ITHF honors Leconte and Forget

November 22, 2014

NEWPORT, R.I. — The International Tennis Hall of Fame and International Tennis Federation (ITF) today honored Henri Leconte and Guy Forget with the 2014 Davis Cup Award of Excellence. The award was presented during a special on-court ceremony at the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final between France and Switzerland, which is being contested in Lille, France.

Leconte and Forget have been key figures in France’s Davis Cup history for many years. In addition to their successful singles records, as doubles partners, they compiled an 11-0 record for the nation. They were integral members of the historic 1991 team that won the Cup for France for the first time in 59 years. In that final, Leconte defeated Pete Sampras 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 on the first day in Lyon in what he called “the best match I played in my life”. Leconte and Forget then partnered for a four-set doubles win over Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, before Forget went on to defeat Sampras by a score of 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the fourth rubber to clinch the trophy. Leconte and Forget were named Athletes of the Year by the French magazine L’Equipe in recognition of their Davis Cup success that year.

“As highly committed players and leaders among the French tennis players, Henri Leconte and Guy Forget played a pivotal role in building the success of the French Davis Cup team. As we gather here in France for another dynamic Davis Cup Final, it is a pleasure to honor Henri and Guy for their important contributions over the years by presentation of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

Ricci Bitti presented the award, along with Jean Gachassin, president of the French Tennis Federation, and a board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Each year since 2001, the ITF and the Hall of Fame have presented the Davis Cup Award of Excellence to a person or persons who represent the ideals and spirit of the Davis Cup competition. It is presented to someone who has been an active member of a past or present Davis Cup team.

Henri Leconte played in 28 Davis Cup ties over 13 consecutive years between 1982 and 1994, compiling a singles record of 24/20 and a doubles record of 17/5. He reached a career high world ranking of No. 5 in singles and No. 6 in doubles. In 1984, he partnered with compatriot Yannick Noah to win the Roland Garros doubles title and in 1988, he was a Roland Garros singles finalist.

In addition to his success in 1991, Guy Forget was a member France’s championship Davis Cup team in 1996. He competed in 26 ties between 1984 and 1997, compiling a singles record of 17/7 and a doubles record of 21/4. After Forget retired as a player in 1997, he went on to serve as France’s Davis Cup captain from 1999 through 2012. Under his leadership, the team won their ninth Davis Cup title in 2001 and they also achieved three runner-up finishes (1999, 2002, and 2010). Forget achieved a career high singles world ranking of No. 4 and was ranked world No. 3 in doubles.

Past recipients of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence include Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia in 2013; Ivan Lendl in 2012 in recognition of his contributions to the Czech Republic team; Emilio Sanchez of Spain in 2011; Slobodan Zivojinovic of Serbia in 2010; Manuel Orantes of Spain in 2009; Guillermo Vilas of Argentina in 2008; Stan Smith of the United States in 2007; Alex Metreveli of Russia in 2006; Miloslav Mecir of Slovak Republic and Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia in 2005; Manolo Santana of Spain in 2004; John Newcombe of Australia in 2003; Pierre Darmon of France in 2002; and Neale Fraser of Australia in 2001.