Fame where the game's history is captured.¬† It is Jimmy Van Alen we must salute, for without his vision and energy, none of us would be here today.
As we celebrate this diamond jubilee of the Hall of Fame, how proud Jimmy would have been to see how his brain child had grown to become the magnificent museum that it is today.¬† He would fully have approved the ambitious plans for expansion which you've heard about.
So in his honor, and remembering Jimmy's love of verse, I have penned the following piece and called it A Dream Fulfilled.
Van Alen was the man who had the vision to honor all the champions of our game.¬† The product of his laudable ambition was Newport's honored Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† And so for 20 years the names were garnered, those early U.S. heroes, in they came, first Campbell, Sears, May Sutton, William Larned, inducted in the Tennis Hall of Fame.
In 1975 the board instructed, It's time to recognize the worldwide game, so British star Fred Perry was inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The years since then have seen the ranks expanding as every mighty champion you could name has now had recognition for their standing in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Contributors whose work has been outstanding were recognized name after famous name, as one by one they made a graceful landing in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
So let us all salute successive chairmen whose stewardship has kept alive the flame that gives such lasting pleasure now to all men at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
If I have learned anything after a lifetime involved in so many aspect of tennis, it is that the game itself is the thing that captures the imagination.¬† Anyone who has ever competed at any level, however humble, will recognize that burst of adrenaline that sets the pulse racing at match point.
Any fervent fan who has watched his hero or heroine save breakpoint with an impossible winner down the line will know the thrill of another chance.¬† Those of us who have written about or commentated about a match won by a man on the edge of exhaustion, like Novak Djokovic overcame Rafael Nadal in their epic 5 hour 53 minute battle that decided the destiny of the 2012 Australian Open.
All will recognize that the human spirit can rise to extraordinary heights.¬† There is a majesty about great matches on great occasions that has been perfectly captured in a short verse Sir Henry Newbold, one that many of you may recognize because his inspiring words have been adopted by the 45 worldwide international tennis clubs as perfectly expressing all that is best about our noble game, whose details are so beautifully captured for posterity here in Newport.
To set the cause above renowned, to love the game beyond the prize, to honor while you strike him down, the foe that comes with fearless eyes, to count the life of battled good, and dear the land that gave you birth, and dearer yet the brotherhood that binds the brave of all the earth.
Long live the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† John, on behalf of the Executive Committee and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, with your wife as a witness, I am pleased to present this certificate to you which symbolizes your official induction as a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
JOHN BARRETT:¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Now to honor or wheelchair tennis recent tennis enshrinee, I would like to ask each and every one of you to stand for the national anthem of the Netherlands.
Chantal Vandierendonck is one of the greatest champions, a pioneer and ambassador of not just wheelchair tennis but all of tennis.¬† She was a champion when the sport was still very quite new.¬† But, however, it's very appropriate today that the person who will present her was one of the original founders of the game, world No.1, and was responsible, along with the ITF, for wheelchair tennis being recognized as an Olympic sport, as well as her mixed doubles partner.¬† It's my great pleasure to introduce the very first wheelchair tennis Hall of Famer, Mr. Brad Parks.
BRAD PARKS: ¬†Thank you very much.
I remember first meeting Chantal for the first time in 1985.¬† My doubles partner and I were invited to attend the first French Open wheelchair tennis championships.¬† While in Europe, we gave wheelchair tennis clinics in several countries.¬† It was at one of those clinics in The Netherlands that I first met Chantal.
She had been injured in a car accident only the previous year.¬† I remember we were all so amazed at her abilities, especially considering she was just recently injured.
Later that year she came out to the US Open wheelchair tennis championships and won her first title.¬† We had many, many good American women players at the time from America, and we were all just shocked as she won her first US Open title against more experienced players.
But that proved only to be the beginning for Chantal's wheelchair tennis career.¬† She became the first in a long line of top‑ranked women in the sport from Holland.
Between 1985 and 1993, Chantal went on to win seven more singles titles at the US Open wheelchair tennis championships, which at that time was the most prestigious championships.
