The International Tennis Hall of Fame announced the class of 2016 and in includes former No. 1s Justine Henin and Marat Safin.
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 and was a 7-time Grand Slam champion.
“It’s a big honor. I was five years old when I started playing tennis and my dream was to become a champion,” said Henin. “All of the things that then happened- all the dreams that came true, all the victories and Grand Slams, and every emotion that I lived in my tennis career remains something very important in my life today. Being part of the Hall of Fame says that it will remain something forever, and that is very special. I am really honored.”
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.
“I’m very happy to be inducted to the Hall of Fame,” Safin said. “I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me and supported me throughout my tennis career. To be part of a Hall of Fame is every athlete’s dream. I am really honored to be inducted and proud to represent Russian tennis alongside the greatest champions of tennis history.”
Also going are Yvon Petra, who claimed a Wimbledon title after five years as a prisoner-of-war, and Margaret Scriven, who won two back-to-back singles titles at the French Championships.
Safin goes in ahead of countryman Yevgeny Kafelnivkoc who continues to be blackballed for his dealings with the press and his interests in gambling. And even Safin was surprised he’s and Yevgeny isn’t.
Interesting chat with new Hall of Famers, Justine Henin & Marat Safin. Marat surprised to be inducted ahead of Kafelnikov. "Better than me."
— Richard Ingham Evans (@Ringham7) March 8, 2016
The Class of 2016 Induction Ceremony will be held on July 16 in Newport.
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