Tennis

Honours for Hingis, Drysdale

2013-03-04 19:56
Cliff Drysdale (AFP)

New York - Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis heads the 2013 class for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

The other new members of the Hall announced on Monday are South African-born Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac. Australian player Thelma Coyne Long's election was announced earlier.

Hingis won a total of 15 major titles, including nine in women's doubles and one in mixed. The first came at Wimbledon in women's doubles in 1996, at the age of 15 years, 9 months, making her the youngest Grand Slam champion in tennis history.

The Swiss player also was the youngest woman to reach No 1 in the WTA singles rankings, getting there in March 1997 at the age of 16, and spent a total of 209 weeks in the top spot. Hingis also spent 35 weeks at No 1 in doubles.

In 1997, she won singles titles at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments - the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open - and lost in the final of the French Open. She was honored as the WTA Tour Player of the Year and the AP Female Athlete of the Year.

Hingis, often troubled by foot injuries, retired for the second time in 2007, when she was given a two-year suspension for testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. Hingis denied taking the drug but did not appeal the ruling.

She finished with 43 titles in singles and 37 in doubles. Her singles record was 548-133. Hingis also led Switzerland to its only Fed Cup final in 1998 before losing to Spain.

Hingis was elected in the recent player category, while Drysdale, Pasarell and Tiriac entered the Hall in the contributor category.

Two nominees not elected are 1991 Wimbledon champion Michael Stich and Helena Sukova. One of Sukova's nine Grand Slam titles in women's doubles came at Wimbledon in 1996 with Hingis.

Drysdale was a player in the 1960s and 1970s who reached a career-high ranking of No 4, then helped start the ATP men's tour, serving as its first president from 1972-74. He has been an ESPN tennis announcer since its first telecast of the sport, a US-Argentina Davis Cup meeting in 1979.

Pasarell also was a player, including a college champion at UCLA and a member of the US Davis Cup team, before helping grow the sport. Like Drysdale, he was a key figure at the start of the ATP. Passarell was long associated with the tournament at Indian Wells, California.

Following his own playing career, which included the 1970 French Open men's doubles title, Tiriac has held key roles as a coach, player manager and tournament promoter. His most noted client was Hall of Fame member Boris Becker.

The induction ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, will be July 13.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  wta tour  |  martina hingis  |  tennis
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