In 1991 she was crowned the first ITF world champion, then she went on to win the title again in '96 and '97 and held the ITF No.1 ranking for 136 weeks.¬† She also found tremendous success in the Paralympics Games.¬† She won the women's gold at the '88 Seoul games, then competing at the '92 and '96 games, winning a total of five Paralympic medals.
I had the pleasure of playing with Chantal in two US Open mixed doubles championships.¬† It was always fun to hit with Chantal and I loved playing with her.¬† She was not only an amazing tennis player, but her shot‑making ability and mental toughness made her the best player in the world for years.
But what makes Chantal's success even more impressive is she has a higher level of disability than most elite wheelchair tennis players, making the sport more difficult to play.¬† However, she made up for it with her on‑court flawless skills, strategy and determination.¬† No player of her disability level, male or female, has been able to come close to Chantal's record.
Chantal, I just want to say that I truly appreciate your friendship through our playing days.¬† We had a great time.¬† Just to imagine being here, what a dream it is.¬† Could you ever imagine that?
Anyway, I just want to say it is with great honor that I'm able to introduce Chantal Vandierendonck as not only the first female wheelchair tennis player but the first Dutch tennis player to ever be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:¬† Thank you, Brad, for your kind words.¬† I really appreciate that.
I was born in a family that loved tennis.¬† My father was a tennis teacher and my mother was a member of the youth tennis committee at our tennis club.¬† My sister, she was also in the national tennis team of Holland.¬† So already at a young age I spent all my days at the local tennis club together with my family.
A little later we traveled all through Holland for tennis.¬† My parents had to buy an extra car to drive me and my sister to all the training and matches.
Some years later we traveled all through Europe.¬† Even again some years later we traveled all over the world, to the U.S., to Japan, to Australia, to play tennis.¬† Isn't that amazing where your hobby can take you, and also be able to share the same passion with the people who are the closest to you?
If my parents did not support me so much, I would not have been able to experience all those special moments at the tennis club.
I treasure those moments and I thank the tennis sport for everything it gave me and brought to me.¬† It added so much more meaning to my life.
So you might wonder now how did I go from tennis to wheelchair tennis?¬† There must have happened something.¬† Well, you're right.¬† At the age of 18, more than 30 years ago, I'm not telling you my age, I had a car accident and became paraplegic.¬† When the doctor told me I would never walk again, my life seemed to be torn apart.¬† I would have to continue my life without tennis.
But then one day my uncle from Belgium visited me at the hospital.¬† He told me he had seen wheelchair tennis on the French television, and I could play tennis now in a wheelchair.
I was very surprised, but I was also convinced it would not be really the same game again.¬† On the other hand, I was curious how it would be.
So my uncle traced down the French wheelchair tennis players and arranged a meeting with them in Paris.¬† My parents, sister, and I traveled to Paris.¬† There I saw wheelchair tennis for the first time.¬† I saw it was the same game and still real tennis.
The players moved so fast around the court and played such good tennis that I got really enthusiastic.¬† From that moment on, I was convinced I wanted to play wheelchair tennis.
I found out that wheelchair tennis was first started in the U.S. and was founded and being developed in the U.S. by Brad Parks.¬† So we invited Brad Parks and Randy Snow and Rick Slaughter, another top player from the U.S., to The Netherlands for a tennis exhibition and clinic.
I was very impressed by the high level of tennis they played.¬† Also their enthusiasm and spirit, how they were able to inspire other players was impressive and gave me so much drive to play again.
Brad Parks and Randy Snow are the two wheelchair tennis players that were inducted before me here in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† I am so deeply honored that I'm inducted right behind my two heroes of wheelchair tennis for whom I have deep respect and I've learned so much from them.
After that the ball started rolling faster and faster.¬† I played tournaments in front with the men because there were not enough women.¬† In The Netherlands, there was no wheelchair tennis yet.¬† In my hometown every year there was a big able‑bodied tennis tournament in which I used to play before my accident.
