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INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY


July 18, 2015


Rosie Casals

Christopher Clouser

David Hall

Nancy Jeffert

Billie Jean King

Charlie Pasarell

Pam Shriver

Stan Smith


NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

BRETT HABER:テつ I hope you'll join me in welcoming Pam Shriver.
How are you?
PAM SHRIVER:テつ Couldn't be better.
BRETT HABER:テつ Since it's so special we have back in Newport this year Billie Jean King, and are we excited to have Billie Jean back with us?テつ We're going to talk at length today and throughout the weekend about what she has meant to the sport.
What has she meant to you personally and do you have a favorite Billie Jean story?
PAM SHRIVER:テつ When I was 15 years of age, playing my first tournament, the Virginia Slims of Washington, D.C., I can remember the first time I laid eyes on Billie Jean King in person.テつ I was 11 when she played Bobby Riggs on television.
I have enjoyed Billie Jean King as a friend, as a coach, as a competitor, as a doubles partner, as a fellow player who just wants to see the best for the sport of tennis.
There are way, way too many stories to talk about.テつ But I suppose if I had one, it would probably be the fact that last year my little girl, in her second grade project, picked Billie Jean King.テつ If you had seen my daughter as Billie Jean King dressed ready to win one of her six Wimbledon titles, it was really emotional for me.
One of the things we all want to do is see the great sport of tennis and the love of tennis be passed down to the next generation.
BRETT HABER:テつ Pretty great story and school project.
Speaking of Wimbledon titles, I have to fast forward to current tennis. テつWe all watched as Serena won Grand Slam title number 21 a week ago today, Serena Slam number two, the possibility of the single‑season Grand Slam.テつ As a tennis broadcaster and expert, do you think she'll do it?テつ Do you think between now and the US Open in late August, people like you and me who talk about tennis for a living, will talk the subject to death?
PAM SHRIVER:テつ Well, perhaps we might talk it to death, but why not?
First off, in Melbourne, for those of you awake early for ESPN's live broadcast, after Serena defeated Maria for the first leg of the calendar year Grand Slam, I actually asked her on the studio set, What do you think, this is your year to win the calendar year Grand Slam?テつ She dismissed it right away.テつ But you had a feeling, given a number of things, the way she's focusing on tennis at the age of 33, she has an amazing coach helping her, her competition, while it's great, it doesn't quite have the same strength of rivalries at No. 2 through 5 as some of the earlier years.
When you look at Serena Williams, why not?テつ She is an extraordinary athlete, and she embraces, like Billie Jean King, the biggest moments.
BRETT HABER:テつ Would you join me in thanking Pam Shriver for those insights?テつ Pam will be helping us host our Rolex dinner tonight.
I want to quickly bring up, former No.1 ranked American, Charlie Pasarell.
Charlie, I wanted to make sure I had you up here.テつ As many people know, your good friend and roommate at UCLA was the great Arthur Ashe.テつ The other day we celebrated the 40th anniversary of his Wimbledon win against Jimmy Connors.
Could you share with us what your time was like with Arthur after that title, how things changed, what he shared with you in the wake of all that.
CHARLIE PASARELL:テつ Well, Arthur as a tennis player in his career started way before that.テつ He won the first US Open in 1968.テつ So Arthur was already an established superstar in the sport.
But that match he played against Jimmy in the finals of Wimbledon in 1975 was an amazing match because Arthur was not supposed to win.テつ The odds were so much in favor of Jimmy.テつ Not only that, but Arthur employed a strategy that was just not very familiar to his style of play, hitting a lot of soft balls.テつ Arthur was a hard‑hitter.テつ The fact that he not only employed that strategy, but that it was successful, that he did it amazingly well, it was an incredible victory, the likes of which we haven't seen in the sport.
Arthur's accomplishments in the sport, we all know about them, but he went farther than the accomplishments on the tennis court.テつ He used his popularity as a tennis player, his superstar status, to do a lot more.
Arthur is not only a Hall of Famer in the sport of tennis, but in my opinion, and I put Billie Jean in the same category, they are really truly outstanding people who went far beyond what they did on the tennis court to help other people.テつ He's a superstar in life.
BRETT HABER:テつ Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.テつ I'm Brett Haber from Tennis Channel.テつ It is my distinct honor and pleasure to welcome you to the 2015 Rolex International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony here in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.
The honor of enshrinement into these hallowed halls is presented in recognition of the accomplishments of a player on the court or a contributor to the sport whose dedication and achievements have made a transcendent difference in the growth of tennis.
Enshrinement is the highest honor given in our sport.テつ Since 1954, this honor has been presented to just 243 individuals from just 21 nations.
In 1881, this Newport Casino hosted the first United States National Tennis Championships, now known of course as the US Open.テつ In 1954, Jimmy and Candy Van Alen secured the sanctioning of this beautiful facility by the USTA as the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame.
In 1975, individuals from the worldwide tennis community became eligible for enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Today we will honor several individuals with this highest honor.テつ Two extraordinary players, and one equally extraordinary contributor who exemplifies the greatest traditions of our sport:テつ perseverance, passion, integrity, athleticism and sportsmanship.テつ Their accomplishments both on and off the tennis court are the reason we are here and the reason the Hall of Fame exists and thrives as a living monument.
