MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. Vice President of the Russian Tennis Federation Yevgeny Kafelnikov has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island (USA).
"I know what it's like and how to be a Hall of Famer, and I will definitely carry that responsibility for the rest of my life," the Russian said, addressing the ceremony.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame induction marks the end of his career as a professional tennis player, Kafelnikov told TASS. According to him, it is also a sign of "recognition from the global tennis community." "It can be said for sure now that Yevgeny Kafelnikov’s career has come to an end in such a wonderful way," he added.
China’s Li Na and France’s Mary Pierce have also been officially inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Kafelnikov, 45, won singles titles at the 1996 French Open and the 1999 Australian Open, as well as doubles titles at the French Open in 1996, 1997 and 2002. He is the first Russian tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles title and the last man to have won both the singles and doubles titles at the same Grand Slam tournament. Kafelnikov also won the singles gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games and was a member of the Russian team that won the Davis Cup in 2002. He was the world No. 1 tennis player on May 3 to June 13, 1999.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in Newport, United States, was established in 1954. Kafelnikov is the second Russian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first one being Marat Safin (2016).