Wimbledon champions Pat Cash and Michael Stich, along with Anders Jarryd and Tom Okker, who both won multiple doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments, and Czech legend Helena Sukova, a 14-time major champion in doubles and mixed doubles, have been named candidates for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2018. The candidates were first announced this morning, live on Tennis Channel's "Live from the US Open" show.
Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor in the sport of tennis, recognizing the sum of one's achievements at the highest possible level. All five individuals are candidates in the Player Category. There are no candidates for 2018 in the Contributor or Wheelchair Tennis Categories.
"Among this year's Hall of Fame candidates, we have Wimbledon champions, Olympic medalists, fierce competitors, and athletes who consistently maintained rankings at the top of our sport over long durations of time. The Class of 2018 candidates hail from five different nations, stated Hall of Famer Stan Smith, who serves as President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.
He continued, "The variety among their geographic backgrounds and the breadth of their accomplishments and playing styles is highly representative of tennis as a whole, while this nomination is a great recognition of each of them individually. Congratulations to Pat Cash, Anders Jarryd, Tom Okker, Michael Stich, and Helena Sukova on this great recognition of their impressive careers."
Over the years, the honor of Hall of Fame induction has been presented to 252 individuals hailing from 23 nations. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and promoting the history of tennis and celebrating its greatest champions.
Voting for the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will take place this fall, and the inductees will be announced in the first quarter of 2018.
Photos: AP Images & Getty Images
ABOUT THE CANDIDATES
PAT CASH, Australia
Driven by his strong serve-and-volley game, Australian tennis legend Pat Cash, reached a career-high ranking of world No. 4. At the 1987 Wimbledon championships, Cash defeated Jimmy Connors in the semifinals and then world No. 1 Ivan Lendl in the final to become a Wimbledon champion. Immediately following match point, Cash famously climbed into the stands to celebrate with his family and team, starting a tradition that many Wimbledon champions would later follow.
Cash was a two-time finalist at the Australian Open, and was a doubles finalist twice a Wimbledon. He was also part of a memorable US Open day of competition on September 8, 1984 when he battled with, and eventually fell to, Ivan Lendl in an epic five-set semifinal. The same day featured momentous matches with Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe versus Jimmy Connors, and was dubbed the first "Super Saturday" in tennis.
Cash was an integral member of the Australian Davis Cup team for eight years, and was the winner of the decisive singles rubber in two championships for the team in 1983 and 1986.
Today, Cash is coaching American WTA player CoCo Vandeweghe, and is active in the sport through broadcast work as well.
ANDERS JARRYD, Sweden
Anders Jarryd, of Sweden, is considered one of the greatest doubles players in the Open Era. He was ranked No.1 in the world in doubles for a total of 98 weeks, winning 57 doubles titles. Jarryd is an 8-time major champion in doubles, and he won three of the four Grand Slam tournament doubles titles in the same year twice, in 1987 and 1991.
Additionally, Jarryd won 8 singles titles and he reached a career high of world No. 5. Jarryd was a dedicated member of the Swedish Davis Cup team, competing every year from 1981-1993, except for 1991. He was part two championship Davis Cup teams - 1984 and 1987. Jarryd also earned the bronze medal in doubles at 1988 Seoul Olympics, partnered with Stefan Edberg.
TOM OKKER, The Netherlands
The Netherlands' Tom Okker was so quick with his movement on court that he earned the nickname "The Flying Dutchman. He was the World No. 1 in doubles in 1969. Sporting a 541-152 career doubles record, Okker claimed 67 titles, an ATP record that stood for 24 years, until Todd Woodbridge topped it.
In Grand Slams, Okker was a doubles champion at the 1973 French Open (w/ Newcombe) and the 1976 US Open (w/ Reissen) and he was a 3-time finalist in doubles at majors as well.
Okker was a singles finalist at the US Open in 1968, losing to Arthur Ashe in five sets. He attained a career high ranking of world No. 3 in singles, and was ranked among the world's top-10 singles players for seven consecutive years, 1968-1974. Okker represented The Netherlands in the Davis Cup between 1964 and 1981, playing in 13 ties. Sine retirement, he has been involved in the arts and art galleries in The Netherlands.
MICHAEL STICH, Germany
Germany's Michael Stich was the 1991 Wimbledon champion, and in 1992, he partnered with John McEnroe to win the Wimbledon doubles title. In addition to his success at Wimbledon, he was a finalist at both the US Open (1994) and the French Open (1996). In 1993, he defeated Pete Sampras to win the year-end ATP World Tour Championships.
Stich achieved a career-high ranking of world No. 2, and he was in the year-end top-20 every year from 1991-1996. He won 18 singles titles, and 10 doubles titles.
At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, he partnered with Boris Becker to win the Gold Medal in doubles. Stich was a member of the Germany's championship Davis Cup team in 1993, and he was a dedicated Davis Cup team member from 1990 - 1996.
A skilled player at both the baseline and the net, Stich was successful on all surfaces throughout his career, and in 1991 and 1993, he won professional tournaments on all four surfaces.
Today, Stich is the Tournament Director for the German Open, an ATP 500 event in Hamburg.
HELENA SUKOVA, Czech Republic
Helena Sukova, of the Czech Republic, was the world No. 1 ranked doubles player for 68 weeks and she won 14 Grand Slam tournament titles in women's doubles and mixed doubles over the course of her career. Sukova also had a noteworthy singles career, achieving a career high of world No. 4 and reaching the final two times each at the Australian Open and the US Open.
In all, Sukova won an impressive 69 doubles titles. She achieved a career Grand Slam in women's doubles, winning four titles at Wimbledon, two at the US Open, one at the Australian Open, and one at the French Open. In addition, she won one WTA Championships doubles title.
In singles competition, Sukova won 10 titles. At the 1984 Australian Open, she defeated Martina Navratilova in the semifinals, ending Navratilova's historic 74-match winning streak.
Sukova was a standout competitor for her country, as an integral part of the Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic Fed Cup teams for 13 years. She was a playing member of four championship teams (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988). Additionally, she won two Silver Medals at the Olympic Games, partnered with Jana Novotna (1988 and 1996).
Sukova retired in 1998, and has stayed highly active in sports in the Czech Republic. Additionally, Sukova earned a doctoral degree as a psychologist at Palacky University.
Voting for the Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will take place this fall, and the inductees will be announced in the first quarter of 2018. For additional information, visit tennisfame.com