Very shortly three individuals will become Hall of Famers officially, a title bestowed on only the very best and the very few.
There are some very special guests seated here who come back to Newport to help us salute the class, many of them distinguished members of the Hall of Fame.テつ As I introduce them, help me in welcoming them back to their home away from home here at the Hall of Fame.
We will begin with a woman who is not just a tennis legend, not just a sporting legend, but an American legend.テつ She holds 39 Grand Slam titles, 12 singles, 16 doubles, 11 in mixed.テつ She won 129 singles titles in all.テつ Four Fed Cups as a player, four more as the United States captain.テつ Her role as a pioneer for quality, fair play and justice has made her one of America's most influential figures in any field over the past half century.
From the class of 1987, the great Billie Jean King.
Continuing with our Hall of Famers, he is the pioneering founder of wheelchair tennis as an internationally recognized sport, a three‑time Grand Slam champion, world No. 1, a gold medalist in the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona, from the class of 2010, Brad Parks.
He was a star at UCLA.テつ The U.S. No.1 in 1967.テつ One of the founding members of the ATP, the founder of the world class tournament that we all enjoy in Indian Wells, California, from the class of 2013, Charlie Pasarell.
He was a three‑time All‑American at Yale, a U.S. Davis Cup player and captain.テつ He helped establish the ATP and revolutionize the way athletes conduct business.テつ He is the vice chairman of the Hall of Fame, and a member of the class of 2009, Donald Dell.
She won 17 major doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals, one in '92, another in '96.テつ She won 69 career doubles titles and held the No.1 ranking in the world.テつ From the class of 2010, Gigi Fernandez.
She has dedicated her life to promoting this sport.テつ She was the chairman and president of the USTA, managing director of the WTA board, and the president of this International Tennis Hall of Fame, from last year's induction class, welcome home Jane Brown Grimes.
This Aussie won 11 mixed doubles major crowns, including the mixed slam in '67, from the class of 2010, Owen Davidson.
She won 21 Grand Slam doubles titles, to go with 21 tour‑level singles titles, from the class of 2002, Pam Shriver.
She was the inaugural leader of the WTA and one of the most influential administrators in women's tennis history, from the class of 2011, Peachy Kellmeyer.
She was a five‑time Wimbledon doubles champion, twice a singles finalist, from the class of 1994, Rosie Casals.
Finally, celebrating the 61st anniversary of his championship sweep at the 1954 U.S. Nationals, he was also the Wimbledon champion in 1953, a five‑time Grand Slam doubles winner, star player and captain for the United States Davis Cup team, from the class of 1971, the great Vic Seixas.
A round of applause for all of our returning Hall of Famers.
Somehow we have forgotten the president of the Hall of Fame, a US Open champion, American legend, Davis Cup winner, captain, Olympic coach, and our leader of this institution, how about it for Stan Smith.
I'd also like to take a moment to recognize the family and special friends of the class of 2015.テつ Throughout the years they have supported and encouraged the tennis dreams that have brought our class to this stage.テつ I would like the families and special friends of our class to stand up so that we might recognize and thank all of you.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, it's my sincere pleasure to welcome to the podium the chairman of the board of the Hall of Fame.テつ He is a tireless promoter of this beautiful campus and the mission of preserving tennis history, inspiring juniors, and celebrating the legends of tennis.テつ Welcome my friend, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Christopher Clouser.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Good afternoon, everyone.テつ Welcome.
I want to thank Brett for being our emcee.テつ He's doing a number of things for the Hall of Fame, which we appreciate.
Before we begin today, I'd like to recognize a very important group to this International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ These individuals are actually the backbone of our organization and they give so much in so many ways.テつ Largely without being asked, and they are just terrific people.テつ They made this the one and only International Tennis Hall of Fame, and it has grown into a marvelous institution because of them.
Their dedication to the preservation and history of the sport of tennis is unparalleled.テつ The Hall of Fame has grown and flourished because of this commitment, with Rhode Island, the city of Newport, the Hall of Fame staff, the ATP, Mark Young is represented here, the WTA with Peach and Stacey Allaster, the ITF, and other Grand Slams.
Please help me in welcoming the board of directors for the Tennis Hall of Fame.
This institution benefited greatly for over 30 years being led by Mark Stenning.テつ You probably heard the former world No.4 tennis player, head of the players council, one of the most respected people on the tour, became the CEO.テつ His wife Amy and his children are here.テつ They are Newport residents.
Please welcome the CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Mr. Todd Martin.
I think it's only appropriate to acknowledge Grand Slam champions.テつ We have a new director of tennis.テつ He was the 1980 Wimbledon mixed doubles champion with somebody else by the name of Austin.テつ Please welcome John Austin.
Then there's a wonderful champion who happened to be the 2013 Wimbledon singles champion.テつ We are delighted here today to have Marion Bartoli.
A journalist, a friend, one of the great people in the world of tennis, the 1989 French Open doubles champion, Patrick McEnroe.
Before I begin, just a moment please.テつ For the last three years, we led by Ed Woolard, we have been in the business of raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ $14.9 million has been raised.テつ Because of the Executive Committee and others, there was a new tennis building, three new indoor courts.テつ Next to it in September, we will be opening the new administration building.
