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Kuerten, Kafelnikov Nominated For International Tennis Hall of Fame

Newport, U.S.A.

Kuerten© Getty ImagesGustavo Kuerten was a three-time champion at Roland Garros.

Brazilian tennis superstar Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten, Russia's first World No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and Jennifer Capriati, one of America's most dominant tennis players in the 1990s and early 2000s, and have been nominated to receive the highest honour available in the sport of tennis, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

All three are nominated for the induction Class of 2012 in the Recent Player Category. Also in the Recent Player Category, Wheelchair Tennis superstar and three-time Paralympic medallist Randy Snow has been nominated posthumously for induction. In the Master Player Category, Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who captured 19 Grand Slam titles between the 1930s and 1950s, and 1975 US Open champion Manuel Orantes, a Spanish star of the 1970s-1980s have been nominated.

Three individuals have been nominated for their immense contributions to the sport. Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has guided 10 ATP and WTA stars to World No. 1 status; influential tennis promoter and administrator Mike Davies; and Eiichi Kawatei, who has played a vital role in the growth of tennis in Asia have all been nominated in the Contributor Category.

The 2012 Nominees were announced live on Tennis Channel on Wednesday. Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova, Bill Macatee and Justin Gimelstob welcomed Kuerten and International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Chairman Christopher E. Clouser to the Tennis Channel Plaza on the grounds at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the US Open to make the announcement.
 
"Only a small, elite group of athletes ever achieve the status of being World No. 1 in their sport. Jennifer Capriati, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Guga Kuerten and Randy Snow are among this elite group. For their impressive rankings, along with Grand Slam titles, Olympic medals and other great contributions to the sport of tennis, I'm very pleased to announce that they have been nominated to receive our sport's highest honour, induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame," said Tony Trabert, International Tennis Hall of Fame President and 1970 Hall of Fame Inductee.
 
Trabert added, "We are also pleased to honour both Thelma Coyne Long and Manuel Orantes, who achieved remarkable success on the court. Nick Bollettieri's dedication to tennis has given us many of the game's greatest champions, and Mike Davies and Eiichi Kawatei, are true trailblazers of the sport, and it is thanks to their efforts that we are able to enjoy tennis on such a grand, global scale today.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Enshrinee Nominating Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, I extend congratulations to the nominees and our gratitude for their many contributions to the sport of tennis."
 
Voting for the 2012 ballot will take place over the next several months, culminating with an announcement in early 2012 to reveal the Class of 2012 Inductees. The Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. The Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.
 
Tickets for the tournament and Induction Ceremony will go on sale in fall 2011, with a pre-sale for International Tennis Hall of Fame Members, followed by the General Public ticket sale. Individuals interested in becoming a member or purchasing tickets should call 866-914-FAME (3263) and/or visit www.tennisfame.com.

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