posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 05:48 PM
France's Yannick Noah, American Jim Courier and Czech Jana Novotna were today named as 2005 inductees into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Noah won 23 singles titles in his career, and in 1983 became the first Frenchman to claim the French Open in 37 years – dropping only one set in the
process. In his 12-year career, he ranked in the top 10 six times, peaking at No.3 in 1986. Noah, 44, also won 16 doubles titles and earned the top
doubles ranking in 1986, holding that spot for 19 weeks. In 1991, Noah captained a Davis Cup victory as France won for the first time in 59 years. He
also captained France's Fed Cup team to its first ever victory.
Like Noah, Courier won 23 singles titles, and he also claimed six doubles titles in his 13-year career. Now 34, Courier turned pro in 1988 and posted
a 118-37 singles record in Grand Slam match play. He won consecutive Australian Open titles in 1992 and 1993 and the French Open in successive years
beginning in 1991. In 1992, Courier became only the 10th player to claim the world No.1 ranking since the system was implemented in 1973. He finished
1992 as the top-ranked player, earning ATP Player of the Year honours, while spending a total of 58 weeks at No.1. Known for his superb groundstrokes,
Courier played seven years for the United States in the Davis Cup. He was a member of cup-winning teams in 1992 and 1995.
Novotna, 36, won a singles title at Wimbledon in 1998 and captured 12 Major women's doubles championships, including Wimbledon four times. During her
12-year career, Novotna recorded 24 singles and 76 doubles titles. She ranked in the top 10 seven times between 1991 and 1998, peaking at No.2 in
1997. Novotna reached the top-ranked spot in doubles 11 times. She competed in the Fed Cup for 11 years and was a member of the cup-winning team in
1998. She also won a doubles silver medal in the 1998 Olympics and earned a singles bronze and a doubles silver in the 1996 Games.
The players to be honoured were voted on by a panel of international media. The fourth 2005 inductee, American Earl "Butch" Buchholz jnr, will be
enshrined in the contributor category after a vote by the International Masters Panel, which includes Hall of Fame members. Buchholz, 64, became a
founding member of the first men's players association in 1963. A pioneer in developing both men's and women's tennis, he served the sport in various
professional and administrative capacities, including commissioner of the World Tennis Team in 1977-78.
The induction festivities will take place from July 8-10.