Edberg, Graf, Cheney Are Hall of Fame Inductees

01-15-2004, 04:10 PM
Class Of 2004: Edberg, Graf, Cheney Are Hall of Fame Inductees

Photo By adidas By Tennis Week
Class characterizes the class of 2004. International Tennis Hall of Fame president Tony Trabert announced today that Stefan Edberg, Steffi Graf and Dorothy quot;Dodo" Cheney will be officially inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Sunday July 11th in Newport, Rhode Island.*

The induction of the trio of champions coincides with the Hall of Fame's 50th Anniversary Celebration presented by Campbell’s, which will feature some of the greatest Hall of Famers from around the world reuniting on the hallowed grounds of the historic Hall of Fame on the weekend of July 9-11th.*Part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration will include a once-in-a-lifetime "Parade of Hall of Famers" welcoming back tennis champions Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Rod Laver and more than 40 others to participate in a lively ceremony on Saturday, July 10th.*

The ceremony preceds the induction of Edberg, Graf and Cheney, who will be among 186 people representing 18 countries inducted into the Hall of Fame since its establishment in 1954.*

"Newport is the place to be this July," Trabert said in a statement. "Not only will we honor the great tennis careers of three great champions in Steffi, Stefan and Dodo, but we will also welcome back Hall of Famers from around the world to celebrate the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary."

The 34-year-old Graf and Edberg, who celebrates his 38th birthday on Monday, have been elected to the Hall of Fame in the Recent Player category, while Cheney, 87, has been elected in the Master Player category. A panel of international tennis media elected Graf and Edberg, each requiring at least a 75 percent favorable vote 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, elected Dodo Cheney, also requiring an affirmative vote of at least 75 percent.

Edberg's induction will mark the first time he steps foot in the Hall of Fame. In an interview with Tennis Week.com conducted last month at his fantasy camp in Scottsdale, Edberg said he was excited at the prospect of his pending induction.

"It would be a great honor and something to be very proud of," Edberg said."So many players have told me so many great things about it and I've never actually been there so I would really look forward to going there and seeing it very much."

The Swedish serve-and-volley stylist was one of the most graceful players to ever play the game.

A six-time Grand Slam champion, Edberg amassed 41 singles titles and 18 doubles championships in his career. Edberg won two Australian Open Championships (1985, ’87 — the last man to win on*Australian grass), two Wimbledon Championships (1988, ’90) and two U.S. Open crowns (1991, ’92).*Edberg also won the 1996 Australian Open doubles title (with Petr Korda), and captured the 1987 Australian and U.S. Open Doubles championships (both with Anders Jarryd).* Edberg, with Jarryd, were named the ATP Doubles Team of the Year in 1987.

Edberg and John McEnroe are the only men in Open Era history to hold the No. 1 ranking in both singles and doubles simultaneously. Edberg is such a quiet gentleman it often obscures the truth about his game: stylistically speaking he was a revolutionary in his home country. He shattered the Swedish stereotype of swift, steady, stoic baseliners who modeled their styles on 11-time Grand Slam champion Bjorn Borg. Edberg's aggressive attacking game may have looked risky, but like McEnroe before him he was in tune with a fundamental truth of tennis: the wide serve that pushed his opponent in pursuit off the court followed by the crisp volley into the open court he created is the highest-percentage play in tennis.

His athleticism and grace made him a wonder to watch. Compatriot Mats Wilander once told Tennis Week.com that "In their prime, Borg and Edberg weren't just the best tennis players in Sweden, they were the best athletes in Sweden."

He made his mark as a champion, and Edberg's integrity, honesty and sportsmanship made him one of the sport's most admired figures. Revered and respected by players and fans, Edberg always conducted himself with class both on and off the court. His superb sportsmanship is so legendary, Edberg not only earned the ATP's Sportsmanship Award a record five times, the ATP actually renamed the award in his honor — it is now known as the "Edberg Sportsmanship Award" — in 1996. The honor prompted the mercurial McEnroe, who Edberg cites as one of his toughest opponents, to jokingly wonder: "Why wasn't I under consideration?"

During his career he spent a total of 72 (non-consecutive) weeks at No. 1, and finished the 1990 and 1991 seasons as the No. 1 player in the world.*Edberg was ranked in the year-end top 10 for ten straight years (1985-1994) finishing in the top five from 1985-93.*He received ATP Player of the Year honors in 1991, and again in 1992.

Sweden has won the Davis Cup seven times, and Edberg played on four of the seven championship teams (1984, ’85, ’87, ’94). He is tied with countryman Ove Bengtson for most years played on the Swedish Davis Cup team with 13, playing from 1984 through 1996.*Edberg also holds Sweden’s record for most Davis Cup final appearances, playing in seven. He finished his Davis Cup career playing in 35 ties with an overall total win-loss record of 47-23 (35-15 in singles and 12-8 in doubles). Edberg also participated in the 1984 Olympics (when tennis was a demonstration sport), where he was the singles gold medal winner.*In 1988, he won bronze in both singles and doubles competition in Seoul.

