Chris Evert, Butch Buchholz Named as Inaugural Inductees of Orange Bowl Tennis Hall of Fame
The Orange Bowl Committee introduced Chris Evert and Earl H. “Butch” Buchholz as the inaugural inductees of the Orange Bowl Tennis Hall of Fame during a ceremony prior to the March 28 evening session of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium.
Over the last 72 years, the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships has become one of the most prestigious junior tennis tournaments in the world. The tournament has featured a “who’s who” of tennis greats through the years.
Evert was a three-time winner of the event, having captured the 16 and under Girls title in 1968 and the 18 and under crown in both 1969 and ’70. Buchholz captured the 16 and under Boys title in both 1954 and ’55.
“The Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships have long been considered one of the premier events for juniors in the world,” said José C. Romano, president and chair of the Orange Bowl. “The establishment of an Orange Bowl Tennis Hall of Fame is long overdue, and to be able to have two of the game’s all-time greats, who both also happen to be South Florida icons, as our first inductees is an incredible achievement. The Dolphins and Miami Open have created an incredible new home for the tournament at Hard Rock Stadium, and I want to thank the Miami Open for allowing the induction to take place there, which also happens to be home to the Capital One Orange Bowl football game.”
Evert won 18 Grand Slam singles and three doubles titles, and reached 34 Grand Slam singles finals during her professional career. One of the greatest tennis players of all time, the Fort Lauderdale native finished seven seasons as the number one player in the world, including five in a row from 1974-1978. She was named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year four times.
In the pre-open era, Buchholz, who founded the Miami Open in 1985, achieved a No. 1 American and No. 5 world ranking. After retiring, he served as Commissioner of World Team Tennis and Executive Director of the ATP in addition to founding the Miami Open. As a junior, he also captured the Australian, French, Wimbledon and U.S. junior titles in sequence.
Among those who have competed in the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, are Andre Agassi, Arthur Ashe, Boris Becker, Björn Borg, Butch Buchholz, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Chris Evert, Roger Federer, Mary Joe Fernandez, Steffi Graf, Justine Henin, Ivan Lendl, Hana Mandlíková, Andy Roddick, Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, Guillermo Vilas, and Mats Wilander.
The 2019 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships will be held on the clay courts of the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation from Dec. 9-15.
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