Meet the Class of 2016

3/7/2016 Class of 2016

Recent Player Category:

Justine Henin and Marat Safin

Eligibility criteria for the Recent Player Category is as follows: active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP World Tour, WTA Tour, or Wheelchair Tennis Tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

 

Justine Henin, 33, of Belgium, was the world No. 1 player for 117 weeks. She was the year-end No. 1 three times, clinching the top spot in 2003, 2006, and 2007.

Powered by an explosive one-handed backhand, Henin won seven Grand Slam singles titles, including four French Open titles, three of which were consecutive. In addition to her French Open titles, Henin won two US Open titles and an Australian Open title. Henin won 43 singles titles in all, including 10 WTA Tour Tier I / Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 titles. She compiled an extraordinary career record of 525-115.

While smaller in stature than many of her competitors, Henin was applauded for her mental toughness and an outstanding all-around game. She was known for a powerful forehand, superior volley skills and court coverage, and her famous one-handed backhand.

In 2004, Henin won the Olympic Gold Medal in Athens. She was a dedicated Belgian Fed Cup team member, leading the team to their first Fed Cup title in 2001 and into the finals again in 2006. Since retirement, Henin's ventures have included running a tennis academy in Belgium, as well as a foundation dedicated to medical needs of children.

 

Marat Safin, 36, of Russia, is a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion. He held the world No. 1 ranking for nine weeks, and was in the world top-five for 119 weeks. Safin was regarded as a power player with strong groundstrokes and a particularly dangerous backhand.

Safin won his first major title at the 2000 US Open, when he defeated Pete Sampras. He is the first and only Russian man to have won the title. Safin went on to win the 2005 Australian Open with a victory over Lleyton Hewitt, defeating then world No. 1 Roger Federer in a five-set battle en route to the final.

Safin won 15 singles titles. In addition to his Grand Slam tournament titles, he won five ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. He compiled a career record of 422-267.

Safin was an integral member of the Russian Davis Cup team for 11 years. In 2002, he was instrumental in leading Russia to defeat France for their first Davis Cup victory. In 2006, he won the deciding rubber against Argentina to claim the title for Russia again.

Since retiring from the ATP World Tour, Safin has served on the Russian Olympic Committee and has worked with the Russian Tennis Federation. In 2011, he was elected to serve in the Russian Federal Parliament.

 

Master Player Category:

Yvon Petra and Margaret Scriven

Eligibility criteria for the Master Player Category is as follows: Competitors in the sport who have been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

 

Yvon Petra was a notable French tennis player of the 1940s. His career success came at a challenging time, straddling World War II and its interruptions to the French Championships. Petra won the Wimbledon singles title in 1946, ending a 19-year drought of French victors and making him the last French man to have done so. Perhaps most notably, his historic Wimbledon victory came following five years as a prisoner of war in Germany.

In addition to his success at Wimbledon, Petra won two doubles titles and a mixed doubles title at the French Championships. Petra was the No. 1 ranked player in France in the late 1930s, before the war. After his release, he went on to be ranked in the world top-5 in 1946. Petra was a member of the French Davis Cup team for five years between 1937 and 1947.  Born in 1916, Petra passed away in 1984.

 

Margaret Scriven, of Yorkshire, England, accomplished the rare feat of back-to-back French Championships titles. She was the first British woman and only unseeded player ever to win the French National Championships, which she did in 1933. She successfully defended her title the following year, making her the last British woman to win the same major tournament for two consecutive years.

Scriven was the first left handed player in tennis history to win a major tournament title. A skilled clay court player, Scriven also won a mixed doubles and doubles title at the French Nationals. Scriven was ranked among the world top-10 for three years, according to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. She achieved the world No. 5 ranking in 1933 and 1934. She was a member of the Wightman Cup team for Great Britain in 1933, 1934, and 1938. Scriven was born in 1912 and she passed away in 2001.

International Tennis Hall of Fame

Article posted by: International Tennis Hall of Fame. We can be reached at blog@tennisfame.com

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