Sampras and Mallory Inducted into US Open Court of Champions

September 10, 2008

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA today announced that Pete Sampras, a five-time US Open singles champion, and Molla Mallory, an eight-time US Open singles champion, have been named the 2008 inductees into the US Open Court of Champions, a US Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the U.S. Championships/US Open.

The US Open Court of Champions salutes the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with an individual permanent monument that serves as a lasting tribute. The 2008 inductees will join prior inductees Don Budge, Maureen Connolly, Jimmy Connors, Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson, Steffi Graf, Billie Jean King, Jack Kramer, Rod Laver, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Bill Tilden and Helen Wills. A panel of international print and broadcast journalists selected the 2008 inductees from the roster of U.S. champions based on their performances at the tournament and their impact on the growth of the event.

“Pete Sampras and Molla Mallory are two of the greatest champions ever to compete at the US Open and U.S. Championships and we are proud to honor their remarkable legacies,” said Jane Brown-Grimes, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “Their record-breaking performances at this tournament helped elevate the US Open to be one of the world’s premier sporting events.”

“The US Open Court of Champions serves a lasting tribute to the greatest singles champions in the history of the event,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Pro Tennis, USTA. “Both Pete Sampras and Molla Mallory have without question earned a spot among this elite group and we are pleased to recognize their legendary achievements.”

Sampras’ five US Open singles titles are part of a resume that includes a record 14 Grand Slam singles crowns won during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sampras’ first and last major titles came at the US Open. His ascent to the top of the world rankings lifted this event — and the sport of tennis — to new heights of intensity and entertainment. Remembered for an enormous serve, explosive forehand and exquisite net game, Sampras was a competitor of singular brilliance — and a champion of exceptional class.

Mallory (nee Bjornstedt) won a record eight U.S. women’s singles titles, including a women’s record four consecutive crowns from 1915-1918. Her win in 1926, at age 42, established her as the oldest singles champion in the history of this event. Born in Norway, Mallory out-worked and out-willed even the finest of opponents with a brilliant baseline game and an unparalleled drive and desire to succeed. In 15 U.S. Championships appearances, she never lost before the quarterfinals. She died in Stockholm in November 1959 at the age of 75. She also won two women’s doubles and three mixed doubles titles

The US Open Court of Champions, a 9,000-square foot outdoor pavilion bounded by the South Entry Gate and the Arthur Ashe Commemorative Garden and Sculpture, celebrates the event’s greatest champions with an individual permanent monument to serve as a lasting tribute. The attraction also features a complete listing of all U.S. singles champions since the competition began in 1881.