Eleven-time Grand Slam and two-time US Open champion Rod Laver highlights the Class of 2017 inductees to Southern California Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame, the organization announced today.
The Hall of Fame Gala and Induction will take place on Sunday, October 1. Considered the highest honor bestowed upon those who have left an indelible mark on the tennis community throughout the region, the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame represents an unparalleled standard of excellence that reflects the highest standards of the United States Tennis Association and exemplifies achievements and contributions to the game of tennis across Southern California.
Previous inductees include Billie Jean King, Tracy Austin, Michael Chang, and Pancho Gonzalez.
The Australian-born Laver, a longtime resident of Carlsbad, Calif., won 200 singles titles during his illustrious career, plus 6 Grand Slam doubles championships. Twice winning all four Grand Slams in a calendar year (the only male player in history to accomplish the feat), “Rocket” Rod Laver is often considered the premier talent of his time, if not the entirety of tennis lore. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981.
Other Class of 2017 honorees include:
- Jim & Annette Buck, long a part of Southern California’s tennis tapestry, have enjoyed a successful careers as coaches and mentors for decades.
- Debbie Graham, a former Stanford standout, ranked as high as #5 in World doubles and #35 in singles.
- William “Bill” Kellogg served as co-chair of the USTA Davis Cup and Fed Cup Committee, and on the Board of Directors of USTA Southern California since 1982.
- Robert “Bob” Kramer is a former Executive Director of SCTA, and Tournament Director for the ATP Men’s professional event in Los Angeles.
- UCLA women’s head coach Stella Sampras-Webster was a four-time All-American for the school, only the second player in school history to attain this status.
- Ken Stuart is a former NCAA All American at Long Beach State University, and competed in the US Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open during his career.
Posthumous inductees include Helen Pastall Perez, who was ranked in the World Top 10 in 1949, Herb Flam was the first Bruin tennis player to capture individual NCAA titles in both singles and doubles in the same year. and was a quarterfinalist in the US Nationals in 1949 and 1953. Bobby Riggs was most notably known for his role in the “Battle of the Sexes” with Billie Jean King, provoking awareness of gender equality in the game. Former SCTA Executive Director Henry Talbert, a life-long tennis player with a game developed on public park courts, first began working for the USTA in 1974, and became the first African-American to be a USTA administrator on the national level.
More information on the Hall of Fame Gala and Induction, including ticket information, will be announced shortly at southerncaliforniatennis.org and on all SCTA social platforms.