Tennis-Mauresmo, Pierce headline list of Hall of Fame nominations
Sept 4 (Reuters) - Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce, both two-times grand slam singles champions, headlined the list of nominees up for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Also being nominated in the recent player category are two-times French Open champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain and Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov, winner of two grand slam singles titles, the Hall of Fame said in a statement on Thursday.
Mauresmo, who was the first French woman to achieve the world number one ranking since the computer rankings began in the 1970s, captured the singles titles at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006.
Her powerful yet elegant one-handed backhand and remarkably strong net play helped her claim 25 singles titles and the silver medal at the 2004 Atlanta Olympics.
Pierce, known for her hard-hitting, powerful game, won two grand slam titles in both singles and doubles play and achieved a career-high ranking of world number three in each.
She captured her first major singles title at the 1995 Australian Open and triumphed at Roland Garros in 2000 when she became the first French woman to claim the title since Frankie Durr in 1967. Pierce was also a member of the French Olympic Team in 1992, 1996, and 2004.
Bruguera, who is credited with leading a resurgence in men's tennis in Spain, won back-to-back French Open titles in 1993 and 1994 and reached a third final at Roland Garros in 1997. He also won a silver medal for Spain at the 1996 Olympics.
En route to his first major title, Bruguera notched several big wins with victories over then-world number one Pete Sampras, Andrei Medvedev, and two-time defending champion Jim Courier in the final.
Kafelnikov, the first Russian player to hold the world number one ranking, captured singles titles at the 1996 French Open and the 1999 Australian Open.
One of just eight players in the Open Era to win at least 25 singles titles and 25 doubles titles, Kafelnikov is the last man to have won both the singles and doubles titles at the same grand slam, which he did at the 1996 French Open.
Kafelnikov won an Olympic gold medal in singles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in 2002 helped lead the Russian team to Davis Cup victory.
Australian David Hall, one of the most decorated wheelchair tennis players to date who was ranked world number one in singles and doubles and won every major title in the sport, was also nominated in the recent player category.
Nancy Jeffett, whose work for tennis over the past 50 years has been instrumental in advancing professional women's tennis and in developing opportunities for junior tennis development, was nominated in the contributor category.
The Hall of Fame's 2015 class will be announced early next year and an induction ceremony will be held on July 18 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Steve Keating.)
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