Class of 1980
Contributions to Tennis
Tennis has its share of royalty – Margaret Court, Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Chris Evert, among many who have brought dignity and grace to the sport – but when it comes to reverential royalty, none can hold a candle to Sweden’s King Gustav V, the International Tennis Hall of Fame's first Royal inductee.
In 1878, years before he became King of Sweden, Gustav learned to play tennis on a trip to Great Britain when he was Crown Prince. Upon his return, he founded Sweden’s first tennis club and did everything in his power to spread the word about this new and exciting sport that he believed was the best that life had to offer. A respectable player himself, he donated the King's Cup as a special competition among European nations beginning in 1936.
A man of global influence, he also is said to have assisted in obtaining better treatment for both German star Gottfried von Cramm and French player Jean Borotra while they were imprisoned by the German Government during World War II.