Next winter all you in the south stands over there will enjoy permanent, brand‑new seating.テつ This will be completely redone.テつ Behind me in the west stands, these will be redone.テつ The brand‑new entrance to the Hall of Fame, which will be ready for the tournament next year.
I want to thank a ton of contributors.テつ Over 150 have contributed their money.テつ They have been terrific partners with the city of Newport and the state of Rhode Island.テつ I can't thank you enough for all those contributions.テつ Please join me in thanking Ed Woolard, the chairman, please.
For over 60 years, International Tennis Hall of Fame has preserved the history of the sport and every day continues to honor the legacies of individuals who embody its most important traditions.
Over the past few years we've honored Hall of Famers from around the world with a gold ring to commemorate their induction.テつ Today, as Brett said, we are absolutely thrilled to present a true legend of the sport, her ring.テつ She made a point to say, I'll do this for the Hall of Fame.テつ 39‑time tournament champion, impactful leader on and off the tennis court in the world.テつ To honor both Billie Jean and this year's inductees from the United States of America, Nancy Jeffett, Billie Jean King, would you please rise for the Star Spangled Banner.
To help us in our presentation today, I'm very pleased to have two of Billie Jean King's very favorite people.テつ By the way, world champion tennis partners with whom she captured 16 doubles and mixed doubles titles.テつ Please welcome Hall of Famers Rosie Casals and Owen Davidson.
ROSIE CASALS:テつ It's always nice to be here in Newport, Hall of Fame weekend, to be able to honor my friend because I wasn't here when she was inducted.
I am proud to be a part of today's ceremonies, as well as with Owen Davidson, and to say a few words about my favorite doubles partner and friend Billie Jean.
You're someone who has been and is special in my life, and for sure to many others, as well.テつ We first met when I was about 13 years old, and played doubles against you and Carole Caldwell Graebner at the Berkeley Tennis Club during the Pacific coast tournament.テつ My partner and I lost to you in two close sets and gave you a run for your money.テつ Little did I know then that I would be winning Wimbledon with you as my partner.
Somewhere around that time, I tagged you with the nickname of 'Old Lady', and now we are (laughter).テつ We shared times together on and off the court fighting for equal prize money and recognition for women's tennis, establishing the Virginia Slims tour and the Women's Tennis Association in 1973.テつ We were in our prime and they were exciting times to share with you, but most importantly I'm happy we were able to share a special friendship that has remained constant and has endured the passing of time.
Those who have come to know you value that friendship as I do.テつ You have made a difference in the lives you've touched and the things you've done.テつ I am one of those recipients.テつ That's the person I would like people to know and to share with everybody, to celebrate, in addition to all of your accomplishments, your tennis career, and as an advocate for women and social change.
They say friends are like stars.テつ You may not see them all the time, but they're always there.テつ To a very special friend and star, congratulations on receiving your beautiful Hall of Fame ring.
Now, Owen.
OWEN DAVIDSON:テつ Thanks, Rosie.
First of all, congratulations to the 2015 class.テつ I want to tell Billie Jean this is a huge honor for me, and Rosie I'm sure, to be invited to come and be present when she gets her ring.
Nobody in the world, man or woman, deserves a Hall of Fame ring more than Billie Jean.
In my limelight, if Jimmy Van Alen was the founder of this wonderful Hall of Fame, a gentleman by the name of Herman David, who you may not know, some will know, was the chairman of the All England Club when I was the tennis director there, he and he alone just about initiated Open tennis in 1968.
As great as their feats were, and the effort they put into the game, I don't think anybody did as much for the game, and outside the game, as Billie Jean, who can be considered the mother of all tennis, not just women's tennis, but men's tennis.テつ None of us would be here today, I don't believe, without the contribution that Billie Jean made.
I know she did make a big effort to come here today with TeamTennis going on.テつ We all should be appreciative.テつ I hope we are.
I'll tell a quick Billie Jean story.テつ She probably doesn't remember it.テつ I think it was in 1973, I'm not really sure on the dates these days.テつ We were playing mixed at Wimbledon.テつ In those days, Wimbledon was not played on the Sunday.テつ It finished on the Saturday.テつ It was an extremely wet Wimbledon.テつ When they had a wet Wimbledon in those days, obviously didn't have a roof, mixed doubles was kind of pushed to the back of the schedule, as it probably should be.
I don't think we even played our first match till sometime early in the second week, let alone the first week.テつ We played a couple of matches, and Billie Jean was playing in the singles, doubles with Rosie.テつ She won both.テつ The finals were played on the Saturday, with no tennis to be played on the Sunday.
Billie Jean won the singles on the Saturday afternoon, then the doubles with Rosie on the Saturday afternoon.テつ It was about 7:00 at night.テつ I was in the Wimbledon men's locker room.テつ Obviously on the finals day, there was nobody else there.テつ Everybody was gone except the locker room attendant and me.テつ I was waiting for the call at 7:00 to say, Thanks, but Billie Jean won the singles and doubles, is very tired, we will probably have to withdraw from the mixed.テつ I was quite prepared to do that.
