ITHF Inauguration Class of 2014 with Davenport and Bollettieri - UBITENNIS
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ITHF Inauguration Class of 2014 with Davenport and Bollettieri

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Three-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport will be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame on July 12 this year. Besides Davenport other notable personalities, who will be also inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame are British tennis writer John Barrett, US-coachin guru Nick Bollettieri and wheelchair champion Chantal Vandierendonck. Davenport currently works as a TV-commentator during the Grand Slam Tournaments and was quoted regarding the honor, “Growing up playing tennis, the Hall of Fame wasn’t even in my dreams. That was thinking a little too big for me to think you’ll get such an honor. It’s a little overwhelming and I can’t even imagine how I’ll be at the ceremony. I never loved the limelight. I’ve been blessed to have been married five years, to have had a family and transitioned to a life after tennis that I’m happy in. I love my job and still get to enjoy the sport. And that’s the beauty of the sport. You can get into it in so many different ways and stay in it all your life if your want to.” 

 
Nick Bollettieri is already a legend in his own right. The coaching guru has owned and operated the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida since 1978, has coached several players, both male and female, up to now he claims ten No.1 players in the world – Agassi, Becker, Courier, Hingis, Jankovic, Rios, Seles, Sharapova and Venus and Serena Williams. In 1987, Nick expanded his vision when he joined forces with IMG to turn the Tennis Academy into a multi-sport training facility, now known as IMG Academies. Located on over 400 acres, the IMG Academies complex trains over 13,000 junior, collegiate, adult & professional athletes annually, including families and corporate groups, from over 75 countries annually. Davenport held the world No. 1 title for 98 weeks, winning three Grand Slam titles in the process (1998 US Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) along with a Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympic games. She has also claimed 3 Grand Slam titles in doubles competition. Lindsay Davenport and Nick Bollettieri will be joined by five-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck, executive Jane Brown Grimes, and British tennis broadcaster and author John Barrett in the  Inauguration Class of 2014.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame
It was on the grass courts of the Newport Casino that the first U.S. National Lawn Tennis Championships were held in 1881. That first tournament, won by Bostonian Dick Sears, evolved into one of the four premier tournaments in the world, known today as the US Open. Since then, numerous tournaments have been played on these courts, bringing the great names in tennis to these hallowed grounds. Tennis still lives and breathes in Newport, especially, as each summer the Newport Casino hosts the only remaining grass court professional tournament on the US-continent—one of the many features that distinguish the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Museum from other sports museums.
The concept of founding a “shrine to the ideals of the game” here at the Newport Casino, originated in 1954 with James Van Alen, a tennis innovator who would later invent the tennis tie-breaker and Van Alen Simplified Scoring System (or VASSS). For almost twenty years, from 1955 through 1974, when it was known as the National Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame, only Americans were considered for Hall of Fame status. However, in recognition of the international nature of the sport, in 1975 eligibility was extended to include candidates worldwide. In 1976, three-time Wimbledon champion Fred Perry of Great Britain was the first international player to be inducted into the newly re-named International Tennis Hall of Fame, which paved the way for official recognition by the International Tennis Federation in 1986.Individuals are elected with a ‘yes’ vote of 75 percent or higher in one of three categories: as a Recent Player, a Master Player or as a Contributor to the sport. ‘Recent Players’ are those who have been active at the highest international level within the last 20 years, and retired for at least 5. A voting panel of tennis media around the world looks at the player’s competitive record, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character. A Master Player is evaluated for the same performance criteria, but that player must have been retired from the sport for at least 20 years. The Contributor category recognizes administrators, coaches, officials and members of the media, whose exceptional contributions have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport. In both the Master Player and the Contributor categories, voting is done by the International Masters Panel, which consists of existing Hall of Famers and other individuals who have great knowledge of the sport and its history.
The Inauguration CIass 2014 will join the over 200 Hall of Famers from all over the world and live up to the legacy of tennis’s greatest champions which will continue to be recognized and honored each year. (Simone Kemler) 

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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