Graf is generally regarded as one of the greatest women champions in tennis history. The graceful German won an astounding 107 career WTA singles titles and 11 career doubles titles.*She was often at her best in the biggest matches capturing an astonishing 22 Grand Slam singles championships: four Australian Open Championships (1988, ’89, ’90, ’94); six Roland Garros crowns (1987, ’88, ’93, ’95, ’96, ’99); seven Wimbledon Championships (1988, ’89, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’95, ’96); and five U.S. Open titles (1988, ’89, ’93, ’95, ’96).*Moreover, Graf made nine additional Grand Slam final appearances: 1993 Australian; 1989, ’90, ’92 Roland Garros ; 1987, ’99 Wimbledon; and 1987, ’90, ‘94 U.S. Open. *Overall she reached 31 Grand Slam singles finals. At the conclusion of the 1995 US Open, she became the only player — male or female — to win each of the four major singles titles at least 4 times.

Hall of Famer Chris Evert once said: "Most champions have one outstanding weapon or shot, Steffi has three: her serve, forehand and her speed. She is an incredible athlete."

In 1988, Graf produced one of the greatest single seasons in tennis history as she won the the "Golden Grand Slam" by sweeping all four major championships and caliming the singles gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Graf again held all four titles consecutively — 1993 Roland Garros, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and the 1994 Australian Open.

A soft-spoken, but dominating presence on the WTA Tour, Graf spent a massive total of 331 (non-consecutive) weeks at No. 1, reigning for a record 186 consecutive weeks (August 17, 1987- March 10, 1991) — more than any man or woman. Graf was ranked in the World Top 10 from 1985 through 1996, and again in 1998-‘99.**She holds the record for the longest consecutive stretch in the World’s Top 2 — 10 years, 3 months, 1 week — March 2nd, 1987-June 8th, 1997.*

At her best, Graf was almost unbeatable during periods of play. Her career win-loss record is an impressive 902-115.*She was honored as the WTA Player of the Year eight times (1987-’90, ’93-’96) and was named the ITF World Champion a record seven times (1987-’90, ’93, ’95, ’96).

Graf was a member of the German Fed Cup team for seven years (1986-’87, ’89, ‘91-’93, ’96).*She has Germany’s record of most final wins (3-0), leading Germany to victory in 1987 and 1992. Graf completed her Fed Cup career playing in 20 ties, with an overall win-loss record of 28-4 (20-2 in singles and 8-2 in doubles).*Graf was also a member of the German Olympic team in 1984 (Gold - tennis was a demonstration sport), 1988 (Gold), ’92 (Silver) and ‘96.

On August 13, 1999, Graf was the No. 3 world-ranked player, and the highest ranked player ever to announce retirement from the sport (since computer rankings began in November 1975).*Off the court, Graf founded The Steffi Graf Youth Tennis Center in Leipzig,Germany (1991).*She is also the Founder and active Chairperson of Children for Tomorrow, a non-profit foundation with the goal of implementing and developing projects to support children who have been traumatized by war or other crises. She is married to former No. 1 and future Hall of Famer Andre Agassi. The couple have a son, Jaden Gil Agassi, and a daughter, Jaz Elle Agassi.

Dorothy "Dodo" Cheney, who was born September 1st, 1916, was the first American woman to win the Australian National Championships in 1938. She was a member of the winning Wightman Cup teams, 1937-39, until World War II cut her amateur career short.*In Grand Slam events, she also reached the mixed doubles final at both the French and Wimbledon in 1946.*

Cheney, competing in tennis events for a remarkable eight decades, currently holds the record for the most United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Senior titles — over 300 — and has won over 20 Senior Grand Slam titles, another USTA record. She has been, and continues to be, victorious on every playing surface and has a winning streak that may never be equaled. For Cheney, age is no factor, as she has triumphed in every age group she has ever played in: from the U.S. Women’s 35s through the U.S. Women’s 80s she has won titles in singles, doubles and mixed.**

In 2002 at age 85, Cheney and her daughter Christine Putnam won the USTA National Grass Court Super-Senior Mother Daughter Championships held at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.*This marked her 311th career win.

Cheney is the daughter of 1956 Hall of Famer May Sutton Bundy, winner of 1904 U. S. Championships and Wimbledon in 1905 and 1907, and Tom Bundy, a U.S. doubles champion (1912, 1913, 1914).

01-15-2004, 04:14 PM
Graf and Edberg are no surprise! Although some have argued that Edberg should have been inducted sooner...

Cheney's story is quite interesting! Amazing lady!

01-15-2004, 04:49 PM
An amazing lady, indeed! Terrific accomplishment.. I had never heard of her, to be honest, but I think she does deserve it.

01-15-2004, 05:00 PM
GRAF!!! :worship:

01-15-2004, 05:04 PM
y has it taken so long especially for Cheney

Ma. Estefania
01-15-2004, 10:08 PM
Stefan :worship:

01-15-2004, 10:21 PM
Stefan :D :) :bowdown:

J. Corwin
01-15-2004, 10:43 PM
Weuheu! Stafan! And Steffi. :)

01-16-2004, 01:36 AM
Steffi!!!!!!!! it's about fricking time...;)

01-16-2004, 03:19 AM
Edberg should have gotten in last year. :sad:

the cat
01-17-2004, 11:26 PM
I feel the same way, Star. Stefan Edberg will definitely be voted in to The International Tennis Hall Of Fame this year. But it's 1 year too late. :mad: And that makes Stefan's impending induction into The International Tennis Hall Of Fame a little bit anticlimatic in my mind. :(

01-18-2004, 04:46 AM
Stefan! :) Hey, better late than never.

Congrats as well to Steffi and Dodo. I actually same them both at my local Mahwah exhibition many years back.