Sure enough I got a call from the referee's office.テつ He was yelling at me down the phone, said Billie Jean was waiting for me on Court No.1 to play the quarterfinals of the mixed.テつ In the quarterfinals of the mixed, we had to play Jan Kodes, who at the time was a Wimbledon champion, and a young Martina Navratilova, who later on became Martina Navratilova (laughter).
Billie Jean knew a lot about Martina.テつ I didn't know much.テつ To make a long story short, Billie Jean won that match.テつ Billie Jean won that match.テつ The next day Wimbledon opened up the club on the Sunday to the fans at no charge, and we started our semifinal match at 12 noon, which she won again.テつ We took a little rest, and we played the final.テつ The crowd appreciated it.テつ She won the final.
I think that tells you a little bit about Billie Jean King.テつ I doubt very seriously if you'd find too many of the players of today who would do the same thing.テつ I believe not that long ago, Steffi Graf I think withdrew from the mixed.
A typical Billie Jean story, one that I like to tell.テつ As she said, there was no way she was going to withdraw, they would have to stop her from playing.
Billie Jean has been a fantastic friend, a great supporter.テつ As I say, nobody deserves to wear a Hall of Fame ring more than Billie Jean King.テつ I really appreciate Billie Jean King and we should all appreciate her.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ They were reliving the match for a moment.
Billie Jean, on behalf of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the board of directors, the Executive Committee, it is my honor to present you your commemorative Hall of Fame ring indicating your induction in the Hall of Fame.
Congratulations.
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ Wow, it's wonderful to be here and share this moment with all of you here in TV land, and also to Rosie and Dave O, you can see why I was the smartest player ever, because I got the best doubles players to play with me.テつ They always made me look really good.
Dave O's story, we were trying to figure out if it was true or not.テつ It was true.テつ It was in 24 hours I had to play those five matches.
Before Wimbledon had formed the Women's Tennis Association, which took many years to happen, with help from Rosie lobbying to get all the top players, get everybody on the same page, to form our association, the same as the men did in 1972.テつ I wanted us to be together, the men did not want us, so we went off to PlanB.
We both survived and flourished, but it was very tumultuous times, very scary times.テつ As I can say as one of the leaders, it was a very lonely and difficult time, but I knew it was worth it.テつ I could envision the future for the WTA, that any girl that was born in this world, if she were good enough, she would have a place to compete, she would be recognized and appreciated, and we'd be able to make a living.
When you come from the amateur days of making $14 a day, I think you all can appreciate making a living was very important to us, to be able to do what we passionately loved, and still make a living.
So that was our dream for the WTA.テつ I think that goal has been accomplished so far.テつ Women's tennis is the number one women's sport in the world.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Billie Jean, you are celebrating, everybody is celebrating the anniversary of World TeamTennis.
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ Thank you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ You have a large contingent of younger players this year, kind of the emerging future tennis stars.テつ Can you tell us about World TeamTennis a little bit.
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ It is our 40th anniversary.テつ We're really lucky because there's only four other leagues which made it to 40.テつ They're the big guys.テつ We're the little guys on the block.テつ We've now joined baseball, football, basketball and hockey.テつ I'm really proud of that for our sport.
One thing I always talk about is developing your game.テつ One of the things that happens to young players is they get caught up in getting points and money.テつ If they get better and develop their game, the other two will fall into place.
One thing with World TeamTennis is you have to play every night.テつ Just like every other sport, whether you win or lose, you have to go back and play.テつ In tournament tennis, you have a long time to wait till you play the next match.
It teaches you to focus, it teaches you to develop, and it teaches you leadership in supportive roles.テつ If you watch a TeamTennis match, you've seen my philosophy, men and women working together.
A couple young ones I'd like to point out, Madison Keys, playing for the SanDiego Aviators this year.テつ A wonderful year.テつ She played for the Freedoms when she was 15.テつ I've known her for a long time.テつ She's so fortunate to have Lindsay Davenport and Jon Leach, who are married, to have them helping her.
She's one of the nicest people.テつ She's powerful.テつ You have to be powerful today usually to be the best.テつ She loves to play.テつ Her passion to play is going to carry her through.テつ But she's one of the nicest people.
I always cheer for the nice ones.テつ I like kids who are really nice to others when they come off the court, that they want to contribute, not just be a winner on the court.テつ I want them to be champions in life.テつ That's who she is.
Another young one you might enjoy who is playing for SanDiego is Taylor Fritz, who is the No.1 junior in the world now.テつ John Lloyd, he is hilarious.テつ He is the coach of that team.テつ Those two kids I would say are really fun to watch.テつ I think you'd really enjoy them.
Fritz Taylor's mother is Kathy May, who played on the tour with Rosie and me.テつ His father is Guy Fritz, who also played some on the tour.テつ He comes from a lineage of tennis players.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ You've received the highest honor in the land, highest citizen's honor in the land, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.テつ What has it meant to you?
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ Well, in case you don't know what it is, it's the highest civilian award you can get in the United States.テつ When I was told that I was going to receive the Medal of Freedom, I couldn't believe it, although I know that Arthur Ashe had received it.テつ I think the first tennis player.テつ I think he received it posthumously, though, which made me sad.テつ I wish Arthur were here today.テつ He did win Wimbledon in 1975.テつ I won it, too.テつ We both won it the same year.テつ It was so great to dance with him at the Wimbledon ball.テつ We both wore our afros together.テつ His was real and mine was a perm.テつ But I teased him when we were dancing about it.
