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Sampras and Sanchez-Vicario Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

January 19, 2007 03:12 PM

NEWPORT, RI -- The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced that Pete Sampras, winner of a record 14 Grand Slam singles championships, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, three-time French Open singles champion and the first Spanish woman to capture the US Open, have been elected to the Hall of Fame.  Joining them with Induction honors are Sweden’s first grand slam title winner Sven Davidson, and the “Dean” of tennis photography, Russ Adams.

The Class of 2007 Induction Ceremony will be held Saturday, July 14th on Bill Talbert Center Court Stadium at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.  As part of Hall of Fame Weekend festivities, Pete Sampras will participate in the Hall of Fame Classic tennis exhibition on Sunday morning (July 15) prior to the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championship singles and doubles title matches. 

Established in 1954 and recognized in 1986 as the sport’s official Hall of Fame by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 200 people (204 including the 2007 Class) representing 18 countries. 

Recent Player, Pete Sampras (United States)

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Pete Sampras 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. 

Sampras 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). 

Recent Player, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (Spain)
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 18 years, she accumulated 29 career singles titles and 67 doubles titles.

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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 doubles bronze in 1996. She is the most decorated Olympian representing Spain. 

Master Player, Sven Davidson (Sweden)

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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 Famer 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 Championship 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 management committee 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. 

Contributor, Russ Adams (United States)

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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 and other major tournaments around the world including Fed Cup, Davis Cup and the Olympics, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for photography in 1955.  His images have graced more than 250 magazine covers, believed to be more than any single photojournalist covering any discipline. 

Known in the industry 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 administrators of the game.

Hall of Fame Classic Exhibition, Sunday July 15 featuring Pete Sampras
The Hall of Fame Classic exhibition will take place on Sunday morning, July 15, in Newport starting at 10am.  In conjunction with the Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation, the exhibition will feature Hall of Famer Pete Sampras.  A separately ticketed event from the Campbell’s tournament, tickets for the Classic can be purchased by calling 866-914-FAME or online at www.tennisfame.com.  A combo package for both the Classic and the Campbell’s tournament finals is currently available while quantities last. 

Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Newport caps off a full week of professional tournament tennis.  The Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships played for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP event, is scheduled for July 9-15. Tickets are now on sale by calling (866) 914-FAME or online at www.tennisfame.com. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, July 14 is sold out; however tickets remain for all tennis sessions including the Sunday finals and the Hall of Fame Classic exhibition featuring Pete Sampras.  For additional information regarding the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2007, Hall of Fame Weekend, the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, the Hall of Fame Classic exhibition or the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum, please call 401-849-3990 or visit our website www.tennisfame.com.

Induction Voting--
Recent Players are eligible for International Tennis Hall of Fame induction if they have been active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration, if they have not been a significant factor on the ATP or WTA tours within five years prior to election, and they have a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.  Voting for Recent Player ballot nominees is completed by a panel of International Tennis Media. A 75% favorable vote is required for induction.  

Master Players are designated as competitors in the sport who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration with a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, consideration being given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.  In the Contributors category, individuals are elected for their exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport, in categories such as administration, media, coaching and officiating. Contributor candidates do not need to be retired from their tennis activities to be considered.  An International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, vote on the Master Player and Contributor ballot nominees.  To be inducted as a Master Player or a Contributor, an affirmative vote of 75% is required. 

 

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