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Monday, April 22, 2024

Wheelchair Tennis Legends Vergeer, Draney Inducted into Corridor of Fame


JULY 22, NEWPORT, R.I, U.S.A., – Esther Vergeer and Rick Draney, two wheelchair tennis legends, tonight obtained The Final Honor in Tennis, formally being inducted into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame. Vergeer and Draney have been celebrated for his or her on-court excellence and their pioneering contributions to the all-reaching sport.

In entrance of a packed crowd of household, pals, followers, and fellow Corridor of Famers, Vergeer and Draney turned the sixth and seventh wheelchair athletes to be enshrined, becoming a member of Brad Parks, Randy Snow, Chantal Vandierendonck, David Corridor, and Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch. Their induction marks the primary time within the Corridor of Fame’s historical past that two wheelchair candidates have been elected in the identical 12 months.

Some of the embellished Dutch athletes of all-time, Vergeer is a 21-time Grand Slam champion, 13-time Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) World Champion, and four-time Paralympic gold medalist in singles. For 10 years, she was unbeatable and sat atop the world rankings for 668 consecutive weeks. Her doubles profession was additionally crammed with dominance, successful 23 Grand Slams and 4 Paralympic medals.

“Tennis gave me confidence. Tennis was making me snigger. Tennis was making me take again management over my life, believing in myself, trusting that all the pieces could be all proper. I’ve by no means felt extra comfy than I’ve on a tennis courtroom,” mentioned Vergeer.

“I settle for this honor, and I’m aware of the duty it carries: a duty to encourage the following era of tennis gamers, wheelchair tennis gamers included, to foster a love for the game and create pathways for people who dare to dream,” she additionally shared.

Draney is revered as a pioneer of the Quad Division of wheelchair tennis. Over the course of his profession, Draney earned 12 singles and 6 doubles titles on the Tremendous Collection stage earlier than the appearance of Grand Slam play. Draney spent a mixed 591 weeks throughout the doubles and singles Prime 10.

“I’m happy with the numerous alternatives I needed to share what I had discovered and developed with different quadriplegics so they may take part in play. I’m happy with being an advocate and campaigner for potentialities and alternatives for progress of the quad division in the USA and around the globe,” Draney mentioned.

Judy Tegart Dalton, a member of the Authentic 9 pioneers of ladies’s tennis and members of the Class of 2021, was additionally acknowledged in the course of the ceremony. Dalton was unable to journey to Newport in 2021, however was aptly championed throughout this 12 months’s program. In her profession, Dalton collected 9 main doubles titles, finishing the coveted profession Grand Slam in doubles.

“I’d similar to to say how honored I’m to hitch this elite group. I really feel that what we did because the Authentic 9 was one thing distinctive. To be honored all collectively, I might have liked to have been right here, however that is practically pretty much as good. Actually, it’s higher actually,” Dalton mentioned.

In a press convention earlier in the present day, Vergeer additionally mirrored on the event, saying her induction is, “The most important honor you’ll be able to have as an athlete.”

Previous to the ceremony, Vergeer and Draney obtained their signature Corridor of Fame Brooks Brothers blazers, and have been celebrated after the ceremony on the official Enshrinement Reception offered by Infosys.

 

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