The reason I wore my afro that year is the media did not pick up on it, because there were none of color that were there.テつ But at that time there was a big saying at the time, Black is beautiful.テつ People of color were starting to believe in themselves and like themselves better.テつ I loved it.テつ So that was my statement.
The media never caught on.テつ But the people of color did.テつ I appreciate they understood what I was doing.
But to win the Medal of Freedom meant much to me.テつ I was the first woman athlete, and also because of the LGBT community, he's the first president that's said LGBT, gay or anything, and I really thank him for that.テつ But it was a special moment for me to be with the president of the United States and receive the Medal of Freedom.
My whole life passed in front of me because I really won that medal for everyone that had touched my life, from my parents, to my brother, to my coaches, to my teachers, to the people who took a chance to promote our sport when it's a high‑risk thing to do.テつ To everyone who touched my life, Reverend Bob Richards, all the teachers I had in school that made a difference to me.
As I was receiving this award, they were talking about me, all I could think about is the only reason I'm there is because of everybody else, because you never do it alone.テつ Relationships are everything.テつ I really knew then that all these people are the reasons that I've had my life and will continue to have my life.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ So you got to tour the new museum.テつ What do you think?
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ I was here before when you added the WTA wing, I don't know, a few years ago.テつ But it is fantastic.テつ There's a lot of interactive things which is much better for the young people.テつ That's what they like.テつ It's really keeping up with the times.
All the new things, the way it's planned, from the architecture point of view, the planning of it, walking through it, it's so exciting.テつ Like Roger Federer's hologram, if you haven't been through it, take your children.テつ I got to see Suzanne Lenglen, who was the first superstar in our sport, who was my first super shero, I call women shero and men hero.
I want to thank Ed and Peggy for your dear friendship to Ilana and me.テつ I can't thank Chris enough.テつ You're the chair of the board.テつ I want to wish Todd Martin luck in his new position as CEO.テつ You have wonderful ideas and visions for the International Hall of Fame.テつ I hope most of your vision comes true and thank you to the executive people who make the heavy decisions.
Anyway, if you haven't seen it, you need to see it because it does represent the entire world, the International Hall of Fame.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ A dear friend of yours, Nancy Jeffett, is about to be inducted.テつ Do you want to talk about her for a minute.
BILLIE JEAN KING:テつ Nancy Jeffett has been such a force, particularly in women's tennis.テつ First of all, she's carried on the legacy of Maureen Connolly Brinker, who was the first woman to win all four majors in the same year back in the '50s.テつ I had the privilege of hitting against Maureen Connolly when I was 15.テつ I'll never forget it.
I want to thank Nancy also for taking a huge risk back in 1972, I think, started the Virginia Slims of Dallas as part of the Virginia Slims tour.テつ You have no idea.テつ We had nothing, nothing.テつ It was a blank piece of paper in 1970 when nine of us signed a $1 contract.
We had no infrastructure, nothing.テつ People like Nancy stepped up, gave us an opportunity to make a livelihood.テつ She has been such a force throughout.テつ She's been involved with Fed Cup.テつ She's given her life to our sport and the people in our sport.テつ I can't thank you enough because I always remember you took a risk for us.テつ You know what, very few people do that in a lifetime.テつ God bless you, well done.
Dave, I want to congratulate you for being inducted today.テつ Brad, it's great to see you, as well.テつ We're a great sport.テつ I call them the wheelies.テつ You have to be part of it.テつ I want to congratulate you for all you've done and all you will continue to probably do.
But winning the gold in Australia must have been so much fun for you.テつ So congratulations.テつ We're very lucky to have you.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Billie Jean King.
Ladies and gentlemen, the first member of the class of 2015 is Amテδゥlie Mauresmo.テつ As you know, Amテδゥlie cannot travel here today.テつ Unfortunately she can't be with us.テつ But she's having a baby very, very soon.テつ Amテδゥlie is being inducted as part of the class of 2015 and will be honored here today by the president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Stan Smith.テつ In honor of Amテδゥlie, would you please stand for the French national anthem.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Stan Smith.
STAN SMITH:テつ Thank you, Chris.テつ That was great.テつ I wish I hadn't slept through my French classes.
Amテδゥlie will be here next year, but we want to celebrate her this year as she's in the class of 2015.
Descriptions of Amテδゥlie include powerful, elegant, efficient, aggressive, filled with finesse, a complete player.テつ She was known for her powerful one‑handed backhand.テつ She could hit top, slice, she could dropshot.テつ She had remarkable net play, tactically strong, very smart.
She held the No.1 ranking for 39 weeks and was the first French player to be ranked No.1 in the Open era.テつ She won a silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and in 2005 she won the WTA Tour Championships.テつ 2006 she was the singles champion in Australia and Wimbledon, defeating Justine Henin.
She was a finalist in 1999 in the Australian Open where she was unseeded and scored upsets over three seeded players, including Lindsay Davenport, to earn her spot in the final.テつ In total she won 25 singles titles and compiled a career singles record of 545 against 227 losses.
