2016-07-14 / News Briefs

Ram Loses Bid for Back-to-Back Tennis Titles

On Monday, July 11, defending Hall of Fame champion Rajeev Ram enjoyed a welcome return to the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport with a 6-2, 6-3 win against American wild card Mackenzie McDonald.

On Wednesday, July 13, Ram was unable to continue that momentum when he lost, in a little over and hour, to Israel’s seventh-seed Dudi Sela, 6-3, 6-4. Ram led a field of eight qualifiers for the men’s singles title in a week that culminates Sunday, July 17, with the induction of four new members into the Hall of Fame. The men’s doubles championship will be decided on Saturday, July 16.

Jimmy Connors and Monica Seles will be presenters at the July 17 Hall of Fame induction. The Class of 2016 includes recent players Justine Henin, 33, of Belgium, world No. 1 player for 117 weeks, who was the year-end No. 1 three times, clinching the top spot in 2003, 2006, and 2007; and Marat Safin, 36, of Russia, two-time Grand Slam tournament champion, holder of the world No. 1 ranking for nine weeks and a berth in the world top-five for 119 weeks.

Also being honored will be 2015 inductee, France’s Amelie Mauresmo, who was unable to attend last year’s event. Mauresmo, 37, held the world No. 1 slot for five weeks in 2004. She won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. During her 13 years playing professionally she was No. 1 for a total of 39 weeks, and was in the top-five for a total of 191.

The two players to be enshrined in the Master category include Yvon Petra, a notable French champion of the 1940s. His career success came at a challenging time, straddling World War II. Perhaps most notably, his historic Wimbledon victory came following five years as a prisoner of war in Germany. Petra is also the last Frenchman to win Wimbledon. He will enter the Hall with Margaret “Peggy” Scriven of Yorkshire, England, who accomplished the rare feat of back-to-back French Championships titles, in 1933 and 1934. She was ranked in the top-five for three years.

This is a special week for tennis in Newport, as the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup marks its 40th anniversary of bringing ATP World Tour action to the historic courts of Newport. The event in 1976 was considered an exhibition, with the tournament becoming officially sanctioned in 1977.

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