The International Tennis Hall of Fame today made official the announcement of the 2007 Hall of Fame ballot nominees. In their first year of eligibility, Pete Sampras, winner of a record 14 Grand Slam singles championships,
and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, the first Spanish woman to win the US Open (1994), have been nominated in the Recent Player category.
Sven Davidson, the first Swede to win a Grand Slam championship (French Championships, 1957) and Christine Truman Janes, winner of the French Singles Championships in 1959, are nominated in the Master Player category. Nominated in the Contributor category are Russ Adams, known as the“Dean” of tennis photographyand Dr. Robert Johnson, responsible for launching the careers of world tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the nation's first African-American tennis champions.
“I am very pleased to announce the selection of these accomplished individuals on our 2007 ballot,” said Tony Trabert, President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. “While the next step is the induction voting process, I think it’s fair to say that it will be another special and exciting weekend in Newport next summer when we honor the Hall of Fame Class of 2007.”
The announcement of the official 2007 induction class will occur in January and the Class of 2007 Induction Ceremony will be held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island on Saturday, July 14.
Recent Player Nominees (2)
held the world No. 1 ranking for a record 286 weeks, including a streak of 102 weeks between April 15, 1996 and March 30, 1998. Sampras was ranked in the World Top 10 for 12 straight years, holding the year-end No. 1 ranking a record six consecutive years (1993-98). His singles win-loss record is an impressive 762-222, with a 203-38 record in grand slam events. In his 15-year career he captured 64 singles titles and reached the final in 24 additional tournaments.
He amassed 14 Grand Slam singles championships: seven Wimbledon singles titles, two Australian Open titles, and five US Open singles titles; his last and final appearance as an ATP pro was at the 2002 US Open, where as the No. 17 seed, he won the tournament. Only the title at Roland Garros eluded him during his career. He was honored as the ATP Player of the Year from 1993 to 1998, a record six consecutive years. He won the ATP World Championships five times (1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999) - a record he shares with Ivan Lendl. Sampras also remains the all-time leader in total career prize money, earning over $43 million.
In Davis Cup action, Sampras was a U.S. team member for eight years (1991-2; 1994-5; 1997; 1999-00; 2002; winning the Cup in 1992 and 1995. His Davis Cup record stands at 19-9 (15-8 in singles, 4-1 in doubles). Although Sampras officially retired from tournament tennis after the 2002 US Open, he returned to tennis in the summer of 2006 to play World Team Tennis for the Newport Beach Breakers.
Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario was born in Barcelona and became one of the leading ladies in Spanish tennis. She captured three singles championships at Roland Garros (1989, 1994, 1998) and became the first Spanish woman to win the US Open singles crown (1994). In total she captured 14 titles in Grand Slam events: four singles, six doubles and four mixed doubles. In a career spanning 16 years, she accumulated 29 career singles titles and 67 doubles titles.
She was ranked in the World Top 10 for 11 years with a career win-loss record of 759-295. She is a former World No. 1 ranked player, holding the top spot for twelve weeks. She was the first Spanish player to reach the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles, and additionally held the No. 1 spot simultaneously in singles and doubles (February 13, 1995), one of only four women to achieve that feat.
Sanchez-Vicario was a standout on Spain’s Fed Cup team. She played for 16 years and was a significant force in all five of Spain’s Fed Cup winning teams (1991, 1993-95, 1998). As part of the most successful Fed Cup country in the last ten years, Sanchez-Vicario compiled a 72-28 record in 58 career ties. In doubles with Conchita Martinez, the duo had an 18-3 record, including a three set victory over Gigi Fernandez and Zina Garrison to lead Spain to their first ever Fed Cup Championship in 1991.
In 2001 Sanchez-Vicario and Martinez were presented with the inaugural Fed Cup Award of Excellence bestowed by the International Tennis Federation and International Tennis Hall of Fame, recognizing the importance of Fed Cup and honoring the individuals who represent the ideals and spirit of international competition. Sanchez-Vicario also captured four medals at the Olympics; singles bronze and doubles silver in 1992; singles silver and bronze doubles in 1996. She is the most decorated Olympian representing Spain.
Master Player Nominees (2)
Sven Davidson was born July 13, 1928 and became Sweden’s junior champion in 1947. He became the first Swede to win a Grand Slam championship (French Championships, 1957). Davidson was the prominent Swedish singles champion from 1950 through 1960, prior to the reign of Bjorn Borg (Hall of Fame 1987). Davidson was ranked in the World Top 10 as an amateur for 6 years (1953-58), earning the world No. 3 ranking in 1957. He was a finalist three consecutive years at the French Championships, claiming that major title in 1957.
He also captured the Wimbledon Doubles Championships in 1958 (with partner Ulf Schmidt). Davidson was a member of Sweden’s Davis Cup team from 1950-61 with a win-loss record of 62-23 (39-14 in singles; 23-9 in doubles). He still holds Sweden’s record for most Davis Cup doubles match wins. After his playing career, Davidson went on to cover tennis for Swedish TV (1960-64).