My father started organizing a wheelchair tennis clinic during this tournament, which grew to be one of the major tournaments on the international wheelchair tennis tour, The Dutch Open, right at the club where I started to play tennis as a little child.¬† Isn't that amazing?¬† My father organized The Dutch Open for 10 years in a row.¬† He also fought and was able to let wheelchair tennis become a part of the National Dutch Tennis Federation.¬† He accompanied me on many tournaments around the world.¬† I'm very happy he's here with me today.
Wheelchair tennis brought so much to my life.¬† The challenge to work on my tennis game, I just love to practice and see if all you work for will reveal in the matches.¬† That's so exciting and gives so much satisfaction when you succeed.
But it also helped me so much to deal with my life in a wheelchair being around all those active, young, independent, positive‑minded sports people showed me how great my life in a wheelchair still could be.
I've learned so much from all the other players and I'm grateful for that.¬† And I hope that with all I have learned I am able to inspire other people.
I am deeply honored to receive this reward for my career.¬† When I saw my nomination last October, I could not believe that I would be elected.¬† So it was a very big surprise when Chris called me and told me the good news.¬† I never thought this would happen.
I would like to thank all the people who voted for me.¬† I also would like to thank all the people that have supported me so much during my tennis career and who helped me to achieve what I have achieved.¬† Without them it would not have been possible.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Chantal, on behalf of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors at the International Tennis Hall of Fame it is our distinct honor to induct you into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Congratulations.
CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK:¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Fasten your seat belts.¬† Nick Bollettieri.¬† To present Nick, I am pleased to have the 1977 French Open mixed doubles winner, partnering with John McEnroe, a respected broadcaster who does terrific work for ESPN, HBO, Tennis Channel, NBC, CBS.¬† But I must also mention the host of the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Mary Carillo.
MARY CARILLO:¬† I'm so happy to be here.¬† I do love dogs.¬† But there's a lot of people on this stage that I'm pleased to congratulate today, including Nick Bollettieri.¬† I've been told I have two minutes to introduce Nick Bollettieri.¬† How do I do that?¬† It's taken Nick a lifetime to get here and I've spent the better part of my life watching him get here.
I've watched him teach, absorb, dispel, defy, embrace, create, laugh, holler, get serious, get wisdom.¬† He is not afraid of love or loss.¬† I've seen him marry and divorce, marry and divorce, try again and again because that's who he is even when things end.
Three years ago, This marriage will work, Mary, dear.¬† How do you know?¬† Because this time I bought a book.¬† That one didn't work.¬† He must have skipped a chapter, but...
This love is ever‑after.¬† I've watched him inquire and inspire, go from outsider to insider, go from high to low to whoa, Andre won Wimbledon.¬† Andre Agassi just won Wimbledon.¬† Boy, that little girl is bold.¬† Monica Seles is how old?
I've watched him go from master to disaster, to the very brink of bankruptcy.¬† He sold his place, they kept his name.¬† Smart, because Nick is why kids came.¬† And there have been thousands of kids who came, and a whole bunch of them are here today.¬† I'm very happy to see all of them.
I've seen him weep but never sleep.¬† His energy defies belief.¬† He believes in his vision, in his gut, in his students, in this sport.¬† Even when they're nine years old, he sees things and he believes.
Remember this name, Mary, dear.¬† Maria Shaparova [sic].¬† Do you know how many times I've remembered to remember that name on national television?¬† Hmm.
The English language cannot hold him.¬† Names confound him, clich√©s borrow him.¬† Let me tell you something about Martina Hingis.¬† She has the eye of the tiger and the nose of the elephant.¬† What the hell does that mean?
He sounded crazy.¬† He was right.¬† His benefactors gave him might.¬† And now he belongs at this fine site.¬† And that is right.
Now I've got no time left, except to say we who thank you, Nick, our allegiance, we welcome you as a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† It's time, Nick, and it's about time.
NICK BOLLETTIERI:¬† We Italians know how to get a speech like that.
Mr. John Barrett, I'd like to talk to you about one visit down the aisle.¬† I've had eight, so we ought to change some of those things.
How do I start?¬† Wow!¬† Now I know exactly how it feels for those who reached the top of Mt.Everest.¬† May I say the view from up here is amazing.
