Following his match in the Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour event yesterday, JTCC Senior Advisor and Hall of Famer Mats Wilander received his gold International Tennis Hall of Fame ring. Wilander was inducted in 2002 but the Hall of Fame did not distribute commemorative rings until last year.
“I think when you first start playing tennis, the last thing on your mind is being inducted into the International Hall of Fame,” Wilander said after receiving his ring. “Then it happens, but it really hits you when you arrive in Newport and see it’s real. I feel great about being there.”
In his match yesterday, Wilander fell to Aaron Krickstein (6-4, 5-7, 5-10) in a battle for third place of the ATP Champions Tour event.
On the ATP Tour, Wilander was the former world No. 1 and winner of eight Grand Slam titles (three at the French Open, three at the Australian Open, one at the US Open and a doubles title at Wimbledon). In 1988, Wilander dominated the sport by capturing three out of the four Grand Slam single events and ended the season ranked No. 1 overall. Wilander is one of two men (joined by Nadal) to win two Grand Slam singles titles on each of the three surfaces (the Australian Open used to be played on grass). By the age of 20, he had already amassed four Grand Slam singles titles (he is the youngest man to achieve this feat in history). He also led his native Sweden to three Davis Cup victories.
In addition to playing on the Champions Tour and the PowerShares Series circuit, Mats provides guidance to JTCC players and coaches regarding mental toughness and commitment to high performance training.
The ITC main draw will kick off today at 2:30 PM EST as three of the tournament’s top seeds (Malisse, Dolgopolov and Querry) will be in action.
Congratulations Mats and we look forward to seeing you on the courts in College Park soon!
Photo courtesy of Art Seitz