Eight-time Paralympic medalist Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands and Quad wheelchair tennis pioneer, American Rick Draney, have been elected to receive tennis’ ultimate honor – induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2023 was introduced on court Saturday at the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam, welcomed by Hall of Famer Monique Kalkman-van den Bosch, several current wheelchair tennis stars, and Dutch tennis fans. Vergeer currently serves as Tournament Director of the ABN AMRO Open’s men’s and women’s wheelchair events.
Vergeer and Draney will become the sixth and seventh wheelchair tennis inductees to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, joining Brad Parks, Randy Snow, Chantal Vandierendonck, David Hall, and Kalkman-van den Bosch. Wheelchair tennis candidates are considered for election into the Hall of Fame every four years. The category recognizes candidates with a distinguished record of achievement at the highest international level. This year marks the first time two wheelchair candidates have been elected simultaneously.
In July, Vergeer and Draney will join an elite group of 262 inductees representing 27 nations as Hall of Famers. The ultimate honor in tennis – induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame – recognizes the sum of a career as being amongst the most accomplished an impactful in the history of tennis.
“I’m honored to welcome Esther Vergeer and Rick Draney to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Esther and Rick have made indelible marks on the sport of wheelchair tennis, and their impact transcends their tremendous achievements on court. Both are immensely deserving as members of the Class of 2023 and we look forward to their induction this summer in Newport.”
-Kim Clijsters, Honorary President of ITHF and Class of 2017 Hall of Famer