In the first few steps of climbing that mountain began when I was in law school at the University of Miami and I began teaching on two little tennis courts in a little town called North Miami Beach.¬† I didn't know much about teaching the game.
So my son and his mother would look around.¬† They said, This is how you hold a racquet.¬† I began to really know how to talk about tennis a little bit.¬† What God gave me was the ability to read people.
I'd like to first start off by saying congratulations to my fellow members of the class of 2014.¬† It is an honor and a privilege to be in the same company as you, Lindsay, John, Jane, Chantal, and those already in the Hall of Fame.
It is not often that I am humbled, as those who know me will tell you.¬† But being honored alongside the four of you today is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I'd also like to take this time to thank all of you who voted for me.¬† For a while there I thought I was going to be the Susan Lucci of the tennis world.¬† So your vote means the world to me, it really does.
Now, I didn't reach the top of this mountain by myself, although in my dreams I say, Nick, you're darn good.¬† In fact, we Italians don't like doing anything by ourselves.¬† So do me a favor, please.¬† If I, Nick Bollettieri, have ever yelled at you, either on the court or off, please stand up.¬† C'mon, baby, stand up.¬† Wow, we made it.¬† Can you believe it?¬† It only took us 60 years, but we made it.
It is truly because of you that I'm standing right here today.¬† I wish I could name and thank each one of you individually, but we'd be here long after dark.
There is really no way I could ever thank you enough for making my journey such a great one.¬† Just know that I love you and I always yell at those I love the most.¬† So you can expect to hear this old raspy voice hollering for many more years.
I may not have been too good of a student, but I've always been pretty good with numbers.¬† In fact, I guess you could say I'm a man of numbers.¬† Let's see.¬† There's 10 No.1's, nine lives, eight wives, seven amazing children, having a sixth sense, 5 a.m. the time for my first lesson, four beautiful grandchildren, three years of service to our country, two great parents, one passion, and zero, the number of books I read in my lifetime.
Then let's add in the rest of my beautiful family, the friends and coaches and players who are like family.¬† Believe me, if it wasn't for my friends, I could not have been here.¬† The academy would not be where it is today.¬† You all bailed me out time and time again.
I've had the privilege of working with thousands of children.¬† That's the biggest reward an educator could have.
Let's go back to 1987.¬† I'm sitting on a bench at the French Open.¬† My friend says to me, Nick, what are we going to do about the hundreds of thousands of children who never hit a ball?¬† Don't worry about it, Arthur, I got it covered.¬† We started the Ashe Bollettieri Program run by Bob Davis in the tough town of Newark, New Jersey.¬† As we walked into the park, there were gun shells, guarded by police.¬† Arthur looked over his shoulder and he said, Nick, are we coming back here?¬† Yes, we are.¬† He said, Nick, we cannot give children false hope.¬† We ran that program for 13 years.
The other person I'd like to thank, I dedicated my book to Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean.¬† They tore down barriers to give opportunities to people.
The fuel that has sustained me to the summit is without a doubt my passion to help others become champions of life, not champions just on the tennis court, but champions of life.¬† Nothing makes me more happy than when I run into a past student or receive a kind note telling me how I changed their lives, that they are better parents, lawyers, doctors, CEOs and people because of the impact that I made on their lives.
Another short story.¬† I was at the US Open with my daughter three years ago.¬† A young gentleman came up to me and said, Nick, you saved a boy's life.¬† I said, What did I do?¬† He said, This boy was graduating high school, driving through Brooklyn, getting a scholarship for tennis, and some people jumped in the car and beat up his friends.¬† He vowed to beat them up.
His mother called me, told me the story.¬† I said, Send him down to me.¬† Along with IMG, we gave him a six‑month scholarship.¬† Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, he graduated Harvard Medical School.
What is it about helping people, trying to reach their passion, their full potential, to not quit when the going gets rough.¬† When Andre Agassi had his big match up in Washington, D.C., he got beat in that first match.¬† He was across the street in the woods.¬† I walked over and said, What's the matter?¬† He said, I don't have it, Nick.¬† I said, Do I have a watch on?¬† He said, No, Nick.¬† I said, Don't you ever use the words 'I can't do it'.¬† There's no clock on you.¬† You all know the rest of the story.
