Tennis hall opens doors for Lindsay Davenport - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Tennis hall opens doors for Lindsay Davenport

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Black leaders worry about low turnout in November

    Black leaders worry about low turnout in November

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:33:25 GMT
    Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that makes it harder...More >>
    Civil rights leaders at the NAACP annual convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday worried that dwindling African-American turnout in November could lead to the expansion of voter-identification laws that make it harder for that...More >>
  • New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:31:19 GMT
    A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.More >>
    A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the...More >>
  • GOP voters in Georgia decide Senate nominee

    GOP voters in Georgia decide Senate nominee

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-07-23 01:20:59 GMT
    After a bruising nine-week runoff campaign, Georgia Republicans will finally have their Senate nominee who will compete against Democrat Michelle Nunn for a seat the GOP can ill afford to lose as the party looks to...More >>
    Early returns Tuesday suggest a long night of vote counting in a tight race for Georgia's Republican Senate nomination between U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue.More >>
By KEN POWTAK
Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Lindsay Davenport remembers picking up a tennis racket as a child and the feeling that came with the ease of a powerful return. After giving up on two other sports, she found something she liked.

On Saturday, she reached her sport's highest honor, with her induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Davenport spent 98 weeks ranked No. 1. She won the 1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon, 2000 Australian Open and 1996 Olympic gold medal to go with three major doubles titles. She finished the end of four years ranked No. 1.

Chris Evert was among those at the ceremony. The tennis great described Davenport's game as "so loud, so strong and aggressive."

Davenport enters the hall with five-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck in the recent player category, coach Nick Bollettieri, executive Jane Brown Grimes and broadcaster John Barrett in the contributor category.

"Hitting the ball and making contact was always something that came very natural to me," Davenport said during a news conference. "It was a blessing. It happened at a very young age. I didn't realize that it was that hard to do and I had a special talent, and it took a long time to put that altogether.

"That's what made it so fun to me, the sound and what I could do with the shots and see how hard I could hit them," she added. "Everything else about the game took work and was a struggle, but that was something and that was the reason why I fell in love with it."

She was presented by friend and former ATP pro Justin Gimelstob, who played against her at a clinic.

"An incredible talent well on her way to becoming an incredible ball striker, either man or women to ever hold a racket," he said.

Davenport spoke of her passion for the game,

"To be successful with anything, you have to enjoy it and you have to love it," she said. "That's something you cannot teach. Some have a love-hate relationship with the sport. Some love it, but you have to have the love in it to be successful."

The 82-year old Bollettieri has coached 10 players to the No. 1 ranking, including Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Boris Becker. In 1978, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school.

"I think the older you get, it's not the (age), but what you have here," he said, touching his chest near his heart.

Vandierendonck was a top Dutch player before she was injured in a car accident in 1983. She's the first woman wheelchair player inducted.

Brown Grimes is a former managing director of the Women's Professional Tennis Council (now known as the WTA Tour Board), president of the U.S. Tennis Association and president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

"I hope there's another Lindsay Davenport for all she did for Americans and for women's tennis," Brown Grimes said.

Barrett was the "Voice of Wimbledon" on the BBC from 1971-06. His wife, former top-ranked player Angela Mortimer Barrett, was inducted into the Hall in 1993. Agassi and Steffi Graf are the only other married couple in the hall.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact News Director Dan Schillinger at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.