Amテδゥlie is a dedicated member of the French Fed Cup team and holds the record for the most singles wins with an impressive 30‑9 record.テつ She helped the French team win the Fed Cup in 2003.テつ In 2012 she became the captain of the French Fed Cup team.
Since retirement, you may be aware she's coaching a young player from England named Andy Murray.テつ She has coached Michael Llodra, Victoria Azarenka, and Marion Bartoli.
When Amテδゥlie was told of her inclusion in the 2015 class, she said, It's an extraordinary honor to have my career celebrated alongside the greatest champions of our sport, people who I have admired so greatly all of my life.
Well, Amテδゥlie, we are happy to celebrate with you here today.テつ Thank you very much.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Now to speak on behalf of and help introduce and induct Nancy Jeffett, I'm pleased to ask Pam Shriver to join me at the podium.
PAM SHRIVER:テつ Thanks very much, Chris.テつ Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
When I was called a few months ago and asked to present Nancy Jeffett today, the kids and I knew where our first stop of our summer vacation would be:テつ Newport.
Nancy is most deserving of this honor.テつ To be elected as a contributor and therefore today enshrined into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for a lifetime of wonderful tennis achievements and contributions.
There are a few contributions I especially want to focus on and recognize as extraordinary and game‑changing, and have occurred for over a half a century.
Nancy is a lifetime contributor, earning today's induction because of her early risk‑taking as a WTA promoter, even before there was a WTA.テつ Her co‑founding of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation, now memorializing her great friend, Maureen Connolly Brinker, Nancy's legacy today continues through the foundation that helps develop and support junior tennis players worldwide.
The event that touched my career the most was the Virginia Slims of Dallas.テつ Nancy's willingness to risk being a WTA Tour tournament owner starting in the early years of women's professional tennis, the WTA Tour today where players from 92 nations are competing for over $130 million in prize money and play for quality in all four major events, to Serena Williams leading all tennis players this year in prize money, is in no small part due to her groundbreaking work.
It was laid by a group of pioneering promoters over 40 years ago.テつ This group was led by Nancy Jeffett.
At the WTA Tour, Peachy Kellmeyer, Hall of Fame class of 2011, was an especially strong partner and friend to Nancy during all the years of the Virginia Slims of Dallas.テつ Nancy's determined work over decades towards preserving the name and memory of her tennis partner and great friend, Maureen Connolly Brinker, has been vital.
Maureen was one of our greatest sports gems and winner of the first calendar year Grand Slam by a woman.テつ Little Mo was USA's first teenage tennis phenom.テつ My mom played Little Mo in SanDiego about 70 years ago.テつ My mom doesn't remember the name of the tournament, but she remembers the score:テつ 6‑Love, 6‑Love.
The Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation created by Nancy in Little Mo's honor and with Maureen's help starting in 1968, then was continued since on June 21st, 1969, the sad date of Maureen's passing, and today is still in Little Mo's memory.
The foundation helps developing junior tennis players by encouraging fair play and the joy of competing in tennis.テつ The MCB Foundation also stages important junior competitive events that are held annually with style and fun, similar to how the Virginia Slims of Dallas was promoted.
When I was 16 years of age, I played in the MCB Cup, USA versus Great Britain.テつ Today we are good friends of a family in LosAngeles who just finished playing in a Little Mo event.テつ I can't wait for my kids to play in a Little Mo event.
The Virginia Slims of Dallas played in Moody Coliseum established itself as the most popular indoor event of its time in the United States because of the great crowds and the amazing Nancy Jeffett style of hospitality.
She risked her own money, putting her money Texas style right where her mouth was, and it all worked wonderfully.
Women's tennis players got to compete in one of America's great sporting and social cities, Dallas, and play before huge crowds, knowing that proceeds from the event would return to the MCB and be invested back into junior tennis develop.
In the '70s, '80s and early '90s, playing in Dallas each spring was a highlight.テつ In 1978, in the Virginia Slims of Dallas, for the first time as a 15‑year‑old amateur, it was just my third pro event.テつ It was a special week for the tournament, as for the first time I reached the semifinals alongside two other amateur players, now Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, we were the same age, 15, and also Dallas' own Anne Smith, who was just a couple years older and in high school.
What that meant was that Evonne Goolagong Cawley was the only professional playing.テつ Do you know what that meant for the foundation?テつ A lot more money back into the foundation so they could develop more junior tennis players and more great events.テつ That was my first time to Dallas.
Obviously Nancy had an incredible amount of friends and family to help her put on all that she put on.テつ I especially want to thank my host family in Dallas for all those years, Lucy and Ralph Belknap (phonetic) and their daughters Laura and Kate.テつ They're here today, and I just want to apologize for my messy guest room for all those years I played in Dallas.
Nancy relied on her extraordinary network of family and friends in assisting and accomplishing all that she quarterbacked.テつ Her late husband and life partner Frank was a true gentleman.テつ I can see him in his tweed short coat and welcoming smile.テつ Their daughter Sissy is also a huge supporter all things her mom has worked on in tennis, and her son, Dr. William Jeffett, incredible professional in the art world, are here today, as well as her grandkids.テつ Maureen's friends and family are here, including Brenda and Cindy.
