Martina Navratilova, an outspoken trailblazer both on and off the tennis court for more than three decades, will be recognized with the Eugene L. Scott Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, at the 30th annual Legends Ball on Friday, September 10, 2010 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
This special night of celebration will also honor a host of tennis luminaries, including the Hall of Fame Class of 2010, which features doubles specialists Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde and Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva, as well as mixed doubles star Owen Davidson, wheelchair tennis creator Brad Parks and Derek Hardwick, former chairman of the British Lawn Tennis Association.
"I want to thank the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Scott family for recognizing me with the Eugene L. Scott Award," said Navratilova. "The honor is especially humbling because of the respect I had for Gene. He was always honest in his praise and criticism, and for me to be recognized for sharing my views, first as a player and now as a commentator on Tennis Channel is truly rewarding and will inspire me to continue to do so in the future."
The Eugene L. Scott Award, presented annually since 2006, honors an individual who embodies Scott's commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, "Vantage Point" until his death in 2005. Previous recipients of the award have been: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008) and Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009).
"Martina never allowed the status quo to guide her actions on or off the court, which makes her a fitting recipient of the Eugene L. Scott Award," said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. "Leaders and trailblazers like Martina should be recognized in order to encourage others to follow their own heart."
Navratilova took women's tennis to an entirely new level with her speed, aggression and fitness. She won a record 59 Grand Slam titles, 167 singles and 177 doubles championships during a spectacular 30-year career. Her decade-long rivalry with Chris Evert is considered one of the greatest in sports history, with Navratilova sporting a 43-37 advantage. She stays professionally involved in the sport by commentating for Tennis Channel.
Navratilova is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique association of 46 of the greatest living sporting legends who volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In December, she will lead a group of 28 climbers up Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money to support Laureus Sport for Good Foundation projects.
In addition, Navratilova is currently the national spokesperson and Health and Fitness Ambassador for AARP and the author of a recent book, "Shape Your Self." She also spends most of her time traveling the world, speaking at various events, playing in numerous exhibition matches, and tirelessly promoting all of the issues that are close to her heart whether the topic is health/fitness, politics, sexuality or inequality.
The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and to honor some of the sport's great contributors, all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries. In addition to honoring the Class of 2010 and presenting the Eugene L. Scott Award, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will also present the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award and will recognize several other people and organizations for their contributions to the sport.
At the Legends Ball, guests can also bid upon once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Monica Seles; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; a meet and greet with Tiger Woods; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; and autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer, James Blake and Andre Agassi.
For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, R.I., is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.
About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport's official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners, such as BNP Paribas. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at tennisfame.com.