MELBOURNE, January 25, 2018
In a special ceremony at the Australian Open, it was announced that Michael Stich and Helena Sukova have been elected for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2018.
In becoming Hall of Famers, Stich and Sukova join an elite group of just 252 individuals hailing from 23 nations who have received the honor, which recognizes their careers as being among the most accomplished and impactful in the history of tennis. Stich is the sixth German to be inducted, joining the ranks of Boris Becker, Stefanie Graf, and 1930s tennis greats Barron Gottfried Von Cramm, Hans Nusslein, and Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling.
Joining Stich in the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 is Czech tennis legend Helena Sukova, who won a career Grand Slam in women’s doubles, with four titles at Wimbledon, two at the U.S. Open and one a piece at the French Open and Australian Open. She also clinched six mixed major titles in doubles titles and helped the Czech Republic win four Fed Cup championships.
“Tennis has a storied history in the Czech Republic, and that history certainly played an important role in my tennis upbringing and my approach to the game. I grew up in a tennis family and being in awe of the accomplishments of legends like my mother, Vera, as well as Jan Kodes and Martina Navratilova. It was truly my joy and privilege to compete for my country, on the WTA tour, and among the greatest tennis players in the world. Today, I’m incredibly honored to be selected for the Hall of Fame, where the sport’s greatest in history are honored,” remarked Sukova.
“Michael’s laser focus and the versatility in his game made him a Wimbledon champion, and today, those skills and accomplishments make him a Hall of Famer,” said Hall of Famer Stan Smith, who also serves as president of the Hall of Fame.
“Being elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame ensures that their careers and accomplishments will forever be distinguished as being among the greatest in our sport’s history. It’s a well-deserved honour for Helena and Michael, and we look forward to celebrating with them in Newport in July.”
Stich, who was known as a skilled player at both the baseline and the net, said, “It’s quite an honour to become part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. I’m humbled to be included among this elite group of tennis athletes, many of whom I so greatly admired and was inspired by throughout my career.”
Stich won the 1991 Wimbledon singles championship when he defeated Boris Becker. He paired with John McEnroe to win the doubles title at the All England Club the following year in a five-hour match, which took place over two days. The German reached No. 2 in the ATP rankings and was a runner-up at at the US Open in 1994 and at the French Open in 1996. In 1991 and 1993, he won professional tournaments on all four surfaces.
Stich appeared in 31 finals and won 18 career singles titles, including particularly momentous victories at season-ending events. In the 1992 Grand Slam Cup, Stich defeated Stefan Edberg, Richard Krajicek, Pete Sampras, and Michael Chang to win the title. A year later, he closed the season with wins over Michael Chang, Jim Courier, and Pete Sampras to capture the Nitto ATP Finals title.
Stich was an accomplished representative of Germany throughout his career. At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, he partnered with Boris Becker to win the Gold Medal in doubles. In 1993 Davis Cup final, he won all three points versus Australia to win the title for Germany.
Today, Stich is the Tournament Director for the German Tennis Championships 2018, an ATP World Tour 500 event in Hamburg. In 1994 he created the Michael Stich Foundation, a robust charity focused on programs aimed at HIV and AIDS awareness, as well as helping children in need.
Class of 2018 Induction Ceremony
The Class of 2018 will be officially inducted on 21 July, during Hall of Fame Weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. Tickets for the Induction Ceremony will go on sale on 5 March. In addition, the class will be celebrated in a tribute exhibit in the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, which will open in June and be displayed for one year.