Austin, Shriver Receive Hall Of Fame Rings
Published August 02, 2011 10:18
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Tracy Austin was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1992 - at the grand old age of 29, she was, and remains, the youngest inductee ever. Fellow American Pam Shriver followed suit in 2002. And in a special ceremony on July 31, their respective achievements were recognized once again with new Hall of Fame rings.
A recent initiative, the rings are to be presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world over the next several years. To date, ceremonies have been held in Delray Beach, Houston, Barcelona and at the Hall of Fame itself in Newport, Rhode Island. The rings bear a green stone set in gold, and are etched with each honoree's name and the Hall of Fame logo crest.
The rings were presented to Austin and Shriver, as well as Wheelchair Tennis pioneer founder Brad Parks, on court before the finals of the Farmers Classic, an ATP event. Hall of Fame chairman Christopher Clouser presided over the occasion, with tournament director Bob Kramer also taking part.
"Pam and Tracy have won the most coveted titles in tennis, and are among the most talented, successful women in the sport," said Clouser. "They are among the greatest champions and most influential contributors to tennis, and as Hall of Famers they are already among an elite group of tennis legends.
"We are pleased to be able to recognize this achievement with this special ring, which only the most successful and influential individuals in tennis will have the honor of wearing."
One of the sport's most celebrated prodigies, Austin upset Chris Evert to win the US Open in 1979 - becoming the event's youngest ever champion at 16 years, 9 months. In 1980 she claimed the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with her brother John - the only siblings ever to do so - and also claimed the singles world No.1 ranking, where she stayed for 21 weeks. In 1981 she defeated Martina Navratilova for a second US Open title.
After reaching the final of the 1978 US Open at 16, Shriver went on to win 21 singles titles and rise as high as No.3. But it was in doubles that she truly earned her legendary status, capturing 21 Grand Slam titles - 20 of them with Martina Navratilova - as part of an overall haul of 111 trophies. Shriver spent 48 weeks as the doubles No.1; her achievements also include partnering Zina Garrison to win Olympic doubles gold for the US at Seoul.