Floridians Rinaldi, Mulloy Honored by Int. Tennis Hall of Fame

March 16, 2013 02:37 PM
Kathy Rinaldi
Gardner Mulloy (photo: Art Seitz)
Floridians Kathy Rinaldi and Gardner Mulloy were recognized on Saturday, March 16, 2013, with special recognitions during the International Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, held at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, Fla., during the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference.
USTA Florida staff and volunteers, and presenters and attendees such as Stan Smith Andi Brandi, Monica Seles, Patrick McEnroe, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President Dave Haggery, USTA First Vice President Katrina Adams, and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the wife of the late Arthur Ashe, were among those lauding the awardees furthering the game.
Rinaldi was presented with the Tennis Educational Merit Award, given to those who have made notable contributions to the tennis educational field at the national level. After achieving a career-high No. 7 ranking on the WTA Tour, Rinaldi went on to serve on the USTA Youth and Competition Committee, the WTA Board for Special Olympics, and mentored Anna Kournikova in the WTA Partners for Success Program.
She is currently a USTA national coach, developing the America's top up-and-coming juniors, and was in 2011 named National Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. She has also been a regular on-court presenter at the annual USTA Tennis Teachers Conference in New York City, a television tennis commentator, and over the years a spokesperson raising the level of exposure of female tennis athletes in the media.
"I absolutely love my job, it's the best job in the world," Rinaldi said. "I get asked all the time, 'Did you like playing better or do you like coaching?' Coaching is just amazing, I'm going to try not to get very emotional but I do get emotional when I talk about the coaching. These young [players] are amazing, so talented, beautiful inside and out, and you really get to impact their lives, not just on the tennis court but as human beings. And at the end of the day that is the most important thing to me, that they are remarkable human beings."
Mulloy, enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1972, was presented with an official inductee ring. A Wimbledon and multiple US Open winner, Mulloy ranked as the No. 1 player in 1952.
The 99-year-old made the trip for the ceremony from Miami with his wife.
"My wife said, 'You're going to go if I have to carry you,'" Mulloy said. "I've got a couple more years to go, and when I reach 99 again, I hope to be invited back."
Rinaldi in 1999, and Mulloy in 1981 were inducted into the USTA Florida Hall of Fame.
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins received the Samuel Hardy Award, which is presented to a USTA volunteer in recognition of long and outstanding service to the sport of tennis at the national level. Ned Eames of Boston, president and founder of the Tenacity organization which helps at-risk youth, received the male Tennis Educational Merit Award.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I., was established in 1954 and 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. For more information go to www.tennisfame.com.