He was instrumental in the creation of the Stockholm Open in 1969, the first tournament in Northern Europe with official prize money. He chaired the tournament’s Committee on Management from 1969-1972, and then was designated Chairman Emeritus. Davidson is also credited with initiating the first general meeting of the International Tennis Federation ( Paris, 1968) where the advent of “open” tennis was discussed and where 47 countries agreed in principle to the idea.
Christine Truman Janes was born in England on January 16, 1941. Janes was crowned the Wimbledon Junior Champion in 1956 (age 15), and went on to become the youngest woman to win the French Singles Championships in 1959 at age 18. (Steffi Graf became the youngest in 1987; Monica Seles in 1990.) Janes also captured another major – the 1960 Australian doubles title (with Maria Bueno, Hall of Famer 1978). She reached the French singles semifinals in 1963 and the quarterfinals in 1958, 1961, 1964. At Wimbledon she was the 1961 finalist, having reached the semifinals in 1957 and 1960 (and again in 1965).
She was also a singles finalist at the 1959 US Championships as well as reaching the semifinals in 1960 and the quarterfinals in 1958, 1961 and 1963. She won the Italian Singles Championships and Swiss Singles Championships in 1959; the British Hardcourt Singles Championships in 1958 and 1960 along with the doubles title in 1968; and the South African Singles and Doubles Championships in 1965. She was ranked in the World Top 10 six times between 1957 and 1965, reaching a career high No. 2 in 1959. She played Wightman Cup between 1957-1971 (winning the Cup in 1958, 1960, 1968) and Fed Cup in 1963, 1965 and 1968, posting a 6-3 singles record and 2-2 doubles record.
Contributor Nominees (2)
Russ Adams, at age 76,has spent the last 50 years visually documenting the history of tennis. He is the face behind the camera and his work has illuminated the greatest moments and stories in the sport. Adams has photographed the Grand Slam Tournaments, all major tournaments around the world, Fed Cup, Davis Cup and the Olympics, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1993. His images have graced more than 250 magazine covers, believed to be more than any single photojournalist covering any discipline.
Known as the “Dean” of tennis photography, Adams has captured the game’s power, emotion, beauty and grace, while preserving its significance. In 1967, he became the official (volunteer) photographer for the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills. The following year, with the birth of open tennis, he developed and implemented the system for on-court photographers at the first US Open Championships. He has served as Director/Liaison of Photographers for the US Open since then, and was instrumental in developing the universal “Code of Conduct,” in conjunction with the Professional Tennis Council, for photographers covering professional tennis events around the world.
His life’s work has generated over 1.6 million sporting images, and is no doubt the largest privately-held source of images in tennis. Adams is a gentleman of enormous integrity with a quiet, wry humor. As a working journalist in the massive spectrum of newspapers, wire services, books and magazines, he is held in the highest regard by media colleagues, professional tennis players and the vast administrators of the game.
Dr. Robert Johnson (1899-1971) is considered by many as the man most responsible for launching the careers of world tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the nation's first African-American tennis champions. During a time of racial separation, Johnson, through quiet diplomacy, was able to open the doors of competition to young African-Americans barred from mainstream competition. He persevered despite the racial barriers of that time and helped pave the way for minorities to gain acceptance and entrance into tournaments. For more than 20 years, he opened his home to tennis development and training for African-American juniors, providing them with food, equipment, financial support and guidance throughout their development. In addition, m any of Johnson's juniors earned college scholarships.
Through the American Tennis Association (ATA), which was formed in 1916, Johnson created the ATA Junior Development Program. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sponsored, trained and nurtured hundreds of African-American Juniors - and several white juniors - at his Lynchburg, Va. home, where he had a tennis court in his backyard. He initiated the integration of black tennis at the junior level, and worked as coach, trainer, sponsor and fundraiser. He was also publisher of the ATA’s annual program, distributed at the national championships, and his vehicle in keeping the membership aware of the progress of his junior players.
The names of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe and their life achievements will long be remembered in the world of tennis; they are the individuals who broke the racial barriers, and they became champions of the sport through their own athletic abilities. However, it was the artful and insightful groundwork pioneered by Johnson, which gave Gibson and Ashe -- and all future black champions -- the stage to stand upon and be noticed.
A panel of international tennis media will vote on the Recent Player nominees. A 75% favorable vote is required for induction. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and other individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, vote on the Master Player and Contributor nominees. To be inducted as a Master Player or a Contributor, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.
The date for the Class of 2007 induction ceremony is slated for Saturday, July 14th, in conjunction with the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (July 9-15) in Newport, Rhode Island. The International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 200 people representing 18 countries since its establishment in 1954. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis and its champions. For more information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame call 401-849-3990 or visit online at www.tennisfame.com