Patrick Rafter and Gabriela Sabatini have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
Melbourne:Two-time US Open champion Patrick Rafter and Gabriela Sabatini, the first Argentinian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title, have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Rafter, aged 33 and twice a runner-up at Wimbledon in a 12-year career, is the 24th Australian to be elected. Sabatini, the 1990 US Open winner and former No 3 who was ranked in the top 10 for 10 straight years, joins compatriot Guillermo Vilas, who was inducted in 1991. "This is one of the highs. I don't think there is anymore, this is it for me," Rafter said at the official announcement during the Australian Open. "I'm really surprised to receive this so young. I expected it to come later on, when I was older." Special honour Rafter finished his career with 11 singles titles, including the 1997 and 1998 US Opens, and reached a career-high No 1 in July 1999. He also won 12 doubles titles, including at the 1999 Australian Open, and was an eight-year member of Australia's Davis Cup team. Sabatini, 35, won 27 WTA Tour singles titles and 14 doubles titles, including the 1988 Wimbledon crown when partnering Steffi Graf. Sabatini led the Argentinian Fed Cup team from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. "The majority of my life has revolved around my tennis, so it is a very special honour to be elected, especially when you look at all the great names of champions that have been elected over the years," Sabatini said in a statement. Also elected for his contribution to tennis was Italian sports writer Gianni Clerici. The induction will take place at Newport, Rhode Island, on July 15. (AP)