NEWPORT, RI, USA - Former doubles World No.1 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Helena Sukova, of the Czech Republic, received one of the highest honors in tennis on Saturday, being officially inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.
Sukova was inducted alongside Germany’s Michael Stich, former Wimbledon champion, at the ITHOF ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island.
The pair joined an elite group of just over 250 individuals hailing from 23 nations who have received the honor, which recognizes their careers as being among the most accomplished and impactful in the history of tennis.
“Tennis has a storied history in the Czech Republic, and that history certainly played an important role in my tennis upbringing and my approach to the game,” Sukova said. “I grew up in a tennis family and being in awe of the accomplishments of legends like my mother, Vera, as well as Jan Kodes and Martina Navratilova.
“It was truly my joy and privilege to compete for my country, on the WTA tour, and among the greatest tennis players in the world. Today, I’m incredibly honored to be selected for the Hall of Fame, where the sport’s greatest in history are honored.”
Sukova, who retired in 1998, spent 68 weeks as the World No.1-ranked doubles player, and won 14 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles over the course of her 17-year career. In singles, Sukova reached two Grand Slam finals and climbed to a career-high World No.4, bringing her overall career haul to 69 doubles titles and 10 singles titles.
Additionally, she won two silver medals at the Olympic Games, partnered with Jana Novotna (1988 and 1996).
“I’m very pleased to congratulate and welcome Michael and Helena in to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Michael’s laser focus and the versatility in his game made him a Wimbledon champion, and today, those skills and accomplishments make him a Hall of Famer. Helena put up outstanding results at all four Slams, the Olympics, and in WTA competition for nearly two decades,” said Hall of Famer Stan Smith, who also serves as president of the Hall of Fame.
“Being elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame ensures that their careers and accomplishments will forever be distinguished as being among the greatest in our sport’s history.”