To know when I was yelling at you, what I was really saying was, I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself because you can do it.¬† You can do anything you're willing to work hard for, and also having a team that surrounds you and believes in the same mission.
That's how we made it up this mountain, by pushing each other, making huge sacrifices, being there for each other.¬† Every member of the team is responsible for doing their part to make the mission successful.
It sure would have been a whole lot easier and faster if we had taken the well‑worn path up the mountain.¬† But you were brave enough to follow me when I forged my own path which others found to be unorthodox and downright crazy.¬† Yes, I am crazy.
But it takes crazy people to do things that other people say cannot be done.¬† But we made it.¬† We sure had a lot of fun getting there.
Yesterday, as I signed a few of my books to people, they asked me, they said, Nick, are you going to retire?¬† Retire, what does that mean?¬† There's no such word in the small dictionary of words that I do have.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'm just beginning my journey, baby.¬† I will never be remembered for my business sense or my luck with marriages or for putting my family first.¬† That was not easy.¬† Being on the road 36 weeks a year when my children were growing up.¬† They have all forgiven me and I thank them for that.
What I hope I will be remembered for is daring to follow my passion and hopefully igniting that spark of passion in others.¬† That's what it's all about.¬† When I give a motivational speech, I don't want to excite you.¬† I want you to go out and try to do something for yourself and give opportunities to others.
I want to thank the Hall of Fame committee.¬† I wish you good luck in your new venture.¬† I'd like to say, on behalf of my family and my friends and all of you that have made this long journey here today, thank you again for coming.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Nick, on behalf of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, it is my distinct honor to present you with the certificate signifying your official induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Ladies and gentlemen, Nick Bollettieri.
NICK BOLLETTIERI:¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Ladies and gentlemen, now to the recent player category for our final inductee of 2014.¬† To present the one and the only Lindsay Davenport, it's my pleasure to introduce her long time friend who holds himself 13 ATP doubles titles, two Grand Slam doubles titles, a Tennis Channel broadcaster, ATP leader, please welcome Justin Gimelstob.
JUSTIN GIMELSTOB:¬† Some tough acts to follow.¬† Incredible job.¬† Nick, for the record, I did vote for you.¬† But seriously, congratulations to all the inductees.¬† It's special to see our sport celebrate its own and acknowledge all your vast contributions to the sport we all love so much.
Our final inductee is someone I care very deeply about and respect very much.¬† She personifies everything the International Tennis Hall of Fame is all about:¬† excellence, class, professionalism, authentic performance and a deep respect for the game.
I first met Lindsay Davenport 25 years ago when we were 12.¬† I went out to Southern California to work with Robert Lansdorp.¬† As you might expect, I thought I was a hotshot.¬† I know that's a huge surprise to many of you.¬† Robert had the foresight to squash that very quickly.¬† The best way to do that was to send me out to the back and play baseline with his real star pupil Lindsay.
I won't bore you with the details or embarrass myself, but safe to say I learned quickly what the rest of the world would realize shortly:¬† Lindsay was an incredible talent well on her way to becoming as fine of a ball‑striker as any man or woman that ever held a tennis racquet.
Side note.¬† I haven't won many baseline games against her in the subsequent 25 years either.
Preparing to introduce Lindsay today I wanted to make sure I did justice to her vast accomplishments.¬† I was obviously familiar with them.¬† While poring over them in detail, I found myself shaking my head and thinking, Wow, she just won a lot, like a lot.¬† Then I realized even as a close friend I hadn't absorbed the significance and depth of her achievements and quickly understood why.
Lindsay's most endearing and revered characteristics are her humility and character.¬† In a sport that celebrates the individual, she never reveled in or craved significant attention.¬† She went about her career the same way she goes about her life, more concerned with the achievement than the notoriety.
Lindsay won three major singles titles, three major doubles titles, an Olympic gold, three Fed Cups, 55 singles titles, 38 doubles titles, was the year end world No.1 four times.¬† Let me say that again, just to put it in perspective, the year end No.1 four times.¬† You heard me right, I said four times.
