The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Lindsay Davenport leads 2014 induction class at International Tennis Hall of Fame

  • Print

NEWPORT, R.I. - Lindsay Davenport remembers picking up a tennis racket as a child and the feeling that came with the ease of a powerful return. After giving up on two other sports, she found something she liked.

On Saturday, she reached her sport's highest honour, with her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Davenport spent 98 weeks ranked No. 1. She won the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open and 1996 Olympic gold medal to go with three major doubles titles. She finished the end of four years ranked No. 1.

Chris Evert was among those at the ceremony. The tennis great described Davenport's game as "so loud, so strong and aggressive."

Davenport enters the hall with five-time Paralympic medallist Chantal Vandierendonck in the recent player category, coach Nick Bollettieri, executive Jane Brown Grimes and broadcaster John Barrett in the contributor category.

"Hitting the ball and making contact was always something that came very natural to me," Davenport said during a news conference. "It was a blessing. It happened at a very young age. I didn't realize that it was that hard to do and I had a special talent, and it took a long time to put that altogether.

"That's what made it so fun to me, the sound and what I could do with the shots and see how hard I could hit them," she added. "Everything else about the game took work and was a struggle, but that was something and that was the reason why I fell in love with it."

She was presented by friend and former ATP pro Justin Gimelstob, who played against her at a clinic.

"An incredible talent well on her way to becoming an incredible ball striker, either man or women to ever hold a racket," he said.

Davenport spoke of her passion for the game,

"To be successful with anything, you have to enjoy it and you have to love it," she said. "That's something you cannot teach. Some have a love-hate relationship with the sport. Some love it, but you have to have the love in it to be successful."

The 82-year old Bollettieri has coached 10 players to the No. 1 ranking, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Boris Becker. In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school.

"I think the older you get, it's not the (age), but what you have here," he said, touching his chest near his heart.

Vandierendonck was a top Dutch player before she was injured in a car accident in 1983. She's the first woman wheelchair player inducted.

Brown Grimes is a former managing director of the Women's Professional Tennis Council (now known as the WTA Tour Board), president of the U.S. Tennis Association and president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

"I hope there's another Lindsay Davenport for all she did for Americans and for women's tennis," Brown Grimes said.

Barrett was the "Voice of Wimbledon" on the BBC from 1971-06. His wife, former top-ranked player Angela Mortimer Barrett, was inducted into the Hall in 1993. Agassi and Steffi Graf are the only other married couple in the hall.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose flies towards the sun near the Perimeter Highway North and Main St Monday afternoon – See Day 10 for Bryksa’s 30 goose project - May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who are the real Bombers?

View Results

Ads by Google