As I begin to close and turn it over to Nancy, an event that I want to briefly mention was an event that Nancy chaired in 1965.テつ It was a Davis Cup tie in Dallas, a team led by Arthur Ashe.テつ Nancy's decision to play the Davis Cup tie in a public park, where all people black and white could come see Arthur play.テつ This move to a public facility foreshadowed the movement later by both tennis and golf to hold major events at public facilities.テつ Like the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.
Nancy made an everlasting contribution to the community of women's professional tennis by being a risk‑taking innovator, promoting women's professional tennis.テつ Nancy is one of the most respected citizens in the global tennis community.
Nancy was invited to join the all England Tennis Club, aka Wimbledon, and was a long time Fed Cup chair and USTA volunteer.テつ She deserves this not for a couple of outstanding contributions over a few years, but for an extraordinary commitment and a body of work to make women's tennis, pro tennis, junior tennis and global tennis bigger, better and stronger.
Today at the Hall of Fame in Newport, we come together in a circle to welcome with joy and gratitude Nancy Pearce Jeffett into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, class of 2015.テつ Thank you, Nancy.
NANCY JEFFETT:テつ Thank you.テつ There's not much more I can say.テつ An awful lot has already been said.
I appreciate you all being here today.テつ I've had an extraordinary life with tennis.テつ I continue to, even though I can't walk these days.テつ I'm planning on having a lot more influence on tennis.テつ It's been a real love of the game that has brought me to this situation.
Anyway, thank you all for being here and I love you.テつ Take care.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Nancy, on behalf of the board of directors and the Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, it is my honor to present you this certificate that signifies your induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame July 18th, 2015.テつ Congratulations.
NANCY JEFFETT:テつ Thank you.テつ Thank you very much.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ Now to honor our recent player inductee in the wheelchair tennis category, I'd like you to please stand for the Australian national anthem.
To present David Hall, we're pleased to have David's long time mentor, coach, best friend.テつ Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rich Berman.
RICH BERMAN:テつ Thank you, Chris.
I can't tell you what a privilege and honor it is for me to be here today.テつ I'd like to thank the enshrinee nomination committee, Stan Smith that's chairman, and the other members today for their outstanding contributions to tennis.テつ I meant to say the another inductees.テつ I'm a little nervous.テつ Please excuse me.
I want to invite you to go back in time with me.テつ It is 1994.テつ An icy, cold, snowy day in Boulder, Colorado.テつ The door slowly opens to my tennis school.テつ It's David Hall barely pushing his wheelchair through the door.テつ He is shaking.テつ His eyes are bloodshot.テつ His face is covered in icicles, and he is exhausted.テつ No wonder, he just pushed his chair four miles through the snow to train with me.テつ This is David Hall, the quiet champion.
In the 12 years that followed, I could tell you of many more stories of his unfailing dedication to tennis.テつ But please indulge me as I tell you just one more.
It is a few weeks before the 1996 Paralympics.テつ We had been working non‑stop.テつ However, while working out at the gym, David injured his arm so badly, the orthopedic surgeon that we saw insisted he should withdraw from the '96 Games, since his ruptured bicep tendon could be a career‑ending injury.
That night after dinner, I sheepishly looked at David and sadly said, Well, mate, it looks like we're going to have to sit this one out.
David stared intensely at me and said, I'm playing.テつ My mates are counting on me, and so is Tennis Australia.
I still remember this like it was yesterday.
So I learned to wrap his arm, and it was PT every day until the games.テつ David had to change his style of play to be more aggressive so he could end points quickly.テつ And, yes, as you imagined, he won bronze in singles and a silver in doubles.
So here I am, the luckiest of coaches introducing my friend and hero to you and to the Hall of Fame.テつ Many champions have been here and many more will come, but none with a bigger heart, none who played the game harder, none more fair or more noble.
I have to say that in addition to the three times I was told I was a father, this moment is my proudest (tearing up).
David Hall, my mentor, six‑time world champion, gold medalist, eight‑time US Open winner, devoted friend, wheelchair tennis ambassador, I could go on and on.テつ David, before I embarrass both of us anymore, come on up here.テつ Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.
DAVID HALL:テつ Thank you, that's very kind.テつ Thank you so much to Rich.テつ I'm crying already.
I remember the first time I picked up a tennis racquet.テつ I was 12 years old.テつ Now here I am 33 years later and I'm being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.テつ Could I ever have imagined on that day as a 12‑year‑old that I would be here today?テつ Honestly, no.
In my journey, I felt so many different emotions.テつ The emotion I feel today is grateful, grateful that I was being given this incredible honor and grateful that the people who helped me are here today to share in this moment.
My mate Brownie was the first person I ever hit with.テつ He was a fellow sports nut.テつ We were on the tennis courts in Budgewoi, a small coastal town in Australia.テつ The year was 1982.テつ The big guns at the time were Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.テつ They were winning slams.テつ My favorite was Lendl because I liked his topspin backhand, and Brownie was a Wilander fan for his hang‑in‑there‑mentality and all‑around game.
We were running around the courts, pretending we were playing Grand Slam finals, copying our heros.テつ I dried my racquet with sawdust, like Lendl.テつ Brownie would give me the vic salute after he won the point.テつ I remember those days like they were yesterday.テつ It was so much fun that nothing outside that tennis court seemed to matter.テつ We were free, laughing, and carrying on.テつ That's where my love of tennis began.