Only three other women have ever accomplished that feat, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chrissy Evert.¬† They're all tennis royalty, and rightfully Lindsay is one of them.¬† By the way, she also had the No.1 ranking in doubles as a side‑bar.
For all of that, I know she takes even more pride and satisfaction in being an incredible mother to those four beautiful children right there, and a loyal partner to her incredibly supportive husband Jon as anything she has accomplished on the court.¬† I think Jon deserves another round of applause.
Lindsay's transition into a successful broadcasting career has been predictably impressive and her customary understated way and hasn't surprised me in the slightest.
She is a passionate student of the game.¬† Just as valuable in broadcasting is her desire to rightfully focus on the sport and the players rather than herself.
Most of all, besides all these accomplishments, everything she's done on the tennis court, Lindsay is just a really special person.¬† She's generous.¬† She's loyal, supportive, caring.¬† She conducts herself with grace on the court.¬† She's continued to show the same class regardless of the scenario or situation off the court.
To be Lindsay's friend is an honor.¬† I'll never take it for granted and always cherish it.¬† In many ways she's the sister I never had, and I love her deeply.
It's an honor to introduce the latest inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, my dear friend, Lindsay Davenport.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:¬† Thank you to Justin.
As he said, it was over 25 years ago that we met playing this great sport.¬† I am very lucky and honored to have him by my side still navigating the tennis world and my life in general.¬† So thank you to Justin.
To be up here on this stage and to share it with all the greatness that is up here is overwhelming as well.¬† A huge congratulations to the other inductees this year, John, Jane, Nick, Chantal.¬† It is a pleasure to share this stage with you.
I was five years old when I first hit a tennis ball and a racquet was put in my hand.¬† It was the third sport that my parents tried with me to get me out of the house clearly at a young age after school.¬† I never wanted to learn another sport and I still don't.¬† I immediately had a love for hitting the ball, doing anything I could to play more at the club.
My parents would find me often at the back wall of the club trying to hit more tennis balls.¬† I would come home and hit against the garage.¬† I would bounce the ball off my racquet in the house, anything I could do to continue to learn to hit a tennis ball.
I always had my parents' support.¬† They did everything they could to just help me achieve my dreams.¬† There was never any pushing me, never ever getting mad at me or threats, but just going out of their way to help me achieve what I wanted to set out in life.¬† I want to thank them.¬† They're both here today.
The best lesson they ever taught me was that nobody likes a poor loser, but nobody likes a poor winner, as well.¬† So you treat those two things equally.¬† I tried to do that throughout my career.¬† Not always the easiest, but hopefully I can relay that message along to my own kids, as well.
I had two phenomenal sisters growing up that I could tell you now never knew where I was, if I won, who I was playing, and they never cared, and they still don't.¬† They probably had no idea what Justin was saying with some of the career statistics and that is why I love them.¬† They kept home life very normal.¬† There was never talk about tennis or success, but just who we were, who we were becoming, and unconditional love.
I always look back to two days that my life forever changed.¬† One of them happened when I was just eight years old.¬† I was playing in a junior team tennis match, club versus club.¬† What was a common sight, my mom becoming very friendly with my opponent's mom.¬† But on this day my opponent was Stephanie Lansdorp, renowned daughter of coach Robert Lansdorp.¬† By the end of the game, Susie, Robert's wife, convinced my mother I should try her husband's academy down the road.¬† So the next week off I wend and my life would never be the same.¬† Spent six or seven years training with Robert, learning the sport, spending hours not only hitting balls but talking with him.
It was a small academy, five courts.¬† All that went there, Justin and Tracy, others included, we always feel a huge bond together and to Robert.¬† He definitely set me on my way.
I was fortunate to have other great coaching influences in my career, particularly two females, one Lynne Rolley, who was in charge of the USTA Player Development when I was growing up, who always believed in me, who always told me it was fine to be a successful, strong female, but you could do it with a little femininity as well.¬† The great Billie Jean King, I had the honor of her being my Fed Cup and Olympic captains throughout the majority of my career.¬† All you have to do is spend a few moments with Billie Jean to hear her passion, get her enthusiasm for the sport, learn about the game and the history of it.¬† I will never forget the talk she gave me before the gold medal match in Atlanta.¬† It meant the world to me and certainly inspired me.
