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Barrett, Bollettieri Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

Newport, U.S.A.

Hall of Fame© Kate Whitney LuceyNick Bollettieri and John Barrett are among five members of the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.

Tennis icons John Barrett and Nick Bollettieri were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday for their exceptional contribution to the sport of tennis.

Founder of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Bollettieri is a coaching legend and one of the more influential figures in the sport, having molded the careers of many top players including former World No. 1s Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Boris Becker and Marcelo Rios. He has also worked with women’s Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Monica Seles.

The New York native, also an acclaimed author, founded his academy in 1978. It was the first full-time tennis boarding school, which has integrated intense athletic training with an academic curriculum. Bollettieri also set in motion a college preparatory program with the goal of guiding the maturation of the well-rounded athlete both on and off the court.

"This is not a Nick Bollettieri award. This award belongs to all of you, all of the people," said Bollettieri. "And this award became possible by people saying, Nick, you can't do it. When anybody says, Nick, you can't do it, that's when I did it.

"But no one can do it without teamwork. It just doesn't happen. So I'm very blessed to have had the players, my friends who bailed me out many times. And I have been bailed out many times. But this award is far more than anybody could ever dream for. I want to thank all of you for the publicity both complimentary and not complimentary. My daddy said, 'Son, when they're talking about you, baby, they're thinking about you.'

Watch Bollettieri Interview

John Barrett has spent a lifetime in tennis. A nationally-ranked player for 18 years, Barrett first competed at Wimbledon in 1950 and retired in 1970, having played Ken Rosewall three times. From 1965 to 1968 he was Director of the Lawn Tennis Association Training Squad and has founded and directed many different youth tennis events for young players such as the BP International Tennis Fellowship (1968-80).

A member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1955, the London native was appointed a committee member in 1989 and now serves as a Vice-President. He was a member of the ATP (1972-73) and served as a BBC television commentator from 1971 until the conclusion of 2006 Wimbledon. His work in the broadcast booth also extends to television networks in Australia (Channel Nine), Canada, Hong Kong and United States (HBO and ESPN), and he has produced a multitude of books and other various publications. In 2007, he was awarded an ‘Order of the British Empire' for his service to sports broadcasting.

"I have been in love with this game ever since I first picked up a racquet aged, I don't know, seven or eight, and found fortunately I had an affinity with the ball," said Barrett. "And it's given me a whole experience of life which I wouldn't have had at all had I not been able to play.

"I feel incredibly lucky. As for finding myself here in the Hall of Fame, that was never imagined and came as a shock when my name was put forward. I suppose I have to thank my colleagues around the world who vote on the panel for thinking that I'm worthy of inclusion. But to be here at the pinnacle of the sport is just such an honour that I can't tell you. I feel very humbled. It's a great honour to be part of such a distinguished group today."

Also inducted were former women’s World No. 1 and three-time major winner Lindsay Davenport, former WTA and USTA executive Jane Brown Grimes, and wheelchair tennis pioneer Chantal Vandierendonck.

Since 1955, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has to date honoured 239 people from 11 nations.

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