Class of 2014
World No. 1 (Singles and Doubles)
Grand Slam Results
9-time major champion
Overall Record: 254-51
Singles Record: 175-39
Doubles Record: 79-12
ITF World Champion
1991, 1996, 1997
Gold Medal in Women’s Singles, 1988 Seoul Games (Demonstration sport)
Gold medal in Women’s Doubles, Silver medal in Women’s Singles, 1992 Barcelona Games
Gold medal in Women’s Doubles, Bronze medal in Women’s Singles, 1996 Atlanta Games
Those who wonder if athletes can serve as role models, need to look no further than Chantal Vandierendonck.
As an 18-year-old who was a talented national tennis player in The Netherlands, Vandierendonck lost the use of her legs after a 1983 car accident. She could be resigned to her tragic fate or she could embrace wheelchair tennis, a sport she had seen played on television. Vandierendonck embraced the second option and began a playing career that set the standard for the sport.
She quickly became one of the early stars of wheelchair tennis. Vandierendonck was the first International Tennis Federation Wheelchair Tennis Women’s World Champion in 1991 and earned subsequent titles as World Champion in 1996 and 1997. She was the world No. 1 women’s player for a total of 136 weeks in singles and 107 weeks in doubles.
That accomplishment alone was enough for her to become the first female wheelchair player elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, but Vandierendonck’s career boasted many inspiring accomplishments. Between 1985 and 1993 she won seven women's singles titles at the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships, one of the sport’s original Super Series tournaments. She also captured two doubles titles at the event. She won five Paralympic medals.
She won the women's singles Gold Medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, when wheelchair tennis was a demonstration sport, and was extremely successful when it became a full-medal sport starting in 1992. She won women's doubles Gold Medals at the Games in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996 (both with Monique Kalkman), as well as the women's singles Silver Medal in 1992 and the women's singles Bronze Medal in 1996.
Upon the annoucement of her induction, International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith stated, "I extend my congratulations to Chantal Vandierendonck, who is the first female wheelchair tennis player to be enshrined...she was both a top competitor and a trailblazer in wheelchair tennis, and we are delighted to recognize her accomplishments and contributions."
US Open Wheelchair Tennis Champion 7 times
US Open Wheelchair Tennis Doubles Champion twice