King, Kloss to Be Inducted Into USTA Jap HOF

Trailblazers and long-time New Yorkers will likely be honored earlier than this yr’s US Open.

USTA Jap and the Junior Tennis Basis (JTF) will induct longtime companions Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss into its Tennis Corridor of Fame to honor their illustrious tennis careers and lengthy legacy of advocacy for gender equality in sports activities and past.

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The induction ceremony is tentatively scheduled to be held the week previous to the US Open in New York, pandemic allowing. They be part of beforehand introduced inductees Dr. Dale Caldwell and Dr. Emily Moore as members of the 2021 Corridor of Fame class.

“It isn’t attainable to overstate Billie Jean and Ilana’s contributions towards making a extra equitable world,” stated USTA Jap Government Director and CEO Jenny Schnitzer. “As leaders and advocates, they’ve basically altered the tennis panorama. However what they’ve achieved collectively extends far past a tennis court docket.

“Their collaborative efforts via the Girls’s Sports activities Basis and the Billie Jean King Management Initiative through the years have opened so many doorways for women and girls in sports activities and within the office. Their impression is felt on a world scale. We’re thrilled to formally acknowledge them for his or her outstanding achievements and lifelong of service.”

39-time Grand Slam Champion King led the “Unique 9” tennis gamers to type what would ultimately turn out to be the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA) in response to unequal pay and alternatives in comparison with their male counterparts. For over 40 years she has been companions with fellow former participant Kloss, who captured two main doubles titles and was ranked as excessive as No. 1 on the earth in doubles and No. 19 in singles.

Collectively, King and Kloss have devoted a lot of their lives to championing gender equality and LGBTQ rights. As a co-founder of World TeamTennis (WTT) over 40 years in the past, King helped develop the first-ever skilled tennis league during which female and male gamers contributed equally to attain a staff end result. Kloss carried on the WTT’s cornerstone mission, serving because the CEO and Commissioner of the revolutionary league—which was headquartered for a few years in New York Metropolis—from 2001 till 2018.

In 2014, King and Kloss launched the Billie Jean King Management Initiative to handle equality and inclusion points within the office. The pair can be actively concerned with the Girls’s Sports activities Basis (WSF), a corporation King based in 1974 to assist women and girls all around the world obtain their full potential in sports activities. Each King and Kloss at present sit on the WSF board, and Kloss beforehand served because the governing physique’s chair. King and Kloss are additionally a part of the possession teams of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Sparks and Angel Metropolis FC, and they’re founding board members of the Elton John AIDS Basis. The couple at present resides in New York Metropolis.

With their induction, King and Kloss be part of fellow tennis trailblazers and notables Arthur Ashe, Mary Carillo, Althea Gibson, “Unique 9” member Julie Heldman, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Renee Richards, Bob Ryland, Dick Savitt and former USTA President Katrina Adams within the Jap Tennis Corridor of Fame.

Proceeds from the induction ceremony will profit the JTF, which supplies grants and different monetary help to lots of of worthy tennis packages and organizations that concentrate on underserved and at-risk youth and folks with disabilities. Since its incorporation in 1982, JTF has supplied greater than $2 million for packages and scholarships within the Jap Part.

Photograph credit score: WTA Tour

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