Johannesburg [South Africa]: Former world number ones and Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick are among five players set to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this Saturday.
Besides Clijsters and Roddick, four-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis medalist Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch of Dutch, tennis historian and journalist Steve Flink and late tennis instructor Vic Braden complete the full list.
34-year-old Clijsters, who clinched US Open title in 2005, 2009 and 2010 before winning Australian Open singles’ crown in 2011, spent 19 weeks at the top of the rankings.
Ecstatic with the idea of being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Clijsters, who had captured 41 WTA titles before retiring in 2012, insisted that she feels honoured to feature with some great players she had admired growing up.
“I feel very honoured. It’s a huge honour 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,” Sport24 quoted Belgium’s Clijsters as saying.
Roddick, on the other hand, had spent almost 13 weeks atop the rankings, winning his only Grand Slam singles title at the 2003 US Open and losing four other Slam finals to Swiss maestro Roger Federer.
He took retirement from the sport following the 2012 US Open after clinching 32 career ATP titles and holding an ATP career record of 612-213.
“It’s really special. 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,” he said.
Kalkman-van den Bosch, who was diagnosed with cancer at age 14 and left paralyzed below the waist, clinched Paralympic gold in table tennis. She then switched to wheelchair tennis and went on to grab three more titles in the same to become the first woman to win Paralympic gold medals in two different individual sports.
While Flink was a long-time radio correspondent and statistician for television coverage, Braden was a pioneer in uniting scientific research into tennis training while he also worked with prodigy talent as well as other instructors.(ANI)