Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees
The International Hall of Fame inducts its “class of 2014” this weekend, which makes me wonder how Nick Bollettieri, one of the honorees, is going to make it to the 25th reunion of this class.
Nick is 82. But knowing him, he’ll probably drive a red T-top Camaro to the reunion, and do a clinic for the kids before the party.
If you’ve never been to Newport during this festive week, pencil it in for next summer. The ATP 250 Hall of Fame Championships is also played in this first week after Wimbledon, and that gives all those male U.S. players still licking their wounds from the beatings they took at Wimbledon a chance to regain a bit of self-esteem. Watching tennis on grass courts is simply an unbeatable experience; it’s like tennis in HD compared to mere color (clay) or black-and-white (hard).
The week winds up with the singles and doubles final and the official induction ceremony. It’s funny but most players don’t think or talk too much about the ITHF. And the Europeans profess not to care at all. That helps explain why the hall-of-fame concept hasn’t caught on as fully as it has here in the U.S. in those other sports, Major League Baseball and the National Football League. They’re revered, by pretty much everyone.
But note that every player elected to the ITHF with the exception of Bjorn Borg has made it to the induction, and in many cases melted into a blubbering, teary mess while trying to make it through his or her acceptance speed. That’s how you know that somehow, this hall of fame thing is big deal.
Here are the inductees for this year:
— Gifted young pros often pay lip service to the idea of living a “normal” life, yet almost all of them decide that they don’t want to do it all that much, not when there are opponents to squash and money to be won. Young Lindsay was a true exception.
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