A true legend of the sport, Navratilova was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2000. The one-of-a-kind rings are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world, in honor of their great achievements in the sport and as an official commemoration of their Hall of Fame induction.
NEWPORT, R.I., June 29, 2012 – Having captured 59 Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, the great Martina Navratilova truly earned her place as one of the most impressive and important figures in women’s tennis. She won a title at Wimbledon 20 times, a record shared with Billie Jean King, and she is one of just three women to have achieved a Grand Slam boxed set– meaning she won all four majors in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Today, Navratilova serves as a tennis commentator for Tennis Channel and she remains one of the most highly regarded and respected authorities on the sport. In recognition of all of her achievements, in the year 2000, Navratilova was presented the highest honor in tennis– induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Today, this important achievement was celebrated once again, when Navratilova was presented her official Hall of Fame ring. The presentation, which was a surprise for Navratilova, was done in the Tennis Channel’s Wimbledon broadcast booth, and it will air tonight on Wimbledon Primetime. The ring was presented by Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, who had some help from a special guest, Navratilova’s good friend and a fellow Hall of Famer, Chris Evert. Also participating in the presentation was Tennis Channel’s Bill Macatee who works alongside Navratilova on the network.
“Martina Navratilova is one of the most dedicated women in tennis. She is an inspiration to so many, and is truly a legend of our sport,” said Clouser. “Today, we are pleased to be able to recognize her achievements with this special ring, which only the most successful individuals in tennis will have the honor of wearing. We extend our appreciation to Tennis Channel for supporting this well-deserved recognition.”
Navratilova’s extraordinary tennis career spanned three decades. She won her first professional title in 1975 and her last in 2006, accumulating 167 singles titles and 177 doubles titles over the years-more than any other woman in the Open Era. Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles. Her success at Wimbledon was unmatched, as she reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times, in addition to winning seven doubles titles and four mixed doubles titles. In 1984, Navratilova partnered with Pam Shriver for a Grand Slam, winning all four majors in doubles. In addition she won the season ending WTA Tour Championships a record 8 times. Since retiring, Navratilova become a commentator for Tennis Channel and is a staple of their on-air team. She is also a national spokesperson and the Health and Fitness Ambassador for AARP.
The Hall of Fame rings were introduced last year and are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world over the next few years as a special symbol of their induction. Hall of Fame ring ceremonies have been hosted recently at La Grande Nuit de Tennis at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where Frankie Durr, Ilie Nastase, Nicola Pietrangeli, and Gianni Clerici were honored, the SAP Open in San Jose, where Stan Smith received his ring, and at the Copa Claro tournament in Buenos Aires, where Gabriela Sabatini was presented her ring. The ring presentations have offered a platform for tennis fans to re-connect with some of the greatest champions of the sport at venues and events that have significant meaning to the Hall of Famers and their fans.
The personalized rings bear a green stone set in gold, to complement the Hall of Fame’s brand colors. In addition, the rings are etched with each honoree’s name and the Hall of Fame logo crest. The rings have been generously underwritten by The Bruce T. Halle Family of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Since 1955, 220 of the greatest champions and contributors to the sport have been inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Presently, there are 84 Hall of Famers living in 16 different countries, a testament to the global reach of the game. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring the game’s greatest heroes. In addition, the Hall of Fame provides a landmark for tennis enthusiasts, offering an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and its stars, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round. To learn more, visit tennisfame.com.
Posted by Steven White, Author of Bring Your Racquet http://www.amazon.com/dp/1933794240