The coach for the majority of my professional career, Robert van't Hof.¬† I was 16 years old, won the junior US Open, didn't know what I was going to do.¬† Always thought I would go to college.¬† He just retired from the men's tour.¬† Together we learned about women's professional tennis.¬† He taught me strategy.¬† He taught me how to use my game to break down an opponent's game.¬† Most importantly he probably taught me topspin.
The biggest thing that's been a life lesson to me is to believe in myself, something I had struggled to do throughout my career until that moment.¬† I'll always be grateful to him.¬† I had a wonderful agent in Tony Godsick who looked after my business affairs but most importantly looked out for what was best for me, which was always extremely helpful.
The other day that changed my life was a few weeks after I had won the Australian Open in 2000.¬† I was 23 years old.¬† I had just moved into a new house when I was outside and my neighbor from across the street came over to introduce herself as Sandy Leach, the wife of Dick Leach, a long time professional, and also head men's tennis coach at the University of Southern California.¬† She invited me to a party she was throwing that night for her oldest son Rick, who himself had just won the Australian Open in men's doubles.
That night I went over to help celebrate Rick, who was a friend of mine and sometimes practice partner.¬† As I was leaving, I was called from behind, and it was Jon Leach, Rick's brother.¬† We stayed talking for a little bit, I told him I had to go.¬† The next day he showed up at practice with Rick, with a huge smile on his face, brought his racquets out, and there our love affair started and our partnership began.¬† Almost 15 years later, I do feel like I'm the luckiest woman in the world for that area in my life and for everything he's given me.
He spent the last eight years of my professional career supporting me.¬† He's given me the greatest joys in my life, my four children.¬† They are forever my loves and joys.¬† I can never imagine what my life would be without them.
I talked about my love of this game from a very young age and I feel so incredibly lucky that I still get to be involved with it because of the great people at Tennis Channel.¬† I do have the great bosses in Ken Soloman, Mr. Bob Wiley who is up there.¬† They just get it.¬† This is tennis.¬† This is supposed to be fun.¬† We got to make it fun for everybody watching.
I love that message.¬† It resonates with me.¬† They have assembled such a great lineup of talent for me to work with, who helped me so much in this transition to life after tennis.¬† The great Ted Robinson who took me under his wing when I first retired, Ian Eagle, who makes me laugh every time, Mary Carillo, who you guys could feel her enthusiasm just in her talk here.¬† Imagine to get to talk tennis with her for hours on end.¬† Brett Haber, who is up there in the booth now.¬† To all the amazing past players I just get to talk tennis with.¬† Jim Courier, Martina Navratilova, my idol growing up Tracy Austin, Justin as well.¬† It's been a remarkable experience for me these last six years getting to see the other side of the sport and getting to experience it with new glasses on.
I loved playing this game.¬† I never thought any of this would be possible.¬† It always felt a little bit like an accident.¬† I became better than I thought I could be.¬† I didn't know how to handle that at times.¬† But I do hope that I handled it as well as I could and with some class.
This is an incredible honor for me, an amazing achievement.¬† I will forever be humbled by this.¬† Thank you very much.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Lindsay, on behalf of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, it's my pleasure to present you with jacket and this certificate which symbolizes your official entry into the Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Congratulations.
LINDSAY DAVENPORT:¬† Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:¬† Jane, John, Chantal, Nick and Lindsay, you've now achieved the highest honor of recognition in the sport of tennis.¬† In acknowledgment of all of their enshrinement and accomplishments, both on and off the court, I'd like to ask each of you to go to this area of the stage and for each of you to take our traditional victory lap around the stadium.
Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the International Tennis Hall of Fame I would like to congratulate once again our 2014 enshrinees.¬† Thanks to each of you for attending and watching this ceremony around the world for your support of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.¬† Thank you and good afternoon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports