Lindsay Davenport grew up attending the Indian Wells tournament, she went on to win the singles title twice and the doubles title six times, and at this year's tournament, the Southern California native was back on center court once again - much to the delight of enthusiastic fans. This time though, Davenport returned not as a player but as a legend of the tournament and of our sport, as she was there to be recognized for her Hall of Fame career in a special ceremony at the BNP Paribas Open to present her official Hall of Fame ring.
"This is so great. I'm so honored and I'm so happy to recieve this ring here," commented Davenport, who told the fans that it was her favorite tournament as a player and then reflected on her personal memories on Indian Wells (including signing papers there to turn pro at age 16 - without her parents' permission!)
Davenport was the world No. 1 WTA player for 98 weeks and the year-end No. 1 four times. She won six Grand Slam tournament titles – one singles title each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, along with three doubles titles. In all, Davenport won an extraordinary 55 singles titles and 38 doubles titles. She was a member of three championship Fed Cup teams for the United States. In 1996, Davenport won the Olympic Gold Medal at the Atlanta Games.
After an extraordinary career on the WTA Tour, Davenport stopped competing in 2009, and in recognition of her tremendous achievements on court, in 2014, Davenport was awarded the highest honor in tennis—induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
"I never imagined that I would ever make it into the Hall of Fame. I was inspired by the players that had been inducted, the legends that I looked up to, and it is overwhelming for me to think that I have joined them," commented Davenport, who spoke to a packed stadium of fans, while she twisted the new Hall of Fame ring on her finger. Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin presented Davenport's ring, and Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell, who co-founded the Indian Wells tournament, participated in the ceremony as well.
The Hall of Fame rings are one-of-a-kind pieces that are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world to commemorate their recognition as being among the sport’s greatest champions and leaders.