MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Former World’s No. 1 tennis player Marat Safin of Russia has joined the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the press service of the Russian Tennis Federation announced on Thursday.
The official ceremony to induct the titled Russian tennis player has been scheduled for July 16, 2016.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located in the US city of Newport, Rhode Island, where it opened in 1954 and the first Hall of Fame members were inducted there in 1955.
Safin was announced as a candidate for the induction into the Hall of Fame in October 2015 together with Belgium’s Justine Henin, a former WTA (Women Tennis Association) Tour world No. 1 and seven-time major champion, and Helena Sukova from the Czech Republic, who won 14 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles.
Commenting on his nomination at that time, Safin said it was his dream and he was proud of representing his country in that way.
"To be part of a Hall of Fame is every athlete's dream," Safin was quoted as saying on the official website of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. "It is a great honor to have my tennis career recognized in this way, and I am proud to represent Russian tennis with this nomination for such a prestigious honor in our sport."
Born in Moscow on January 27, 1980, Safin is the two-time Grand Slam Champion (2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open) and the dual Davis Cup champion winning the trophies with the Russian national team in 2002 and 2006.
Throughout his career, the 35-year-old Russian tennis player won a total of 15 ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) in men’s singles category. He wrapped up his tennis career in 2009 and was ranked 61st best player in ATP’s world best men’s singles rankings at that time.
According to the official website of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, "Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the highest honor in the sport of tennis. Induction acknowledges an individual's excellence in on court achievements and contributions to the growth of the sport."
Following the official ceremony scheduled for July 16, Safin will become the first Russian national in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.