I had another beginning of sorts years later as a teenager.テつ I thought the hitchhiking accident which cost me my legs and almost my life had robbed me of tennis, but I was wrong.
After reading in a local newspaper about Terry Mason, a local wheelchair tennis player, I was intrigued and hopeful.テつ If this guy can play tennis from a wheelchair, maybe I can, too.
My first time on court seemed more challenging than fun.テつ I was slow and hit the back fence more times than I can count.テつ But it stoked something inside me which would drive me for years to come.
Through those early days, after my accident, tennis was like a long‑lost friend who had come back to me.テつ Through all the turmoil my life had become, tennis was giving me comfort, something to look forward to, was opening doors for me I never knew existed.テつ It was sending me places I'd never been, and giving me chances to meet people I would never have met.テつ It was creating structure in a world that had none.
As the wheelchair tennis tour took off, I knew deep down I had to ride this wave.テつ I had to at least give myself a chance to see where it could take me.テつ I had to be all in.
Tennis was giving me this opportunity.テつ If I didn't grasp it with everything I had, I didn't want to regret it later on.
My first overseas tournament was the Japan Open, a wonderful mix of new experiences and old‑world charm.テつ I saw the final of that tournament, Randy Snow and Laurent Giomartini were playing at a level that inspired me.テつ The rallies, the drama, the crowd cheering.テつ I wanted what they had, I wanted to be them.
My first US Open, the Racquet Club of Irvine, the place where the history of the sport was unfolding before my very eyes.テつ It gave me more inspiration.テつ Meeting Brad Parks, the founder of our sport.テつ His words, his encouragement spurred me on.テつ Tennis was giving me dreams that at the time seemed so far away but yet a remote possibility, a dream to be No.1, a dream to win the US Open, and a dream to win a gold medal for Australia.
I moved to Boulder, Colorado.テつ Although I didn't know it at the time, it turned out to be the best move I ever made.テつ Maybe it was meant to be or written in the stars.テつ Whatever it was, it changed the course of my life.
I met Rich Berman.テつ He was a tennis coach.テつ But to me he was much more than that.テつ He was generous, he was kind, and he sacrificed so much to help me chase my dreams.テつ He embraced me and brought me into his home, made me feel welcome.
The Bermans became my Boulder family.テつ Lynn, our movie nights.テつ Wrestling on the floor with Laura.テつ Talking music with Brett or basketball with Brian.テつ MissEllie and her lemon cake.テつ I'll always cherish those moments.
Rich would offer encouragement, advice, and through it all with a sense of humor that took a while to get used to.テつ He would sing in the car on the way to practice, out of tune I might add.テつ I would teach him Australian slang, Don't come the raw prawn with me, (indiscernible), which are phrases I barely understand.
Rich would say, It's time to do some pushing.テつ I would push my chair to the end of Willow Creek Drive, to the dog that wanted a go at me.テつ I'd reach the end of the street and I'd look over to the snow‑capped Rocky Mountains and allow myself to dream what it would be like to win the US Open.
Rich always knew the right thing to say.テつ As I'm waiting in the change rooms before the gold medal match at the Sydney Paralympics, the biggest match of my life, he said to me, No matter what happens out there, I'm proud of you.
You changed the course of my career and changed my life, and for that I'll be forever grateful.
As we all know, behind every man is a better woman.テつ For me that was Leslie.テつ I'll be first to admit, she's smarter and better looking than I.テつ She rode the rollercoaster with me through all the twists and the turns.テつ She would be the first to kiss me after a win and console me after a loss.テつ She would wish on a star in the night sky that I would win that gold medal in Sydney and fill my tennis bag with good luck charms.
I confided in her all my fears and doubts since she supported me every step of the way.テつ I could not be here without her.
Tennis has given me more than I could ever repay.テつ It took me in directions I never imagined.テつ Tea with our prime minister, hitting balls with the Prince of Brunei, and meeting movie stars in Monaco.テつ It took me to faraway lands, forging friendships, and experiencing different cultures.テつ It gave me a purpose, a direction, it filled me up when I needed it and rewarded me with great joy when I worked for it.
I never dreamed I could be as successful as I was.テつ When people recite my career stats, I still find it hard to comprehend.テつ I had goals and worked as hard as I could to reach them.テつ I don't think of myself as special or extraordinary, I'm just a kid from Budgewoi who loved to hit balls that was blessed to be surrounded by great people.
Finally to mum, dad, Kristen.テつ I'm lucky to have you.テつ I couldn't have done this without you.テつ Congrats to Amテδゥlie, Nancy, and thank you to the International Tennis Hall of Fame for this tremendous honor.
CHRISTOPHER CLOUSER:テつ On behalf of the board of directors and Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, congratulations.
So Amテδゥlie, Nancy and David, you've now received the highest honor in the game of tennis.テつ In acknowledgment of these accomplishments both on and off the court, I'd like to ask each of you and each of our Hall of Famers to follow the class of 2015 in commemoration of their accomplishments for their victory lap around the center court, please.
On behalf of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I'd like to congratulate our Hall of Famers.テつ I'd like to thank our sponsor Rolex for making today possible, to each of you attending or watching around the world.テつ Good day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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