Justine Henin, a former WTA Tour world No. 1 and seven-time major champion, Marat Safin, a two-time major champion and former world No. 1 on the ATP World Tour, and Helena Sukova, who won 14 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles, have all been nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. All three are nominated in the Recent Player Category for induction in the Class of 2016. In addition, Yvon Petra, a notable French tennis player of the 1940s, and Margaret Scriven, British tennis champion of the 1930s, have been nominated posthumously in the Master Player Category. There are no nominees in the Contributor Category for 2016.
Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the highest honor available in the sport of tennis and it represents the sum of one’s achievements at the highest possible level. Since 1955, the honor of Hall of Fame induction has been awarded to 243 tennis champions and leaders representing 21 nations. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization built around a mission of preserving and celebrating the history of tennis, honoring its greatest champions, and inspiring its future.
“Throughout their careers Justine Henin, Marat Safin, and Helena Sukova all consistently demonstrated their excellence as tennis players and their commitment to our sport. They worked relentlessly toward tennis’ top goals and as a result, achieved world No. 1 status, won the sport’s top trophies, and inspired fans and peers worldwide. They’ve left a lasting and positive impact on tennis and it is a pleasure to announce their nomination to receive our sport’s highest honor, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Stan Smith, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 and now serves as the International Tennis Hall of Fame President and Chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.
Smith continued, “Also this year, we recognize the achievements of two of tennis’ great early champions – Yvon Petra, who claimed a Wimbledon title after five years as a prisoner-of-war, and Margaret Scriven, who won two back-to-back singles titles at the French Championships. Their success is part of the sport’s storied history, and we’re glad to recognize their accomplishments.”
Of the nomination, Justine Henin commented, “The Hall of Famers are individuals who I have admired from the time I was a young girl, throughout my career, and to this day. To be nominated for induction into this group and to have my career recognized in this way is a great honor, and I thank the committee for the nomination.”
Marat Safin commented, “To be part of a Hall of Fame is every athlete’s dream. It is a great honor to have my tennis career recognized in this way, and I am proud to represent Russian tennis with this nomination for such a prestigious honor in our sport.”
Helena Sukova stated, “It is a great honor for me to be selected as a nominee for the Hall of Fame. Being recognized as part of tennis history is all I can ask, now that my playing days are over. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is the most prestigious group of legends in the sport, and it is an honor to have my career recognized with a nomination for this most esteemed stage.”
Voting on the Hall of Fame ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement early next year to reveal the Class of 2016. The Class of 2016 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on Saturday, July 16, 2016 during Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.