Photo: Dave ShoplandHall of Fame rings presentation
Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras were all presented with the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum's official Hall of Fame rings at a special ceremony during the World Tennis Day Showdown in London on 3 March as part of the worldwide World Tennis Day celebrations. Agassi, Sampras and Lendl all took part in exhibition matches that evening.
The rings were presented by Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser, ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, and Ingrid Lofdahl Bentzer, who serves as Vice Chairman of the Hall of Fame's Enshrinee Nominating Committee.
"Andre, Pete, and Ivan have accomplished all that one can dream of in tennis - they are former world No. 1's, Grand Slam champions, Davis Cup champions, and Hall of Famers," commented Clouser. "These one-of-a-kind rings are a symbol of all that they have accomplished and their legacy in the sport."
In addition to the rings, the ceremony paid tribute to the Hall of Fame Class of 2014, which was announced earlier in the day. John Barrett, British tennis journalist and historian, and Chantal Vandierendonck, a wheelchair tennis champion and five-time Paralympic medallst, both of whom were named to the Class of 2014, participated in the ceremony.
The personalised rings were introduced in 2011 and are being presented to Hall of Famers at tennis events around the world over the next few years as a special symbol of their Hall of Fame enshrinement. The rings bear a green stone set in gold, to complement the International Tennis Hall of Fame's brand colours. In addition, the rings are etched with each honoree's name and the Hall of Fame logo crest.
Ivan Lendl, an eight-time Grand Slam tournament champion, was honoured with Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2001. Great American tennis rivals Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were enshrined in 2007 and 2011, respectively.