Hall of Fame Classic (July 15, 2007) - MensTennisForums.com
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Hall of Fame Classic (July 15, 2007)

Posted June 26, 2007

Hall of Famers Rod Laver and Stan Smith also Scheduled to Play

NEWPORT, RI -- The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced that this year’s Class of 2007 inductees, Pete Sampras and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, will play in the Hall of Fame Classic exhibition, a three match event on the famed Bill Talbert Center Court, Sunday morning, July 15, the day of after their induction. Hall of Famer and two-time Grand Slam Champion Rod Laver and Davis Cup winner and Hall of Famer Stan Smith are also scheduled to play along with other champions.

Sampras will be taking on former ATP Pro and American standout Todd Martin in a singles exhibition match while Sanchez-Vicario will team-up in mixed doubles action with her brother Emilio Sanchez, who last played at the Hall of Fame in 1991 as part of Spain’s Davis Cup team. In addition to Laver and Smith, other participants will include former champions Tom Gullikson, Richey Reneberg and Paul Annacone, ATP player and Sampras’ coach for many years.

Although tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic, Saturday’s Induction and Semifinals and Sunday’s Finals of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships are sold out, tickets for Monday through Friday’s tournament sessions may be ordered by phone through the Tournament Office at (866) 914-FAME or on-line at www.tennisfame.com. Tickets for Hall of Fame Family Weekend July 7 and 8 including qualifying tournament matches are also available.

Fans will also have the opportunity to visit the Hall’s world-class museum to see the new museum exhibit entitled “Power and Persistence,” honoring Sampras and Sanchez-Vicario. In addition, tribute exhibits honor Class of 2007 inductees Sven Davidson and Russ Adams.

Proceeds from the Hall of Fame Classic benefit the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, which funds support programs for brain tumor patients and their families, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Scheduled Participants

Paul Annacone played on the ATP tour from 1984 through 1995. He won three singles titles and 14 doubles titles, including the 1985 Australian Open Doubles Championships. He was also a doubles finalist in Newport in 1985 and 1992. After leaving the tour, he moved into coaching, working with Pete Sampras for seven years. He is currently coaching Great Britain’s Tim Henman.

Tom Gullikson, the last captain to lead the U.S. to a Davis Cup title, is a former champion of the Hall of Fame Championships. His only career singles title came at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport in 1985. He also finished his career with 15 doubles titles, including the 1978 Newport doubles title with his twin brother Tim. Tom returned to Bill Talbert Center Court for the Class of 2005 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, where he presented Jim Courier for induction.

Rod Laver, a 1981 Hall of Fame inductee, is the only tennis player to capture two “Grand Slams” in 1962 (as an amateur) and again in 1969 (as a professional). He won the Australian Singles title three times (1960, 1962, 1969), the French Singles title twice (1962, 1969), Wimbledon four times (1961-62, 1968-69) and the U.S. Singles title twice (1962, 1969). He added six doubles titles and three mixed. During a 23-year career that spanned the amateur, pro and open eras, he was ranked twelve times in the World Top 10 between 1959 and 1975, reaching No. 1 four times (1961-62, 1968-69). He was a member of Australia’s Davis Cup team 1959-62 and 1973, winning the Cup in each year. In 2001, the Australian Open’s stadium in Melbourne Park was dedicated “The Rod Laver Arena” in his honor.

Todd Martin completed his professional tennis career in 2003 with more than 400 wins and reached a career-high world singles ranking of No. 4 in 1999. In a career spanning 13 years, he collected eight singles titles and five doubles titles. A veteran member of the United States Davis Cup team, Martin helped the squad to the 1995 title under Captain Tom Gullikson.

Richey Reneberg spent 13 years on the men’s pro tour and captured three singles titles and 19 doubles titles. He won the 1992 US Open Doubles Championships and the 1995 Australian Open Doubles Championships. He reached the 1992 Wimbledon doubles final with partner Jim Grabb, but lost to the team of John McEnroe and Michael Stich in an epic 19-17 fifth set.

Pete Sampras, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame the day before the Hall of Fame Classic exhibition, won a record 14 Grand slam singles championships and was the World No. 1 ranked player for six consecutive years. This year he has returned to competitive tennis in the Outback Champions Series tour, where he has played 2 events and faced Todd Martin in each final. Sampras won both meetings in third set champion tie-breakers.

Stan Smith, a 1987 Hall of Fame inductee, captured seven majors including the US Open (1971) and Wimbledon (1972) singles championships. He was ranked in the World Top 10 six straight years (1970-75) attaining the No. 1 world ranking in 1972. His doubles achievements include four US Open titles (1968, 1974, 1978 and 1980), and the 1970 Australian Open. One of the great U.S. Davis Cup players, he was a key factor in seven U.S. Cup victories, posting an incredible 35-8 win-loss record.

Emilio Sanchez played on the ATP tennis tour from 1984 to 1998. He captured 15 singles titles and 50 doubles titles, including the 1989 US Doubles title and the 1989 and 1990 doubles titles at Roland Garros. A 12-year veteran of Spain’s Davis Cup team, he posted a 32-23 win-loss record and is currently Spain’s Davis Cup Team Captain.

Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, who also will be inducted the day before the Hall of Fame Classic exhibition, 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 a career spanning 18 years, she accumulated 29 career singles titles and 67 doubles titles. 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, one of only four women to achieve that feat.

The Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation was inspired by Tim Gullikson, a former ATP Tour champion and coach of such notable players as Pete Sampras and Martina Navratilova. In 1995, while coaching Sampras, Tim was diagnosed with brain tumors. Following his diagnosis, Tim and his twin brother, Tom, formed the Foundation to assist brain tumor patients and their families manage the physical, emotional and social challenges presented by the illness. Tim lost his battle with the illness in May 1996, but the Foundation continues to grow, providing support programs that include college and camp scholarships, telephone and internet assistance and daily task service referrals for brain tumor patients and their families.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame, established in 1954, is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. It was recognized as the sport’s official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. Including this year’s inductees, 204 people representing 18 countries are honored in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
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