Czech tennis great Jan Kodes was honored by presentation of his official Hall of Fame ring during Wimbledon, the site of one of his great achievements, where he won the title in 1973. In recognition of this and his many achievements, Kodes was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990. The personalized Hall of Fame rings were introduced in 2011 and are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world as a special symbol of their Hall of Fame induction.
Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova joined Kodes for the presentation, which aired on Tennis Channel and also on Czech national television. Navratilova praised Kodes as a player and spoke with gratitude about the support Jan provided to her as a young junior when she struggled with political challenges in their native Czechoslovakia.
International Tennis Hall of Fame president Stan Smith, a peer of Kodes, presented the ring and reminisced about playing against a “tenacious” Kodes’ incredible one-handed backhand.
Kodes was Czechoslovakia’s top-ranked player for 12 years. In addition to the Wimbledon title, the clay court standout won the French Open in 1970 and 1971 and was also a 2-time runner up at the US Open. Kodes was an integral member of the Czech Davis team. He competed for his nation for 15 years, compiling a winning record of 60-34 and helping lead the team to the championship in 1980. Kodes achieved a career-high of world No. 4 and won 28 singles titles over his successful 15-year career.