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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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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