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Quotable Quotes: The Hall Of Fame

What part of the game came most naturally to Lindsay Davenport? How do other Hall Of Famers see her contributions to the sport? All that and more, right here...

Published July 13, 2014 12:12

Quotable Quotes: The Hall Of Fame
Peachy Kellmeyer, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob

NEWPORT, RI, USA - It was a star-studded Saturday in Newport as five distinguished individuals were inducted into the International Tennis Hall Of Fame. But it wasn't just those five - Lindsay Davenport, Jane Brown Grimes, Chantal Vandierendonck, Nick Bollettieri and John Barrett - who made it a star-studded occasion. A slew of other big names from the tennis world - Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Monica Seles, Pam Shriver, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Justin Gimelstob and Mary Carillo, to name a few - were on hand to present those five individuals with the highest honor in the sport of tennis.

Here are some of the best quotes from the weekend - press conferences, ceremonies and all.

Lindsay Davenport on her induction...
"To be up here on this stage and to share it with all the greatness that is up here is overwhelming. I was five years old when I first hit a tennis ball. I never wanted to learn another sport and I still don't. I loved playing this game. I never thought any of this would be possible. It always felt a little bit like an accident. This is an incredible honor, an amazing achievement. I will forever be humbled by this."

Davenport on her legendary groundstrokes...
"Hitting the ball was always something that came very natural to me. It was a blessing. It happened at a young age. I didn't realize it was that hard to do, that I had a special talent. It took me a very long time to put that together, probably 20 years after I first started playing. But that's what made it so fun, was the sound, what I could do with the shots, see how hard I could hit them. Everything else about the game took work and was a struggle. But that was also the reason I fell in love with it."

Jane Brown Grimes on Davenport...
"She has meant a lot to women's tennis. I consider her quintessential power tennis for women's tennis. She led the pack in changing the game. The tennis you see today, when you see Petra Kvitova win Wimbledon, I think of Lindsay. She was the one who opened the door to that. The way she was just describing hitting the ball, that's the way every woman player wants to hit the ball. Also, for US tennis, she was the American girl, the girl next door, and always very humble. For me, she has been an absolute paragon and really one of the best things. I hope there's another Lindsay Davenport out there coming along because she's done a tremendous amount for American tennis and women's tennis."

Chris Evert when introducing Brown Grimes at the ceremony...
"I can speak first hand to the fact that Jane's skilled diplomacy was crucial to the survival of the WTA tour as she was able to navigate the tricky waters of attracting and keeping desirable sponsorships while distancing our association with past relationships with controversial brands. It was a pivotal time for women's tennis and it put us on a secure course for the future."

Brown Grimes when accepting her award...
"There's so many examples in this sport making room for tolerance and understanding in a world often torn by bitter conflict. So tennis has grown bigger and stronger and richer, but it has also done what Dwight Davis set as a goal when founding Davis Cup in 1900, to promote goodwill internationally. I feel so very lucky to have played a very small role in this amazing story, and to be recognized in this way in front of so many friends and family and fans is more than I could ever have imagined."

Chantal Vandierendonck on wheelchair tennis...
"Wheelchair tennis brought so much to my life. The challenge to work on my tennis game, I just love to practice and see if all you work for will reveal in the matches. But it also helped me deal with my life in a wheelchair. Being around all those active, young, independent, positive minded sports people showed me how great my life in a wheelchair still could be. I've learned so much from all the other players and I'm grateful for that. I hope that with all I have learned I am able to inspire others.

"I am deeply honored to receive this reward for my career."

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