Wheelchair legend honoured with Hall of Fame induction
Australian wheelchair tennis legend David Hall was honoured at the weekend with his induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
David Hall has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport, Rhode Island in recognition of his remarkable career and tremendous contributions to tennis.
The Sydneysider, a six-time Paralympic champion, was joined in the Class of 2015 by former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo and longtime tennis industry leader Nancy Jeffett.
The new Hall of Famers were celebrated in a grand ceremony attended by thousands of fans and Hall of Famers including Billie Jean King, Pam Shriver, Vic Seixas and Gigi Fernandez; International Tennis Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser and President Stan Smith led the ceremony.
King, a Class of 1987 inductee, was also honored during the ceremony, when she was presented with her official Hall of Fame ring.
Hall, one of the world’s most decorated wheelchair athletes, said: “You feel the history of tennis here in Newport. I think to have wheelchair tennis included among this beautiful sport is incredible. For me to be here and to be considered a small part of that history of the sport that we love is just great for me. I’m very proud and honored to be here.”
Hall was ranked world No.1 in singles and doubles and he won every major title in the sport.
A six-time Paralympic medalist, Hall won medals in singles and doubles at the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Games.
He won the Australian Open for Wheelchair Tennis an incredible nine times and the US Open eight times, and was also champion at the British Open seven times and the Japan Open eight times.
Hall holds a remarkable career singles record of 632-111 and a career doubles record of 397-89.
He was introduced for induction by his coach, Richard Berman.
“Through those early days, after my accident, tennis was like a long-lost friend who had come back to me,” Hall said in his acceptance speech.
“Tennis has given me more than I could ever repay. It took me in directions I never imagined. It took me to faraway lands, forging friendships, and experiencing different cultures. It gave me a purpose, a direction, it filled me up when I needed it and rewarded me with great joy when I worked for it.
“I never dreamed I could be as successful as I was. When people recite my career stats, I still find it hard to comprehend. I had goals and I worked as hard as I could to reach them.
“I don’t think of myself as special or extraordinary, I’m just a kid from Budgewoi who loved to hit balls that was blessed to be surrounded by great people.”
The International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be honored all year in the Hall of Fame’s museum.
Including this year’s inductees, the honor of induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been presented to just 243 people representing 21 nations.