WASHINGTON: Former world number ones and Grand Slam singles champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick are among five people who will be inducted Saturday into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Joining the former pro tour legends will be Dutch four-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, tennis journalist and historian Steve Flink and the late Vic Braden, a groundbreaking tennis instructor who died in 2014 at age 85.
Belgium’s Clijsters, 34, won the 2005, 2009 and 2010 US Opens and the 2011 Australian Open singles crowns. She spent 19 weeks atop the rankings and had a WTA career record of 523-127, capturing 41 WTA titles before retiring in 2012.
“I feel very honored,” Clijsters said. “It’s a huge honor to be amongst a list of so many great tennis players who I admired when I was growing up and some great players who I played with in my tennis career as well.”
Roddick, 34, spent 13 weeks atop the rankings, topping the year-end list in 2003. Roddick won his only Grand Slam singles title at the 2003 US Open, losing four other Slam finals to Roger Federer. He retired after the 2012 US Open with 32 career ATP titles and a 612-213 record.
“It’s really special,” Roddick said. “I love this sport and I love being part of it. I’m moved to know that my presence in the sport will be forever part of tennis history and I am just incredibly honored to be inducted.”
Kalkman-van den Bosch was diagnosed with cancer at age 14 and left paralyzed below the waist. She won 1984 Paralympic gold in table tennis, then switched to wheelchair tennis, taking three more titles to become the first woman to win Paralympic gold medals in two different individual sports.
“By celebrating and promoting wheelchair tennis through the Hall of Fame, we are offering encouragement for recently injured people,” she said. “It’s important for these people to understand what can be possible for them in their new situations, and I’m so grateful to be part of this.”
Flink, a long-time radio correspondent and statistician for television coverage, authored two books on the greatest matches in tennis history.
Braden was a pioneer in uniting scientific research into tennis training, applying research and psychology backgrounds to his tennis instruction while working with prodigy talent as well as other instructors.