Justine Henin of Belgium and Marat Safin of Russia have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Both Henin and Safin are former world number ones in single women and men ranking respectively.
Justin Henin has won seven Grand Slam titles and been ranked the top female player in tennis for over 117 weeks. The 33-year old is the first Belgian player to have been inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. She retired in 2011 with 43 career single titles to her name including one Australian Open, two US Open and four French Open titles.
Henin initially retired in 2008 and made a comeback again into tennis in 2010. She tried to climb the rankings again reaching tournament finals on many occasions however failed to win major titles. She reached a high of world no.12 before finally walking away in 2011.
36-year old Marat Safin had a comparatively smaller span of just nine weeks as top ranked male player. He has won two major Grand Slams and is the first Russian tennis player to have been given this privilege. He has 15 career titles including one US and one Australian Open title.
Safin said, “To be a part of a Hall of Fame is every athlete’s dream. I am really honoured to be inducted and proud to present Russian tennis alongside the greatest champions of tennis history”.
Apart from this, Yuon Petra and Margaret Scriven were elected in the master player category in the Hall’s Class of 2016. Petra, the French player who died in 1984, won the Wimbledon in 1946 after being held as a prisoner of war in Germany for five years. Britain’s Scriven was the first left handed tennis player to win a Grand Slam title. She died in 2001.